Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Leftovers: New York Fashion Week FW12

In New York, the narrative of the season was dominated by one figure. The Lady, at least the one that features prominently in western history and literature, never fades too far from view in the world of fashion. Even though the elements that define her look shift as one moves from decade to decade, she is often recognizable at first sight. In past seasons, her influence has ranged from direct copies of any one of her many incarnations to the simple suggestion of her presence in the choice of silhouette. Whenever she returns to the height of relevance, it is with an almost obsessive fervor. She looks, smells, and feels of wealth but rarely ever speaks of it, and for many in the industry that makes her all the more intriguing.

Considering the shadow she cast over the pre-Fall collections, I wasn’t surprised to see her appear all over the runways and presentation spaces of New York this season. As is often the case when she appears, she seemed to be hiding something, something that was trying to bubble to the surface. The shapes were tighter. The gloves extended past her elbows. Leather ornamented her shift dresses. A dark sensuality hung around whenever she entered the room.

At Z Spoke by Zac Posen

At Diane von Furstenberg

At Milly

At Thakoon

At Chadwick Bell

At Jason Wu

At Michael Kors

At Narciso Rodriguez

That barely contained darkness penetrated all corners. A hard edge could be seen in the deep, wine tones that dominated the color story.

At Peter Som

At Z Spoke by Zac Posen

At Tory Burch

At Rodarte

At Reed Krakoff

At 3.1 Phillip Lim

At Elizabeth and James

And it revealed itself again in the use of fabrics like leather, brocade, and velvet, which seem to absorb all of the light around them.

At Derek Lam

At Richard Chai Love

At Monique Lhuillier

At RAD by Rad Hourani


At Doo.Ri

At Chado Ralph Rucci

At Ralph Lauren

At Marc Jacobs

At Oscar de la Renta

At Proenza Schouler

At Rebecca Taylor

At Rachel Zoe

In its role as the marker of a lady of a certain period, the peplum continued to crop up all over New York. Its prevalence waned, but it refused to be done with us just yet.

At Elizabeth and James

At 3.1 Phillip Lim

At Preen

There was an outlying trend that defied this narrative. Blankets of all sorts doubled as coats. Belted or wrapped or given just enough shape to make one almost forget their origin.


At Y-3

They told a softer, cozier story in a season that was anything but.

Photos via

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