The question is, have Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne figured out who the “Public School girl” is. Because from what I remember, they were still trying to find “her” last season- this is not to say that their past collections lacked identity- if anything, compared to the S/S ’15, there seems to have been a lot more “wow” factors back then, especially with the Resort collection. Besides the hats (appropriately named Garrison) that looked like an offspring between a Kippah and Sailor cap which, by the way, was the perfect complement to their signature menswear-inspired looks, there were some real stand-out pieces, including the ever-so-comfortable-looking wide pant suit worn underneath a spacious dress, complete with a double-layered blazer which gave it a streetwear vibe. Frequently spotted were sleeveless shirt dresses along with all things collarless ranging from coats, printed jackets to button-ups.
When expectations are high, there are much to be filled indeed. As a fan of refined streetwear, Public School’s high-fashion approach to menswear-inspired womenswear that embraces both utility and sartorial elegance was rather an obvious recipe for love at first sight. And with their Resort ’15, this relationship seemed to be solidifying; however, S/S is saying otherwise. While the brand remains fresh and cool, for some odd reason, there is a certain element that seems to be lacking, possibly “confidence” which is most likely rooted in uncertainty of sort- blame it on pressure. But then again, the PS brand is most definitely still in the process of being developed, and for that, the duo should be praised for their incessant curiosity and proclivity for challenges and artistic creativity.
Triple layered like a boss: Knit tank over two sleeveless shirtdresses.
A fixture on red carpet, Carmen Marc Valvo is an eveningwear extraordinaire and a lover of couture aesthetic. With over 24 years of dressing first-class clientele that consists of Beyonce, Kate Winslet, Eva Longoria, and Catherine Zeta-Jones under his belt, his recent ventures illustrate his drive and passion for working with the beauty of the female form is indeed unrelenting. Besides his specialty, cocktail dress and couture gown, his business has grown to include swimwear, eyewear, knitwear, and shoes through licensing partnerships. His designs can be found at high-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf Goodman.
As Donna Karan’s sportier, more approachable sibling, DKNY has been dressing urbanites and the likes since 1989. With Karan’s intimate knowledge of her customer base, DKNY has successfully established itself as a representative and face of active young women of New York City. As part of the generation that grew up with the brand, there also was a time in my life when I identified myself with the label which was the epitome of the cool city girl that mostly consisted of black and denim as long as I remember. This new collection seems to have changed everything however, with bright colors and patterns aplenty complete with flatform sneakers and curled baby hair with occasional pops of braids. While the contrast almost comes as a shock, perhaps it’s only appropriate that a brand that pretty much has penetrated all aspects of our lives adopts to a changing environment, especially in an industry that constantly seeks something new and fresh. Regardless, DKNY remains as one of the top brands that continues to invent and reinvent the American casual and for that, New York, you may now breathe a sigh of relief.
Luis Antonio has established himself as a household name among Puerto Rican women with his modern take on romanticism illustrated with feminine elements such as ruffles, bows, and soft silhouettes. His New York Fashion Week debut, the collection was titled Maritime which consisted of graphic patterns and fluid dresses in a nautical mood. Especially interesting were pattern clashes and fitted pant-suits along with rope printed pieces.
If there is one person who seems to have fun regardless of what goes on around the world or what people say, it would have to be Jeremy Scott. Yes, his pieces are over the top at times and it does get pretty tough to imagine anyone else besides K-Pop stars or Miley rocking them but if there is one thing he’s done impeccably right, it is that he has successfully developed a brand and style that is immediately recognizable no matter what random theme he ends up with.
The Shrek references, clashing patterns, pastel florals, and furry, swirly things along with jewelry reminiscent of my three-year-old niece’s play room, for some strange but legitimate reason, took me back to the year 2000 when Rave was a huge part of my life. As much as I used to loathe the candy-colored beaded bracelets and the ridiculously bright outfits they used to wear, it was probably this image of “happiness” they projected that bothered me more than anything. I think it was because I considered it pretension at the time, you know, just another tactic to make friends. While my encounter with one has been too long to accurately describe the current state, it seems safe to assume that Jeremy Scott was somewhat, if not entirely, influenced by Candy Kids or Candy Ravers who hopelessly believe it is possible to bring peace to the world through free hugs and bracelets.
While these pieces may not be everyone’s favorite, in some weird way, I’m finding myself becoming more and more intrigued… perhaps because after all, fashion should be fun. And this collection would be nothing without it.
Always having to be in the spotlight, being a star often means carrying a heavy burden of being at your absolute best no matter the circumstances. Such is intensified when you are not just a celebrity but an icon, such that represents a certain group of people, or an entire city even. And one can be assured that Donna Karan, a native who was born, raised, and trained in New York City, knows a thing or two about the “concrete jungle,” one that never sleeps so that your dreams may come true. But having been an icon of the twentieth century fashion for twenty years comes with an expectation and pressure that is hard to measure up to; and this is where her aptitude is tested, not only as a designer but as a leader and an entrepreneur.
Ever since launching her own label in 1984, Donna Karan established itself as a symbol of successful career woman who appreciates understated luxury while portraying an image that which consists of strength, confidence, and ambition. A Donna Karan woman leads a dynamic life wearing many hats while embracing urban sophistication that is succinct yet glamorous. Her femininity may seem disguised in her authoritative aura but really, as much as she enjoys being in control over everything she does, deep inside resides inevitable femininity that is both sensual and graceful. Karan’s expertise in creating long and lean silhouettes was rather pronounced in the current collection, taking us back to the days of her reign when “the bodysuit” was born. Her signature black was used in caution this time (though for the same functional purpose which is to flatter the figure), appearing as a graffiti form or as a base to set the mood. Inspired by street art, stylish office wear goes on a bold adventure this season, with added excitement provided by wide belts and huge hats in rather quirky shapes.
Aside from his estate that’s worth something like $7 billion and a car collection that consists of 70 supercars rare enough to be exhibited in museums worldwide, this is a designer who is undoubtedly a legend and has been a crucial part of American fashion history. In the past 48 years that Ralph Lauren has been in the industry, he has grown from a tie-maker who worked out of a drawer at Empire State Building to a world renowned fashion designer whose works influence everyone from top celebrities to those who are perfectly indifferent when it comes to fashion (i.e. Polo collar shirt that you and I have owned at some point if not currently found in the closet already- if not, check your parents’).This empire Lauren has built over four decades is an illustration of his influence and authority which is also reflected on his designs. As with other seasoned experts, his designs are not only trendsetting and inspiring but tell a story and suggests a lifestyle that is quintessentially Ralph Lauren.
An ambassador of American Sportswear and elegance, colorful statement jewelry, occasional pops of amethyst, orange, and lemon along with not-so-muted use of accessories added drama to a safari-inspired collection overflowing with sage, black, and white in designs pulled from his archive: cargo pants, safari jackets, jodhpurs, jumpsuits, and evening dresses.
Overall, it was a great mix of casual and chic, a realistic rendering of Lauren girls on vacation somewhere exclusive. Stand-outs were sage green and ivory ensemble worn with bright orange pumps and a spacious messenger bag, ghurka tulle beaded evening dress styled with antique gold metallic nappa sandal and a giant hobo.
Following her vision to create a lifestyle that embraces not only fashion but culture and imagination, Brazil-born designer Alessandra Meskita presented a collection that exudes confidence and glamour with an Egyptian flair. A believer of high fashion as a means to express personal style, Meskita illustrates many faces of Egyptian goddess who is full of life and creativity. Delivered with plenty, sometimes superfluous gold and pastel metallics in shapes of micro mini skirts and trousers with an athletic touch, noteworthy were laser cut gold ensembles, off-the-shoulder tops, and pleated metallic capes.
What a way to celebrate a 25th anniversary by the famed dress designer duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka: a collection inspired by60′s French science fiction films, it not only reaffirmed their commitment to evening wear, but it was a celebration of their true workmanship and history as dressmakers and the years to come. Notable were dusty pastels found in hair and makeup along with floaty organza dresses adorned with crystals, ruffles, and lace, as well as use of gradient floral patterns.
Let’s shift gears for a moment and dive into something more casual… and approachable (actually, maybe not so much after all considering the theme).
Skingraft, known for their edgy take on streetwear with a twist (usually having to do with the name which signifies a surgical procedure involving skin transplant), presented their spring/summer collection developed around a ‘blood’ theme inspired by Santeria, a syncretic religion of West Africa and the Caribbean. Elements involved in religious activities of Santeria are reincarnated as oversized printed shirts, leggings with metallic bone patterns, patched and/or layered leather pieces, and mesh and see-through accents with ethereal details which often resembled blood viewed under a microscope.
Overall, it was a well-executed collection that delightfully adhered to the theme and showed consistency throughout. Originality should be praised albeit some of the pieces being occasionally creepy.