With all the talk about "immediate availability" where consumers can buy garments directly off the runways and not have to wait six months to obtain designers creations once they hit the stores, has met with mixed reactions within the design community. Some designers welcome the idea, while a vast majority are boxed into the whole ideas of production and manufacturing details that they've been doing for decades. Plus, it's clouded with other realities like retail restrictions, contracts, shipping details, seasonal in-store placements and legal ramifications.
Even the fearless leader; the Grande Dame of fashion - Vogue Magazine's Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, acknowledges that things has to be done differently in the fashion business. On vogue.com, she noted that the world has changed, and fashion has not moved in a long time. So the fashion industry have to move with the changing world.
With this in mind, some designers played it safe this season as there was a noticeable shift in the shows. Whether it be in their creations, or in the way they presented them. Some designers opting for a more intimate `presentation,' where guests got a longer and closer look at the garments, as opposed to a traditional runway setting. Even Anna Wintour talked about designers not pushing the button as she expected, however, noting that some of the more fashion forward collections came from: Proenza Schouler, Hood by Air, Rodarte, Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein Collection. Diversity on the runways, with more Black, Asian and Latino models was also an obvious change this season.
I loved the usual classic elegance of the well established designers - Carolina Herrera's soft, pristine, super-elegant collection shown at the equally pristine Frick Museum on Manhattan's east side. Diane von Furstenberg's disco party presentation at her meatpacking district store headquarters, Michael Kors shifted focus and Zac Posen's salute to Princess Elizabeth of Toro, the first East African woman to be admitted to the bar in England. Before becoming a lawyer, the Ugandian Princess was one of the first black models to appear in countless magazines in the late 60s. Zac said Princess Elizabeth was the "it" girl of that time, pocessing natural beauty, grace and style. His collection featured some 20 equally beautiful black models in a gorgeous parade of fabulousity.
Some of the new star designers that caught my flash were CLAUDIA LI. She was a welcome opening for fashion week, staging a stunning presentation at Artbeam studios, downtown Manhattan. 25 models stood in formation wearing her `comfort-zone wrapped silhouette.' "I was inspired by self-preservation. The idea of preserving oneself after emotional and mental destruction," Claudia told me during the presentation. The collection represented the period right after that, and, it showcased the process of recovery. Claudia brought a totally new way to manipulate denim by way of knots, wraps and plaiting of the popular fabric.
Legendary fur designer ADRIENNE LANDAU staged a vibrant presentation of her new furs at an open space on busy Seventh Avenue. Furs in several variations including; knited silver fox, curly lamb, camel rabbit and knited mink were displayed.
NAEEM KHAN said the New York City skyline at night was the inspiration for his glitzy, glamorous evening gowns that he paraded down the catwalk at the Arc, Moyniham studio. RUBIN SINGER flexed his creative genius by bringing his architectural femininity to life in "Homomorphism" which he explained in his program notes as: `That any given formula ends up in the same place no matter how many times you change it.'
JOHN PAUL ATAKER the legendary Seventh Avenue fashion house, through their creative director Numan Ataker said that he pulled a lot of vintage looks for his first runway show for New York Fashion Week. Numan, throught his sister as interpreter said; "I created the looks from old post cards. I wanted to be really, really ready to do this show. It was all about fabulous texture in different styles with clean make-up on the 38 looks shown. Pay special attention to the last look on the runway; model Maddie in a creme twill taffeta bustier with a full skirt and train with three dimention floral appliquets."
Stay tuned to this page for more fashion news like Haitian designer Kerby Jean Raymond's line `Pyer Moss' putting his stamp on the industry. Son Jung Wans furs and things, and, Desigual's "Metropolis" a clash of cultures from all over the world.