Top Trends from New York Fashion Week Spring 2013
The woman known affectionately in New York as a fashionista can generally be sorted into two categories: The Uptown girl, and all that implies, or the Downtown variety. For New York Fashion Week Spring 2013, designers traveled confidently in both directions, providing both the urban aesthetic the downtown girl (who frankly can be, and is, any age) craves, and the elegant tailoring and inventive use of colour her uptown compatriot considers her mantra.
So while the downtown girl has her pick next spring of bold stripes and bare midriffs from Marc Jacobs, or bondage inspired leather looks from Jason Wu and Herve Leger, the other big story of the season was about technique and colour palette. At Calvin Klein, the draping that played with embroidery, exposed linings and conical bustiers was a study in beauty and precision. Designers worked lace for overlay and inset and played with new textures. Leather is officially now an all season fabric, and an inspiring one.
Everywhere designers showed looks in black and white, but none looked gimmicky, only modern. Sixties silhouettes made an appearance too, along with the bright, optimistic colours of the era. “It was a season that was notably happy and positive,” says International Fashion Syndicate editor Marylou Luther. “So if fashion really is a barometer of the times, we are headed for good times.”
Given all the mentions of Fifty Shades of Grey during the week thanks to the appearance of some sexed up leather pieces, another contender for inspiration of the season – the chess board – didn’t get it’s due. Yet black and white looks dominated in a week that usually marinates in colour. For designers, black and white for day or evening not only carries a simplicity and elegance but highlights construction and silhouette. Marc Jacobs’ black and white sequinned or curved stripe evening gowns were knockouts. At Ralph Lauren and DKNY, the colour combination took a shirt and long skirt to the next level. If you’re looking for sex appeal, Jason Wu’s printed black bralet top, sheer tank and white pencil skirt would certainly make your lunch meeting with a client a lot more interesting.
Embroidery and Lace
Lace and embroidered looks can prove dangerous terrain for designers – one step in the wrong direction and your work may approach overkill. However, this wasn’t a problem for Spring 2013, where Chantilly lace worked beautifully over guipure shifts at Vera Wang, or as inset at Jason Wu. Victoria Beckham favoured shirts and dresses with lattice lace insets, but the pieces of the season were Calvin Klein’s architectural black moiré embroidery dresses. Klein designer Francisco Costa called the collection “urban femininity, a dialogue on form and sensuality”, and that it surely was.
Soft, supple, colourful and given the artisanal treatment, designers now see leather as a year round chic staple. At Proenza Schouler, leather was perforated in zip front scuba dresses and laminated for jackets. Donna Karan’s leather dress and Derek Lam’s blue leather pencil skirt and vest are already on editor’s wish lists. Alexander Wang took leather in another direction, with a cut-out panels dress and dramatic effect.
The Colour Wheel
If black and white are too low key for you, designers also spun the colour wheel and settled on some vivid hues, including the return of orange from last spring, blues, and metallic silvers. Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Thakoon all embraced blue, and worked it as bold colour, print or appliqués. The fuchsia and white colour blocked slip dresses at Narciso Rodriguez were lust worthy. J. Mendel gets the prize for the most stunning tangerine gown of the season, though it also helps to have a body that won’t quit. You know actresses and their stylists are already fighting over this one.
Never mind you didn’t experience the joy of British mod fashion the first time around, because it’s back and looking hip all over again. Marc Jacobs smartly referenced the era with his graphic stripes, while Michael Kors worked the silhouettes in shifts and coats. For evening Jenny Packham and Rachel Zoe both broke out the sequinned mini and killed it. As Packham is a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, we hope to see this on Kate soon.