Thursday, February 15, 2007

Four Key New York Shows

Oscar de la Renta
New York fashion week is always a barometer for the rest of fashion. Many new designers start their careers here - to varying degrees of success. This season provided some interesting contrasts. However, there were four key shows, which are sure to be influential.
Proenza Schouler -
providing plenty to think about, Proenza Schouler sent all its models down the runway wearing cloche hats. The influence of the early twenties was not restricted to millinery. Many of the silhouettes seemed influenced by this time-period, from flapper dresses to slouchy double breasted coats. However, much like the Dior haute-couture collection, the Proenza Schouler show mixed historical influences with a modern sensibility - here, daring mixes of fabrics and textures. These fabrics were often extremely luxurious. Nonetheless, expect many of the themes to be replicated (to a degree, with less luxurious fabrics!) on the high street next season.
Zac Posen - as can be expected with Zac Posen, impeccable tailoring, opulent fabrics and a generous helping of subdued glitz ruled the day. There were plenty of reliable cocktail looks to please even the most social of butterflies. Coats provided an area of experimentation, both in fabric and style. There were also some key evening gowns, illustrating Posen's flair for the dramatic.
Marc Jacobs -
hats were also greatly in evidence at the Marc Jacobs show - expect Fall 2007 to be the season of the hat. Here shapes and colors were far more diverse than at Proenza Schouler and matched Jacobs' varied, sophisticated palette. Silhouettes were sleek, lean and pared down. Fabrics mainly matched the sleek outlines - embellishment mainly found expression in tailored details (pin-tucks, folds, belts) and color combinations, except for a few sequinned examples.
Oscar de la Renta -
the supreme embodiment of Upper East chic, Oscar de la Renta knows exactly what to do and how to do it. Key details were fur (collars, hems, cuffs, edges), rich colors (burgundy, midnight blue, imperial purple and gunmetal) and embellished evening wear. A versatile, luxe collection, it contained enough varied looks to please those of wildly differing sensibilities. Exaggerated hips shared space with twinkling cocktail wear. Plain, pared down evening wear shared space with fabrics rich in surface detail.

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