Tuesday, 22 February 2011


A freezing cold New York fashion week ended yesterday after providing us with the continued presence of ‘super blogger, super fashion, super obsessed’ Anna dello Russo, resplendent in gold fringing on the front row. New York often provides us with an early indication of what we will be wearing come autumn and this season championed the seventies revival, the elegant knee boot and more surprisingly, the fetish inspired look. Highlights of the week included the chic offering from new cult label Theyskens Theory, Anna Sui’s Ballet Russes inspired collection and an abundance of latex and polka dots at Marc Jacobs. The past week has provided us with endless fashion inspiration and here is three of New York’s highlights.


For Autumn/Winter 2011 Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen continued to explore ‘deconstruction,’ creating a collection which juxtaposed masculine and feminine influences in a variety of prints. Containing embellished shift dresses, split mid length skirts and stunning blouses that would work for evening or day, this collection was undoubtedly the highlight of the week. Dresses and jumpers embellished with a multicoloured, geometric, floral motif (inspired by the Northern Californian arts and crafts movement) contrasted beautifully with the refined navy palette that dominated the second half of the collection. Each piece was embroidered or printed by hand, the stunning crystal and metal beading was individually sewn in India and was able to transform the more conservative navy pieces into elegant evening wear. Thornton and Bregazzi have moved away from the shorter lengths they became famous for and have created a grown up, modern collection with eccentric undertones (although as always ensured there was a hint of neon).


The ‘windswept, prarie girls’ who marched down the runway at Rodarte with natural make up and mussed up locks were certainly clad in the most romantic designs of the week. Inspired by Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Kate and Laura Mulleavy took us to the great plains of America at sunset, creating dreamy and ethereal pieces in golden, neutral hues. Featuring silk gowns with wheat fields printed onto the hem, ankle grazing boucle coats and hand crafted embellishments, the collection transported the viewer to the prairie. The use of crotchet and handcrafted quilt motifs on Amish knitwear was a romantic ode to middle America’s craft movement and allowed the sisters to introduce their traditional deconstructive elements. The exquisite detailing of perfectly nipped in waists, lean draping and layered fabrics (such as criss crossing straps on an evening gown) were the true highlights of the collection. Despite using a more refined palette of neutral hues, the sisters still included a number of stand out, fairytale dresses for which they have become known. The pair of ruby red party dresses in the latter section of the show shone out amongst a sea of taupe and fawn, though as Kate explained to reporters after the show, ‘we couldn’t go to Kansas and not do a Wizard of Oz reference.’

Steven Alan

For Autumn/Winter 2011 Steven Alan once again ‘deconstructed the formula for young, chic American clothing,’ by creating a collection which consisted of those key pieces that will fit effortlessly into any wardrobe. The woman’s collection inspired by ‘Berkeley students, with an intellectual, outdoorsy look’ contained a number of artfully, layered pieces teamed with simple accessories. There was a definite late sixties to early seventies vibe to the collection, with pieces such as short shift dresses, knitted pinafores, flared trousers and a velvet skirt suit. The rich quality of the materials used by the designer added to the collections appeal; a maroon, polka dotted, velvet maxi dress was particularly beautiful. Alan ensured each look was perfectly layered with the perfect camel coat, chic ankle boots and woolly tights (grey tights being the item to invest in next season). Considering this was only Alan’s second presentation in New York, he presented a range of wearable, chic pieces with a twist that will be a welcome addition to any wardrobe(particularly the perfect polka dot maxi dress above).

Notable mentions go to:

Proenza Schouler,

Marc by Marc Jacobs,

Edun and Chris Benz.

On an exciting note now for London and for the lovely Charles Anastase, Christopher Kane and Margaret Howell.

Harriet Tisdall

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