Archive for September, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Narciso Rodriguez

Key Takeaways: Rodriguez echoed the silhouettes of past collections, though the idea of controlled volume still appeared somewhat fresh in the larger context of fashion week. Shapes were architectural, with arcs and cutouts, as in past seasons. We saw seamed suits, less strict than ones from the past. However, Rodriguez is clearly straying from his forte—the sexy, architectural, and precisely tailored garments that propelled him to fame.

Rodriguez’s menswear collection launched this season. Filled with minimalist, classic pieces in mainly black and white, it largely echoed the sensibilities of his current womenswear collection.

Color Palette: Minimal and neutral. Black, white, silver, violet, and brown.

Silhouettes: Skirts with a length a little below the knee. High (and empire) waistlines. Controlled volume: tight bodices, fuller skirts. Architectural shapes, arcs, and cutouts.

Accessories Report: Low wedge sandals.

What’s Wearable: Still love the architectural feel of Rodriguez’s designs. What we love about Narciso Rodriguez is the inherent wearability of his minimalist designs. As usual, the collection was all wearable, and we’ll no doubt be seeing these designs on celebrities come spring.

What’s Not Wearable: Nothing.

Add comment September 14th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Behnaz Sarafpour

Key Takeaways: Sarafpour’s collection was a study in contrasts: black with white, structured with deconstructed, dressy with casual.

Color Palette: Almost exclusively black-and-white, as well as some neutrals and animal prints.

Silhouettes: Tons of ruffles, tiered column dresses, pleated, wide-leg culottes, oversized pockets, shift dresses, oversized bows (also seen at Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta).

Accessories Report: Sarafpour’s handbag collection made its debut this season. While few were on display, we caught glimpses of a grey wool clutch and a black-and-white satchel with oversized bow ornaments.

What’s Wearable: Wrap trench coats in sateen and elegant, floaty dresses with tiered ruffles.

What’s Not Wearable: Fussy pairings such as an ivory lace collar worn with a cotton tank and a long, tiered, ruffled skirt. Clean lines work much better.

Add comment September 14th, 2005

Mid-Fashion Week Trend Report

Since we’re over halfway through New York Fashion Week’s Spring 2006 collections, we thought we’d give you a quick recap of the trends we’ve been noticing.

Overarching Trends

  • Return to Minimalism
  • Age of Innocence: Youthful fashions from a simpler time
  • Neutral, natural colors: Black, white, shades of brown and beige

Garment Detailing

  • Hardware & Fastenings: Buttons, zippers, snaps, etc.
  • Peter Pan collars
  • Bows
  • Abundance of fabric prints & multi-print combinations


  • Controlled volume
  • Emphasis on waist
  • Higher waistlines, at natural waist or above


  • Shorts: Short shorts, knee-length shorts, and ankle styles abound
  • Trenchcoats
  • Tulip skirts
  • Boxy jackets
  • Long jackets
  • Double breasted styles
  • Wide legged pants
  • Full skirts
  • Vests


  • Belts!
  • Slip-on shoes
  • Across-the-body bags
  • Fedoras
  • Caps
  • Ladylike gloves
  • Dogtag necklaces

We’ll flesh out these ideas after the Craziness that is Fashion Week is over!

Add comment September 14th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Marc by Marc Jacobs

Key Takeaways: Layering is Hot. Marc Jacobs facilitated the layering process via foundation bodysuits upon which you can layer more clothing. Interesting combinations included a voluminous short dress over a jumpsuit, with a scarf tie, and a bustier over a tee.

We also noted Marc Jacobs’ fascination with fastenings. Buttons, ties, zippers, buckles, suspenders—you name it, this collection has it.

Color Palette: Muted neutrals with touches of blue, pink, purple, coral, yellow, and green.

Silhouettes: Bodysuits and knit foundation garments. Layering volume and shape upon body-hugging garments.

Accessories Report:

  • Hats and caps—from Civil War style hats to Peter Pan style hats to newsboy caps, they’re on Marc Jacobs’ radar.
  • Across-the-body bags also hit it big, along with a fanny pack worn diagonally across the back.
  • Socks covering the ankle and lower leg, as well as arm warmers.
  • In keeping with the season’s emphasis on the waistline, belts were featured prominently as well.
  • Also interesting: the next big jewelry trend just may be the multiple dogtag look. Dogtags have been on the radar for awhile, and Marc Jacobs’ dogtag collage necklace just may be the next step in the evolution of the trend.

What’s Wearable:
The layering concept, but less extreme. We also appreciate the focus on fastenings, since we’re big fans of hardware.

What’s Not Wearable: Bodysuits, by themselves. Leotards for anything other than exercise. The suspenders as a halter tie look, unless you’re feeling avant garde.

Add comment September 14th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Project Alabama

Key Takeaways: Project Alabama started the show with a series of fitted black and navy outfits that mesh with fashion’s current trend towards minimalism. However, the show turned more colorful with geometric and botanical prints on the same basic silhouette: fitted on top, full on bottom. Visually, the prints gave an ethnic feeling to the collection, a trend that’s somewhat tired after a couple of seasons on the runway.

Color Palette: Black and Navy, with additions of Yellow, White, and Red.

Silhouettes: A slim waistline, scoop necklines, and full skirts. Belted looks.

What’s Wearable: The fitted bodices and full skirts are generally flattering. Project Alabama’s minimalist black dresses are especially on-trend.

What’s Not Wearable: Like at Luca Luca, multiple loud prints in the same outfit.

Add comment September 13th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Oscar de la Renta

Key Takeaways: Oscar de la Renta played with the idea of controlled volume. Volume could be found either on a top or bottom, but generally not both. This volume made itself manifest through design details like blousy sleeves, a generous fit around the torso, peplums, and ruffles on skirts.

Trendwise, Oscar de la Renta made statements around a few different areas: horizontal lines and design details, oversized bows, animal prints, boxy jackets, and the return of long jackets. He also made a somewhat awkward attempt to mix the uber-casual with the formal, pairing an embellished logo t-shirt with a ball-worthy elegant skirt. Interesting idea, but the execution felt lacking somehow.

Color Palette: Natural and neutral, for the most part. Browns, beiges, and creams were spruced up with greens, oranges, reds, and blues.

Silhouettes: The main idea here was controlled volume: either the top or the bottom of a look was volumized. A fitted halter top, for example, with a pair of high-waisted wide legged pants. Beyond controlled volume, again, we’re seeing an emphasis on a higher waistline. Long jackets also made a comeback, as did boxy jackets. The peasant blouses and tiered skirts looked fresher a couple seasons back.

Accessories Report: Tote bags, scarves with textural interest, clutches, ladylike gloves, chunky necklaces with varying strands of colors and sizes.

What’s Wearable: Most everything. We especially liked the high-waisted pants and skirts for the illusion of longer legs.

What’s Not Wearable: Oversized bows. Just say no. The t-shirt with a ball gown skirt is also one of those “don’t try this at home” ideas—leave this look to the stylists.

Add comment September 13th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Marc Jacobs

Key Takeaways: Marc Jacobs’ collections are more about directionality of fashion trends rather than wearability, and this collection was no exception. Among the fresher trends Jacobs is espousing: controlled volume, emphasis on the waist, a higher waistline, a movement away from bodyhugging fashions, and a return to minimalism. Of particular interest, trendwise, is Jacobs’ almost origami-like fabric folding. Continuing trends from prior seasons include preppy schoolgirl fashion, tiered styles, and an emphasis on gold and shimmer.

Color Palette: Minimalist and natural. Lots of black, shades of brown and beige, yellow, white, navy, and green.

Silhouettes: Controlled volume, draped dresses, higher waistlines, wide-legged bottoms, oversized jackets and sweaters.

Accessories Report: Ladylike gloves, belted looks, thin bags, and knee-high stockings paired with skirts.

What’s Wearable: Long jackets (for the shortwaisted), wide-legged pants, oversized sweaters, draped dresses, and the slight A-line skirts (almost universally flattering).

What’s Not Wearable: Shapeless dresses, extremely oversized shorts. Some of the looks were styled more for directionality than wearability—steer clear of exaggerated shapes.

1 comment September 13th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Carolina Herrera

Key Takeaways: Carolina Herrera embraced embellishment (through print and accessories) and, to a lesser extent, the minimalism towards which fashion is trending. We like the exaggerated scoop neck on her vests, and we feel that she’s perfectly on trend with her short shorts, higher waisted styles, and overall emphasis on the waistline.

Color Palette: Black and white prints, shades of brown and tan, pink, and baby blue.

Silhouettes: Low cut vests shown over tailored shirts, short shorts, A-line and fitted skirts, high-waisted and empire styles.

Accessories Report: Square shaped oversized sunglasses, belts, chunky necklaces. Nothing new here.

What’s Wearable: Most everything, especially the vest over tailored shirt look, the flirty sundresses with waist-emphasis, and the floaty evening gowns.

What’s Not Wearable: Oversized bows. They’re too clownish. Didn’t like them as a little girl, don’t like them now. Extreme dropped waistlines: fitted dresses that hug the body until the hips and then flare out don’t flatter even model-shaped bodies.

Add comment September 13th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Proenza Schouler

Key Takeaways: Trendwise, the big story from Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough is the idea of controlled volume, which showed up around cuffs on sleeves, on pockets, on oversized blouses, and at the waistlines of a number of almost tulip-shaped skirts. Though the duo is clearly talented, this season’s collection appeared to stray from their young target demographic. Several long, boxy jackets with contrast fabric detailing, for example, looked more appropriate for the mothers of their usual clientele. The gold fabric used for a few looks also came off as unflattering, due to a slight greenish tinge. Where the duo hit their stride was in their tailored-style garments: the empire waist dresses, tuxedo-style jackets, and in the final look of the collection, a particularly well-done trenchcoat.

Color Palette: Mainly neutrals: white, cream, shades of brown, from tan to chocolate. Gold also played a significant role in the collection, but the shade chosen was a bit greenish and ultimately unflattering.

Silhouettes: Empire waistlines, boxy jackets, tulip skirts, trenchcoats, embellished tuxedo looks. The duo’s signature collarless jackets and bra-top type dresses.

Accessories Report: Rope necklaces. A nod to the nautical theme from the last year?

What’s Wearable: Great blouses with controlled volume, flattering empire waist dresses, and many of the collection’s sportswear pieces, including the great blouses with controlled volume and the boxy coats.

What’s Not Wearable: Shapeless oversized dresses and the looks that were reminiscent of a (luxe) nightgown. Skirts that end at mid-calf are also unflattering on all but the longest legs. Some of the embellished jackets felt a little old and unflattering.

Add comment September 12th, 2005

Fashion Week Notebook | Ashleigh Verrier

Key Takeaways: Traces of the 1920s to the 1960s could be felt in Ashleigh Verrier’s debut New York Fashion Week collection. Especially well done were her ruched blouses and pencil skirts. Mixing masculine and feminine elements, Verrier added another dimension to the collection. A masculine women’s tuxedo shirt, for example, was paired with a feminine pencil skirt. In another look, a blouse and silk tank accompanied a masculine-tinged pair of pinstriped pants. All in all, Verrier’s debut collection was a beautifully done stroll down fashion’s memory lane.

Color Palette: Cream and white, various shades of blue, orange, green, and purple.

Silhouettes: Body-hugging blouses and pencil skirts, belted looks, shift dresses, slipdresses, and shirtdresses that felt like modernized versions of 1950s Americana.

What’s Wearable: Most of the collection. In particular, we Love Verrier’s camel coat with the rounded Peter Pan collar. Very Audrey Hepburn in the mid 1960s.

What’s Not Wearable: Some of the pencil skirts may be a bit severe, and the tuxedo shirt struck us as on the theatrical side.

What Makes Verrier Special: Her unique juxtapositions of masculine and feminine items.

1 comment September 12th, 2005

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