Spring 2013: Zang Toi

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Le parlez vous francais? The Spring/Summer ’13 collection of Zang Toi should have been one of site specific pretenses, as the aesthetic of the presentation was delivered straight from the beautiful imagery of the French Riviera. The collection was elegant in the poised stature of the collection’s premier pieces, that you knew were created to be show stoppers. Toi’s creative influences seem to be molded by a renaissance feel of classic tailoring, and historically constructed dresses of boisterous nature. Beauty defined, as the first initial piece of the collection made its way down the runway, a dress of immeasurable length from direct observation of a champagne hue, quite magical, enough teasing okay.

The show was a delightful enchantment between today’s fashion purveyors, and Toi’s immense taste for luxury and elegance. Every piece presented a classic air of regality but held a strong sense of modernity, with prime tailoring and design. Fine fabric selection of silk and tuffe engulfed the collection in Toi’s knack of excellence and incredible flair. As the show progressed the crowd and I were introduced to finely tailored suits, capes, top hats and gowns of texture fit for the modern day princess. I must say the return of the coat tail seems to be the best decision sartorially for today’s gentleman. What I enjoyed most of the collection is Toi’s versatility and ability, to remain grounded in the conceptual formula surrounding the collection and to execute the principles and qualities flawlessly.

My first interaction with Zang Toi’s work and I must say, the collection was palpable and clearly stated Toi’s prominence in luxurious wardrobe construction. Ending the show in full glory, Toi received a standing ovation and even graced the catwalk in joyous form, humbly  receiving the love given by the crowd and I. Hopefully the imagery I provided above can help you visualize the beauty of Zang Toi’s collection, if not there are images below available for assistance…

 

Spring 2013: W118 by Walter Baker

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A funky retrospective, nothing more and nothing less. Well maybe not, there is a very elaborate passion in Baker’s influence of his Spring/Summer ’13 collection. The bold color spectrum, stereo headphone adorned models and you have a peculiar look at women’s wear through the “Baker lens” a lens defined by excitement action and let us not forget innovation. The presentation was giddy and fueled with a very energetic atmosphere with more than just bouncy music but the platform in which the models were presented and the energy of the purveyors who knew they were in store for a very eclectic collection.

Walter Baker will now only bring one concept to mind bold color, and multi-blended prints reminiscent of a tie-dye low affair. The collection included simple cropped t-shirts exuberantly dashed with patterns of geometric shapes and soft but bold saturated colors. With Walter Baker, the conventional is too safe and there is an extreme need for edgier, trend defying women’s wear still adhering to the style of today. The collection was dipped in rich hues of pink, yellow, red and even indulged in the darker section of the color spectrum with a black lined cocktail dress, with silk accents and transparent mesh trim, it was quite an interesting piece amongst the other fits of the “bright anomaly”.

The collection really stood out, as it was my first presentation for the day, Baker definitely does go down on my fave list. Fabulous tailoring with vivid enriched colors calls for a celebration and that was the scene of W118′s presentation. The designer’s first year at NYFW was enjoyable and landmark enough to solidify Baker as a designer to be reckoned with. Overall, I can say the show was fun and I look forward to another collection next year. The “Walter Baker aesthetic” has been recognized, I am a witness.

Spring 2013: David Tlale

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David Tlale’s spring/summer 2013 collection was a fashion lover’s feast and I am begging for a second serving!

His collection was revealed in my favorite type of show, a presentation, and with his intricate work I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me this really was not a fashion show, it was more of an art exhibit, and by the expressions on people’s faces and neighboring conversation others felt the same way. One thing I love about this collection is that his inspiration was clear, it easily understood that different cultures and geography had some sort of influence on this collection. I even felt that his choices in models added to that inspiration, having a diverse group of individuals adorned in his culturally diverse garments. His color pallet consisted of subtle earth tones (which seems to be an on-going trend for spring/summer 2013… take notes for your personal wardrobe) such as; hues of taupe, yellow, orange, coral, black, and white. Not to mention the bold prints that he used went perfectly with his color choice.

Side Bar: The models at this presentation KILLED IT! There is nothing more that I love then when attending a presentation and while I’m taking pictures the model starts serving me ‘the face’! And let me tell you, they were serving it … with a side of fabulous and a drink of fierce!  

This collection was many things; daring, inventive, complex, and powerful, amongst many other things; filled with long gowns, sexy pant suits, lace, skirts, sequin, culturally inspired, and bold print … I absolutely love it all. David Tlale is a designer of a very rare breed he brings consistency and substance to the world of fashion and I for one am a HUGE fan!

 

Spring 2013: Mathieu Mirano

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To Infinity and Beyond . . . is the place where Mathieu Mirano took us with the reveal of his spring-summer 2013 collection. He took us to a futuristic place where dinosaurs and space cadets are all emerged in an edgy, eclectic, yet fabulously chic world of fashion.

 

Upon entering his presentation, all the eyes could see were what appeared to be white ice mountains/ white solid cloud-like daggers. It automatically sent chills down my spine, because his choice of décor was an open invitation to let on-lookers know that he is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

One thing, that stood out to me about this collection is the wide variety of women he seemed to reach out to, it was very …’lions and tigers and bears, oh my’! By that I mean there was at least one ensemble for every type of fashion forward woman. The business chic chick, the glamour girl, the no nonsense fashionista, the subtle trend setter … & more. Not many designers can put together a cohesive collection of garments including:

  • A white sequined cape with a multi-rainbow yoke and navy embossed calfskin shoe with acrylic heel.
  • A navy chevron hem coat, navy leather t-shirt, and navy Mikado trouser.
  • Orange leather and silk organza long jacket with orange zipper, orange silk know floor length dress, and yellow embossed calfskin shoe.
  • White silk halter gown and silver vertebrae belt; and white leather puff jacket, white knit tank, and white leather puff skirt.

Pretty impressive right, and please don’t be that stubborn person who is like… ummm no (because you know you really are). Overall I absolutely loved this presentation, the garments, and the entire atmosphere of the Mathieu Mirano spring/summer 2013 show. It was extremely innovative and fresh, and that is something we as fashion lovers love to see from designers new or seasoned; it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day the objective is to be wowed and I for one was WOWED!

Spring 2013: Tadashi Shoji

As you entered the Theater at Lincoln Center it became apparent that this was one of THE shows to attend. The lighting and staging introducing the story that was to come. This Spring/Summer collection transports us to a journey along the modern Silk Road, where East and West collide. The virtual journey begins with a stop in Venice, followed by Kazakhstan, the Gobi Desert, ending in the ancient capital Xi’an. Shoji’s meticulous beading, embroidered lace, and printed chiffon were obviously put together with a lot of TLC.

Cascading color eye popping texture hues layers upon layers of jewels lovingly place. Just shows a taste of the intricacy of some of the pieces presented.  Every so often you would here a few gasp coming from the audience. There was a piece for every kind of women in Shoji’s collection. Sarah of chictopia.com and I discussed the wide range of coverage delivered by the line. I am confident that you would be able to find a look from the collection for any occasion. I wished I were sitting in the audience wearing CRIS. The accessories and choice of hair and make up perfectly complimented the look. The model could have walked right off the runway and into the crowd although I don’t know if she would return back to Tadashi in the same condition. LOL

The evening gowns presented delivered and then some! The MUAD had the perfect balance of drama and romanticism not to mention sexy cut out panels. It delivered just the right amount of sex appeal without going over the top. Being that I love black my eyes were immediately drawn towards the OPHELIE. Elegant, sensual, dazzling, I would be surprised if I don’t see this look gracing the red carpet in the very near future. The Black embellished floral appliqué was completely breath taking, layered over the draped chiffon.

As a first time attendee, I was completely in awe of this enchanting collection. The cohesiveness was transporting, you truly felt by the end of the show that you had traveled to all of these locations. Every single look complimented the overall vision presented. The women who will wear this line will feel chic, radiant, and worldly no pass port required.

 

 

Spring 2013: Brandon Sun

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Brandon Sun’s S/S ’13 collection is the epitome of tailoring, fabric integration and the favored trend of drapery consistently building in the fashion world during the past two seasons. The design of the collection adhered to Sun’s interest to create insouciance: indifference between construction and fabrics, that is only present when fabrics are formed in duality and used in pairs, instead of singularity. With a radiant Brandon Sun floating around the room, I was assured that Sun was more than proud of this collection.

Brandon Sun’s S/S collection was an amazing display of detail and mixture of textures, producing a product of immeasurable beauty. Defunctive cuts assisted by leather, and tweed integration only exemplified by length and drapery.

Solid colors played hostess to Sun’s calm yet edgy designs of blouses of silk with fur backing. Leather, fur’s favorite sibling was used minimally, only to bring out the ferocity of the tweed and fur pieces. My favorite ensemble has to be the vest with a two-quarter extension, with khaki styled pockets on the front while the back of the top is adorned with silk.

This is a prime example of Sun’s youthful innovation that I have grown to look forward to, the past two years at NYFW. This collection serves as a successful sequel to Sun’s A/W collection where we see the intricate use of fabric again, but of course done so elegantly the remnants of the winter season, quietly sing their way into the presentation. The gowns of knit geometric patterns, uplift the fabrics from one-dimensional appearance to that of visual prominence, a motif that followed throughout four pieces of the collection.

Another presentation down and Brandon Sun has shown that he is more than worthy of the NYFW pedestal. Sun’s collection speaks towards his carefully cultivated aesthetic of creating forms and beauty with undefined construction as well as obscurity, a carefully placed line in the chosen poem by of the presentation’s line notes. The difference between Sun’s design and that of the other collections I have seen thus far is the incredible sense of originality, conceptual and cultural awareness he places in his design, all qualities in my opinion of a prime designer.

Spring 2013: Katya Leonovich

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I always try to go into shows with such a positive attitude towards a designer, I mean they’re brave. They put themselves out there for people to critique, judge, and interpret their creative expression, and I normally have positive things to say. But this time I really don’t know what to say, my job as a contributing blogger, I owe it to you, the readers, to be completely honest so that is what I’m going to do. With that said, I didn’t care much for Katya’s spring/summer 2013 collection and not because it wasn’t interesting, because it most certainly was, but I didn’t understand it. I didn’t and still have yet to grasp her concept, her inspiration, her aesthetic, or what direction she was attempting to go.

I am all about practicality and I felt like nothing in this collection was at all practical. For instance many of the silhouettes, I felt were unflattering. I am just not very sure if this was a ready to wear collection. The direction she went was possibly on a couture approach, but the actual garments were not couture. One thing I did like were the fabric choices: chiffon, silk, taffeta, organza, and leather (I’m obsessed with leather); but I don’t think they came across as appealing because of the style in which they were put together. I mean seriously who is going to wear a green taffeta printed cut out dress? Not me and you’re shaking your head in disbelief because you won’t either.

On the other hand, now analyzing the collection, I am getting a Picasso Blue Period vibe, although his art work did not make sense, people appreciated the complexity and its ability to stand out making his work odd, but beautiful. I also appreciated her color pattern and how it is reminiscent to the Picasso Blue Period as well as the ocean; her use of different hues of blue and green were quite extraordinary, she also used black, beige, white, and grey.

Overall, I was not completely impressed, but as I sat down to share my feelings with all of you and put my feelings aside trying to see it from a different point of view, it was not entirely as bad as I thought. Her complexity, skill (because she hand painted her garments), and different approach is actually very commendable and I appreciate that about her, as a fan of fashion. Although it was not my favorite of the season, I can honestly say I am anticipating her show for fall/winter 2013, to see what she does next.

 

Spring 2013: Chris Benz

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Let me start of by saying that Chris Benz’s presentation was my star-studded event of the season. I saw a slew of celeb folks: Joan Rivers (& yes I am a Joan Ranger!), Kelly Osbourne, Vanessa Williams (who by the way is completely stunning), June Ambrose, Susan Sarandon, and Hailee Steinfeld. Yes, hunny Chanel Cole was mingling with the celebs, well not really, but you catch my drift. There was a point in which I actually had to remind myself that I was in attendance for the actual presentation of garments and not the presentation of celebs. Another cool thing was, Joan and her daughter Melissa were there filming a segment of E’s Fashion Police, it was pretty awesome, until I was almost trampled by a mob of people trying to be seen.

On to the collection . . .

My interpretation of Chris Benz’s spring/summer 2013 collection is: Boho chic + boyfriend silhouettes + mix match +VeniceBeachcirca ’95 meets hippie Barbie

Chris Benz’s spring/summer 2013 collection. I know, I know you’re probably thinking WTH(eck), but it’s true and as discombobulated as that sounds, it worked. The entire collection is very eclectic and I LOVE IT.

[Side Bar: I am currently investing a large amount of time, energy, and money re-vamping my wardrobe and I have geared many ensembles in an eclectic direction so I totally LOVED this.]

He mainly stayed within a neutral color pallet, but occasionally used subtle colors, and a few pops of bold colors, but the thing I loved the most was his use of patterns. I really appreciated his whole “mix-match” concept in which I found to be very edgy. His creative eye was able to point out a concept that the average eye would never have thought to combine. He also used a trick of mix-matching textiles/ fabrics; poplin + net top + flocked fils-coupe chiffon dress and poplin trousers; or lurex stripe t-shirt + floral fils-coupe skirt and poppy chartreuse long slip dress.  But the icing on the cake was the Aztec print-re-vamp of the Mary Jane heel. A-DOR-A-BLE!

Chris Benz’s collection landed in one of my top spots for MBNYFW. Not to mention I love the fact that his Ready To Wear garments are not affordable for the average trendsetter such as myself!

 

Spring 2013: Noon By Noor

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Elegance, hard to capture such in fabrication but the idea of building elegance is something more tangible, as this concept seems to be the platform designers Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and  Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa
have chosen to create their Spring/Summer ’13 collection. Matrimony between bold colors and drapery as well as a love affair with printed silk, of a madman’s brushstroke and floral decor. The collection seemed more than influenced by the delicate fiber of silk and its ability to mold a pattern and uplift a print to vibrancy. Peach kissed gowns of extensive length flooded the collection with gold accented hits of crisp tailored edging and embellishments adding more than dimension but beauty to the gold plated sector of the Spring/Summer collection. I know such an alluring introduction but I digress, I will reach the specifics now.

An intense measure of detail was expressed in fabric selection as the first look an elegant silk suit adorned with flower decor, telling a beautiful anecdote from blouse to trousers. The collection adhered to the emerging brand’s standard of creating sophistication in length. Tweed was the assisting fabric as suits adorned with bright yellow adornments were the supplement of canary yellow tweed fabric, with sleek tailoring similar to that of the silk suits shown during the opening minutes of the presentation. Warm colors presented even bolder patterns and room for more texture, such was shown in my favorite selections: the tailored biker jackets with extended zipper detail, flamboyantly playing host to beautiful colors and adornments.

Noon by Noor displayed a heavy sense of sophistication and eloquence channeled through beauty and finely tailored silk. The intricacy of the Noon by Noor S/S collection converses on a measure of how far length, adornments and fabric selection can really define a collection. Although this is my first time encountering the work of Nora and Haya, I have a strong feeling Noon by Noor will become one of my NYFW favorites. See you guys next year.

Spring 2013: Venexiana


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Always history when one indulges with Venexiana, the beautiful designer in age and knowledge always delivers the finest collections when her place on the New York Fashion Week pedestal arrives. This season Venexiana exercised the tool of “sticking to the basics” reigning supreme and the motif she sits comfortably in, as Queen. Enjoying my first encounter with Kati Stern’s elegance, I sat down eagerly awaiting to be blown away, and to observe a veteran in the fashion community do what she does best…show off! Fabulous is not the word and neither is fierce, I believe for the sake of Venexiana I can say execution was the prime idea behind the collection and its development.

The Venexiana brand embodies fine tailoring, fabric selection ad growth in innovative design. The Spring/Summer collection remained grounded in the usual Venexiana principles, appeal visual and flawless detail. Kati Stern’s ability to create classic tailored pieces stems from her experience and education knee deep in altering and design construction. The collection included chiffon laced gowns and cocktail dresses of measurable length. Embellishments were distributed strategically, including jewelry, feathers and sequin detail rendering the collection versatile, as this is the primary detail of the “Kati Stern touch”

This collection displayed the focus and intense care Stern places into the collections she creates for Venexiana. With this being my first experience covering her show, I can honestly say I hope the Ms. Kitty Bradshaw, assigns the Venexiana show again (shameless plug for a request). Tailored artistry never fails and this reigns supreme for Venexiana as it is a niche she fills oh so well. Cheers!