I wore: Tibi top & skirt, ALDO sandals & Mulberry bag
Indeed the place was absolutely teaming and the show queue resembled some sort of well dressed protest march. Thankfully I found myself standing next to Caroline Issa and Susie Lau and pretty promptly we were whisked through by a London PR amid evils and not-so-subtle sighs from the antsy show goers around us. The FROW boasted a bevvy of industry names including Caroline, Susie, Mira Duma (so freaking beautiful in the flesh it’s ridic) Susie Menkes, Hanneli Mustaparta, Leigh Leizark and Robbie Meyers.
There was one hell of a delay in starting and the combination of excessive air con and minimal clothing situation resulted in an extremely un-chic case of goose pimples. Finally a deliciously French male voice came on the speakers and sent everyone to their seats for the show to begin. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be happening right away thanks to a rebellious FROW-er refusing to uncross their legs (crossed legs get in the photographers way) but eventually the bellows from the pap pit took effect and whoever the offending party was decided to play ball. What ensued was a collection so flawless it wiped away all Lincoln Center induced stress with cleaner-than-clean lines inspired by those seen on a tennis court and the precision of a perfectly executed serve. Given Lacoste’s sporting heritage, it makes sense for x to include an element of athleticism in his collections but doing so inevitably runs the risk of repetition, especially given fashion’s fixation with “sports luxe” over the past few seasons. Gratifyingly, there was none of that here and the SS14 collection felt fresh and contemporary with none of the naff accoutrements so often associated with the trend. Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista may have referenced tennis skirts and polo shirts but they were nothing like those you’ve seen before.
With sculpted yet soft silhouettes in fabrics including neoprene, crispest cotton, leather and, most delectably of all, brushed suede this was about as haute sport as it gets, albeit in the most understated of manners. Colours ranged from tennis whites to powdery pastels and strong shades of burgundy, navy and green. Sheer panelling cropped up here too and, in a slightly geeky way, I relished the comparison between Lacoste’s take on what is clearly going to be a major look for SS14 and what I’d seen from the likes of Helmut Lang and BCBG.
After a quick trip to the nearest Starbucks I hopped on the subway to 34th street for show number two, Prabal Gurung. As you might remember, I died at the designer’s insanely awesome take on military couture last season so was excited to see what he had up his sleeve for SS14. Well, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. As soon as I entered the venue which had been decked out with black benches and an iridescent, box structure in the centre I knew we were in for something special. After the obligatory half hour delay a troop of models clad in what just a glimpse informed me were exquisite creations trooped out to radio silence and lined up inside the aforementioned “box”. The music struck up and one by one they walked out of the box and around the rectangular catwalk. I can’t even begin to do justice to the collection with my description but you know me, I’ll give it a go.
Prabal Gurung SS14
Couture silhouettes married with incredible technical fabrics ranging from double bonded cotton to laminated tulle, Napa leather and screen printed translucent PVC. Cinched waists and ladylike hemlines were combined with a colour palette including acid brights and sugary shades of candy pink, lilac and saccharine green further adding to the modern day Marie Antoinette feel. Indeed, while Prabal’s latest offerings were mesmerisingly stunning there was air of subversion lurking not too far beneath the surface which, aside from the unbelievably amount of skill and imagination it takes to deliver something like this, is what made the show so compelling. Those who criticise New York Fashion need only look to Prabal Gurung to be proved very wrong indeed.
Prabal Gurung SS14
Once I’d recovered from the state of sartorially induced awe Prabal’s show had put me in I realised that I had a couple of hours spare before my next engagement, a rare treat during fashion week! Naturally I frittered most of it away stopping in shops and accidentally getting on the wrong subway line but it was still a relief not to be rushing from place to place at a rate of knots. Not that what I had on that afternoon was exactly stressful, in fact quite the opposite. Remember PRISM by Anna Laub’s rooftop presentation at The Standard last September? Well this year they did it again and the whole thing was possibly even more awesome thanks to the A-MAZING collection and chilled out ambiance, not to mention the fact I knew a lot more people this time around so didn’t have to lurk in the corner on my lonesome.
In between catching up with various familiar faced fashion week-ers, indulging in a cheeky 3pm cocktail in the sunshine and chatting with the lovely (and ridiculously gorgeous) Anna herself I was in no rush to leave. Eventually the models left their perches and, still fantasising about owning a pair of PRISM pastel shades, I reluctantly decided to hit the road before I actually got kicked out.
Day 3 was definitely an enjoyable one. Great shows, evenly spread out with no need to run around like a lunatic or go anywhere near Lincoln Center. My final port of call was Pier 57 for Tibi. Much like Marios Schwab in London, I always feel a little nostalgic about this particular show because it was the first one I ever attended in the city. Since that first fateful trip to NYFW I’ve been at the Tibi show every season since and Amy Smilovic’s collections just keep getting stronger and stronger. I think it’s fair to say that the Tibi aesthetic has changed definitively since the days when it was known for pretty print dresses were Amy’s calling card. But if the AW13 collection really hammered the minimalist point home, this season marks the return of something a little softer. Don’t get me wrong, the clean lines and air of fuss free simplicity that have put Tibi ahead of the pack in recent years but there was an element of femininity this time around which I absolutely adored.
Oversized motorcycle jackets and boxy shapes were offset by adornments of white embellishment, delicate prints and lace inserts. For SS14 it’s evidently going to be all about the slouch and there was plenty of nonchalant, fluid fit tailoring here alongside laser cut cotton, sheer panelling (yes, more!) and fringe trimmings. The palette was an earthy medley of neutrals with pea green a’ plenty and the odd pop of tantalising tangerine. Overall Tibi’s latest offerings were a perfect culmination of Amy’s hard graft and the brands aesthetic evolution. Wearable, covetable and just the ride side of androgynous with a prevailing feeling of ease guaranteed to make you wish you were wearing it.
Much as I’d have loved to stick around post show and carry on catching up with fellow attendees The Elgin Avenue’s Monica Beatrice Welburn and Sandra’s Closet founder, Sandra Bauchnecht I had places to be and people to see so sprinted off into the New York night. As those of you who follow me on Instagram may have spotted, that evening I took the ferry to Governors Island for the Parisian Ball organised by my lovely friend Sharoni. This post is now verging into essay territoty so I won’t give you a blow by blow but I will tell you that there were vintage funfair rides, renowned Djs and countless fabulous attendees involved, in other words it was epic.
Love Ella. X