It’s an inevitable truth of fashion week that at some point something will go hideously, horribly wrong. This time around disaster struck on night 5, or rather the wee hours of day 6. Having attended the amazing DKNY 25th birthday bash – Rita Ora, ASAP Rocky and Iggy Azalea performed, Hailee Seinfeld and Jared Leto attended, mucho fun was had by all – I decided to forgo the NY NY party at Le Baron in the interest of not being a total wreck the next day. As is often the case when you choose the sensible option, things go so totally tits up that you may have well just been silly and enjoyed it. Somehow I managed to get myself locked out of my apartment and eventually slept in the hallway until a kind (and evidently pretty wild) resident coming home at 5am helped me get in… Suffice to say, I was not exactly on top of the world when my alarm went off two hours later. But where there’s a will and a triple shot latte awaiting there’s a way, especially when the first collection on your schedule is J.Crew.
I wore: House of Holland dress, Mulberry bag & Preen for ALDO Rise sandals
It’s no secret that I love me some J.Crew and having spent my pre fashion week New York days trying on basically their entire AW13 collection in various stores around the city, I was extremely excited to see what Jenna Lyons and Tom Mora had up their stylish sleeves for SS14. Yet another label to channel a little Californiacation for Spring, J.Crew served up a heady blend of hibiscus prints, loud n’ proud embellishment and pops of neon more tantalising than Malibu views at sunset. Silhouettes came crisp yet relaxed with everyday tailoring paired with slouchy tees to create an oh-so-covetable fusion of New York grooming and laid back LA vibes. Turned up, paint splattered khakis oozed fash pack cool and to my delight there were Breton stripes a’ plenty. As per usual the J.Crew collection was so ridiculously up my street, were I not devoid any design talent I could have dreamt it. In other, rather less well formed words… I WANT ALL OF IT!!
Show number two (after triple shot latte number two) was Diesel Black Gold held in the magnificent Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station. I love a spot of spectacle and this venue, not to mention the A List attendees certainly supplied it. Happily ensconced in my seat next to Metro Fash Ed, Naomi and The Elgin Avenue blogger, Monica my retelling of the previous nights sticky end was suddenly interrupted by the mother of all pap frenzies. It transpired that Kanye West was in the building and everyone was going crazy. I even spied several major Editors attempting to surreptitiously grab a snap on their iPhones. While I’d no doubt look ridiculous wearing any of it, I loved Diesel Black Gold Creative Director Andreas Melbostad’s debut AW13 collection for the brand. Studs and leather and rebel attitude all over; it was tough girl chic at it’s most badass. I was unsure however how he’d move things on for SS14 by Melbostad managed it. The show notes opened with the phrase “Strength and fragility meet to express a new duality” and I definitely couldn’t put it better. The label’s trademark leather was realised in ice whites and pastel shades of pink and blue adorned with metal eyelets, discs, zippers, buckles and hardware accents. Sharply tailored, form fitting looks were juxtaposed by looser silhouettes crafted from crepe de chine, silk georgette and cotton even branching out into broderie anglaise and the odd baby doll dress. Indeed contrast was the name of the game at Diesel this season and flowing chiffon came with leather accoutrements. Melbostad made the bold move to take a house with a well known, seasoned aesthetic in a new direction without compromising it’s brand identity and if you ask me, he managed it.
Diesel Black Gold SS14
After battling my way through the carnage that is Times Square (Londoners, think Leicester Square on crack) and grabbing a quick bite to eat I headed downtown to The Classic Car Club for my next show, Sass & Bide. This was the Aussie design duo’s New York debut after five successful seasons showing in London so I can imagine there may have been a few nerves backstage that morning. They needn’t have worried, the SS14 collection was a hit, at least in my opinion. As at Diesel, Sass & Bide was all about dichotomy for Spring, although this was the contrast in a very different incarnation. Cinched waists, peplums and thigh skimming Va Va Voom silhouettes (a fave phrase of mine, in case you hadn’t noticed) exuded a powerful femininity in rich gold brocades, graphic herringbone checks and woven panelled leather. There were also softer shapes in the mix by way of flowing chiffon trains, wrap around floral printed silk and, much to my delight, sheer gauzy skirting embroidered with polkadots. There was also an undertone of androgyny thanks to embroidered sweatshirts with extra helpings of slouch which will no doubt sell out in seconds. Admittedly the power shouldered silk tux jackets weren’t really to my liking but other than that, I really liked the collection. Sexy, wearable and polished without being to “done”, Sass & Bide are definitely a label who know how to please their customers.
Sass & Bide SS14
As if the combination of 2 hours sleep, possibly too much champagne and ninety degree heat wasn’t painful enough already, I found myself with mere minutes until the only show that starts on time, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Then I couldn’t find a cab, walked in precisely the wrong direction, finally found a cab, got stuck in appalling traffic and very nearly had a complete breakdown. Luckily I made it, but only seconds to spare and was extremely pleased to be shoved in a seat on the FROW. That is, until a photographer asked for a snap and I realised quite how sweaty and disgusting I was after my high speed journey. I spent the next few minutes wishing the ground would just swallow me up and swear I could see the people seated next to me attempting to edge further away. But as soon as the first look hit the catwalk my shame attack thankfully faded away. You see, no one knows how to put a smile on your face like Mr Marc Jacobs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the man is quite simply a genius.
Marc by Marc Jacobs SS14
What I love most about Marc by Marc shows is that you never know what the hell to expect. SS13 was all about youthful gingham and soft edged chambray denim, AW13 served by seventies chic, berry hues and a hearty dose of glamour. This time around the collection was impossible to categorise. With boyfriend fit satin tuxes, graphic print sixties shifts and MJ letterman jackets the collection felt like a glorious homage to teenage kicks through the ages, or at least, through the last few decades of the 20th century. On the subject of satin, there was plenty of shine on show here, whether in the form of bedazzled sneakers, shimmering pleats, twinkling star embellishment or head-to-toe aquamarine sequins. Ever the arbiter of all things fun, young and pop culture related, Monsieur Jacobs nailed it for SS14 with an unpredictable blend of varsity luxe, boy-meets-girl cool and kitsch glamour that resulted in a retro yet somehow totally relevant feel.
Marc by Marc Jacobs SS14
My final show of the day and, as it turned out, of NYFW SS14 was none other than MM6 Maison Martin Margiela… I know. Obviously, the show was held downtown in a West Village gallery and by the time I arrived the streer was already flooded with sickeningly cool fashion types pretending not to pose for street style photographers. In retrospect wearing an in-your-face print House of Holland number was perhaps not my best decision ever as naturally most of the guests were clad in various forms of conceptual black drapery but frankly the idea of fitting in multiple outfit changes per day makes my head hurt so I rolled with it. The refreshingly cool basement space had been arranged with a semi circle of benches facing white structures on which moving, translucent bubble were being projected in reference to this seasons theme, “Transparency”. An interesting choice of words as while many of the looks we saw had a literal element of transparency, to my eyes at least there was something intensely undecipherable about them. Staple garments – think bombers, trenches, parkas, tuxes – had been manipulated, distorted and reworked in all manner of surprising fabrics to create sartorial hybrids as beguiling in their mystery as in the sartorial mastery that delivered their flawlessly sculpted silhouettes. After reading the press release I learned that the idea was to proportionally lengthen and enlarge the aforementioned garments from undersized to oversized, further proof that it’s always worth reading that before the show starts. Fabric was both varied and doctored to rigidify, perforate and add an appearance of opacity and the range of materials that received the MM6 treatment was astonishing. Leather, thick knits and opaque tech fabrics came in optic whites, matt black and hits of bold, block colour ranging from tangerine to hot pink and seaweed green. While there was an eery, spectacular, otherworldy quality to the show itself, pull that apart and most of the pieces could easily translate into real life minus, perhaps, the transparent moccasins. Yes, MM6 Maison Martin Margiela delivered a collection that was both undeniably conceptual and commercial, a sure display of seasoned skill if ever there was one.
MM6 Maison Martin Margiela
Sadly this is where my show diary will come to an end. I managed to pick up some sort of hideous bug before day 7, I blame the food I had at dinner that night but burning the candle at both ends for over a week may have had something to do with it. Never fear though, London Fashion Week will be coming soon and then, my friends, there will be Paris!
Love Ella. X