Monday, February 27, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Jil Sander

On February 25th, Raf Simons presented his last collection for Jil Sander.

For that last walk, he showed clothes that flirted with light and dark, soft and hard. Ballerina-like colors started things off but were soon replaced by brilliant reds, deep navies, and stark blacks.  The lines were simple and seemingly endless, the shapes somewhat oversized.

It was a perfect ending that will cast a shadow long after his departure.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Gabriele Colangelo

The peplum continues to be the shape of the season, but as we move towards the tail end of fashion month, I've begun to tire of it. If I'm honest, I've been tired of it for much longer.

What I never tire of is are those who play with shapes and silhouettes in ways that don't fall into the "Follow the Leader" game that one so often sees in the fashion world. Gabriele Colangelo avoided all such traps. There was sharp darting, rounded edges, and semi-deflated balloons.

And there were, of course, coats that I wanted to make mine immediately.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Favorite of the Day: MaxMara

I've never been one to scoff at so-called neutrals. For some they are boring. They lack imagination. They are a crutch for those unwilling to take a fashion risk. For me they are rarely any of those things.

At the MaxMara show, all of those background colors came out to play. The camels. The browns. The winter whites. When that happens, you can focus on the shading, the play on menswear, and the variety of textures.

Sometimes the color and the pattern are used to distract you from lackluster clothes. In these tones, it's harder to hide.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Dion Lee

When the midpoint of fashion month approaches, I can sometimes feel myself beginning to focus most of my attention on only those clothes that I can imagine myself wearing. The bigger picture becomes hazy, and my eye isn't quite as sharp.

But as the London season drew to a close, the simple lines and pulled back sexiness at Dion Lee helped me refocus.

And I prepared myself for the homestretch.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Nicole Farhi

Amidst the new fads and trends, there is often one theme that each of the cities rely on season after season. In London, that theme centers on prints and patterns.

But at Nicole Farhi, those elements are rarely the centerpiece of the collection. This season she played with shapes. Exaggerating one element, like a collar, to grab the eye.

And letting the rest of the garment tell the story from there.

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Favorite of the Day: Maria Grachvogel

After a very dark and somewhat menacing New York season, I was ready for something different as the London shows began. Not lighter or softer necessarily but easier.

At Maria Grachvogel on February 17th, I found just that.

Clothing that flowed. Fabrics that draped. A sexuality that lived just beneath the surface.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Calvin Klein

For some minimalism is a dirty word. Boring. Simple. Lacking imagination. When done correctly, it is none of those things. A garment doesn't, and really shouldn't, have to scream at the top of its lungs about its complexity.

At the Calvin Klein show, Francisco Costa presented a collection filled coats and dresses in black and gray with the occasional pop of red or orange.

Perfectly tailored and found in shapes that would flatter almost any woman, these were the types of clothes that didn't need to shout.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Proenza Schouler

Every season I encounter the same problem as New York fashion week winds down. The boredom approaches. I lazily click through shows and find myself saying "Oh that again..." countless times. It feels as if everything has been said or done and I can't help but look ahead to the European shows.

But I am consistently shaken out of my doldrums by Proenza Schouler.

This Fall/Winter they took us to East Asia, but as always the inspiration for their collection never overwhelmed the clothes. In a season that has been littered with the old shapes, the pieces were molded and crafted in a way that created new ones.

All of my excitement and exhilaration returned and my boredom was replaced by a sadness that the end was near.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Tory Burch

Last night, while treating myself to a single lady glass of wine, I played constantly with my phone and occasionally tweeted.
In general, I take my presence on Twitter as a challenge to be as witty and ridiculous as possible in 140 characters or less. Yet this quip rang with a certain amount of truth, as after all of these years, I still favor the sweet and prim and proper in my dressing. I never did break out The Vest during that summer I spent floating all around Boston in dresses. I still temper my miniskirts with ballet flats. But there's a current directly beneath the surface that many don't see. Or choose not to.

The Tory Burch girl was her usual sweet self this year. Or so it seemed. Instead of Palm Springs or The Breakers, she appeared to be spending the cold winter months in the heart of Manhattan's upper echelons. There were flowers in soft blush tones. And skirts and dresses of just the right length. But during the day, her very long, black leather gloves winked at passerby.

And at night, her navy leather pants told the real story.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Derek Lam

It was a bright and tumultuous Spring/Summer season for many collections, so it's no surprise that now, in the midst of the Fall/Winter collections in New York, there has been a swing back.

At Derek Lam, the results of that turnaround were among the best. The palette was muted but not boring. The prints and patterns were subtle as opposed to dizzying.

The silhouettes had just a hint of a breeze to them.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Wes Gordon

I've had my eye on Wes Gordon and the Upper East Side vein that runs through his collection for the past few seasons. Beautifully tailored and impeccably styled, his girl seemed to be waiting for the time when she could take her place among the ladies who lunch.

But this season, she seemed a bit roughed up. A bit unbuttoned.

As if she had one of those long nights that leaves you tired, disheveled, and a little exhilarated.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Billy Reid

I have a bit of a thing for menswear designers who branch out and start making collections for women like Band of Outsiders and Rag & Bone. After receiving a Rag & Bone wool peacoat this past Christmas, I pranced around my house wearing it while singing a made up song with only one lyric. "It's so pretty." (Emphasis on the "It's" and sung in a major key.)

So when Billy Reid, the 2010 winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, presented his first collection for women last season, I was maybe a bit too excited. (Okay, I was ecstatic.) This season, there were even more pieces for me to daydream about. All those details that are so important in menswear, small changes in lapel width and coat length, are found throughout his women's collection.

It's easy to forget how vital all of those things are until someone kindly reminds you.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Jenni Kayne

This season is starting out much like the last. Not in terms of the clothes or the trends, but in terms of my reluctance to pay attention to what's dominating the scene until absolutely necessary. There will be time for that later. Time for parsing and analysis.

At Jenni Kayne, I was instead caught by things that I want to come live in my closet. They were, as I can sometimes be, all over the spectrum. From slim-fitting suits to feather minis.

Some things for days when I feel like this. And other things for days when I feel like that.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Favorite of the Day: Rachel Comey

It's finally, thankfully, cold outside. Not early February cold, but cold enough for gloves and thick tights. Usually when fashion week rolls around, I am tired of the cold. Looking for anything but the layers and tweeds and soft wools that are often on display for the coming Fall/Winter season. But this year, I am exhilarated by all of those things.

At Rachel Comey, those markers of cold weather were on full display, but they were offered with a twist.

Nubby knits offset by items in sleek silver. Oversized coats in punchy colors. Cold weather dressing that could never be boring.

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