Fashion Week Quickies: Norman Ambrose, Joy Cioci, Kaelen, and Yoana Baraschi

Norman Ambrose
Presenting his debut collection at New York Fashion Week, Norman Ambrose has already earned comparisons to Geoffrey Beene and Norman Norell for his ladylike, well-constructed womenswear. I sensed a somewhat decadent vibe, with a '70s sportswear inspiration; the daytime looks, particularly the patterned sheath dress and belted fur-trim coat, seemed a bit more in tune with the times than his extravagant evening looks, one of which featured a totally sheer--and thus completely unwearable--chiffon blouse.

Joy Cioci
Formerly the designer of contemporary line Wink, Joy Cioci's promising New York Fashion Week debut played with textures, combining sheer layers with ruffled jackets, fur vests, and blousy sleeves. While the parts weren't exactly new, her way of putting them together was, and the result was a series of covetable head-to-toe looks.

Designer Kaelen Farncombe moved her minimalist aesthetic forward from spring with a True Grit–esque presentation, complete with a mechanical bull. The beautifully stark grays were still present, but she spruced things up with a little lime green, teal, and even tomato red. Especially appealing: the cozy-looking knits and languid maxi dresses.

Yoana Baraschi
Bizarre program notes aside ("an emotional journey through Virtualand"), Yoana Baraschi interpreted flora and fauna through a high-tech lens, creating things like a digital-print floral sheath dress and a shift with a snake wrapping around the front. It definitely bridged a gap between nature and technology; I found the more subtle experiments, such as a textured trench coat and strong-shouldered sheath dress, the most appealing.

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