#NYFW 2012

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Last week marked one of the craziest weeks New York City will see all year: New York Fashion Week (or #NYFW it’s referred to on Twitter). You may feel like spring shows were just yesterday, but the fashion world isalways fifty steps ahead; we’re gearing up for fall and the cozy, opulent luxury that comes with it.

I put together a “Fashion Week Round-Up” for Spring 2012, so I figured it was only fairto give Fall the same treatment. There were way too many amazing shows to keep track of, but a few stood out among the rest: Derek Lam, J.Mendel, JenniKayne, and Rodarte.

Best Throw Back: Derek Lam

Derek Lam’s show took inspiration from the past, but this was neither obvious nor gimmicky. His models were transported back to the 1960 (bouffants included) but subtle modern updates kept everything feeling chic and current. I loved all of the high collars, tapestry floral patterns (which were taken from a book Lam found), and mixed textures – especially that jaw-dropping ivory knit-plus-floaty-maxi ensemble. Heavenly.

Lam’s collections usually aren’t quite this subdued, but even so, each look created the lasting impact we expect from him. From gold-dipped oxford to pointed collarsto patent skirts, the genius was truly in the details.

 Best Eveningwear: J. Mendel

Rumor has it that gasps were heard round the room when J. Mendel’s collection trotted out onto the runway. Luxe fur accents, dreamy evening gowns and touches of gold made for a sumptuous, opulent array of looks. His contrasting furs got lots of attention (I mean, how adorable is that smudgy black and white caplet?) but I was drawn to the multitude of formal gowns. Ranging from neutrals like black, white, and beige to saturated jewel tones like mustard yellow and forest green, each gown felt both classic and undeniably on-trend. In fact, I can see each one walking the red carpet at the upcoming Oscars – on only the most stylish of celebrities. The black, white and gold feels especially awards-show-worthy. Shall we make a bet?

   Best Fusion: Jennie Kayne

Not only am I a huge Jenni Kayne fan, but I love the idea of mixing textures, colors, and eras – the foundation of her fall line. Naturally I’m head over heels. Kayne was inspired by “a proper English gentleman’s hunting wardrobe” and the menswear inspiration is hard to miss. Simple shapes, wool suits, neutral overcoats and cozy turtlenecks lend a stodgy-yet-sophisticated vibe to the collection. But she gave everything a touch of added luxury in the form of feathered skirts, painterly floral gowns and leather shirts.

The frequent pops of neon yellow add a bit of whimsy, and an emphasis on separates makes you rethink your idea of classic evening attire. Seriously – who wouldn’t wear that hot-pants-under-chiffon-maxi confection (at far right) to the office cocktail party? (I would.) Those subtle details are what continue to give Kayne’scollections that cool, effortless feel, and this season she went above and beyond. 

Best Update: Rodarte

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the masterminds behind Rodarte, are no strangers to avant-garde fashion. Their artistic, forward-thinking tendencies have resulted in highly covetable past collections – yet not highly wearable ones. Rodarte looks are extremely satisfying as they’re sauntering down the runway, but they’re difficult to translate to real life.

This is far from a flaw, but the Mulleavys took it upon themselves for their fall collection to reach each out to the commercial woman. They didn’t lose any of their creativity in the process; leather, shearling, and prairie florals play off of each other to showcase Rodarte’s easy charm, and chunky knits, retro stripes and graphic platforms create just enough contrast.

Sophomore > Journalism and Art History > Indiana University

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