New York Fashion Week Day 2: Reviews from Kate Spade, Jason Wu and more
Poor Jenni Kayne: The designer’s flight from L.A. got canceled due to the storm and she’s missing her presentation. As shards of hail poke my eyes, I reconsider: ‘Good for you, Jenni Kayne!’
I arrive at her presentation and immediately check out the crowd. The fashion set is sensibly dressed: floppy hats, stylish sneakers and beanies galore (those are really having a moment right now). I turn my attention to the models and a bold red jacket instantly catches my eyes. It’s paired with a stylish leopard print knit and is the kind of polished ensemble you could picture Jackie O wearing. Kayne really nails understated cool. It oozes from the chic cigarette pants, boyish plaid suits and tuxedo jackets that have just the right touch of glam. There’s also a table full of pointy toe flats that all the editors seem to be paying extra attention to. TC
I get to Kate Spade New York just as they’re wrapping up. Waiters are still passing around drinks, though: Sweet! There’s an NYC theme happening with models perched around vintage yellow cabs. There’s also lots of hot pink, bows and studs on clothing, bags and even the models’ nails, courtesy of Deborah Lippmann.
I find Brad Goreski, the brand’s exclusive stylist, who tells me there’s a little bit of disco and sleek sophisticated eveningwear thrown in to the quirky mix. All I can think is he’s grown so much since “The Rachel Zoe Project.” I ask what his plans are with all the blizzard warnings. “To keep pushing on,” he says. “We’re going to have a party tonight. It’s New York City, baby! Come on!” TC
Nemo is pounding New York outside. But it’s pretty toasty underneath the enormous crystal chandelier we’re sitting under at Jason Wu’s show. Granted, it’s not quite warm enough to justify the little shorts and bare legs actress Isabelle Fuhrman is wearing front row. I feel cold looking at her. Allison Williams of “Girls,” however, looks perfectly sensible in opaque tights. Kenya Hunt
I’m a few minutes into a game I’m playing called “Spot the Wui-sms.” In an interview that I had with him a few days earlier, Wu mentioned that his collection would feature a lot of his signatures, taken up a notch. His trademark pretty and polished femininity is definitely present in the form of his glamorous fur coats and nipped-waist dresses. But his evening looks are by far the biggest standout. What makes them so special is the dramatic pleated peplum that scoops down to the floor in back. The models are wearing them over tuxedo stovepipe pants and the overall effect is very glamorous and untouchably cool, kind of like Adele’s “Skyfall,” which is playing right now. Here’s hoping a few Hollywood stylists are tacking these looks onto their mood boards. They would look a lot more exciting on the Oscar red carpet than all of those boring strapless dresses we’ve been seeing so much of this year. KH
I’m walking to the Yigal Azrouel show when I hit a wind tunnel on 17th street, which mangles my umbrella and sends my beenie flying. I run into Chelsea Market to regroup and grab two free chocolate samples as a pick-me-up before braving the elements again. TC
Despite the sleet that’s starting to really come down now, women are wearing stilettos and, in some crazy cases, miniskirts. (Snowstorm be damned!) On the runway a moody tale unfolds. Azrouel’s girls are covered up, but the mostly black palette and exceptional tailoring gives them a sexy edge. Also, I’m happy to report that all those burgundy pieces we invested in are good for another season. But what I love most about this collection is how wearable it is. There’s slouchy-yet-feminine pants, chic wooly sweaters with leather trim, uber-cool outerwear and one smoking hot cashmere jumpsuit that shows you can be sexy and still appropriately dressed for the weather. TC
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs are tall, lean Amazonian goddesses. But the average woman is not. So it’s nice to see Cushnie et Ochs advance their oeuvre to include more than flesh-baring dresses that fit like a second skin and experiment with other shapes and ideas. Their collection is still as sexy as ever, but they’ve redefined the concept in a more interesting way, covering the body up to stimulate the imagination and playing with lustrous, textured fabrics that invite one to touch. Nearly everything in this collection has a gloss to it, whether that is a polished pencil skirt in scaled leather, a sleek calfskin vest and matching skirt or a graphic duchess satin dress. Even the strappy, ponyskin shoes have a sexy sheen. Speaking of, they’re a major hit with my seatmates front row. They’re by the Brazilian designer Schutz, a name we should all get to know.
The gridlock inside Rag & Bone is worse than the rush hour traffic outside. The reason? There’s a concession stand with soft pretzels in fancy flavors like cinnamon and raison and cheddar and truffle, and an open bar serving mulled wine at the front of the venue. Double score. In my book, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright have already won. Plus, Drew Barrymore is sitting front row. KH
I feel like I’m back in London. The Rag & Bone collection features all the tropes of men’s British dressing flipped for urban girls through tweed, Prince of Wales check, tailoring, eccentric color combinations and RAF military references. Yet, the clothes feel thoroughly New York: the cool confidence of an oversized green leather jacket paired with a quilted leather mini skirt or the polish of a black and white tailored Prince of Wales coat and matching skirt, for instance. In a way, this show features the best of both worlds. I’m predicting that the outerwear and slouchy leather embellished jumpers, in particular, will be big sales floorhits. Oh, and there’s more ponyskin. This time in a series of fantastic quilted electric blue loafers and pointy ankle boots. KH