Olympus New York Fashion Week: Wednesday
Bolstered by my success on Tuesday, I decided to hit more shows on Wednesday and quickly found myself getting into the fashion week groove: I arrive at the tents 10 minutes before the hour, politely request standing room, wait in line for 30 or so minutes, scurry into the tent, grab a seat if possible, watch the show and take notes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Thankfully, the kind people running Richard Chai's show didn't even make the standing-room-only people wait in line forever--I breezed right in and took a back-row seat. Now, I admit that, like many people, I get Richard Chai confused with Philip Lim, Peter Som, and Derek Lam, all Asian male designers who started their own labels around the same time, but aside from the fact that they're all incredibly talented designers, they really don't have that much in common, design-wise. And after seeing Richard Chai's beautiful, tightly focused collection, I'm now completely aware of his design aesthetic: light, minimalist, but feminine. This was one of my favorite collections of the week, and I can honestly say I'd wear pretty much everything that came down the runway. While some of his designs fit into the overall trends of Fashion Week thus far, Richard tends to march to his own drummer. This cornflower blue silk dress, for example, had a more fitted silhouette, but the edging detail was simply gorgeous.

I will admit that even with all the hoopla over skinny-leg pants, I am really a wide-leg kind of girl. So I was truly delighted when I saw this wide-leg linen trouser, paired with an equally relaxed trapeze shirt. The look is chic, never sloppy.

Of course, there were some skinny pants too--those really aren't going anywhere. But I picked this look because the jacket had this gorgeous pleating detail in the back (which, sadly, you can't see here). The look is minimalist, but upon closer look, you see these amazing, beautifully constructed details.

I was also happy to see wide-leg shorts, especially since so many designers tend to send hot pants down the runway--and about 2% of the population can actually get away with wearing that style. But the coolest part of this look is the jacket--it's made of eel skin, one of my favorite exotics.

I love the layering in this look--short over long and voluminous over long and lean. The pant had really interesting seaming details in white thread. Oh, and the jacket was embroidered and beaded, an eye-catching piece after so much minimalism.

This dress was just gorgeous--lovely, dreamlike, lightweight, and airy. The pleating details were so well done, and there were even Swarovski crystals scattered here and there.

At the end of every fashion show, the models all walk the runway one last time, and this is usually when I try to take note of the models' hair, makeup, accessories, and shoes. And it was during this encore that I noticed the shoes: After all this week's clunk-tastic platform shoes, all the models in Richard Chai's show wore Grecian-inspired flat sandals, co-designed with Manolo Blahnik. Simply beautiful.

Carlos Miele's PR girl seemed totally apologetic about giving me a standing-room spot (of course, I ended up seated, albeit near the back), and while I was expecting a low-key, sparsely attended show, the front row was filled with half of Vogue's masthead, plus one of my heroes, Suzy Menkes from the International Herald Tribune. Oh, and Mena Suvari, who is so cute, I want to stick her in my pocket. Carlos Miele is Brazilian, and, as one would imagine, his clothes aren't what one wears to, say, the grocery store. The collection consisted of a lot of evening gowns, several swimsuits, and a few separates. But the eveningwear is where he truly shines. This babydoll frock was one of the first looks down the runway, and, come to think of it, I think it would look lovely on the newly divorced Ms. Suvari.

Like Richard Chai, Carlos showed both wide-leg...

...and skinny-leg pants. So I guess next spring you just pick the silhouette that works best for you. Count me in for the wide-leg.

He had some great gowns, many of which featured mixed prints. I think the fringed leather jacket instantly qualifies this look as "editorial."

There were some goreous, classic gowns, though. This was one of my favorites in the show--it had beautiful embroidery along the neckline, and two-tone chiffon, which was very flowy and also photographs well. If only all the celebrities dressed this well on the red carpet.

Before I got stuck in what can only be called a fashion logjam, I noticed the front-row Vogue staffers have a remarkable technique--as soon as the designer takes his (or her) bow at the end of the show, they make a mad dash out of the tent. They look a little ridiculous, yes, but it works.

I wasn't expecting Milly to be the mob scene it was. I ended up cramming into the end of the risers (in the Atelier, the second-smallest space), and there was nary an open seat to fill. But what designer Michelle Smith does, she does incredibly well: adorable, feminine dresses in bright colors. The backdrop featured a sunset and a palm tree, and the dresses and swimsuits that came down the runway had a very Palm Beachy feel. The trapeze shape was in full effect here, as was a '60s influence. This dress was, yep, in the now-ubiquitous eyelet, and I'm sure it will be super-popular next spring.

I love this swingy top, although I'd wear it with wide-leg trousers, not a bikini.

I couldn't take my eyes off this brocade jacket. Very retro, yes, but well made, and, like I've said before, this shape is going to be so popular next spring. I also admire the pairing of this and the print dress.

Here's another great coat, in my favorite color, green.

Milly always has great prints. This bright, psychedelic print totally puts a smile on my face, and I love the babydoll shape of the dress.

Volume has been the big buzzword for the spring collections, and this dress, the last in the show, totally delivered. The straps connected to a cape-like panel in back, and the resulting shape was really interesting and cute at the same time. So while Michelle Smith may be known for her girly print dresses, it's good to know she has range.

Coming tomorrow (or perhaps sometime during the weekend--I'm travelling later tomorrow), my reviews of Abaete and Joanna Mastroianni.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Love the green coat from Milly as well - think we will do the pink retro print in a capri or dress instead. Yum.