ny fashion week kicked off friday with kenneth cole, showing in his usual 9am slot. i’m usually unimpressed with his runway show, but this season he seemed more focused, and it was reflected in the truly wearable, chic looks. the pieces included pencil skirts, suede cropped jackets, double breasted cashmere coats, pleated chiffon dresses worn with slouchy sweater vests, sleeveless velvet dresses with tulip skirts, and fine draped jersey dresses ala roland mouret. the neutral palette of blacks and greys was pumped up with brick reds, chestnut, mustard and olives. all in all, a great way to start the week.
the inspiration for diane von furstenberg was “working girl,” with sharp tailored suits, cute separates, and of course, the shirtdress in different incarnations from crisp cotton to woven silk and sequins. the mix of patterns was a bit jarring, with oversized houndstooth and blackwatch plaid obscuring some superb details. the collection worked best when von furstenberg stuck to solids (black, white, red, hunter green) and soft prints.
ashleigh verrier, a 2004 parsons grad and their co-designer of the year, held her second presentation yesterday in the parlor of her upper west side home. the collection wasn’t as fresh and fun as s/s, but as a young designer, she certainly has time to work out the kinks. her inspiration, elsa schiaparelli, was found in cute trompe l’oeil sweaters and long silk gowns with a 30s feel. but the show was a bit disjointed, and she veered a bit into the 80s with some pieces. all in all, a fine effort, and i’ll be looking forward to seeing her grow.
luella bartley headed back to her 80s punk roots for her collection. babydoll dresses, slim plaid pants, suits borrowed from the guys, punkish pearls, tartan trenchcoats, and black tights dominated this show, which is exactly what the luella girl wants. for good measure, she added in some platform patent mary janes and some new styles of her signature bags trimmed in chains and shearling.