Sunday, 11 September 2011

New York, Stronger Than Ever

[All images via]. I don't feel that jumping on the bandwagon of 9/11 tributes would be appropriate for me (or my blog) - ten years ago the world faced a horrible and tragic scene, which we are still shocked and confused by, but I was twelve at the time and I did not know anyone personally connected to the event. I do not feel qualified to write about it, so instead I thought I'd cheer you all up with some New York Fashion Week images, proving just how creative and exciting this city can be. Firstly, the Imitation of Christ catwalk, where a wedding was taking place in a traditional palette of black and nude.

Yeah, it's a real wedding! The bride is Lydia Hearst. Her nuptials formed the basis of this show, where models were guests and everything was covered in rose petals. The crazy thing is that they make it look classy - if we did that in London, it'd be bloody Gavin Henson getting hitched or something.

Imitation of Christ's collection was entirely composed of vintage pieces that had been remade by the designer, Tara Subkoff. Here you can see delicate embroidery and high necklines, with nude shoes elongating leg length. These dresses stand out from the bridal gown because they're simpler and less body-hugging.

Dripping in sequins and Twenties-style bling, these dresses are eyecatching amongst the paler imitations. Sheer but not too racy, they hang beautifully. I also love the caged white heels on the model on the right - they add edge to the formal situation.

A touch of Americana on the left with this fringed black number (not sure about the choice of belt, though), whilst the right sees a blue-grey tinged satin piece presenting a direct contrast. Imitation of Christ's show has given us theatricality, reality and reinvention: a tough act to follow.

And now for something completely different... Prabal Gurung was in a distinctly more colourful mood, with this eye-popping collection. Like Imitation of Christ, sheer fabrics were a big hit (and also satin, below), though Gurung's modernist panelling and mixing of patterns brought things bang up to date.

These skinny satin trousers remind me a lot of high street fashion in the past year - pyjama trousers and masculine cuts with floral patterns were very big for AW/10-11 and SS/11. Clearly Gurung is still channeling this look, but getting more graphic - I see a clear link between his prints and that of the London designer Mary Katrantzou. Meanwhile the aqua satin blazer is sure to be a big mainstream hit.

Chopping and changing, keeping things fresh but decidedly eclectic, this is not a look for the sensible fashionista. Seemingly mixing babydoll chic with marbling and a little dominatrix on the side, this is a confusing but intriguing piece. I'm sure it'll be picked up by Rihanna or Katy Perry. Meanwhile it will probably filter down to the high street in a sheer maxi with ruffled edges and a jacket or shirt with piped 'bondage' detail.

This monochrome dress was another example of the bondage look that Gurung has softened and adapted for his own style. The outsize trailing ribbon is very Viktor & Rolf, giving the impression of the wearer being like a present. It must also be noted, from this image and others, that Gurung had a very diverse range of models walking in his show (here we see Nyasha), including Jourdan Dunn and Liu Wen. If only more designers followed his lead, we'd see a more exciting and representational picture at Fashion Week.

The addition of splattered paint is sure to be big, and the choice of metallics is also likely to play in Gurung's favour - it was very popular in AW/11 shows, so fashion lovers may well lap it up for another season, especially as it's not a full-on metal trouser here.

I love the shape of this dress - so much more inventive than a straight sheathe/shift. The top section looks like a t-shirt, but it then balloons into a handkerchief edge.

Again, a very wearable look from Gurung shows how he can give the New York consumer what she wants - sharpness with flattering colours and luxury fabrics. He is sure to be a commercial success, and a great source of inspiration to high street retailers.


  1. This collection is really beautiful, that purple looks amazing.

  2. I agree about the purple, Tereza! It looks great, especially against the white fabric. A really interesting show, by the looks of it.

    Polly x


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