Friday, March 5, 2010

Notes from the Back Row... again!

Now that I’ve brought you up to date on Fall accessories I thought I’d riff on some of my favorite collections that were shown during Fashion Week in and around the tents.

Stop me if I sound like a broken record when I tell you that there are millions of ways to check out the shows, so you don’t need me to rehash everything. However, since I think I have better taste than 90% of the “fashionistas” out there, here’s what I thought were some of the most interesting, beautiful (and mostly expensive) designer collections.

NANETTE LEPORE: I’ve got to hand it to her, this was a fabulous collection full of gorgeous jewel toned velvets, interesting fabric mixes (think a sheepskin coat tossed over a beaded dress), a wonderful copper plaid coat and some great sweaters.

STEPHEN BURROWS: This capsule collection shown in his showroom was his best to date and drew out the big guns of fashion. Tops on my hit parade was Burrows Audrey Hepburnish little black dress and a sensuously draped gown in wine jersey with an accent of burnished gold at the shoulder.

UNITED BAMBOO: My absolute favorite sweaters came from this collection. You must have the mohair numbers in subtly muted shades. This is also the place for great pea coats and an aviator jacket in navy wool inspired by the sophisticated women of the 1930s era.

ADAM LIPPES: This young designer offered wearable, sportswear looks with that extra something special. How cool would it be to wear his shearling trimmed charcoal etched stripe pea coat over the washed charmeuse tank and silver grey lambswool/angora birdseye pant, or the caramel leather pleated back tank dress, not to mention the olive waxed cotton hooded anorak lined in coyote? Adam showed this last piece over a sequin embroidered crepe de chine dress that wowed the crowd.

ADRIENNE VITTADINI: Always wearable, always saleable, always right on target fashion-wise without going overboard into Lady Gaga-land. Here’s what I want – her ‘60s influenced little black wool/cashmere dress with trompe l’oeil, a witty detail that also turns up on a cardigan in sage heather. It’s worn over a navy tank and aubergine knit skirt. The latter colors are worked to great effect in Vittadini’s plaid silk jacquard loosely belted balmaccan and cigarette pants.

Subtle and Fashionable: You in Adrienne Vittadini

SEARS/Kmart: If your fashion budget’s tight, when in doubt, do without. And with these collections you don’t have to. Sure, the fabrics aren’t the most expensive and the styling isn’t high, high fashion, but for goodness sake, don’t dismiss the clothes out of hand. I personally will head out to the burbs for the great looking vivid magenta wool coat (perfect atop my charcoal grey Chanel pleat skirt) and the chunky grey short sleeved cardigan (that I’ll wear over my skinny black turtleneck from and cream color Valentino trousers). There you have it, my version of crap and couture. It works for me and it can work for you.

PORTS 1961: Here’s where it gets tricky. By now you probably know that Ports is one of my favorite designer collections. However, this time around I could barely catch a glimpse of the models as they paraded down the runway due to the fact that an editor to my left spent the whole time standing and taking pics on her cell phone practically in my face. Not a cool move when one is already relegated to the back row where there was no run of show. What I did manage to catch a glimpse of looked terrific. Judging by the “art moderne” backdrop and the fact that the models I saw wore very chic ‘20s style neutral color leather cloche hats and the clean lines of the early pieces (at least from the shoulders up), I’d say that creative director Tia Cibani has another hit on her hands or maybe I’m just prejudiced.

To sum the shows up here’s what to buy: a great chunky sweater, a new coat (Marc Jacobs has one of the best), a pair of low heels (that means you), a soft slouchy handbag, a statement necklace, and the rest is up to you.

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row