Friday, March 14, 2014

THE TENTS THEY ARE A CHANGING: Fall Fashions 2014

With apologies to Bob Dylan, the Fashion Week showings at the Lincoln Center Tents left me less than excited. No, it had nothing to do with the designers, but the look and ambiance of the venue. Supposedly, in an effort to project a more upscale feeling (and eliminate the so-called riff-raff, ­(bloggers, hanger's-on, etc.) from attending the shows, the invites were sent to the top fashion editors and major celebs. These were easily spotted by the proliferation of sky-high stilettos and summery dresses worn without regard as to the piles of snow and freezing cold that lasted all week. As for the tent itself, the redesigned look could be categorized as funeral parlor chic, thanks to the black wall coverings and overall bare look. But enough bitching, since I did manage to attend a few shows ­ some terrific, some just so so. Here's a quick rundown of some of the highlights:

RUFFIAN explored a "monastic opulence, tailored volume and lavish sumptuousness," according to their press release. To me the collection riffed on the Game of Thrones renaissance costumes updated for today. I loved a dramatic black double crepe dress with ivory inserts and ruff collar in ivory silk. A watteau back dress in chartreuse and blush double duchess satin was simply gorgeous as was a blouse in a pixilated floral digital print silk crepe de chine worn under a metallic boucle blazer with black piping and skirt in metallic brocade. Now, that's what I call suiting!

At RICHARD CHAI LOVE I spotted some wearable outfits with pizzazz. Starting with a petrol green shaped jacket, skinny trousers worn with an onyx sheer tissue jersey turtleneck (a la St. Laurent), and a dramatic bordeaux/onyx floral jacquard shawl collar midi coat thrown over sage/onyx floral jacquard slouchy trousers. What a concept! Actual winter clothes that made sense.

Another collection designed with grown-ups in mind was TOME. I thought that the double felt and double face wool gab coats were elegant but the outstanding pieces were the cocktail numbers, Two that come to mind, the black lace and pink lame shirt with a black silk embroidered skirt and a black lace dress with silver lame lining worn with a mink stole trimmed with shearling Not your ladies old fashioned 1950's style, but modern and sleek. Also modern and very very special was the DENNIS BASSO collection. To pay the mortgage or to buy a gorgeous luxury occasion outfit, that is the question? For me, the answer is simple. Not a chance in hell! However, a girl can dream and dream I did (and drool) over a black/white chinchilla coat tossed over a sequin tweed lace dress. For casual days there was a Russian barguzin sable coat with emerald silk twill blouse and trousers. I also swooned over Basso's Sapphire alligator,broadtail and sable coat worn atop a hand painted brushstroke cocktail dress. I could go on and on....

For another take on fur I went to see ADEAM. Tokyo born, New York raised designer Hanako's collection melded the delicacy of Japan with a carefree ruggedness- perfect for today's women. Standouts included a mink and nappa leather biker coat trimmed in white atop cropped tailored pants and the mink snood that accessorized a leather collared shirt and pleated maxi skirt. The leather banded pink off the shoulder simple shift dress got a fresh look when worn with astrakhan cut-out booties.

DESIQUAL's collection was a mixed bag and directed more towards warmer climates. As the show notes stated, "Desigual is getting back to basics with a personal collection that reflects the enduring optimism found in our hometown Barcelona." In addition to lots of rich colors like violet, hunter, burgundy etc I noted lots of black and white combos. While daywear was slanted more towards the very young, almost any age could wear the terrific evening wear. I loved the silk maxi dress with artisan embroidered gold sequins in a baroque motif and the ecru jacket also embroidered with same. However, the back and sleeves were in gold lame. This was paired with gold/bronze lame straight trousers.

As I folded my tent metaphorically speaking, what better way to end fashion week with one of my favorite designers, ANNA SUI. I personally felt that this was her strongest collection to date. The mood (and with Anna there's always a theme) was 1920's louche, jazz age mixed with old Hollywood/Shanghai Anna Mae Wong glamour. The knockout number for me was the black fox dragon boa slung over a long black velvet dress with beaded phoenix embroidery. All that was missing was a long cigarette holder and a martini cocktail! I could go on and on but I feel it's time to say farewell to the fall 2014 runway shows.

Next up, more fall/winter accessories. Stay tuned, C&C.

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