Brandy Lunsford straddles the seemingly disparate worlds of tomboy equestrian ease and womanly fashion with her line Harlan Bel, of which we have been fans of since we first used it in our photo editorial La Belle Dam San Merci in March. And our enthusiasm only grows stronger with each new collection. She balances harder tailoring with a feminine sense for textile usage and her Spring 2009 collection is no exception.
We might be in danger of playing favorites with Charles Nolan but its hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm the entire house has for the line and the women that wear it. Visiting Charles' booth at Coterie is a perfect example of why a runway show is never enough to get a feel for a collection. You have to get up close and personal. Thankfully Charles' friendly sales team let gush over the Spring 2009 offerings. Because really what woman wouldn't want to own every single one of his crisp white shirts?
Jewerly designer Amrita Singh has tapped into an accessories moment with her talent for creating unique stacking bangles. Scores of idle, and incredibly chic women, weigh down their slim arms with Amrita's many options from enamel to wood. We checked in on her offerings at Coterie and got a bit overwhelmed by all the colors on display. Thankfully someone else had already done the choosing for us when it came to her Bangle Bangle line as they were in the gift bag at the eLuxury party. In which case maybe we can do an ROI calculation on the gift bags as we just wrote up the designer. And now we link you to eLuxury's selection.
Los Angeles based Suh-Tahn was founded in 2005 by partners Shannon Nataf and Dimitry Tcharfas who together have designed a line layered with meaning. Dark and brooding yet organic and light, the line lives up to its nuanced name. "Soutane" means scared robe in french, "suh" a feminine adjective from sanskrit and arabic means light or star, and "tahn" a masculine adjective is rooted in the Greek word thanatos or darkness. The constant tension serves the duo's work well as their Spring 2009 had a visceral impact on your editors that literally halted us in our steps.
Mara Hoffman has been a popular Google search term for Coutorture since New York Fashion Week so we knew we had to get up close and personal with the line at Coterie. Her Spring 2009 collection has all the hallmarks that made the designer such a popular choice for laid back creative women everywhere. Easy to wear loose long dresses in big patterns, lots of nearly nudes, and a few separates here and there made up the collection. But the real value? Her incredible textiles. This is is clothing that feels good.
And sometimes amidst all of the new and different at Coterie one realizes that perpetual favorites stay in that category for a reason. Coutorture favorite Adam Lippes had a serene booth at Pier 94 (complete with delightful sales staff, something we can't say for many designers we visited) where we were able to browse his Spring 2009 collection in more depth handling the textiles, playing with combinations and otherwise seeing the detail work a runway show can never fully showcase. With his keen eye for color the collection beautifully balanced vibrant yellows, pinks, and blues with more subtle pastels to impressive effect. All in all, another impressive effort from this rising star!
The desire for casual contemporary clothing that transcends the basics will never go away and Sam Nieves Velez and Sharon Lavi have continually refined some of the best aspects of the genre in their line Nieves Lavi. Comfortable and easy to wear yet visually appealing, the line works for the laid back California girl just as well as the New York urbanite. We found it to be one of the few lines that worked both coasts in your editors bi-coastal lifestyle. Known for their prints, their Spring 2009 collection doesn't disappoint.
One of the best parts of attending the giant buyer's festival that is Coterie is the potential to discover new and interesting lines without leaving New York. Lungta de Fancy is a new line for us and we couldn't be more pleased with discovering a great London based designer right here at home without having to hop on a plane to join our fellow editor at London Fashion Week. Feminine and soft in character, the line nonetheless has a firm grasp of sophisticated tailoring. Our verdict? Watch out Erin Fetherston, this line does dreamy womanhood with the best of them.
While our other editor fearlessly covers London Fashion Week where Issa showed its Spring 2009 collection, we were checking out the line at Coterie. We haven't quited figured out how they managed the transatlantic samples yet with both a runway show and a buyers tradeshow, but we were glad to see more of the line's signature easy to wear jersey options and appealing patterns (we loved the green lipsticks) plus a few exciting developments like a gold sequined jacket.
On Tuesday we visited Coterie's eveningwear selections for fresh runway looks but most of the action was taking place in the contemporary market over on the Piers. Buyers worked themselves into a frenzy over collections from Tracey Reese, Velvet, Geren Ford, Inhabit, Shin Choi, Marc Bouer Glamit, Cynthia Steffe, Twinkle, Betsy Johnson, Harlan Bel, Nieves Lavi, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Anna Sui, Nanette Lepore, Citizens of Humanity, Seven for All Mankind, Foley and Corinna, Julie Haus, Erotokritos, Nicole Miller, Vera Wang Lavender, Tibi, Shoshanna, Alice and Olivia, Rag and Bone, Diane Von Furstenberg, Earnest Sewn, Adam by Adam Lippes, Diesel, Milly by Michelle Smith, Helmut Lang, Iodice, and Sunner.