New York Fashion Week Day 5: Marc Jacobs, Alive + Olivia and more

 Metro’s style director, Kenya Hunt, and style editor, Tina Chadha, are reporting from the ground at New York Fashion Week. Read their daily dispatches for the latest on what’s coming down the runway and lots more.

Monday, Feb. 11

A model walks the runway at the Ohne Titel Fall 2013 fashion show. Credit: Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Ohne Titel Fall 2013 fashion show.
Credit: Getty Images

1 p.m It’s been a week of textured, technical knits, which is an area of expertise for Ohne Titel. Flora Gill and Alexa Adams have developed a reputation for manipulating knitwear in creative ways over the years. So I’m curious to see what they come up with this go ’round. For the new season, it’s a weaving technique that appears on striking looks such as a shirt dress worn over a delicate wisp of a silk and sequin skirt. Graphically, the weaving idea also plays out through a series of grid prints on pajama-like trousers, blouses and dresses. Best of all, these stylish things look impressively easy to wear. These are intelligent clothes for girls’ girls like Tank magazine editor and street style celebrity and J.Crew campaign star Caroline Issa, who styled the show. Flora and Alexa’s growing fanbased should pleased.  Kenya Hunt

 A model walks the runway at the Donna Karan Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show.  Credit: Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Donna Karan Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show.
Credit: Getty Images

2:10 p.m. Donna Karan’s collections always remind me of dancers — something about the way her drapey, bias cut dresses elongate the body strike me as being very Martha Grahamesque. If the choreographer was alive today, she’d look at home in any one of Donna’s sinuous jet black skirts that dance and swirl about the hips. The impressive thing is that Donna’s managed to create skirt suits that look about as comfortable to wear as a pair of yoga pants. That’s because her tailored jackets come paired with easy, jersey skirts that are free of any kind of boxy, boardroom stiffness. It’s a classic Donna Karan solution to a common urban working woman’s problem. I’m not quite sold on her experiments with texture, however. A chocolate brown gown made of collaged shiny and matte silk panels with a leather bodice seems totake things a concept too far.  KH

A model walks the runway at the 3.1 Phillip Lim Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show. Credit: Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the 3.1 Phillip Lim Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show.
Credit: Getty Images

3 p.m. I always like how 3.1 Phillip Lim gives you just the right amount of tomboy with just enough urban grit and isn’t afraid to stick a bow on it. Biker babes are on his mind for fall. Not so much Harley Davidson fanatics but rather stylish city dwellers who can’t wait to ditch their corporate obligations to hit the open road. Their uniform: chic motorcycle jackets, quilted shorts that hang perfectly so and tough pencil skirts embellished with zippers. These looks are grounded in reality with artful layering (preppy oxfords under shrunkencrewneck sweaters, under buttery leather jackets), clean lines (the boxy double-breasted coats) and a lovely color palette (sweet pink, warm tan andrich teal.) Over the knee open-toe leather boots and cross body bags take the cool quotient into high gear. As I walk out the door, I overhear editors chatting about which pieces are already on their wish lists. This is one of those times when I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole six months to buy.  Tina Chadha

Jill Sander  Credit: Getty Images
Jill Sander
Credit: Getty Images

4:20 p.m. Still buzzing from Phillip Lim, I trek over to view Jil Sander Navy, which is being shown in an intimate presentation, complete with little civilized finger sandwiches, rather than a grand catwalk extravaganza like it’s big sister line in Milan. The collection is exactly what you’d expect from the minimalist house: simple, beautiful tailored clothes, and at more affordable price points to boot. It’s not hard to spot the winners: a fitted bomber, cropped shearling and shrunken wool pea coat. Gimme!  TC

 A model walks the runway at the Thom Browne Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show. Credit: Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Thom Browne Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show.
Credit: Getty Images

5:10 p.m. Unlike Paris, New York’s runway shows aren’t known for theatrics, fantasy or drama. So a Thom Browne affair is always a little island of creativity, eccentricity and risk-taking in a sea of slick, white box productions. Bring it. This season, Thom Browne’s theatrical set is a winter scene of dead, snow capped trees that stand like prison bars around men in suits who are blindfolded and taped to beds at the wrists and ankles throughout the room.They’re lying there as if they’ve been hunted and dressed for dinner. Naturally, the spectacle is an Instagram magnet. Hardly anyone is sitting in their seats because they’re too busy photographing the bondage scene on their iPhones. Not that I can judge. I’ve already posted three filtered pics of it all on Twitter. No one seems to notice that Sandra Bernhard is in the room,sitting quietly in the front row.  KH

5:15 p.m. If Tim Burton directed an episode of Twin Peaks and set it in the 19th century, it might look like this. It’s pretty safe to assume that Thom’s dazed, slightly sinister looking models are coming in for the kill. How else to explain those long, blood raid nails? Dressed in elaborately constructed dresses and skirt suits that drawheavily on English references (Prince of Wales check and tweed, a mixture of Elizabethan and Victorian shapes), his pale faced corpse brides circle the men, dangling long-stem red roses the way I imagine a serial killer would finger an instrument of some kind of torture. Storyline guessing aside, the clothes are much more of a fantastical statement than anything else. This is not the place to look for wardrobe staples, unless your name is Helena Bonham Carter. But let’s not forget that Thom was the man behind Michelle Obama’s inaugural coat. Strip away the exaggerated hips on a few of those wool, silk and tweed cinched-waist coat dresses and you’ve got a few timeless pieces that could work off the runway.  KH

Alice + Olivia Credit: Getty Images
Alice + Olivia
Credit: Getty Images

5:35 p.m. There’s already a line down the block for the Alice + Olivia presentation, or rather, party. Waiters walk around with trays of bubbly, or, for those on assignment like, ahem me, sparkling waterwith adorable stripped paper straws. Glitzy chandeliers and wallpaper transform the dingy warehouse space into an opulent ballroom. I feel like I’m in a nightclub, an appropriate backdrop for Stacey Bendet’s glamorous fall line. At least, I think it’s glamorous. It’s kind of hard to see the collection because the place is packed with editors, bloggers and buyers jockeying for the perfect Instagram or a chocolate cake pop, which are now being passed around. The clothes almost get lost in the mix, which says a lot about how crowded the room is considering that the collection is filled with eye-grabbing sequins, beaded embellishments and shiny jacquard. Standouts include a dramatic ball gown skirt with graphic florals, a sparkly grey sequin sweatshirt and skirt combo, and a sexy bustier jumpsuit styled with trim tuxedo pants. Wear these to any party andyou’ll own the crowd. TC

A model walks the runway at the Marc By Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 fashion show. Credit: Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Marc By Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 fashion show.
Credit: Getty Images

8:09 p.m. Marc Jacobs is perhaps the only designer who not only gets his audience in their seats on time, but a few minutes early. At any other show, editors don’t arrive until about ten minutes after the start time. But tonight, the entire place is completely full at just nine minutes past the hour. That’s impressive when you think about the fact that a lot of guests accidentally went to the Armory where he normally shows each season. He changed the time (it was originally scheduled for 4pm) and location due to the blizzard.  KH

8:15 p.m. Fashion just got dirty, literally. I’m realizing that the first pair of muddy sneakers I spotted on one of the male models was not an accident. They’re all wearing them under wide leg trousers that drag along the floor, and from my seat look slightly dusty as if the guys walked all the way back home to Park and 81st after barhopping on the Lower Eastside. Marc’s girls, on the other hand, look perfectly neat and put-together in a mix of tailored separates that come in retro, Seventies silhouettes and pretty dresses that would seem outright prim if it weren’t for their trippy graphic prints. Standouts such as a demure graphic top and matching full skirt or wide leg pinstripe pants worn under a three quarter length naval coat look like good wardrobe additions for college seniors preparing for their first big publishing internship in the city. And now that I think about it, I wore Marc Jacobs for my first big magazine job interview.  KH

 


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