My second day of NYFW SS15 brought the kind of ungodly heat that made you feel like you were stepping into the belly of hell the second you left an air conditioned area. But just as rain, or rather blizzarding snow, doesn’t stop play during fashion week, neither does an inferno, plus the days line up included some really great shows…
First up was Lacoste at Lincoln centre. Long gone are the days of Lacoste being a sports casual brand favoured by prepsters of the non fashion variety and middle aged dads on weekends. Under the creative direction of Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the French label has established itself as harbinger of pared back, modern cool with sportif undertones and this season more than lived up to that reputation. Sports luxe lover I am not but this was one seriously covetable collection. Athletic staples such as the baseball jersey, the windbreaker, the varsity jacket, the wetsuit and of course, the polo shirt came reformed in colour pop hues and tech fabrics, all sleek and stylish and ready to march into the wardrobes of fashion types everywhere. While each look, be it a dove grey blue neoprene waistcoat or thigh skimming semi sheer take on the tennis dress, was utterly polished and immaculately constructed the collection had a wonderfully laid back wearability to it. Who knows, perhaps some pieces will actually get worn for sports.
Prabal Gurung SS15
Next on my agenda was Prabal Gurung, one of my favourite designers and the shows I most look forward to in New York. Prabal frequently cites his Nepalese heritage as inspiration for his collections and this season promised pieces rooted in the country’s intoxicating natural beauty and serene spirituality. Juxtaposing traditional Nepalese dress and American sportswear in myriad of eye wateringly gorgeous hues and painstakingly crafted textures resulted in a contemporary and exquisite take on the designer’s time tested source of inspiration. Opening with cloud like white ensembles complete with chiffon trails and rough hawn edges adding a feeling of earthiness, the show erupted into a visual feast encompassing mesmerizing three dimensional prints, bias cut dresses comprised of ribbon panels of different fabric and mountain scenery by way of embroidery. All this couture worthy gorgeousness was counterbalanced by sporty, mesh like knits and skinny trousers with zips. The finale, a series of floor length gowns with jewel encrusted bodices and racer back sculptural vests were the epitome of modern red carpet glamour. Displaying an almost unimaginable level and variety of skills, I thought Prabal Gurung SS15 was a truly magical and magnificent collection.
Snapped outside Rebecca Taylor by Phil Oh
After emerging into the blistering heat I made a beeline for the subway and headed downtown for Rebecca Taylor in Chelsea. After stopping for a snap with Phil Oh in the super sweet LBD Rebecca had given me to wear for the occasion I took my front row seat and found myself in the midst of US superbloggers, Blaire Eadie and the Song sisters. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty chuffed about that. Evidently those who had driven from Prabal had got stuck in horrific traffic so it was a very late starter but the aircon was blasting and the WiFi fast so frankly it was rather enjoyable. Eventually the show began, opening with a gorgeous tiered chiffon number. I’ve always adored Rebecca’s lovely brand of wearable prettiness and her SS15 collection had it in spades. Romantic, ethereal floaty concoctions came smattered with ditzy floral prints and styled with wear everywhere wedges. Alongside the blooms came neatly tailored trousers in bold summer shades, lightweight pastel outerwear, layered looks with peeping pleats and, my personal favourite, 3D floral embroidery. Delicate and girly with a modern edge and plenty of pieces that could (and might) slot nicely into my wardrobe, it was possibly one of the strongest Rebecca Taylor collections I’ve seen.
Rebecca Taylor SS15
Day 2 was a pretty busy one and after a quick trip to Starbucks to pillage the free WiFi and grab a thoroughly unenjoyable sandwich I was on to show number four, Tibi. Us Brits tend to be seated and stick together in New York, giving the whole thing a relaxed, convivial feel. This is especially the case at a late running show where we can all have a good catch up and bitch about the weather. Amy Smilovic’s original take on modern minimalism has made Tibi a fashion favourite and this season saw her putting a rather different spin on it, drawing inspiration from craft work traditions to create a collection that had a very unique feel to it. Every fabric was painstakingly worked with quilting, embroidery, immaculate pleats and purposefully frayed hems adding a depth and sense of relaxed luxury. Perforated leather, buttersoft grey suede and slouchy brushed silk only added to this in a understatedly rich palette of neutrals and earth tones interspersed by hits of turquoise and deep green. Wide stripes and intricate cutwork came paired with laid back flats and a hearty dose of slouchy while off the shoulder tops with obi belt inspired wrist ties will be a cult hit I predict and have rocketed straight up my SS15 wish list.
With a little time to spare before my next show I crossed the road to The Standard Hotel rooftop for a presentation I thoroughly enjoy every season, PRISM. Like virtually everyone else in the fashion world and beyond, I’m slightly obsessed with Anna Laub’s geometric eyewear and poolside pieces. Unsurprisingly, her SS15 collection was awesome and between the panoramic views, lounging facilities and cocktail bar there’s always a really relaxed mood at PRISM’s presentations which make you wish you could hang out all day there.
Up next was Alexander Wang which is always a show to remember. The scene outside Pier 94 alone was something of a spectacle with hundreds of photographers and assorted civilians vying for shots of Wang’s famous fans. They weren’t disappointed as Rhianna, Nicki Minaj and Brook Candy were all in attendance, to name just a couple. The atmosphere at Alexander Wang is electric and there was a sense of excitement about the show to come. We certainly weren’t disappointed on any front and this was definitely one of my favourite Wang collections to date. There’s no longer anything particularly original about sneakers on the catwalk but in what can only be described as a stroke of genius, Alexander Wang turned it on its head completely. Wang, a life long lover of sports shoes, took his favourite styles and reimagined them as dresses. Think Nike flyknits translated into bodycon mesh dresses in highlighter hues and Adidas Stan Smiths transformed into green and white tennis dresses. It was very cool, very wearable and sexy in a downtown, effortless kind of way. As much as I respect and admire Alexander Wang as a designer, I don’t usually find myself coveting his creations but this season I fell seriously hard for this collection.
Alexander Wang SS15
Evening was falling by this point but I still had another show to go, I told you day 2 was a marathon! After a quick trip back to my apartment to catch up on some work followed by a few glasses of rosé with the girls from Stylist and UGG, it was time to hit Spring Studios for Altuzarra.
The venue was as packed as packed could be, appropriately for one of the hottest designers in NYC. Anticipation was in the air and as the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack struck up and the first look hit the catwalk, an immaculately tailored vision of palest pink gingham, it was clear this was going to be another rave reviewed collection. Altuzarra’s wasp waisted silhouettes and use of checks, stripes and cardigan layering may have been retro in theory but in practice they were entirely contemporary. The designer is renowned for his ability to merge high fashion and sex and his perilously high slit skirts, open shirt dresses and intricately cut leather latticing balanced elegance with raw sensuality. Opulent orange florals, pearl trimmed black chiffon and the dreamiest deconstructed visions of lavish red carpet beauty provided a jaw dropping finale.
Love Ella. X