February 22, 2013 by Courtney.Wylie
With the conclusion of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Feb. 14 and the recent migration of fashion experts from New York to London Fashion Week, it is safe to say that the Big Apple is slowly gaining back some normalcy. Much like the holidays, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week arrives abruptly, spins New York on its back and disappears before you can recognize that it was even there. Simply put, the eight-day stretch consists of nonstop show hopping, before- and after-parties, spotting the most epic street style, and of course, posting every waking second of it on Instagram. As quickly as it arrives, MBFW leaves us with lessons of victories and failures both on and off the runways.
For those involved in the industry, Fashion Week is premeditated by months of anxiety-inducing preparation filled with fabric selection, model casting and fittings, music selection, set design and venue aesthetic, and promotion. The preparation and intricate care that each designer must take in the process of collection presentation is encompassed in an eight-day whirlwind of eccentric street style, wafer-thin models sauntering down runways, and most notably, the overall dictation of upcoming trends.
Despite the inclement weather blanketing the New York City streets, droves of fashion moguls and celebrities still managed to make it to the hottest shows of the year. Luckily, the runways were filled with jackets and coats to combat the blustery weather. Namely, Altuzarra provided a plethora of fierce furs that could make even animal rights activists change their views. Meanwhile, Derek Lam offered a stellar selection of unstructured capes — some with a dose of casualness for day, and a longer, more polished version for night.
Many anti-fashion crusaders criticize the extravagance of Fashion Week without knowing its importance. I, too, used to raise an eyebrow at the industry’s intentions. In the past, I always wondered why those in the industry spent months of preparation and insurmountable amounts of money for a 15-minute runway spot. This year my skepticism was abolished after attending the Tory Burch fashion show at The Pierre — A Taj Hotel on 61st Street and 5thAvenue. I witnessed the dalliances between the design team and their product. This is a sight that, in my opinion, has the potential to heavily enthrall those fashion aficionados lucky enough to see it. This experience has allowed me to realize the importance of every single detail that makes the fashion industry progressively influential and financially successful.
This year, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brought a slew of trends that fashionistas will certainly be sporting. Detailed textures such as tartan, tweed and applique embellishments were frequently shown. Animal prints are here to stay as the newest and wildest neutral along with the resurgence of exaggerated shapes seen at Theyskens’ Theory and Jason Wu.
A concurrent trend was the dismissal of gender stereotypes in the most androgynously structured nod to society, accompanied by touches of fur and geometrically sharp shapes. The Row, Rag & Bone, and Narciso Rodriguez borrowed from the boys with boxy, minimal shapes in textures ranging from houndstooth to tweed that will find a way into your everyday wardrobe.
Artisanal genius Prabal Gurung is known for taking the female body form into consideration in his designs. This was exemplified in the first look at Gurung’s show: an exaggerated peplum top paired with slim-cut trousers that will make you fall head over heels in love. He reworked military-themed, utilitarian structures in deep olive green, navy and feminine reds. Also standing at attention was Michael Kors with his realistic approach on militarian-esque pieces and sporty ikat prints and textures.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg opted for a glammed-up extremity of feminism. Wu’s models stunned in a bevy of powerfully sexed-up leathers, pleated skirts and backless halter-tops, while big hair at Marc Jacobs evoked a glam-rock disco straight from the 1970s.
Tory Burch’s Ready-to-Wear 2013 collection offered rich textures, Neue Galerie-inspired prints, and dragonfly embellishments that embodied an opulent romanticism only Tory Burch could accomplish. The show took place Feb. 12 at The Pierre Hotel, which served as the perfect backdrop for the designer’s ornamentally detailed collection.
Alexander Wang set the bar high for contemporary fashion with a dark collection accented by fur outerwear, in parts both tasteful and brilliantly ambitious. Wang revamped the typical New York It-girl’s playfully chic aesthetic that the young designer is already famous for. Meanwhile, Proenza Schouler struck a perfect balance of mix-and-match graphics, textures and angular shapes that conjoined the doses of both the New York uptown and downtown girl.
Tommy Hilfiger, as usual, was an explosion of collegiate prep and sport that the American designer is so well known for. Hilfiger models trumped down the runway in miniskirts, double-breasted blazers, and of course, the perfect touch of houndstooth and plaid. Overall, berry-tart hues were seen on various runways, including Narciso Rodriguez, Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui. Keep an eye out for candy-colored ensembles and detailed graphics and textures for the upcoming months.