Day four of New York Fashion Week, day two without any IDs or money. I’m beyond grateful for my Lexus sponsorship because without money, I can’t even take the subway! The middle of a four-day weekend is the worst time to have your bag stolen; it’s difficult to get banks on the phone and any cards replaced. Luckily, I had some high-energy shows to keep my mind off my troubles. From Jeremy Scott’s euphoria-inducing tryst with all things rockabilly to Mansur Gavriel’s seemingly effortless foray into shoes, the mood was optimistic and so were the clothes.
My first show of the day was the brilliantly zany Jeremy Scott. Many designers toy with classic notions of Americana. Few do it with sugar and spice and everything naughty. Inspired by cowboys and poodles, Scott called the mood “Dalí on molly,” which translated leopard, zebra, and cow prints in acid-bright colors, majorly-magnified Western belts, and slick, glossy cowboy boots, with a rhinestone-cowgirl wardrobe to match. Denim suits, a recurring guitar print, fringed leather pants with a coordinating bustier: Scott unleashed a kitschy ’50s resurgence with the best of Blondie blasting. Oh, and let’s not forget a couple of shift dresses featuring Ren and Stimpy from the ’90s Nickelodeon show of the same name. At once an homage to country music and club kids, this amped-up collection makes for an instant mood enhancer, no drugs required.
3.1 Phillip Lim had a specific image of women in his mind when designing his latest collection: “Lady bosses running through the streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo.” They’ve got places to be and they mean business – and they’ve stolen much of their wardrobe from the boys, something that’s particularly evident in the tailoring of the free-flowing, pleat-front trousers and recurrence of those Prince of Wales checks. Not to mention a very ’70s-centric color palette of rich earth tones; think burnt rust, mustard yellow, olive green, and chestnut brown. Utilitarian quilting was offset by feminine gleam and crushed-velvet booties, chunky flat sandals were juxtaposed against cozy chenille socks, and delicate gingko-leave embellishments adorn the most practical of coats. Leave it to Lim to make the big parka suddenly seem glamorous. And then the bags: the exaggerated hobos, hard-structured buckets, and bum bags dangling right above the bootie suggest a need for speed and a desire for convenience.
In addition to Mansur Gavriel’s new Elegant bag, a ladylike top handle with a clean frame that’s the most vintage-inspired and sophisticated style we’ve seen from the brand, as well as the Sun, an east-west tote that’s basically their interpretation of the Birkin, in three sizes and updated with a threaded leather accent, they introduced a full range of shoes! With a total of five new styles, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel have got your feet covered come fall. Take your pick between their classic loafer, Venetian loafer, point-toed pump, mule-pump hybrid, or rich, shearling-lined bootie, and achieve simple chicness instantly. By making a quietly strong statement, the girls are redefining modern elegance.
Maria Cornejo went on holiday in Hydra, Greece last year, and so inspired was she, that’s where the designer sketched her entire Fall ’16 collection. The island’s influence was apparent right off the bat: the first look was a crisp, striped blanket coat, loosely belted and finished with furry flats. The elements of tribal flair only became more prominent, as seen on the patterns, at once elaborate and neutral, specific and versatile; the textures, which have a rugged, outdoorsy feel that’s somehow right for urban life; and the silhouettes, mostly loose and spacious. Countered with plenty of polished leather pieces and swingy, asymmetrical dresses, and Zero + Maria Cornejo’s latest showing makes for a wardrobe as timeless as it is subtle.
I ended the day with Rag & Bone, along with the chocolates and truffle popcorn they offered up, which made for the perfect pick-me-up. As the models staggered down the runway, a few of the brand’s tried-and-true themes were instantly clear, like motor-cross toughness, menswear for girls, military revivals, and wear-everywhere upgrades on sporty staples like track pants and ski boots. But with Mondrian-inspired color patterns, paneled denim for never-before-seen jeans, and exaggerated silhouettes that feel so 2016, the collection couldn’t be fresher. You know what else is so 2016? The duo’s plethora of single cold-shoulder looks that pay their respects to ’80s fashion, as seen on the oversized sweaters in various incarnations. Athleisure is the word everyone is buzzing about, but none quite get it like Rag & Bone.