Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Leftovers: New York Fashion Week SS14

There are some designers who don’t fall victim to the trends of the given season. They ignore the call for $2,000 pairs of destroyed denim or jackets with cartoon-like shoulder pads or trousers featuring crotches that sit near the wearer’s ankles. They do the hard, and often overlooked, work of crafting their vision of what fashion can be. Of what, in their mind, a woman is. Of a wardrobe that transforms the wearer.

One of my favorites among this group has been, and continues to be, Narciso Rodriguez. This season, like so many that have come before, he continued to perfect the minimalist wardrobe for the urban woman.

But this season the winds were blowing in Rodriguez’ direction. That cool, luxe minimalism that has been his signature, perfectly represented by the dress Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John F. Kennedy Jr in 1996, was all over the runways.

After New York’s past obsession with all things grunge and youth culture, this season a more adult 1990s tale was being told. For some critics, this shift was a sign that we have moved into a period of fashion devoid of “trends”. That for the foreseeable future no one will be able to write pieces titled “The Season of the Grommet” or “Put Away Those Plaid Tights and Break Out the Houndstooth”. I don’t know if that’s true. Trumpeting an “end to trends” is premature and short-sighted. This is just a different type of trend. A less in your face turn but a turn nonetheless.

We’ll see what next season brings, but for this season the story was simple enough. There were two colors. The color that captures all and the color that reflects all. Black and White. They were often placed together. Side by side. In swirls and loops. In paisleys and plaids.

At Victoria Beckham

At Carolina Herrera

At Opening Ceremony

At Derek Lam

At Rachel Roy

At Robert Rodriguez

At Brandon Sun

At Proenza Schouler

They also played separately. Black, the color more associated with the winter months. With moodiness and mischief.

At Zero + Maria Cornejo

At Nomia

At Rag & Bone

At 10 Crosby Derek Lam

At Y-3

At Milly

At Derek Lam

And white, the sign post of spring and summer and lightness.

At Lisa Perry

At Adam Lippes

At Jenni Kayne

At Alexander Wang

At Philosophy

At Delpozo

At Honor

At Thom Browne

Of course other colors could be seen here and there, but they were presented in ways that never strayed far from the minimal feel of the season.

At Rachel Comey

At Ralph Rucci

At Katie Ermilio

At Pamella Roland

At Ralph Lauren

At Jil Sander Navy

At Costello Tagliapietra

Yet even with this move towards clothing that some might call seasonless, there were still those who dusted off those classic markers of the warm weather months. The florals and the pastels and the pretty girl dresses.

At Tucker

At The Row

At Misha Nonoo

At Jen Kao

At Mara Hoffman

At Calla

And a very 1990s specific warm weather trend could be found in all corners. The view ranged from a sliver to a swath, but the midriff was everywhere.

At Tibi

At Daniel Vosovic

At Richard Chai Love

At Lacoste

At Tia Cibani

At Tracy Reese

At Alice + Olivia

At Calvin Klein

But it was just a peek of spring and summer. A taste. For the most part, the collections followed the lines of those seen at Co.

Simple. Quiet. And, although we may try to deny it, of a very specific time.

Photos via