After two years of showcasing and honoring specific designers (McQueen in 2011, Prada & Schiaparelli in 2012), the Costume Institute Gala, also know as the Met Ball, has shifted its focus back to a more general theme of PUNK: Chaos to Couture. The exhibit “examine[s] punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today… focusing on the relationship between the punk concept of do-it-yourself and the couture concept of made-to-measure.” Punk culture is largely driven by youth—seeking identity and freedom in an effort to break from tradition with a newfound anti-establishment mentality. The punk theme seems all the more relevant at a time when fashion is so accessible, expressive and youth-focused. It is fair to say that at some point in our lives, we all somewhat relate to punk ideologies; even the most unexpected fashion figures have had or are able to appreciate that rebellious stage, however mild or extreme.
Given this year’s theme, it only seemed fitting that the event was co-chaired by designer Riccardo Tisci whose creative direction has turned Givenchy into a label with a devoted following, known for dark and unconventional collections complete with punk elements. Other co-chairs included Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, Moda Operandi founder Lauren Santo Domingo, and Tisci’s actress muse Rooney Mara. Preparing for the Met Gala takes an incredible amount of work, time, and money but it is a noteworthy event that celebrates the ideas and past work of fashion designers and industry greats who often take the back seat in our celebrity-obsessed culture. The Met Ball can have a profound effect in generating buzz for young up-and-coming models and designers and also helps in cementing the status of the established. Media and fashion enthusiast wait all year to see stars and models ascend the famous steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with their designer dates. Scroll below for an overview of the models and designers who deserve every bit of attention at fashion’s biggest event.
Hilary Rhoda in Wes Gordon
Read more →
Easy and relaxed has always been the modus operandi for native New York designer Steven Alan. In his first Lincoln Center presentation at the Box, inspiration for the ladies came from Francoise Hardy. Here, we saw tomboyish looks with a clean approach or with an exercise of lengths by way of layering. Visible lines came in grid, stripe and plaid forms. For the guys, post-bop was the inspiration. A brand dominated by classic colors, each menswear look seemed to have a piece that popped in an otherwise almost monotone context. This was introduced in the form of teal, red or gridded button-up or a teal blazer. Accessorized with caps, glasses and structured-leather bags, the looks were further translated for the customer.
Steven Alan’s menswear presentation
Read more →
The Billy Reid brand is usually known for rustic influenced menswear, but the F/W 2013 collection included just as many women’s looks. Staying true to his southern roots, the show had a warm and inviting feel as the designer made a conscious effort to make his guests feel at ease. Southern Hospitality at its best at New York Fashion Week. The collection itself further reflected this relaxed attitude—”Our approach this season was about the clothes and how our friends would wear them.…Elegance that has a warmth…wearable and functional luxury and a modern approach to traditional American clothing.” Maple tweed jackets were mixed with flannel and velvet suits with cashmere knit ties—all with faint touches of the nature from the Appalachian south. Many pieces in this collection could become timeless staples for anybody despite the defined origins; perhaps the unique model cast had a part in giving way to this ease of appeal. Between the male models sporting long beards and hair as guys whom you would easily expect to wear Billy Reid, and the models with distinct editorial looks, these are clothes that also fit outside of the designer’s immediate realm. While many other New York designers are synonymous with certain Americana aesthetics, Billy Reid is the go-to designer for championing that rustic yet sophisticated southern style.
Teen Vogue’s Andrew Bevan and Designer Billy Reid
Model Looks Board
Read more →
Designer Jen Kao’s F/W 2013 show presented a more polished and somewhat glamorous type—a welcomed departure from the carefree and youthful nature of past collections. Using a myriad of textures and fabrics ranging everywhere from leather to mink, the looks were more structured and ladylike, yet still incorporated modernity from the geometric designs that the designer so favors. While there were some embellishments and pieces that seemed a little out of place, the collection was effective in showing how a modern woman can be just as polished without having to sacrifice her sense of edge. Some standout pieces included a denim patchwork coat worn by Marine van Outryve and a blush silk dress worn by Patricia van der Vliet. Complemented with Yadim’s intense makeup look of bold black shadow-rimmed eyes and bright patent red lips, the girls stomped down the runway with a sense of refined strength and confidence.
Makeup Artist Yadim working on Anastasia Ivanova
Read more →
Designer Brandon Sun’s showing for Fall/Winter 2013 parlayed a vision of a woman who is androgynous, dark, mysterious, and loves little details. Sun’s pieces were all admirably tailored, drawing inspiration from menswear this season as many designers have. Designers are often warned about the potential downfalls of presenting a black-focused collection, but Sun’s collection was just that, without hitting any monochromatic roadblocks. Although some models wore several layers of darks, they still had a polished and modern look with easy hair and minimal make-up – in black, of course.
Designer Brandon Sun in front of his FW 2013 collection
Read more →
Lela Rose presented a collection for Fall/Winter 2013 that was inspired by fairy tales and folklore. Many of the designs had a dark, mystical vibe to them. Using rich, earthy colors, texture, and unusual grid-like and floral patterns, Lela Rose evoked the feeling that we were lost in the woods in a sun-speckled late afternoon.
Read more →
A weekend invitation to the Russian countryside from a descendant of the Romanov family leads to an unconventional modern adventure for Misha Nonoo’s alluring British vanguard. Blending beguiling romantic youth and confident ease with noble sophistication. Nonoo’s rich hues of Romanov rouge; imperial ink and military green make up this season’s bold color palette.
Nonoo’s signature maverick tailoring features riding jackets and British warm greatcoats adorned with military medallions channeling Karl Bryullov’s portrait V.A Perovsky. Sophisticated layering with heritage woven knits and Prince of Wales checks in flared hem skirts and tailored shorts are accessorized with handmade Finnish raccoon Shapka hats. British sporting jackets juxtapose silk gowns with fil coupe’ bow detailing.
A look at the rich, sporty and chic collection
Read more →
Inspired by the elegant lines of French Art Deco’s Ruhlmann, Catherine Malandrino presented clean and graphic shapes for Fall 2013. A soft, yet graphic celebration of geometric shapes and craftsmanship manifested throughout this luxurious and elegant collection. Elongated silhouettes were illustrated by funnel-neck collared coats, mid-calf pencil skirts and glove sleeves in a blend of leather, cashmere knits, rubberized wool and double silk satin crepe. Elegant and sophisticated, these were classically beautiful pieces that have become the staple of the Malandrino brand.
Absinthe funnel collar cape jacket, black box pleat wool skirt on model Sarah Dick
Read more →