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NYFW Wraps Up

Fashion News
A look from Ralph Lauren's SS17 collection.

By Jessica Michault

New York fashion week was a tale of two cities, or rather a tale of two trends – street and sophistication. Like two sides of the same coin, both of these esthetics represent aspects of the New York woman and in broader terms the way women in general are now choosing to dress.

Each of these sartorial philosophies have been around for a while now, but what is interesting this season was the first signs of a cross pollination between these two very different concepts of modern dress.

Truth be told, New York Fashion Week is the perfect place for the line between these two visions of modern fashion to begin to blur. After all, the American clothing market is known for its leanings towards more sporty, relaxed and functional designs.


Maybe that is why the brand Akris has always done so incredibly well in the United States. And this season when designer Albert Kriemler was honored at the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT’s annual September Luncheon it gave him the golden opportunity to bring his show to the Big Apple for the first time in the brand’s over 90-year history. The new city had a fantastic effect on Kriemler, who produced a terrific collection of colorful and geometric designs inspired in part by the work of the artist Carmen Herrera (who is still going strong at 101).


Michael Kors is another designer who has found the sweet spot when it comes to creating evergreen clothing that have a cinematic grace without ever loosing their sense of reality. This time, his era of choice was the late 60s early 70s with a collection filled with hot hued flower power prints and long and loose layered tailoring. Chic and yet playful, the show was more about the streets of an Ivy League school in 1968 then those of today.


The Oscar de la Renta brand was setting the reset button this season with the appointment of a pair of designers, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, who came in to replace Peter Copping. Both designers had worked at the brand in the past before launching their own label and now they were back in the fold. While it’s true that this collection was designed by the brand’s in house team, who all took a bow at the end of the show, the effect of having new creative leadership could already be felt in the collection.


The streets that Tory Burch seems to like to walk the most are the ones you find might find in the Hamptons or Palm Beach. Looking at her line up of sweet, colorful patterned pieces it is easy to get swept up in the beautiful nostalgia of her creations. If you can’t go back in time, at the very least, with Burch, you can look like you just stepped out of one of Slim Aarons photography books.


Designer Phillip Lim’s collection leaned closer to the sporty side of style. His flower printed bra tops and sleeveless double-breasted coat suits called for a toned physic. But one utterly beautiful look, that saw Lim pair a scoop fronted ivory silk dress with a black bra that was designed so just a sliver of the underlining black bra could peek out, looked like the perfect example of modern sophistication. One that incorporated the new fashion norms formed on the streets.


One brand that has always put the street first is Rag & Bone. Now that a single designer, Marcus Wainwright, is doing the design work at the brand the show felt as if it had focused on its core values. And what has made this house such a modern success is how it is able to weave the street and biker world into that of the preppy elite. For example glossy leather pants paired with an overlong version of a man’s classic striped business shirt or an oversized tennis sweater.


Ralph Lauren’s nod to the street was both literal and figurative this season—he presented two back-to-back shows for a total of 400 people down the street in front of his women’s flagship store on Madison Avenue. As for the metaphorical aspect of his collection, well that comes down to the fact that the designer jumped on the nascent see now/ buy now bandwagon and made his collection shoppable as soon as the holiday-inspired show was finished.


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