New York Fashion Week Day 3: Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung and more
I spy bare legs and open-toed shoes at Prabal Gurung. This puzzles me because it’s glacial outside. I spend the 15-minute wait before the show discussing this with Tina, and we agree that part of the joy of fashion is dressing for the weather. Anything else seems cheating. I spend the next 10 minutes listening to my seatmates gossip about every other editor in the room — because fashion is a lot like high school. I’ll let Tina take the rest from here. . KH
Prabal Gurung is my first post-blizzard show and, surprisingly, the venue is mostly packed when I arrive. Rapper Eve is even sitting front row. Fashion editors are notoriously late when there’s no snow on the ground, so this is a big deal. From the first model that marches on the stage it’s clear: Gurung’s girl is going to war. Or at least she’s capturing our attention with a strong military-inspired collection of fitted cargo pants, badass chunky sweaters and slim peacoats in army green and navy. Despite the tough chick appeal Gurung is going for — most looks come with leather harnesses – the body-skimming silhouettes and fluid draping give the clothes a sensual feel. Then the drama kicks up, as dresses and gowns with splices and slits up to there take over. Some of the eveningwear looks, like a one-shoulder cocktail dress with sparkly gold beading, remind me of a sari and I love that the designer gives subtle nods to his background. Overall it’s a confident, sexy outing, one definitely worth stepping in a deceivingly deep puddle for. Yup, that happened!
Outside, Rebecca Taylor has arranged a shuttle to bring editors to her show. We gratefully climb into the bus and for a minute it feels like fashion day camp. From inside we watch street style photographers slip and slide through the slush to get the perfect shot of a leggy blonde in five-inch stilettos. No stockings! And then they clamor to snap model Hanne Gaby Odiele, who’s walked out in straight-up snow goggles. Whatever happened to effortless cool?TC
At the Rebecca Taylor show, Shailene Woodley is dancing in her seat and being silly with her friend in the front row. It’s nice to see someone genuinely having fun. Taylor wasn’t kidding in our interview about tapping into her tomboy side: There isn’t a single one of her signature flirty dresses in the collection. Instead, separates get the punky treatment with leather details, zippers and stud embellishments. I love the tough biker jacket that opened the show.
Quilted things are trending this week. At Louise Goldin, everything is ribbed and padded. In print, all that texture sounds bulky. But on the catwalk, her covetable separates are lean and mean. KH
I’m running late to Mara Hoffman but apparently so is blogger Bryanboy and they’re holding the show for him, so it works out. Hoffman’s opening look, a bright pink chiffon tunic and pants with a mix of bold peacock and geometric patterns, instantly transports me to the hippy enclave Tulum. And although I love her bohemian and colorful flowing separates, nothing about them feels fall. This is everything I want to wear on vacation or when it’s above 60 degrees outside. TC
Blast! I’m stuck in traffic trying to make it to Alexander Wang, which is in a new, far-out-of-the-way location all the way down on the southern most tip of Manhattan. The venue is five blocks away and editors are jumping out of cabs in order to run — or rather, trip and slide — down the icy sidewalk to get to the show before it starts. KH
Zoe Kravitz is sitting front row dancing really hard to Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down,” which is blasting from the speakers pre-show. The air is thick with expectation. This is Alexander Wang’s first collection since the announcement of his move to Balenciaga. And though this show is for his eponymous line, the ghost of Cristobal Balenciaga (and frankly, Nicolas Ghesquiere) hang over it like a cloud. KH
His trademark ratchet hip hop soundtrack? Replaced by the theme song from “Rocky.” The slouchy tees? All gone. As the models take their final walk, the archival Balenciaga references scream loud and clear — particularly from the curved back of his tops and jackets. Much like the fall collection he did last year, this is an outerwear show, filled with beautifully executed furry and leather oversized coats that look really appealing in this glacial weather. But the work is even more grown-up. His trademark edgy sensibility is still there, just more refined. Surprisingly, it’s the dressier fare that is the most memorable: A pair of black satin trousers with a built-in peplum worn with a white drapey tee slit at the shoulders is the kind of thing he should explore more of in Paris. KH
I’m on my way to Pier 59 (which feels like the other side of the universe) for the Tibi show, and my chatty cab driver wants to know about the trends on the runway. I give her a little recap. So far there’s a whole lot of texture and black and, surprisingly, really wearable clothes, but nothing blowing my mind so far that I want to gush about. At Tibi these major themes continue to play out on the runway through Amy Smilovic’s urban lens. For fall, her girl is the leader of the downtown pack and a stylish neoprene sweatshirt, her armor. She also wears sleek, quilted bomber jackets, glossy leather culottes and low-slung skinny pants. Layering is a big element and most looks include detachable smock turtlenecks or my personal favorite, a hoodie! They just round out that untouchable cool look Smilovic seems to be going for.
At Altuzarra, everyone seems perfectly pleased to see the basketball player Tyson Chandler. Who knew there were so many sports fans in fashion? My seatmate, Lynn Yaeger, and I, meanwhile, are too busy admiring Jenna Lyon’s impressively vertiginous heels. KH
I’ve got one word for the Altuzarra collection: vampy. His press notes say that he was inspired by “the ever-changing and multi-faceted aspects of the street.” It actually looks as if he designed his striking fox fur coats and pencil skirt suits with his friend Carine Roitfeld in mind. These are clothes for women who run things. But I’m not sure that even the perennially chic Roitfeld can pull off the exaggerated hips on his skirts, which seem to take things a step too far. Despite the hard-to-pull-off proportions, the mostly black-and-white collection is a strong step forward for the designer. Oh, and giant furry mittens seem to be trending. Altuzarra’s ladies have giant white and black fox paws. At Alexander Wang, the models wore similar ones in gray. KH