What a whirlwind! This was my first time attending New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks consecutively and I can confidently say that I saw too many inspiring, beautiful and interesting things to count. Here are a few highlights from the Spring 2013 season…
— First stop: New York —
I loved Narciso Rodriguez‘s show—it was clean and beautiful. There was an array of thoughtful details—like the accent of color that showed with the movement of a dress and the placement of a cutout and back mesh insets that made everything feel beautifully sexy. The soft tailoring (which is a reemerging thought for spring) felt particularly new—the jacket length is elongated but the softness makes it approachable.
The Proenza Schouler show was awesome in the true sense of the word. The colorful python patchwork was definitely awe-inspiring and a Barneys favorite from the season. Colored circular studs and metal grommets embroidered and broke up the vivid photo prints (sourced from the Internet at random) in the last passage, which was unpredictable but still identifiably Proenza Schouler.
— Second Stop: London —
I will remember that in London the sun came out every day.
Erdem’s show was a standout. It was held in a dome-shaped tent meant to feel like a spaceship. He was inspired by the feminist sci-fi writer Zenna Henderson who wrote about clones landing on earth and how they try to blend in but something is always slightly off. Erdem explained to me that everything about this collection is strategically a bit wrong, yet to us everything was visually beautiful.
There was a particular moment at Erdem’s show that still resonates with me. The lights and music suddenly turned off (a power outage I later discovered). But those few seconds of silence and natural light highlighted Erdem’s collection in an unexpected and beautiful way.
— Third Stop: Milan —
The vibe at Fendi was youthful and energetic. The colorful feather-weight spring furs were eye-catching on the runway, and in the showroom up close we found the technique and craftsmanship to be one-of-a-kind. The “big bang” (which looks like a sunburst) was the print of the collection and was represented in fur coats, pony skirts and simple cocktail dresses.
We are also excited for the reintroduction of Galitzine‘s 1960s “pyjama palazzo” in a new capsule collection. Jacqueline Kennedy, Irene Galitzine and Audrey Hepburn were amongst the stylish women who embraced the modern look at the time. Creative Director Sergio Zambon is making the pyjama palazzo relevant again with easy shapes that highlight the various textures.
— Final Stop: Paris —
Paris delivered an outstanding lineup of collections. There were several strong voices that really stood out and it was both refreshing and inspiring to see such a diverse offering.
Dries Van Noten was a moving show where we could feel the underlying emotion from our seats. Overall it was a romantic and modern interpretation of grunge. Dries stayed true to his signature masculine/feminine dynamic but added unexpected couture details, combining sack backs, peplums and smocked sleeves with clashing plaids and faded florals.
Balenciaga was a beautiful show and a nice step forward for Nicolas. You could really feel the overriding softness and sensuality that played such a big part in Paris this year. He opened with a midriff-baring molded bra and high-waisted pants then moved into cascading ruffles that looked modern and managed to hold their shape. In the showroom you can always appreciate the interesting textures and intricate construction on the clothing—he showed dense embroidered fabrics that appeared as tweeds, waxed linens and leaf-like lace.
In my closet, Sacai is the collection that most belongs. Each look offered something I would love to wear on a daily basis. Chitose continues to deliver collections that may appear to be overly focused at first glance, but up close in the showroom each piece distinguishes itself from the next in clever and unexpected ways. What we thought to be fur-lined hoods were actually made from strips of tulle and delicate ostrich feathers. As always, she took opposing aesthetics and fused them together—utility jackets and railroad stripes were combined with lace and pleats. Peplums continue to be an important detail on many pieces, like cardigans and biker jackets, but they still feel new.
Saint Laurent was the last show for the Barneys team and a fantastic way to end the season. It was a breath of fresh air—something very different in aesthetic and vibe. Hedi balanced sexy and cool in a feminine way, and it’s clear that he is ready to reestablish the codes of the house and surprise us with a modern take on many of the archival looks. There was a 70s influence that permeated—balloon sleeves and caftans over long billowy dresses—but all done with a coolness. He showed perfectly fitting tailored jackets over ruffle-front blouses, and ruffles also peaked out at the wrist under slim-fitting sleeves. Even without any skin revealed, he managed to add a refined sexiness. In the finale, he sent out duplicate looks with a touch of vibrant color, which was a great last touch.
- Tomoko Ogura, Barneys New York Fashion Director