New York Fashion Week: BCBG Max Azria, Creatures of the Wind and Costello Tagliapietra
The girl sitting beside me at BCBG Max Azria has just gotten escorted out of her seat, which actually belongs to a somewhat cross looking editor. Welcome to New York Fashion Week!
I’m seated in a crowded, celeb-heavy section that’s clogged by photographers and tabloid reporters asking the same questions. Jesse Metcalfe has listed his favorite designers four times now — scratch that, five. Heidi Klum rolls in looking perfectly bronzed and Amazonian at the last minute. In the audience, Valentino rock studs, Saint Laurent-inspired plaids and J.Crew jewelry abound. This is the fashion world’s equivalent of back-to-school gear.
The clothes on the runway, however, aren’t quite as glitzy. Instead, Max and Lubov Azria show a series of deconstructed crisp, cotton shirt dresses, which seem to be the main takeaway from the show. They are light, breezy and roomy in a way that looks appealingly easy to wear — like a slightly sexed up version of your boyfriend’s shirt — thanks to a few sheer panels here and there. Basically, these clothes are a commercial no-brainer, merging that mix of form and function that New Yorkers have a special weakness for. KH
You know what’s so last season? Being late to a show. Chalk it up to the first day excitement but the fashion pack is surprisingly all in their seats way before Creatures of the Wind is set to start. Though one front row fixture is visibly missing: no Anna?!
The Vogue editor-in-chief championed designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters in seasons past, and is now noticeably absent as the quirky duo presents a strong lineup that manages to balance their wild creativity with their need to sell clothes.
They focused on polished, wearable looks: chic fitted dresses with sexy sheer backs, color-blocked coats, full skirts with distressed floral embroidery. But their choice of techy materials (futuristic mesh fabrics and sparkly lame) paired with their slightly retro silhouettes (Peter Pan collars and boxy Western shirts) wink at the fact that their girl is far from ordinary. — Tina Chadha
There’s a preponderance of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra lookalikes — that is, burly guys with wooly beards in lumberjack shirts — sitting in the section across from me. It’s as if the designers behind Costello Tagliapietra sent out a memo that the rest of us missed out on. The models seem to be in on it though: Plaid graphics feature heavily in this collection, which is looking like a departure from the draped, fluid dresses and skirts that the duo usually turns out every season.
In theory, I like that they’ve taken a creative risk by giving their reliable formula a rest — how many ways can they reinterpret the jersey bias-cut dress? But maybe tailoring is not the best place for them to go.
Something about the jackets, skirts and trouser suits looked dull (despite the bright reds, blues and oranges) and awkward, bunching up around the body, rather than falling naturally as the models walked. Even the cardigans, with their slits up the back, seemed forced and self-conscious compared to the easy, ultrafeminine brand of elegance Costello and Tagliapietra are known for. In this case, maybe a little repetition isn’t such a bad thing.— KH