Day 5 got off to an excellent, if horrendously early start. London being 5 hours behind New York time forced me to be at my laptop at the crack of dawn several times during NYFW, never exactly a barrel of laughs. Buoyed up by having actually begun to made a dent in my emails and started to sort out my Paris Fashion Week arrangements (exciting!) I grabbed a venti latte and hopped on the subway uptown for show number one, Tommy Hilfiger.
I wore: Boutique by Jaeger dress, Alberta Ferretti for Cutler and Gross glasses, Whistles sandals, Mulberry bag & Monica Vinader jewellery
Being the industry institution it is, fashion big hitters and A listers always show up for Tommy meaning I basically had to wrestle my way through a paparazzi frenzy to actually enter the venue. Once inside all thoughts of bruised toes and sharp elbows were replaced by sheer awe at the fact Tommy Hilfiger had transformed Pier 94 into a beach, complete with sandunes, surfboards and white washed life guard seats. Sand is slightly tricky terrain to navigate in open toed sandals but the whole scene was so spectacular I was inclined to ignore a bit of grit. Unsurprisingly, the FROW read like a who’s who of London, New York and Hollywood combined with everyone from uber bloggers Chiara Ferragni, Bryan Boy and Rumi Neeley to Victoria Silvstedt, Marigay McKee, Jefferson Hack and Anna Wintour plus a vast number impeccably turned out American women who’s sheer commitment to grooming you’ve got to admire.
Californication struck up, the first model strutted out and, having been too busy catching up with Naomi to look at the show notes, I instantly realised surf culture was going play a central role in the collection. Tommy’s take on surfspiration was a long way from from what other, more contemporary brands have been offering but in the best possible, most covetable way. Polo shirt dresses came reworked in neon and neoprene, a distinctly SS14 take on the perennial preppy staple. Flirty flippy hems, bold colour blocking and contrast coloured ensembles paired with perfectly matching sandals felt fun and fresh with a newness too them which in itself is an achievement for a designer who’s eponymous brand has been around for nearly 30 years. Between low slung, skintight wetsuit style trousers and cut out swimsuits in punchy hues complete with plastic zips, the surf references may not have been subtle which sounds like a criticism but isn’t, the whole thing was adorable. An interesting comparison could be drawn with the pared back athleticism we saw at fellow US sportswear stalwart, Lacoste. But while Tommy Hilfiger’s take on the look may be slightly less refined than Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s, it was perhaps rather more of an attractive proposal for lovers of eye offending amounts of colour, i.e. me.
Tommy Hilfiger SS14
As a (remarkably youthful looking) industry veteran, producing 50 odd women’s show looks is a walk in the park for Tommy and his vast SS14 collection offered more than just neoprene. Scuba chic transitioned in to colour pop tailoring, bomber jacket shorts suits and Hawaiian shirt style hibiscus prints carrying the surf theme through to the finale which, fittingly enough, marched to the beat of “Surfin’ USA” and of course, thunderous applause.
Tommy Hilfiger SS14
After navigating my way through the hundred plus street style photographers gathered outside I headed downtown to a different pier for show number two, Karen Walker. Karen is a designer who’s clothes I wasn’t hugely familiar with until recently. Of course I knew and coveted her sell out sunglasses, who doesn’t? But it’s only since acquiring a pair myself that I checked out her R-T-W offering and swiftly fell in love with it. As a passionate print and colour aficionado, the fact that Karen Walker collections offer large amounts of both made me very excited to see her SS14 concoctions. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, there were prints and brights a’ plenty. Indian inspired motifs adorned loosely tailored separates, laid back luxe silk pyjama pants and day-to-night shift dresses with boxy silhouettes and thigh skimming hemlines adding an air of stylish ease to proceedings. Just as I’d hoped it would be, Karen Walker’s SS14 collection was my kind of sartorial eye candy, playful, punchy and – to use a phrase pinched from WWD – “retail ready”.
Karen Walker SS14
Next on my agenda was a trip across town (a whole lotta zig zagging goes on during NYFW!) to Soho for the AllSaints presentation. As you might have gathered from their frequent appearances in my outfits posts, AllSaints is a label I’ve been wearing a lot recently and their collections just keep getting stronger and stronger. I arrived at the quintessential downtown loft space that served as a show room to be greeted by a line up of mannequins sporting a collection that was, to my mind, nothing short of a triumph.
Inspired by the decaying beauty of Flora Mortis (that’s “dying flowers” to you and me), the label delivered a stella take on the hard/soft juxtposition that so many designers seem to be obsessed with this season. Building on the low-key-luxe-with-a-hint-of-badass aesthetic that won me over to AW13, AllSaints’ combined dusty pinks, putty hues and curved silhouettes with chunky, hard edged jewellery and fearsome footwear courtesy of their newly acquired former Louboutin show designer. AllSaints’ have always done great leather and the labels latest offerings included pieces so goddamn gorgeous I could barely stop stroking them. Pared back coffee coloured bikers, long line waistcoats and – sacre bleu – cream shorts in the supplest of skins.
I could have stayed for some time admiring the collection, not to mention the artist live sketching an enormous pot of decaying blooms, but of course I had places to be and shows to see so I said my goodbyes and headed back uptown.
More from day 5 coming very soon!
Love Ella. X