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New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I

Every season I’m at a loss as to how I should approach the fashion show reviews. There are so many that I don’t know where to start, how many I should try to review, or how to justify which shows I choose over others. It’s oddly stressful considering I’m sitting in front of my laptop in San Francisco and NOT running around the cobblestone streets of New York City in stilettos with a 50 lbs handbag.

So this season I have come up with a plan of attack. I’m going to publish four separate pieces for New York Fashion Week:

  1. The NYFW Institutions - i.e. Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg & Carolina Herrera
  2. The more reasonably priced or secondary designer lines - i.e. J.Crew, MARC by Marc Jacobs & Alice+Olivia
  3. New up & coming brands that I’m just discovering or which are new to the tents – i.e. Z Spole by Zac Posen, Thakoon Addition & Victoria by Victoria Beckham
  4. And finally the street style & front row fashion of the NYFW attendees

So without further ado – Welcome to the fabulous runway fashion of the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows:

BCBG Max Azria:

This collection was an interesting juxtaposition of hard against soft. The dresses all had a harness-like construction on the bodice, evoking a tough, bad-girl vibe that contrasted with the softer colors and flowing silhouettes.

Black, white, grey, and coral were the colors de jour and all the looks were paired with a wide ankle strap adorned heel in black or white. The fitted, midi and maxi-length skirts were equipped with high slits in the thin, wispy floral, lace, and paisley prints, making them utterly perfect for hot summer nights.

Peter Som:

This sweet collection was filled with great prints, bright colors and pastels, florals, flowy silhouettes and just a touch of lace. It was structured and well put together, but relaxed and fun - New York City girl meets boho chic.

The prints were chic and I loved the cropped pants – of course – and the hippie vibe throughout. I don’t think that I can say it any better than The Man Repeller: “Peter Som is punk rock tea party infused with tigers and ponies.”

Derek Lam:

I heard the phrase “sporty luxury” to describe Derek Lam and couldn’t get it out of my head – That’s the perfect description for this master of chic sportswear and exquisite tailoring. These clothes were modern and chic, I can easily picture them on streets all over the world.

Interesting fabrics and textures, bold prints, and slouchy silhouettes were the hallmarks here. Knee-length skirts and sheath dresses in brightly colored leather, all-over geometric prints, separates, and the retro-inspired midriff baring tops that were all over the runways in New York all made an appearance.

Calvin Klein:

The collection that Francisco Costa presented may have been primarily black and white but it was a far cry from boring. And a far cry from the slinky pastel numbers favored by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet last season.

These looks were sleek, body conscious, and strikingly sexy with dramatic cuts and a variety of reach-out-and-touch-them fabrics and textures including lace, satin, mesh, and leather. No florals or pastels for the Calvin Klein girl this coming Spring, she’ll be breaking out killer heels and wowing everyone with her confidence and daring.

Ralph Lauren:

The Ralph Lauren show was a combination of make-believe and reality. There were costume-like pieces inspired by Spain and Latin America – fringe, matador jackets, and ponchos – and there were chic, wearable pieces that I’m sure we’ll be seeing soon on the red carpets and sidewalks of Hollywood.

I absolutely loved the flowing, ruffle-adorned maxi dresses and skirts in stripes and bright florals, as well as the vaguely Parisian looking prim A-line skirts paired with fitted jackets, and the double-breasted, oversized suits with dramatic shoulders.

Ole!

Thakoon:

If I had to pick a single word to describe the Spring 2013 collection presented by Thakoon it would be beautiful. The cuts & silhouettes were flattering, the fabric & textures were interesting, and the prints & details were nothing short of divine.

From pretty, colorful, whimsical prints for daytime outings to daring but still utterly chic lace, eyelet, and sheer fabrics for nighttime.

A collection like this one really illustrates the difference between a designer like Thakoon and one like Lee McQueen – While I’d call them both artists the wearability of a collection like this one is unparalleled. I wait with bated breathe for the McQueen shows and gasp at the artistry and showmanship, but I can picture every single piece of this collection in my wardrobe, not something most of us mere mortals can say about McQueen.

Diane Von Furstenberg:

Who knew being a techie could be so darn stylish? DVF went geek chic this season and sent her girls down the runway in brilliant colors, prints, and flowing caftans paired with the brand new Google Glasses.

Glasses aside this collection had a classic DVF feel - Great 70′s styles & prints, flowing silhouettes that would be right at home in Saint Tropez or Marrakech, and eye-catching accessories like oversized earrings, brightly colored sunglasses, and matchy-matchy handbags. The whole collection had a delicious retro vibe that made me nostalgic for the heyday of Miss Diane herself.

Victoria Beckham:

I always look forward to the Victoria Beckham show, I adore her personal style and that chic, timeless style always shows up in her collections. And while I love – and would die to own – all of her sexy, second skin sheath dresses, I was thrilled by the amount of separates and slightly less body conscious pieces that she sent down the runway for Spring.

Everything was still sleek and sexy, with little color or prints per her usual aesthetic, but somewhat more relatable for the non-Hollywood set. I especially liked the A-line skirts and high-necklines, and the black, white, and the brilliant orange color scheme suited the austerity of the designs.

Well done!

Tommy Hilfiger:

Stripes! Stripes! Stripes! But we’re not talking about your basic, boring stripes for Spring, these are chic, retro stripes adorning flowing suits, maxi dresses, and separates in red, white, and navy.

The devil was in the details of this collection – The drama of a double-breasted, oversized suit jacket, delicate chevron prints, bright piping on a two-toned blazer, contrasting denim on denim pockets, thick weave cable knit sweaters, gold rope detailing, and flowy silk shirt-dresses. You’ve got to admit, nothing says All-American quite like Tommy Hilfiger.

Jason Wu:

Jason Wu may be best know for dressing Michelle Obama, but when a runway show starts with Carolyn Murphy strutting her stuff in a black leather mini dress you know the collection is heading in a different direction than usual.

While the primarily black & white collection was filled with leather & lace, his red lipped models also wore some killer separates and pieces with exquisite tailoring. But even the prim looks amped up the sexiness with mesh, sheer panels, studs and animal prints.

Donna Karan:

City girl Donna Karan presented an unusually soft and sweet collection pulling inspiration from the ballet which gave the pieces ethereal undertones that were further emphasized by the pale color palette.

The soft, gauzy looking fabrics, flattering drapping, sweater-sets, and pastel satins were sugary sweet and picture perfect for good-girl actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Greene, or Nicole Kidman. Among the draping and flowing fabrics were two numbers that caught my eye though – A sharp white sheath dress with a matching cropped jacket and a sexy sheer panelled navy gown perfect for a siren like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley during her next red carpet appearance.

Zac Posen:

Calling all supermodels!

The Zac Posen show was the place to be when the audience was surprised by Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, and Coco Rocha all hitting the catwalk in his gorgeous, retro-inspired designs.

The dresses were phenomenal – From floral fifties inspired day dresses with sweetheart necklines to second-skin suits with his trademark dramatic bodice cuts, to sleek gowns in satins, florals, and chiffons. I could picture the likes of Eva Mendes and Emma Stone wearing the chic, but prim daydresses, and I guarantee that the rest of these gowns will be all over the red carpets come awards season.

Marc Jacobs:

There’s a reason that no one could stop talking about the Marc Jacobs show – It was amazing. Fabulously retro and evocative of the stylish Warhol girls of the 60′s, without appearing costumy or over the top, the kind of clothes you can really picture yourself wearing.

Loads of stripes – from thick to thin & horizontal to vertical – interesting lengths, cute separates, matching handbags, low-heeled shoes, and chic outerwear. I loved the long jackets with the high collars, the tiny shifts that us non-supermodels would need to wear slim trousers under, and the adorable pointy toed kitten heels.

Michael Kors:

Another show that emphasized stripes and had a Mod feeling to it was Michael Kors, which was brightly colored, bold, and very sporty. While it may not have been innovative, this collection showed piece after piece of very wearable clothing – For both men and women.

Stripes, colorblocking, contrasting collars, flats, wide low-slung belts, matching suits, tank & shift dresses, and separates all made lovely appearances. I may not be able to live without the green tunic & matching shorts set, it’s one of my favorite looks so far from the NYFW collections.

The menswear was fabulous – Full of color, great silhouettes, and classics styles. The men also got the stripes treatment and he showed great suits, white boat shoes, separates in the form of slacks, shorts & sweaters, and killer outerwear.

Carolina Herrera:

This light airy collection was filled with pale hues – from peach and aqua to olive-green and daffodil yellow – All perfectly ready for Spring. There were shorts, midi length skirts, trench coats, maxi dresses, gowns, and some sweet separates.

As gorgeous as CH’s gowns always are, the separates and short coats were what really caught my eye. They were chic and well-tailored, but more approachable than her collections have been in the past. The wide strap heeled sandals worn by all came in every color imaginable and thin belts cinched all of the waists. And interestingly enough, not a piece of jewelry could be seen!

Oscar de la Renta:

What I love about ODLR is his consistency – Each show will inevitably cater to a handful of crowds, from high-powered businesswomen & ladies who lunch to the fashionable young things & “It” girls that compose the celebutant set.

The splashes of colors in this collection were shocking yellow, pink, and teal – An interesting choice that worked surprisingly well. The collection was vibrant and fun with lots of beautiful textures and fabrics, and a great separates that I can imagine a few fashionistas in. Personally I’d be first in line for the thin striped dress paired with the black & white plaid coat and the sequin encrusted retro tunic & slim cropped pants - Tres chic!

Jill Stuart:

I’m always excited for a collection that pulls from Kim Basinger’s Veronica Lake look-a-like character in LA Confidential as it’s inspiration – The old school, golden age of Hollywood was such an extravagant and glamorous period fashion-wise.

You could really see that in the boudoir-feeling of the silks and slinky satins, and in the sequins, lame, and metallic brocades. While this wasn’t a “real woman” collection, there were beautiful dresses, gowns, and a few separates that will cater perfectly to a certain set.

Alexander Wang:

Wow.

Cut outs, netting, mesh, beading, lucite, sheer fabrics, leather, and garments that glowed in the dark when the lights went down. Cool club kids of the world unite! The pieces were minimalist and simultaneously dramatic and eye-catching, a feat few designers can manage.

Architectural and structured, but still fun and irreverent, all of the looks were paired seamlessly with strappy sandal-boot hybrids in black, white, or clear lucite. Definitely not looks for the average woman to wear walking down the street, but something that the cool girls that love Wang dearly can wear for a night out on the town.

{Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Sartorialist, & Tom & Lorenzo}

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Man Repeller - NYFW Day I, The Sartorialist – Boy by Band of Outsiders, Tom & Lorenzo’s Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Collection, Late Afternoon’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Diary, or check out IFB’s Spring 2013 Pinterest Board.

What’s your favorite collection that I’ve reviewed so far? If you could go to New York City for Fashion Week what would the number one show on your list to see in person be?

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Chanel’s Little Black Jacket

There are fashion book parties. And there are fashion book parties.
By which I mean, there are fashion books, and there are fashion books written by the one and only Karl Lagerfeld.

Fashion insiders, celebrities, models, designers, photographers, magazine editors, Chanel-lovers, and Karl’s international flotilla of muses all flocked to Soho to celebrate the launching of this gorgeous coffee table book. The event was held in an elegant loft space which perfectly complemented the black and white photographs blown up from the book that adorned the walls and acted as the perfect background for the primarily Chanel-clad guests.

Even her sexy sequined gown couldn’t outshine Joan’s smile! Wow!

It’s all about the black & white to stand out in red carpet photographs – These models definitely know how to make a a high impact entrance.

The statuesque Karolina Kurkova struck a pose in all-white, not a feat for mere mortals.

Never one to fade into the background, the stunning Hanneli Mustaparta posed with Caroline Winberg in everyone’s favorite Stella McCartney dress this season.

There was lots of Summer white to enjoy at this event, from hippie-inspired maxi dresses to chic dresses and separates, these ladies know what works best for them.

The Mad Men star looked phenomenal in a traditional Chanel tweed jacket in pale lemon yellow

And the surprise guest? Freja Beha Erichsen, whose photograph appears in the book, emerged for a night out on the town after having mysteriously sat out the last season of runway shows.

Biker chick chic!

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You can even check out a FabSugar highlight video from the event if you’re in the mood for some more play-by-play.

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2012 CFDA Awards

 

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The CFDA Awards were held Monday night and there were all sorts of highlights – from gorgeous red carpet dresses to fun announcements to an after party that just wouldn’t quit.

I swear, there was nothing else on my Twitter feed for HOURS.

Breathtaking. Sleek and sexy evening wear at its finest. I love that she didn’t wear a necklace and let the dress’ neckline take center stage. I also adored her strappy heels and cocktail rings. Perfection!

His tuxedo is classic and dapper, while she’s a vision in her eye-catching Eastern inspired dress.

Designer Olivier Theyskens and his gorgeous date Constance looked great together despite their height difference. Her dress is gorgeous, I love embellished 60′s style shift dresses and this one is gorgeous!

This Lela Rose gown is unique and eye-catching. I love that she wore something different and interesting. It suited her really well and she looked beautiful!

Fun, funky & totally unique. Just what I love about Taylor Tomasi Hill. And apparently she picked everything & got ready at the last-minute. How cool is that?

And if you’re a lover of prints and patterns on the red carpet, there were a handful of ladies who impressed and really brought the drama in that department Monday.

What did you think of Dakota’s Eastern-inspired Proenza Schouler dress? I bet it looked like a work of art in person, the attention to detail is pretty astonishing.

Definitely eye-catching! I love high-necks on dresses, I think it adds a sense of drama that a plunging neckline simply cannot.

I love women who dare to wear cocktail-length frocks on a red carpet filled with gowns, I think it’s a great way to make sure everyone is really taking a look at your dress choice. This look is busy busy busy with mixed patterns, an embellished neckline, and two-toned strappy heels, but she makes it work.

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Clearly a  good time was had by all!

I love to see the serious and intense fashion insiders letting loose and really enjoying themselves at events like this one. It’s a great reminder of how much fun fashion is and what an amazing opportunity these kinds of celebrations can be.

My blogger crush The Man Repeller (left) with designer Rebecca Minkoff and model Hilary Rhoda. Blues are definitely in!

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P.S. You should definitely check out The Man Repeller, Rebecca Minkoff, and Hilary Rhoda’s hysterical “Call Me Maybe” music video that they made while getting ready for this event.

So. Funny.

Beautiful designers in their beautiful designs!

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Fashion is frequently about the past meeting the present, and here’s the personification of that concept – Fashion icon Lauren Hutton with new designers and CFDA winners Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen.

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Can’t forget our boys! From traditional suits to tuxedos with a twist to white linen, they definitely clean up nice!

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Want to check out the list of nominees and winners from this event? Harper’s Bazaar has you covered here.

Or you can see my choice for the best dressed individual of the night in lacy black Marc Jacobs…

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2012 amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS

One of the brilliant events at the Cannes Film Festival each year is the amFAR Gala. This is a great fashion event and many Hollywood stars, models, fashion insiders, designers, bloggers, and photographers who don’t attend the Film Festival itself will make the trip to Cannes for this party alone.

This Elie Saab gown is about glitz and glamour rather than dreamy romance as with many of his creations that we see on the red carpet. And Nina couldn’t have chosen a more dramatic or eye-catching gown, it suited her to perfection. Definitely one of my favorite gowns of the evening.

This space-age inspired gown from the Versace Spring 2012 Couture Collection is absolutely amazing. When else would you be able to pull off a gown like this other than the MET Ball?

You can see the original gown here on Style.com worn by model Ros Georgiou on the Milan runway last year.

Interesting backs are my favorite part of a dress and this Emilio Pucci gown did not disappoint. The beading and sheer detailing on the front, high boatneck neckline, and draped back made this a gorgeous gorgeous look.

I loved the delicate fabric, square neckline and buttoned-up back on Kylie’s red siren gown. These details made it really unique and memorable.

Karolina’s gold Roberto Cavalli gown was intricate and beautiful, featuring sheer fabric, sequins, and an adorable matching jacket.

Drama Drama Drama. If you watch the video below you’ll see how amazing, and scandalous, this gown looks in motion. GIven her public persona and her function at the event, I couldn’t have picked a better gown for her.

Diane “the Queen of Cannes” Kruger wore another gorgeous Chanel creation, this time choosing a knee-length retro style number. Not my favorite look of hers from the Festival but eye-catching without a doubt.

Louis Vuitton seemed to be Kirsten’s go-to designer for all of the Cannes events this year, and this was another triumph. The covered up neckline, dramatic floral belt, and sweet tiers kept things interesting.

This white Versace column gown is anything but minimalist with the buckled straps across the back and shimmering silver detailing.

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This year was even more special than in the past because Miss Carine Roitfeld hosted the “Perfect Black Wardrobe” Fashion Show where 25 top models walked the runway in black gowns, dresses, and suits submitted by the world’s top designers and design houses – from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel to Ralph Lauren and Mr. Giambattista Valli. You can even watch some clips from this amazing runway show here from FashionTV.

Curious how it might be to be an invitee to the Cannes Film Festival attending all of the amazing events and parties? Read Erin Wasson’s Cannes Style Diary over at Harper’s Bazaar for party pictures, outfit details, invitations, and much much more.

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MET Madness

It’s that time again…

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Time for my favorite fashion event of the year. It’s my version of prom! Last year’s event was held in honor the (then) recently deceased Alexander McQueen and the red carpet was amazing.

5:36 p.m:  Dolce & Gabbana dress and Christian Louboutin shoes, all set for the gala.

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This year there were so many gorgeous women on the red carpet – fashion insiders, celebrities, models, actresses – that it was hard to narrow down my favorites.

Hollywood Dolls:

{Rooney stuck with what’s worked for her over the last few months of red carpet appearances. Dramatic. Bold. Givenchy! There was lots of white on the red carpet this year so her lacy black gown stood out all the more.}

{Bombshell alert! Amber Heard’s Zac Posen gown was striking and oozed with old school glamour. Love!}

{Elegant but eye-catching at the same time, that’s what Giambattista Valli does best!}

{Sleek & sexy. Gwyneth Paltrow put women half her age to shame in this fierce little Prada cocktail number. I love the embellishments here – the pocket on the dress, the low-cut back, and the jewel-encrusted stilettos.}

DiannaAgron

{This was a great choice for her. A beautifully cut dress in the perfect color, soft, sweet makeup, and loose curls framing her face. Just stunning.}

{Kirsten Dunst has long been a fan of Rodarte and they served her well again last night with this one-of-a-kind retro inspired dress. The look was definitely unique, but I think she looked phenomenal!}

{I’m always excited to see what Miss Cate will show up on the red carpet in, and she didn’t disappoint last night. Alexander McQueen with black feathers and a fishtail train? Only a few women in the world could pull this off.}

{Nina has been stepping up her game on the red carpet the last year or so, really making an impact, and this Donna Karen gown is another great choice.}

{Wow. Renée Zellweger usually wears Carolina Herrera but this Pucci gown is stunning! The low back and dramatic train are gorgeous.}

{Wow. Just. Wow. Love it all. Color, fit, fabric, accessories. Fierce!}

{Claire Danes’s sexy white wrap dress was perfectly complemented by her teal envelope clutch and sleek updo. Well done.}

 

{Bombshell! Camilla Belle was a vision in a sexy silver Ralph Lauren gown. Simple and elegant. I like that she went minimal on the accessorizing.}

Model Muses:

{When I think about the MET Gala this is what I picture. Daring fashion. Avant garde styles. Fashion with a capital F. Well done ladies, well done!}

ChanelImanTomFord

{Drama Drama Drama. Chanel Iman and her sexy plus one were all about black & white drama.}

{Coco’s brightly colored vintage Givenchy and matching pink curls were definitely eye-catching. Are you a fan?}

AmberValletta

{Veteran model Amber Valletta’s Prada gown was perfect, with both color blocking and pleats, it was right on trend for Spring!}

{I think Constance may have stolen Tilda’s dress, but that’s ok because she killed in it! Love the color and fabric combinations, the silky teal with the royal blue pleats are perfection!}

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART'S Spring 2012 COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Gala

{Lace, asymmetrical silhouette, and brilliant pink – Jason Wu definitely wanted Miss Karlie Kloss to stand out this evening!}

{The face of Burberry Body rocked her long-sleeved, retro Burberry gown. Only Rosie could make sequined stripes look this good!}

candice-swanepoel-met-ball-2012-rag-bone-dress

{Victoria’s Secret stunner Candice Swanepoel positively glowed in her custom cobalt & black lace Rag & Bone gown. J’adore!}

And my favorite – Diane Kruger. I know she’s an actress but I always think of her a model. She’s got phenomenal taste and a flawless sense of style, something I usually associate with models who spend their time surrounded by fashion editors, photographers, and designers.

{DRAMA. Purple feathers, a train, and killer jewels? Miss Diane clearly wanted to make an entrance last night. I hate hate hate to find fault with her, but I think an updo would have been the perfect final touch to this.}

{Source, Source & Source}

And what would I have worn?

I narrowed it down to these choices over the weekend. And these choices clearly show my multiple personalities. Part of me wants to go for old-school, golden age glamour, and the other part of me thinks that an event like this one calls for no holds barred, serious drama.

{This gown in Valentino red would be a fabulous choice – Bold but classic and flattering.}

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Or something a little more dramatic and high-impact.

{I love the drama of Zac Posen gowns and this is a phenomenal color. If it had a keyhole or open back to offset the high neck and cap sleeves I’d be all over this!!!}

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What was your favorite dress this year? What would you have picked for yourself?

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