Susan Woo is known throughout the fashion world for creating 100% eco-friendly and sustainable women’s clothing. Her collection successfully embodies the philosophy of her brand: blending high design with both environmental and social consciousness. The collection is very polished and clean, consisting of clothes made for the everyday businesswoman or for the chic trendsetters. The outfits are mostly comprised of solid, dark colors with a persistent, contrasting theme of black and white throughout.
Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra once again put out a collection of what they are known to do—draped dresses friendly to the female form. This season, the duo was inspired by aerial maps and topographies, translating their energies to this season’s dresses. The way in which the designers conveyed their woman was still as romantic and feminine as it has always been. Less expected this time around were the knits with a vine design. In the form of capelets and cardigans, they offered a newfound granny element that emerged as a surprise. Colors were once again aplenty—both neutral tones and bright pops, the latter especially so on the bold red lips. This season has shown us that the Costello Tagliapietra woman is soon ready to explore another identity.
New York Fashion Week is a league of its own – a hub for fresh talent, faces and ideas. It often foreshadows what the remaining weeks of fashion month will hold, even credited for the debut of many iconic model careers. The girls who open the A-list shows in New York often go on to lead the race in London, Milan and Paris. Though the trends don’t always shuffle to Europe, they remain just as important and impacting on street style and their audience. New York Fashion Week is, without a doubt, the most commercial market of the four, but also remains the most wearable. Many insist that compared to previous years, it has lost its creativity and flair, but we can’t help to think that New York just shines in a different way.
At creative director Andreas Melbostad’s first showing for Diesel Black Gold, the tough biker mood was clear, but certainly not accomplished by ignoring femininity. As the flickering lights rose at the beginning of the show, we knew we were going to have to hold on tight. The collection was propelled by the idea of velocity, the feel of a gas station and the thrill of speed. With this kind of inspiration, the appearances of studs came as no surprise, craftily arranged on jackets, dresses and pants. Belts were carefully considered: right at the waist, low on the hips when on pants, and high on the hips when on jackets. Additionally, black lace panels were introduced in denim and in outerwear. The sex appeal was supplemented by the wet hair arranged in low-ponytails and the pumped up atmosphere dominated by intense overhead lights. Altogether, he proved to us that this type of look is bold, while maintaining an ease of wear.
Things have changed for fashion designer Alexander Wang since the showing of his last collection in New York: he was recently appointed to take over Nicolas Ghesquière’s position at Balenciaga. However, his new Creative Director position did not seem to have distracted him from designing a strong Fall/Winter 2013 collection at his eponymous label. Balenciaga is a design house known for its runway debuts and exclusives, and this season Wang started signing models as worldwide exclusives.
There were 5 Alexander Wang Worldwide Exclusives this season: Lauren English, Ksenia “Nova” Malanova, Sara Steiner, Tessa Bennenbroek (the show opener) and the mysterious Val from Belgium. All girls have never walked a major international runway in any of the major fashion capitals before Wang’s Fall/Winter 2013 show. These new faces were signed and selected to only walk this entire season for shows under Alexander Wang’s direction. Along with the 5 worldwide exclusives, there were 4 semi-exclusives who debuted on the Alexander Wang runway, marking their first appearance ever on the New York Fashion Week scene. To be considered in this category as a debut semi-exclusive, the model must not have walked a full RTW season in either New York, London, Milan or Paris before Fall/Winter 2013. The 4 Wang’s debut semi-exclusives were Alana Bunte, Giedre Kiaulenaite, Nicole Pollard, and Tess Hellfeuer.
Last season, Irina Kravchenko opened the show, and her career has since taken off, gracing top runways in Paris and Milan, starring in the Prada Spring/Summer 2013 campaign, and shooting for Vogue Italia. This season, casting director Anita Bitton cast 5 worldwide exclusives and 4 semi-exclusives to debut and walk alongside runway veterans Christina Kruse and Malgosia Bela. After the success of last season’s debut exclusives Kravchenko, it will be interesting to see how the careers of these new exclusives will play out.
Referencing Italo Calvino’s If on a Winters Night A Traveler and August Sander’s portraits as underpinnings, Siki Im’s Fall/Winter 2013 show led us through a beautiful combination of dichotomies— black and color, fiction and reality, object and subject, past and present, softness and toughness. Painted hair and colored round glasses were the precise offset to the black-dominated looks—the effect of these colors all coming together in the perfect interaction. With this experience of a give and take, there was a definite depth. As the looks came out on the cool lineup cast by John Tan, the colors making up the looks moved from darks to lighter blues, purples, browns, and a final metallic energy. Fine fabrics were rendered into pants and outerwear of various proportions. Working with stylist David Vandewal, shawls were perfectly wrapped and draped, both restrictively and as an offer of movement. They were tucked under one arm and flowing from the other or otherwise bundled tightly over a blazer or jacket. Overall, we were offered a meaningful and translatable intellect.
The most profoundly interesting resolution of Siki Im’s show was once again the finale, an important aspect of a runway show which he uses all too well. This time, the models came out with aprons, which had been underneath all along, and knit hats. This change in pace ultimately allowed the audience to wrap their minds around the collection only a little bit more, but not entirely, forcing the collection to linger in minds throughout the rest of the day. Although the designer seems to already understand how he has gone full circle, we are still waiting to find out what hit us.
The Robert Geller man has always been a subtle yet distinguishable guy, with the ability to convey a sense of cool and intellect in a relaxed manner. The clothes are made for the modern man, never fussy or over-designed. Inspired by German Expressionists films and Berlin in the 1920′s, the designer pushes the notion of simple refinement through intelligent layering and a balanced shadowy color palette juxtaposed with small pops of bright red, all of which results in a mysteriously intriguing Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Much like watching the films that Geller referenced, each look should be reviewed in closer detail for one to understand just how important the individual components work to pull the overall theme together. This latest collection is a smart and seemingly effortless one that demonstrates how proper attention to the combination of smaller parts work just as effectively to voice narrative in a quiet yet commanding manner. The show itself was also helped by the cast, where each runway outfit complemented the attitude and look of the model.
Hip Hop seems to be the theme for Public School Fall/Winter 13 Collection. Sleek tailored clothing with leather sleeves, ombre effects in everything from shirts to sweaters, and inventive motorcycle jackets blended seamlessly in the athletic-infused lineup. All these radical details combined make this menswear collection one of the most sought after of the season.