Today in Fashion Week: February 17th

February 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

As the last few days of New York Fashion Week run their course, slowly but surely the must-see shows are dwindling down. We’ve seen some interesting statements and definitely some shows that I think are instant classics. I’ll reflect more at the end of the week, but for now I’ll just say that I think this has been one of the most consistently impressive seasons in a while. I especially love the initiative many of the major designers are taking in streaming their shows live on the web. With their help, every show will soon be broadcast, moving fashion forward into the future. It’s been a major development this season, and I think a lot of it can be attributed to Alexander McQueen’s web broadcast extravaganza last season. He truly was an innovative and directional thinker. On that note, let’s get into today’s shows!

Proenza Schouler

The basis of Proenza Schouler this season seemed to be a schoolgirl. That explains the pleated skirts, leather button down collars attached to minidresses, and thigh high stockings. There definitely was a feminine undercurrent, but there was also a heavy dose of the sort of acidic tomboy they’ve been working with for the past few seasons. The melding of the two archetypes was a major theme throughout, but it wasn’t so obvious that it was a gimmick. It came up in the pretty dresses layered over long sleeved tees and the menswear tailoring that was added to more traditionally feminine pieces. In a way, it was evocative of their first few seasons, but brought up to speed with their developments ever since. I liked the accordion pleats, a sure sign that the softening of the look was conscientious this season. Altogether, it created a strong look, and one that influential cool girls will be sure to flock to now that they’re likely tired of the dominatrix look. 

Tory Burch

Tory Burch was in rare form today. Typically, she’s the uptown conduit to downtown sensibilities, but this collection was lacking a bit in restraint. Still, a little dose of whimsy is always welcome. I just wish she had found a way other than splatter paint. There are some interesting things here, however, particularly the fun but elegant jackets.

Michael Kors

Aspen definitely seemed to be the locale of choice for Michael Kors’ inspiration this season, what with the luxe camel knits and the fur, fur, everywhere. It was an especially relaxed and subtle collection coming from Kors, who often gets mixed up in the glitzier side of things. He’s a very good designer, really, when you consider his ability to reinvent the classics. This season’s effort looked comfortable and softly luxurious.

Oscar De La Renta

There’s something to be said about a man who can take a group of beautiful women (girls, really) hovering around 20 and make them look like members of the 40+ crowd desperately trying to hide it. If older fashionphiles are allowed to complain about youth-centric designers, then I don’t see why I can’t do the same about a tirelessly stuffy designer who is still lauded on a regular basis. The crime, in my eyes, is that the clothes are attached to one age and one age only. There’s nothing that a younger girl could just as easily wear as an older one to be found. Luxury brands don’t have a problem creating pieces that work for all ages. Despite his apparent confusion, I have no trouble seeing why Michelle Obama would not choose to wear his clothes. What’s freeing and personal about a boxy pantsuit? He’s incredibly talented, of course, but he needs a little bit of a wake up call. This isn’t what the modern woman looks like, nor what she wants to look like.

3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim seemed to be inspired by American roots, at least on some level, with shearling jackets and denim separates given a jolt of experimental energy. Unfortunately, the theme didn’t quite pay off, and Lim hit quite a few sour notes along the way. He salvaged himself, however, with some updated takes on utility pieces. I think that the show mainly suffered from not being pulled together quite cohesively. He didn’t really seem to know, entirely, where his thoughts were.


Georgina Chapman has found a niche at Marchesa, and she’s sticking to her guns with another collection of red carpet ready eveningwear. The formula she’s adapted, of unexpectedly avant garde reinventions of evening gowns, is always a welcome sight at awards shows. You can bet that some of these dresses will be worn come Oscar day. I particularly like the lace dress with the sheer train. Maybe for Carey Mulligan or Maggie Gyllenhaal?

Leaving so soon, Fashion Week? Tomorrow is the last day, with collections from Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. See you then!


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