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This Season's Trends

Customize Your Style >
Chantal's Secret:>
Risks and Rewards of the Birkin Bag >
Let the Fur Fly >
Family Jewels >
LA Finds >
Ins and Outs of 2005 >
Young Parisian Chic>
Couture Snowbunny>
Haute Couture Fashion Week>
São Paulo Fashion Week >
In the Bag >
Hollywood's Hottest Shoes >
The Best RTW of Europe >
Looking for Fashion's Spring >
LA Finds Spring 05 >
Hollywood's Hottest Shoes >
The Best RTW of Europe >
Couture Chameleon >
It's Open Season >
Crystal Swim Suits and Lingerie >
Lacroix to Stay >

Featured Designers
Vivienne Westwood >
Jenni Kayne >
Brasil Anunciação >
as four Interview >
New West Coast Designers >
Elsa Schiaparelli >
Louis Verdad >
Au Bar with Alber >
Fashion Blues >
Passing the Torch at Geoffery Beene>
The Legend of Winston>
LVMH Sells Lacroix Couture >
Spring 2005
A Jeweled Passion >
Sculpture to Wear >
Coco Kliks Interview >
Alber Reaches the Summit >
Carol Christian Poell >
Collette Dinnigan >

Runway Report
Haute Couture - Spring '06 >
São Paulo Fashion Week >
Paris Men's Wear - Winter '06 >
Paris - Spring '06>
Milan - Spring '06>
NY - Winter '06>
LA - Spring'06>
London - Spring '06>
SF Fashion Week >

Oscar de la Renta >>

Carolina Herrera >>

Behnaz Sarafpour >>

Michael Kors >>

Anna Sui >>

Y & Kei >>

Marc Jacobs >>

Ralph Lauren >>

Doo Ri >>

Project Alabama >>

Zang Toi >>

Richard Chai >>

Peter Som >>

Narisco Rodriguez >>

Proenza Shouler >>

Geoffrey Beene >>

Monique Lhuillier >>

Bill Blass >>

J. Mendel >>

Zac Posen>>

Vera Wang >>

Donna Karan >>

Ralph Rucci >>

Okay- so, I admit it. It looks as though I was wrong (at least from what has been shown thus far) when I predicted black would be a major statement on the runways here in New York, a continuation and affirmation of what was put forth for fall. That is hardly the case and in fact, quite the opposite is true, as early trends over the weekend are pointing to a desire for lightness, sweetness, and charm and the color of choice to symbolize this is black’s polar opposite- white- and all attending shades of pale ivory and cream. It almost seems as though the design world wants women to reclaim their lost innocence and go back to a time that was kinder, simpler, gentler (pre September 11th, pre Katrina). By the way, talk about timing. New York Fashion Week coincided as usual, with the 4th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks and also followed on the heels of the worst natural disaster in American history.

What better time for fashion that is anti hard edged and deliberately quieter, more individual and a direct reaction against harsh realities of life? So, if harsh and hard edged are out… sweet, fresh and charming are ‘in’, what better way to exemplify this than with beautiful blouses with billowy sleeves and exquisite details, lace, eyelet, AND dresses!

In fact, the little black dress is unsurprisingly THE item of the season thus far, as seen on editors, buyers, and customers as they take in the shows. If you think about it, what is easier, quicker, chicer, and more modern than the ‘LBD’ which can easily go from summer to winter, and from day to evening?

And while the almost drunken and random embellishment from seasons past seems to be quieting down a bit for spring, it is not completely gone (and thank goodness for that). This was personified by the sighting of Anna Wintour on the first day of shows, sitting front row center at Kenneth Cole, wearing a beige tweed cardigan jacket strewn with sequins over a matching dress. Even though everyone is talking about black, black, black, Ms. Wintour chose to ignore the funereal trend and make her own statement about ‘The Shining’.

While overtly sexy, hard edged fashion, and gratuitous, forced, over the top, tasteless displays of shine and glitter may look passé, (as passé as the freebie bronze pleather bags being given out by the WE Channel), creative individuality and embellishments that have more of a loving hands at home, rustic feeling look amazingly timely. This was typified by the strong group of new, relatively unknown designers who showed on Thursday and Friday and who presented extremely well thought out, beautifully designed collections. You may not know these names now, but trust me- you will: Verrier, Naum, and Brian Reyes.

And this new mood was also exemplified by Project Alabama’s formal runway show comprised of approximately 37 pieces done in shades of garnet, gold, amber, navy, and white featured feminine, graceful lines, fitted and cropped cardigans, narrow coats, sweet petticoated camisole dresses and circle skirts. Almost everything was hand piped, hand beaded, hand stitched, and/or hand sequined and as had been widely reported, some of the hand stitchers made the trip to New York from Alabama (an area that thankfully was NOT hit by Katrina) to see the show and to hold court at Jeffrey New York where they will demonstrate their techniques. Program notes confirmed that “a portion of Project Alabama’s proceeds from the sales will be donated to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims”.

By the way, as if to inject some local color, we were treated to the down home Blue Grass music of Ruby Jane Smith and The Rare Jewels, a trio comprised of two men playing guitar and bass, and a darling 10 year old prodigy (Ruby Jane) playing fiddle and mandolin.

Charm, sweetness, and light were also evident at Y & Kei, whose running theme is “water the earth” and who staged a very elegant, soft, sophisticated, and beautifully accessorized collection which was graceful and feminine and all about modern luxury, texture, rustic ornamentation. It was a love affair with pale neutral colors (like ivory, muslin, chalk white, vanilla- though there was a hit of black, gray, melon, yellow and parrot blue). There were very strong dresses, both long and short, great coats and jackets, gorgeous blouses with sweet details, eyelet trim embroidery as well as lace The Korean design duo admits that Cate Blanchett is a muse and one can certainly see this strong fashion icon wearing many of these modern pieces. By the way, they are seeing dots (as in circles of all sizes and shapes) and based on early reports, I think it’s safe to say polka dots will likely find their way onto other runways (including that of Donna Karan).

I must say I really liked the showing by of Ashish N. Soni, the Indian born designer who boasts quite a following in his native country. His poetic collection based on simple yet distinctive pieces done in white, black, gray, (and mixes thereof) had more than just a bit of that Japanese vibe (think Yohji, Issye, Rei). There were some absolutely beautiful billowy blouses, as well as tailored coats and jackets, with much attention paid to detail in cut, play of proportion, and an obvious love affair with volume. Of the 45 or so looks that came out on the runway, quite a few were standouts and spoke of an sculptural, dreamy, and artistic vision that is not exactly commercial, but beautiful.

I also loved the well edited collection designed by former Geoffrey Beene intern, Doo.Ri Chung, whose former boss and mentor was an obvious and major source of inspiration. This was apparent in her chic and neutral color palette (she dubbed this her “pantyhose collection” because of all the flesh tone shades), the beautiful silk and jersey draped dresses (both long and short), pleated satin halter gowns, many boasting amazing backs and cutouts, and of course, wonderful coats.

Tracy Reese may not have had her best show yesterday, but it was very signature Tracy, nonetheless….unapologetically girlie, feminine, soft, and in a vintage mode. Relying on a color palette strong on shades of white mixed with buttercup, pale lime, spring blue, citrus, and sweet pink, dresses were both long and short, there was lots of lots of lace and mesh, intricate beading, and the designer admittedly took inspiration from a funky mix of the Belle Epoque and the 60’s.

Alexandre Herchcovits turned his Tent venue into a theatre auditorium for a show that seemed would never start. But start it did and it was as usual, pure Alexandre in its sweet and charming shapes, fresh and youthful prints and pattern mixes, collage effects, and standout dresses, many of which featured full skirts that were above the knee, and thick leather belted empire waists.

By the way, Sunday afternoon marked the Academy of Art University’s first student show held in conjunction with 7th on sixth and Gladys Perint Palmer, the noted journalist and illustrator who also serves as its Executive Director of Fashion came to New York for the occasion. Highlights from collections of 12 recent graduates who hope to become the next Donna, Ralph, Calvin, Michael, were shown in a 20 minute runway show and it was a wonderful showcase for their creative techniques and innovative designs (particularly in the areas of knitwear and textile design).

Included in the group were Staci Snider who has already won an internship with Sebastian Pons, Jamie Mihlrad , who finished an internship with Marc Jacobs and will fly to Milan to work with Carla Sozzani at her famed store, Corso Como 10 along with Kia Faulkenberry-Lewis, and Jeehyun Shim who was selected by Azzedine Alaia to intern for him in Paris.


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