Derek Lam showed in an airy all-white gallery for Fall 2013, and the clean lines of the surroundings were echoed in the clothes. Shades of ivory, tan, camel, and navy were pieced together for a minimalist take on colorblock. The leather and suede pieces were standouts, from a sweeping cream leather skirt to a top with intricate ladders of patchwork radiating from the neck.
Jonathan Simkhai may have made his New York Fashion Week debut just last season, but he's already been generating quite a bit of buzz. And if the crowd — which included several notable fashion directors and stylists — at his Fall 2013 presentation at Milk on Saturday evening is any indication, that excitement doesn't seem to be in danger of dying down any time soon.
Not that it should. Simkhai — a member of this year's CFDA incubator program — seems to know exactly what kind of clothes his cool downtown customer wants, and he excels at creating edgy-but-easy separates that could easily make up a whole wardrobe. This season, those pieces include a structured cocoon coat made from panels of navy wool and checked tweed, a quilted leather bomber, a black leather sweatshirt with checkered intarsia sleeves, and asymmetrically ruffled taffeta skirts. Also in the mix were custom oxfords, flatforms, and booties created specially for Simkhai by Shoes of Prey; in black, white, and navy they complemented the offering perfectly.
For her Fall 2013 collection, Victoria Beckham filled the New York Public Library with a series of sleek looks in a palette of black, gray, and taupe with flashes of royal blue. Two coats stood out with their clean cuts and material combinations: one in a generous windowpane check on gray wool fused with a blue material, another bright blue with camel-colored sleeves. Beckham's skirts were cut a little longer than they've been in the past, with some hemlines falling to the calves. But her signature sex appeal was still there, courtesy of slits along the thighs.
After two seasons filled with embellishments and embroideries, Joseph Altuzarra offered up a Fall 2013 collection that was as pared down as the others were glittering — but the result was no less dazzling.
The focus this time around was on "the street" and the slick reflections, hard surfaces, and strict lines found there. Thus, these were clothes that felt powerful, strong, and graphic — pieces built not just for city life but from it. Coats, trenches, and pencil skirts were cut in silhouettes straight out of the '80s, with the broad shoulders, nipped-in waists, and exaggerated hips favored by that era's big business power ladies. Fabrics like bonded crepe, felted wool, vinyl, and leather gave those silhouettes structure, while the mostly black, white, and taupe palette let Altuzarra's masterful seaming and careful construction shine. If all that sounds a tad severe, never fear. There were also coats made from black and white fox fur, collars and lapels made of mink, hems that shimmered with rows of snaps and buttons, and flashes of vivid orange.
With his recent appointment at Balenciaga — and his highly-anticipated debut collection for that house soon to come — all eyes are definitely on Alexander Wang this season. At Saturday's show at the grand Cunard building in downtown New York, Wang certainly offered up plenty for those eyes to look at.
Wang's focus this time around was on texture and volume, and thus this collection was filled with rounder, softer silhouettes than we've seen from the designer as of late. Using fuzzy materials — alpaca, mohair, fur — in smokey hues, Wang cut his outerwear, sweaters, straight skirts, and peg pants with plenty of extra room; double-breasted coats with dropped waists and boxy jackets adorned with oversized hoods looked particularly appealing thanks to their bigger proportions.
And if the curved shoulders and controlled folds that appear on some of the looks call to mind certain Parisian classics, there's a reason for that. "I had in mind the great couturiers of the '30s, '40s, '50s, but interpreted in T-shirts and sweats — that's me," Wang explained backstage. "It's sportswear, it's what I wear and what I do."
Atari asteroid prints, padded shoulders, and slim-hipped silhouettes dominated Scott Sternberg's Fall 2013 collection for Band of Outsiders. The vibe was vaguely '80s secretary with a heavy dose of elfin quirk, thanks to the knit turban caps and giant fur stoles that decorated each look.
A roving band of gypsies, tramps, and thieves was the basis of Mara Hoffman's Fall 2013 inspiration. Her focus on prints turned in this offering to the textiles of Turkey and Uzbekistan, with leopard and zebra stripes thrown in for good measure. Bright colors like turquoise, pink, and yellow give the prints an optical appeal. Our full review will be posted shortly. In the meantime, enjoy a first look at the collection.
Prabal Gurung sent out a stellar lineup for Fall 2013 that was steeped in military references and filled with feminine power. The designer said he was inspired by the Pentagon's recent decision to allow women in combat as well as the development of body armor specifically designed for the female form, and thus were plenty of utilitarian details on display. Leather harnesses, buckled straps, epaulets, and cargo pockets all made appearances, but it was Gurung's sharp tailoring and the addition of his signature embroideries that really gave the collection its real strength. Second-skin jackets in olive wool packed a punch thanks to peplums that flared dramatically from narrow waists, while swirling embellishments in crimson and gold added spice to off-the-shoulder dresses of buttery charmeuse.
Felipe Oliveira Baptista's Fall 2013 collection for Lacoste made it seem as though he can predict the weather. This collection, sporty in its attitude and precise in its construction and presentation, featured prints of icebergs all too reminiscent of the masses of snow the show's attendees had to slog through on Saturday morning. The designer used boiled wool and mohair to give his outerwear extra warmth, and injected flashes of orange, blue, and bright green into an otherwise pale gray offering. Baptista used transparent rain slickers to protect some of his ensembles, but many of them looked warm enough to stand up to the elements on their own.
Leave it to Suno's Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty to make daring pattern combinations look downright chic. For Fall 2013, a season in which other designers have used bold flashes of color or shown an allegiance to one family of graphics, this duo stuck to their signature master mixing and fused pinstripes, paisley, florals, dots, jacquard, and plaid together with pleasing visual harmony. Three-dimensional decorations included the Swarovski crystals arranged in a geometric pattern on a final grouping of neoprene pieces and tassels that trimmed a tunic and a pair of trousers.