Posts filed under 'Runway Reviews'

Fashion Week Notebook | Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  In the past three seasons, Narciso Rodriguez has been loosening up his silhouette.  Even though fashion is heading towards the more voluminous, we wish that Rodriguez would stay true to his roots and give us more of the svelte, understated style that earned him the praise of the CDFA in the first place.  For women, key trends are: (1) short sleeved dresses, (2) bubble shaped skirts, and (3) colorblocking.  For men, the key trends are: (1) the Three Button Suit, (2) narrow ties, (3) knee length shorts, and (4) short sleeved sweaters.

Color Palette:  Black and white, with shades of cream, peach, and bluish grey.

Silhouettes: Not the classic Rodriguez "fits like a glove" silhouette–even the fitted items were worn looser.  We also saw capes, short sleeved dresses (a new trend?), and slightly bubble-shaped and flared skirts for women.  For men, we saw slim cut three-button suits, narrow ties, knee length shorts (paired with a button down shirt, tie, and jacket!), 3/4 length coats, and short sleeved and sleeveless sweaters.

Accessories Report:  Structured handbags, bags with chain handles, capes, and colorblocked knee-high boots.

What’s Wearable: Most everything shown, both for men and women, is wearable, though we would appreciate a more structured fit to the clothing.

What’s Not Wearable:
Shiny vinyl-type fabrics don’t generally translate well off the runway.  We also won’t be wearing Rodriguez’s long sleeved dress with a center front lower torso vertical cutout.  And because of the generous cut, some of the dresses ended up looking matronly.  

1 comment February 8th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Lacoste

Lacoste Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  For better or for worse, the Lacoste show was reminiscent of a preppy hipster whacked out on street style.  Key trends included (1) Sweaterdresses, (2) Tights, (3) The elbow-length glove, (4) Sporty Stripes (what’d you expect from Lacoste?), (5) Shearling for both women and men, (6) Miniskirts, and (7) Mod-style colorblocking.

Color Palette:  Turquoise, Purple, Pinks, Browns, Oranges, Reds, and a Harvest Gold, on a black, white, and beige palette.  Fabrics were mostly solid, though some stripes and plaids were thrown in for good measure.

Silhouettes:  Silhouettes were generally lean, though there were some more voluminous pieces shown layered on top of slim foundations.  Women wore sweaterdresses, tights, polos and short skirts, hooded belted trenchcoats,safari jackets, and blouson shorts.  The men wore slightly poofy winter jackets, sporty track jackets, Members Only-type jackets, slim v-neck sweaters, and slim cut pants.

Accessories Report: For women: Tiered puffy boots (bizarre), bucket hats (some with two-piece brims), and the everpresent long glove.  Men sported caps, fedoras, pseudo-bucket hats, and Giant Nerd Glasses.  Both men and women wore lanyard-style keychains around their necks.  Ahh…it brings us back to our college days.

What’s Wearable: It’s Lacoste, so there were a multitude of wearable styles.  While the individual pieces weren’t groundbreaking, we appreciated the work of the stylist who layered the clothes on the models.  We found the sweater-on-top-of-polo look to be particularly preppy-cute.

What’s Not Wearable: Well, we’ve never been fans of Uggs, so those tiered puffy boots were a no-go for us.  Watch out for the intense colorblocking as well, lest you appear to be colorblind.

Want more fun with Fashion Week?  Check out Omiru’s mid-week trend recap.

2 comments February 7th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | DKNY


Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: No one can mess with this season’s DKNY followers, because even if they’re not tough, their clothes sure are. Black, a longtime staple for the rough and tough, is a common theme here, as is a solemn face. Whether in skirts or pants, men or women, you better think twice before approaching these models because they look more than sharp.

Color Palette: BLACK, with an occasional maroon, hot yellow, teal, white, gray, brown, and green.

Silhouettes: Contrary to what we’re used to, this time baggy is reserved for the women and it’s rockstar tight for the men. Don’t worry, Donna Karan hasn’t pulled a fast one on us and put the women in men’s clothing. The men rocked their traditional trousers a tad tighter and slipped a vest underneath their coats, while the ladies layered and let loose.

Accessories Report: Hats and black opaque tights for the women, skinny ties for the men, and skinny black scarfs-as-necklaces for both sexes.

What’s Wearable: Almost everything is wearable if one doesn’t mind having unstylish people have an occasional laugh at their expense.  But the layering will probably have to be toned down a bit for the real streets.

What’s Not Wearable: The only piece that would conjure up some major laughs is a high-waist flannel skirt that folds at the bottom, especially when it’s paired with the matching hat.

Add comment February 6th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Rachel Comey

Rachel Comey Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  The key stories for women were (1) shorts over leggings, (2) tie-neck styles, and (3) blousy sleeves.  For men, the key stories were (1) vests, (2) boatneck-style sweaters, and (3) extremely slim cut pants.

Color Palette: Neutrals with touches of light blue, pink, olive, mustard, violet, and brown.

Silhouettes: Slim cut bottoms for both men and women, including leggings.  For women, tie-neck jackets and blouses were big, as were shorts, cropped motorcycle jackets, blousy sleeves, capelet-style jackets, below-the-knee skirts, blazer-like sweaters, and baggy culottes.  For men, we saw boatneck-style sweaters, vests, patterned pants and shirts, cardigans, and 3/4 length coats.

Accessories Report:
  Oversized bags, knit caps, and sneakers for men.  For women, skinny ties were the big story.

What’s Wearable:
We liked the tie-neck styles, the capelet-style jackets (though they were rather Old news), and the blazer-like sweaters for women.  Skinny ties were also interesting, but not particularly fresh-looking.  For men, we liked the tailored look of the cardigan sweaters and the 3/4 length coats, along with the slim cut pants.

What’s Not Wearable: Be careful with the shorts-over-leggings look.  It can be done, but keep the look playful.  For men, the button-down shirts with contrast patterned fabric can look hokey if not done carefully.  The extreme boatneck is also a style to be worn with care.

Add comment February 6th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | United Bamboo

United Bamboo Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Menswear-inspired and unstructured suits for women.  United Bamboo moved away from the cropped jackets, going towards a longer, waist to 5/8 length look.  Vests and toggle coats featured prominently for men.

Color Palette:  Neutrals: Black, Grey, Cream, and Brown, with touches of royal blue, gold, and orange.

Silhouettes:  Garments that end at mid-thigh, A-line dresses, 3/4 sleeves, high waisted pants, waist length and 5/8 length jackets, double breasted coats, voluminous tops over slim bottoms, and slim tops over voluminous bottoms.  As in the Spring 2006 collections, controlled volume played a big role here, especially with the bubble skirts with gathered fabric at the bottom.

Accessories Report:  (Lace up) Boots, skinny belts, nerd glasses, tie waist belts on men.

What’s Wearable: Layering dresses over long sleeved tops.  Hoodies as dresses were especially cute.  For men, toggle coats, vests, cardigans (left over from Spring 06), motocross-inspired peacoats, and the everpresent trenchcoat were key.

What’s Not Wearable:
The tie waist belts on men, and on women, the giant hair–a cross between bedhead and a beehive.

Add comment February 5th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | D Squared

D Squared Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Ever since 1994, twins Dean and Dan Caten have been purveyors a of street style that has exceeded the style expectations of fashion mavens everywhere.  This season, they continue their fashion forward ingenuity with a mixture of class and street smart sexiness.  Their fall pieces give the look of a proper 19th century Englishman up top and a contemporary urban hipster below the waist.

Color Palette:  Standard shades of autumnal neutrals are juxtaposed with bold reds, greens and yellows that stylishly pop.

Silhouettes:  D Squared’s popular low-rise jeans are a generous cross between a slim fit and a relaxed fit.  Adhering to anything they are paired up with, the jeans (as well as their slacks) give a cohesive line that interconnects their layer upon layer look on top – giving one of the most marvelous looks that only Dean and Dan can pull off. 

Accessories Report:  Plain solid ties are a good way to give contrast to their somewhat busy outfits, while interesting pieces of equestrian head gear, ivy caps, bowlers and top hats give a blatant D Squared stamp of approval.  Other accessory hints include: modern uses of the underused bowtie, the tussled front pocket handkerchief, canes, D squared branded scarves – all they are missing to bring this collection full circle are the monocles.

What’s Wearable: Their punk rock regality provides looks that can be worn as a whole or that can be picked apart to make the perfect look with less layering.  Vests will officially be a big thing for fall.  Of all their outerwear (which includes some fine pieces of leather, double breasted fare and other goodies) their blazers are remarkably sexy (in a masculine way) – the various textures and perfectly tailored cuts encase the male’s torso with comfortably snug style – we especially liked the velvety variety with satin trim.  For an even more complete look, their suits are flawless.  They aren’t necessarily screaming “D Squared,” but their style is definitely sewn in.    

What’s Not Wearable: Obviously, the majority of the world won’t go out in equestrian head gear to venture off on a fox hunt, so many of their accessories are for pure show.  Sometimes, they do go overboard on the layering.  Even though it may look good on their modish models, a blazer on top of a denim jacket on top of a turtleneck is a little much.  Then again, Brittany Murphy showed up at their show, so that makes up for everything.

Add comment February 5th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Duckie Brown

Duckie Brown Fall 2006

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  The design duo of Steven Cox and Daniel Silver has always been a subtle voice for the over-the-top.  This season, they calm it down a bit and play it safe in a collection of suitable coats, sweaters and unusual fall garments that have some sort of conceptual design hidden in the seams.

Color Palette:  Grays, blacks and washed out primary shades that don’t make the collection as fun as it should be.

Silhouettes:  Once you look past the trademark Duckie Brown quirkiness involved, the tailoring and layering of the garments are complementary. The monochromatic and dark shades mixed with the small fall patterns work well to trace a man’s shape.

Accessories Report:  Costumey and cartoony knit beanies stand at full attention while an occasional use of a hefty scarves contrast with the shapely form-fitting tops.

What’s Wearable:  Layer friendly coats provide warmth, but the nostalgically knit turtleneck sweaters seem a bit atypical for the conceptual minds of Duckie Brown.  Possibly new to the scene is a stylish double breasted cardigan matched with any of their relaxed fit slacks – one of which is of the drawstring nature.

What’s Not Wearable: Where should we start?  For starters, there’s a large necked sweater with oversized long sleeves that pop out of a mid-length coat.  There’s also a questionably constructed turtle neck with a vest-like garment embedded in the front.  They tend to explore both spectrums: the unbelievable plain and the whimsical avant-garde.  It’s nice to know that Duckie Brown has a sense of humor when it comes design, but there is such a thing as a bad joke.

Add comment February 5th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | John Varvatos

John Varvatos Fall 2006

Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Varvatos has made a name for himself with his work with the classic Converse sneaker, which has given him a reasonable amount of street cred.  With his newest collection, he gives us a cobblestone of casual and formal menswear that fuses the likes of a desert adventurer, a professional business Londoneer and a nerdy chic beatnik.

Color Palette:  A foresty palette of browns, military greens, shadowy blacks and luxurious grays.

Silhouettes: True to form, Varvatos’s craftsmanship is flawless.  The popular slim fit outlines men as if it were morphed onto their bodies – same goes with their finely tailored outwear.  Rather than being bulky, the layering is actual flattering.

Accessories Report:  With an “Oliver Twist,” many of the pieces included Greek fisherman caps (they look like paperboy caps, but a little less boy-like.)  Scarves make an appearance as well, but they aren’t has obvious as those others we have seen.  Varvatos also gives us another taste of the murses (man purse for those who didn’t read my John Bartlett entry) and couture duffel bags. The popular use of the beanie is also evident in the collection, but instead of making his pieces look thuggish, they give a decent, Oxford University pseudo-intellectual appeal.

What’s Wearable: The material is more than suitable for the kissable fall air – as evidenced by the many full and mid-length coats (some of them double breasted), waistcoats as well as a fur lined distressed leather.  Although in line with many other designers, Varvatos takes the lead with wonderfully constructed blazers and slim fit pinstripe suits.  Contrasted with fitted outwear, he gives horizontal stripes a softer, flattering look.  For a great addition, his work with Converse shines through in his laceless slip-on low tops.

What’s Not Wearable: The use of draping ponchos has the tendency to give a more “homeless couture” look rather than an haute couture one.  Unless you enjoy that wandering mariachi image, this one could be left in the closet.

1 comment February 5th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Michael Wesetly

Michael Wesetly Fall 2006

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  As one of the few designers that boast a “Made in the U.S.A.” tag, Wesetly creates a “no fuss” line of suits this season for the common man.  Comfortable, stylish and extremely masculine, his fall pieces are more suitable for a linebacker rather than a skinny chess geek.

Color Palette:  Fall friendly grays, greens, and bronzes, with the occasional visit from a vibrant color.

Silhouettes: As opposed to many of those Euro-chic three button suits, he creates unique pieces for the more broad-shouldered man.  Some suits have reminiscent tailoring of a Safari jacket, but still maintain a look of a blazer.  The suits leave plenty of room for comfort, something many men will enjoy.

Accessories Report:  Once in a while, a classic paperboy cap or fedora appeared on the runway, but other than that, the texturally solid colored and striped ties give great praise to his suits.

What’s Wearable: Combining metro denims, professional fabrics and uncomplicated cuts, all of his clothing is blatantly ready-to-wear.  One of his popular pieces is the pinstripe suit – something that will never go out of style.  His suits contain a great deal of texture and they don’t come off as gimmicky.  This includes his most avant-garde blazer: a double breasted green coat that seems asymmetrical.  Some of his blazers contain a surprising twist – like a paint-splattered pattern paired with some dirty denim jeans or a stylish floral doodle atop a rich brown.  Although minimal in his collection, leather bomber jackets stand out as key pieces – something that may be a big thing this fall.

What’s Not Wearable: A black and brown checker board blazer suitable for uncles who make fools of themselves at family reunions.

3 comments February 5th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Tomer

Tomer Fall 2006

Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Tomer’s latest collection continues his subdued look at the world of men’s tailored fashion.  Suitable for the sleek and sexy rock n’ roller, his designs are modestly clean, yet mysteriously dark.

Color Palette:  An overcast of monochromatic grays, blacks, blues and beiges.  Some of the colors contain a hint of iridescence, but it’s nothing like those campy disco shirts.

Silhouettes: His tops cling to the male form in the right places, while his pants range from the relaxed to the slim fit, which shows great diversity and function in his collection.  From head to toe, the color, along with the cuts, give all of his pieces a strong statement on the male form.

Accessories Report:   Light as air scarves may not exactly keep you warm, but they sure as hell look good hanging around the necks.  They add just the right amount of zest to the collection’s palette.  Tomer also proves that chain necklaces hang more confidently in front of a solid, dark color.  For another great addition of texture, the leather gloves give more of a touch of metro flair, rather than an O.J. Simpson feel.

What’s Wearable: Without a doubt, vests have the potential to be a popular trend this fall and beyond.  Tomer matches them up with same-color tops and it adds a reasonable “umph” to what can be considered a bland color palette.  His peasant-like tops exude a certain amount of femininity that doesn’t compromise a man’s self-consciousness, while his tailored mid and full length coats are classically modern.   As for the bottoms, the choice of fabrics he uses for the pants is very versatile.  What may look like denim is actually a nice pair of slacksthey can be casual or formal.

What’s Not Wearable: You can never really go wrong with basic blacks and grays, which makes all of his clothing appealing to the body.  However, it can become more than a little repetitive.

Add comment February 5th, 2006

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