Archive for February 11th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Peter Som

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: Peter Som’s inspiration for this show was said to be My Fair Lady, which translated into updated eveningwear and tuxedos in primarily black and white.

Color Palette:  Black, white, a range of steely greys, royal blue, pastel blue, cream.

Silhouettes: Som’s tiered, poufy ballgowns were a study in volume. We also saw capes and coats in astrakhan fur, tuxedo jackets paired with long shorts and frocks with shirred, strapless sweetheart necklines.

Accessories Report: Bows, more bows, wide belts, black hosiery, black beaded necklaces and T-strap sandals.

What’s Wearable: Lantern-sleeve blouses (pinafore optional).

What’s Not Wearable: Black-and-white fur capes and astrakhan coats–unless you’re Cruella De Vil.

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Fashion Week Notebook | Sweetface by J.Lo

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: 
This relatively new line (which began in 2005) combines the
sophistication of runway offerings with the attitude and sensibility of
the street.

Color Palette:  Rose, lavender, navy blue, winter white, black and pewter lame.

Silhouettes: Shearling-lined hoodie jackets, pencil skirts, tapered jeans, sweater-trimmed skinny pants, shirred blouson tops.

Accessories Report: Leg warmers, stiletto pumps, wide belts, newsboy hats and berets, voluminous, teased boudoir hair.

What’s Wearable: Virtually everything is wearable on the street–this label is, after all, designed by "Jenny from the block."

What’s Not Wearable: The curved press-on nails that adorned the models’ delicate fingers.

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Fashion Week Notebook | Donna Karan

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: The veteran designer had fun experimenting with volume for the next season while keeping all other flourishes to a minimum, making for a classic Donna Karan collection.

Color Palette: Not surprisingly, black was a favorite color of this collection, as were bold shades of purple, gold, camel and red, all paired with electric purple on the lips.

Silhouettes: Plunging V-neck cocktail dresses with shirred front panels; tie-waist wrap coats with oversized lapels; jewel-encrusted, netted cutouts on bodysuits and sheaths for a trompe l’oeil effect.

Accessories Report: The face was a blank canvas, save for shocking fuschia on the lips. For shoes, it was all about high heels–the platform is back as a bigger trend than ever!

What’s Wearable: A black netted bodysuit, encrusted with jewels, completely sexified a power pantsuit.

What’s Not Wearable: As much as we tried to be open to new color pairings, we cringed at someone’s decision to pair purple lips with a red houndstooth jacket.

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Fashion Week Notebook | Ralph Lauren

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: "For fall, I was inspired by the romance and ruggedness of a modern shooting party," Ralph Lauren said of his new collection.

Color Palette:  Muddy browns, dark grey, forest green; black, gold and blue for formal dressing.

Silhouettes: A gaming- and hunting-inspired twist on the gamine/gamin look: Equestrian-styled jackets and pants, double-breasted suits, fedoras with feathers. For night, Lauren’s classic taffeta ballgowns in blue tartan plaid.

Accessories Report: Thigh-high brown suede riding boots, floppy hats, fedoras and berets, leather gloves all accentuated the feminized ‘huntsman’ look.

What’s Wearable: Well-fitted equestrian-style suit jackets.

What’s Not Wearable: We shivered when we saw the turtleneck unitards. That, and painfully drab, ill-fitting articles that epitomize the de rigueur dumpster look.

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Fashion Week Notebook | Yeohlee

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Consistent with designer Yeohlee Teng’s philosophy of dressing, this show was all about simplicty of color (basics neutrals, plus white and black), pared-down style (buttonless jackets and fuss-free wraps) and versatile textures (wool and silk).

Color Palette:  A range of browns, plus black, cream and (surprisingly enough for fall) bright white.

Silhouettes: A high-waisted skirt held up by suspenders, jackets tied at the waist, 3/4 length wool coats, shawls and neck warmers.

Accessories Report: Long, loosely-worn skinny ties; shawls to be wrapped around the neck and shoulders; bare eyes and tawny cheeks; absolutely no jewelry.

What’s Wearable: An exquisite-looking camel-colored cowl-neck wool coat.

What’s Not Wearable: A white shirt, black pants, black tie, full-length black-and-white cape and slicked-back hair felt a bit too Dracula for us.

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Fashion Week Notebook | Abaeté at Payless

Laura Poretzky Backstage

By Contributing Writer Kelly Nolan

Who says the average person can’t afford designer fashion?

While we may not be able to afford a $1,200 Luella Bartley bag from Neiman Marcus, we certainly can shell out $30 to $35 for a limited edition "Luella" bag at Target. While Target Luella handbags do not live up to the quality or fabrication details found in a Bartley bag at Neiman, Target does carry bags similar in shape (mainly the hobo) and styling details (such as leather hearts). Price aside, we have another reason to choose Target over Neimans: the bags at Target, with fun colors and off-the-wall materials, are a lot more fun!  (Good news: we’ll have more opportunities to buy "designer" clothing at Target. The retailer has said it will launch a new international designer clothing line every three months, or a total of four this year. The tight-lipped store has yet to release the names of the other three designers.)

Target follows in the footsteps of fast fashion retailer H&M, who has already launched two limited-supply designer collections: Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, and Stella McCartney in 2005. H&M also sold a designer jewelry collection by Solange Azagury-Partridge for the holiday season last year.

These days, it seems that designers are flocking to mainstream distribution outlets. In 1998, Jil Sander launched an athletic footwear line with Puma, and Alexander McQueen’s line with the company is due to launch this spring. Tara Subkoff, a designer from Imitation of Christ, designed a line of shoes for Easy Spirit, the announcement hitting the press during the Fall 05 Fashion Week.  The shoes are not cheap, averaging in around $250 a pair, but who’s counting, when you can easily drop about $500 on a pair of Manolos?

This year during Fall Fashion Week, yet another designer has announced she will design for the masses. Laura Poretzky (shown above), the 28-year old designer for two-year old ready-to-wear company Abaeté, has signed up with Payless Shoe Source to design a fall collection for the discount-shoe retailer. The price points are much more bearable, at $20 to $40, but they will only arrive in select Payless locations in North America (Payless has not announced which stores it will launch in, but I have a hunch it’s going to be the top metropolitan markets, such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). Payless will also be selling on the collection on its website starting in August and September.

Abaete Oliver Pump

The collection includes four different shoe styles: the "Sky" boot, "Casey" flat, "Oliver" pump (shown, right) and "Luke" evening sandal.  Each silhouette features a range of colors (namely silver, purple,  navy, and black), fabrics, and details such as stitching, polka dots and bows. Samples of the shoes made their debut on Thursday night during the Abaeté runway show. The collection is the first designer collection ever for Payless, however, some sample shoes for its spring collection (which never made it to stores) were shown on the Lela Rose runway in September during Spring Fashion Week last year.

"It’s just amazing for any high-end designer to get the chance to design a well-made product for the masses at an affordable price," Poretzky told me backstage after the Abaeté show. "I’m excited to see my shoes worn by women around America."

The shoes were designed to complement Poretzky’s fall collection, which she said had European and Asian influences. The "Sky" boot, for example, was inspired by Luke Skywalker’s boot in Star Wars.

Poretzky graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked for a year and a half at Ralph Lauren before leaving to design her own collection. This is her second collection that has been shown at Olympus Fashion Week, but her third overall.

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