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New York Fashion Week Highlights & Reviews

New York Fashion Week show reviews for fall/winter 2017 collections.

It’s that time again: New York Fashion Week has returned to the city for more than a week of runway shows, presentations and beyond.The twice-annual fashion event runs through Feb. 16.

Christian SirianoFor years, Christian Siriano has shown his fanciful(Credit: Getty Images for New York Fashion Week / Slaven Vlasic)

For years, Christian Siriano has shown his fanciful collections in a downtown studio, but this time around the designer opted for opulence at the Plaza Hotel. “I needed a lift and wanted to jump off into a different world and take everyone into a different element for 20-minutes of beauty,” said Siriano backstage before the show, probably referring to the political climate. This, he addressed on the runway with a model wearing a T-shirt that read, “People are people” tucked into a fancy ball skirt. The audience cheered.

Siriano has long been a champion of body diversity, and about half of his models were curvy girls, the other half traditional model types (among them, supermodel Karolina Kurkova, who closed the show in a shimmering confection). “We are celebrating women as much as we can,” he said. Along with the clothes there were Payless shoes, which are available now. “They’re a dose of reality,” said Siriano of the shoes which run around $19.99 (though the fanciest gowns could cost $15,000).

As for the clothes, they were inspired, he said, by the beehive sand formations in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, hence a clay-to-sand colored palette, a whole lot of metallic copper, a bit of black and silver, and plenty of texture. Some of the looks had bird motifs embroidered across the chest. The very best evening dress came in black — an ethereal sheer number with silvery metallic applique; a spare pink ballgown was poetic; a sultry shimmery black ensemble featured slim pants, a stunning, silvery cowl neck top was paired with swishy, wide-legged pants.

But a designer’s work is never done and Siriano is also hard at work on a couple of custom Oscar dresses. “Honestly you don’t know if they’ll wear it until they walk out in it, it’s soooo stressful,” he said. “I think if one in particular happens, I will be very excited.” We’ll be watching. (Anne Bratskeir)

Jonathan Simkhai

Riled up by the divisive politics of the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riled up by the divisive politics of the day and inspired by outspoken women in his life and in the news, Jonathan Simkhai designed his collection with strong women in mind — and an eye toward Spanish ornamentation and motifs.

The result: You might call them “matadors of the moment,” dressed in cropped jackets with metallic embroidery, high-waist pants, and rich velvet dresses with panels of lace evoking vaulted cathedral ceilings. A rising star in the fashion world, Simkhai is donating $5 for every seat in the room to Planned Parenthood, along with proceeds from the sale of the “Feminist” T-shirts found on all the front-row seats. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Getty Images for New York Fashion Week / Brian Ach)

Taoray Wang

Chinese designer Taoray Wang hit the news cycle

Chinese designer Taoray Wang hit the news cycle when Tiffany Trump, the president’s daughter from his second marriage to Marla Maples, wore a white coat and dress ensemble to the inauguration. Apparently a loyal client, Trump, dressed in pale Wang, turned up at the show Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, with her mom, accompanied by Secret Service agents. While her arrival caused a momentary paparazzi frenzy, eyes quickly turned to the designer’s scalpel-cut coats, suits and dresses.This was a study in opposites — strong, structured pieces paired wispy, negligee-like underpinnings. Some coats had asymmetrical hems which billowed revealing fuchsia linings; there were perfect, slim little black dresses and the tiniest miniskirts. Pants took on new proportion — megawide, one pair with slit fronts that flashed leg. Some of the coats had zippers at the shoulder allowing for expansion. Mostly black, with a touch of rust, purple, white and navy, the emphasis here was on the details such as coats with built in zippers at the shoulder, which when open expanded the silhouette.

Trump beamed throughout the show and was whisked away by a throng of security guards immediately after. (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: AFP, Getty Images / Angela Weiss)

Lacoste

Lacoste designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista was spacing outLacoste designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista was spacing out (in the best possible way) at his morning show at Spring Studios, where the serpentine runway was littered with “moon” rocks and boulders. In notes Baptista explained that brand founder Rene Lacoste joined the aircraft industry later in life, and Baptista’s own father was a pilot, hence a fascination with aviation and the space age.

Riffing on an astronaut’s suit, one model shimmered in an oversized, metallic bronze parka — it was striking. A slew of looks were turned out in material mash-ups of leather, nylon, cotton and gabardine, all pieced together on one garment. There were pockets galore that served as functional design details. In one case, exaggerated epaulettes looked as though they could house a cellphone.

Iridescent space prints — full moons, sunsets and Saturn — actually lit up when the lights hit them. A lust-worthy curved mohair sweatshirt topped wide pants, and speaking of w-i-d-e, uber-baggy army-inspired pants with an elasticized waist were touted as “a dandy’s version of track pants,” but seemed a touch over the top. (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: Getty Images / Slaven Vlasic)

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott's kitschy-kool take on American icons mayJeremy Scott’s kitschy-kool take on American icons may be grounded in a shag carpet — literally, the catwalk was a long white shag — but his point here is anything but fluffy. The designer’s been outspoken, recently telling NPR “I’ve been thinking a lot about how we worship celebrity, [with] Elivis and Marilyn Monroe and Jesus all on the same playing field.” That same blurring of the lines, he feels, has now entered politics. “We have elected a celebrity.”

This celebrity obsession plays out in his Technicolor-bright collection, with references to everything from Michael Jackson (a cartoony image of the King of Pop popped up on the front of a T-shirt and the back of a bedazzled leather jacket) to the American eagle (embroidered in gold on the back of a cape) and from Jesus (peering from dresses, coats and velvet bell-bottoms) to Elvis (supermodel Gigi Hadid sported a glittery white jumpsuit).

As for accessories, the Vegas-ready headpieces might be hard for the average gal to pull off, but those “As Seen on TV” lunchbox purses are gonna fly off shelves. Pack yours with a healthy lunch and bring it with you to a protest rally (no matter your cause). It seems the fun-loving designer would like nothing better. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Getty Images / Slaven Vlasic)

Club Monaco

Club Monaco ignored the brrr in favor ofClub Monaco ignored the brrr in favor of the pur’ — as in showing off clothes from their Spring 2017 collection that you can purchase right now. At a standing-room-only presentation held in their flower-packed — the place was like a greenhouse there were so many blooms — Fifth Avenue flagship, models swept through store aisles in breezy light cotton frocks and separates that you’ll want to wear, well, once temps rise a bit in a few weeks.

This is Club Monaco’s second show (and second attempt to push the whole see-now, buy-now concept), and while the brand may be more known for cool-gal office-ready attire, the looks here were decidedly more boho. Like that (pretty fabulous) floral trench, worn over a head-to-toe floral jumpsuit, or the floral bomber paired with matching trousers. There was also a sweet slouchy tunic in red and white seersucker, and some very weekendy off-the-shoulder peasant dresses. Reminding us, it seems, that all work and no play makes Jack — and Jill — very dull, indeed — without the right wardrobe. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Joseph V. Amodio)

Nicole Miller

The logo said it all. Before any modelThe logo said it all. Before any model stepped onto the runway, the crowd at Nicole Miller’s show could see her name spray-painted on the back wall, dripping in black and white. This collection promised to be gritty and unpolished. Nicole didn’t disappoint. Her “Gypsy Grunge” line for fall includes ragged hem plaid dresses, and the obligatory beanies and shirts slung round the waist. Tried and true Nicole girls will want to snap up the slinky bombers with embroidered dragons on back, or, for luck, one of those evil-eye or tarot-card-print dresses. Who knew Nicole is superstitious? But as she knows full well, luck comes and goes. True style is forever. (Joseph V. Amodio)(Credit: Getty Images North America / Slaven Vlasic)

Milly

Milly designer Michelle Smith is perennially upbeat, butMilly designer Michelle Smith is perennially upbeat, but this season, she’s mad as all get-out, and her clothes showed it. In notes she admitted, “The elections left me feeling defeated. Especially as a woman. Normally an optimist, I feel uncertain about the future. I struggled to find the right mood for this collection — all the while it was right in front of me. Fractured.”

And that’s what she called this surprisingly angry, and sometimes beautiful lineup of clothing. She threw conventional proportions out the window — there were big, mannish jackets, blouses with superlong billowy sleeves with straps flying from them — one of these worn with a minuscule ostrich feather miniskirt — and almost shocking slashes and deconstruction throughout.

Dressy was best: a cropped fisherman sweater over a bronze distressed slither, a dramatic lace back number and a swishy floral lace applique slip dress. And lack of optimism aside, there was a joyful moment when Smith dashed at full speed down the runway with cutie-pie kids Sofia and William in tow. (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Calvin Klein

The stars came out to witness Belgian designerThe stars came out to witness Belgian designer Raf Simon’s runway debut for Calvin Klein. Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein’s most iconic girl, was one of the many luminaries who sat in the front row (others included Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore).

Simon, a fashion darling was with Dior, refocused his vision on the American brand, tricking out his runway with an installation by artist Ruby Sterling that included fringed banners and furniture hanging from the ceiling. Men and women paraded down his runway in crisp and somewhat androgynous looks including double-breasted jackets, smart reefer coats and mechanic-like jumpsuits.

The patriotic thrust was underscored by models marching in blasts of red, white and blue, some wearing cowboy boots (another salute). One look featured an American flag motif wrap skirt, and many ensembles took an athletic turn with racing stripes running down pants, rugby striped sleeves and bold, asymmetrical collar flaps.

Gently curved skirts with mega-high waists barely met up with revealing crop tops. One coat had a deliriously fun all-over swirl of pink quilting, while another attention grabber had a geometric pattern. Most fascinating? Dresses and coats that seemed to have a luminescent cellophane-like overlay — they sparkled like jewels in the light and several dappled with ostrich feathers were otherworldly. (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: Getty Images for New York Fashion Week / Fernanda Calfat)

Kate Spade

Guests at Kate Spade's show late morning showGuests at Kate Spade’s show late morning show at the Russian Tea Room were greeted with mimosas, blini and caviar. An elegant start to an elegant and fun presentation inspired by the creative melting pot of Paris in the 1920s.

Notes singled out the decade’s rule breakers including Louise Brooks, “the quintessential flapper,” and Josephine Baker, who followed her dream to “become a global jazz icon.” So how does it all translate?

Quirky combos that were individualistic and often sassy. A gray sweater with “Nouveau York” emblazoned across it was paired with a swingy camel coat and coral skirt shot with metallic; a schoolgirl cardigan embroidered with the word “meow” topped a leopard miniskirt. Several looks featured gigantic, folkloric roses, while others were dappled with stemmed cherry bunches. Speaking of which, sure to elicit smiles: the cherry topped handbag that looked exactly like a Black Forest cake. How sweet it is. (Anne Bratskeir)(Credit: Getty Images )

La Perla

Well, you can say this -- the EuropeansWell, you can say this — the Europeans sure know how to put on a fashion show. Italy’s leading lingerie brand La Perla built a large, two-story set in the style of a grand British manor, complete with a curving staircase and floral-strewn terrace. In various rooms — study, dining room, foyer, and so on — stood tableaux of models in vibrant, slinky lace-trimmed floral dresses (the theme here was an English garden), skintight pant suits and bralettes you won’t want to hide under a jacket.

Lingerie? Sportswear? What’s the diff’? None at all, notes Julia Haart, who’s now in her second season as creative director.

The show opened with runway legend Naomi Campbell striding out of the house and down the runway in a blue slip-dress and stretch tweed and macramé overcoat with mink booties. It ended with hottie-of-the-moment Kendall Jenner, wearing one of those glittery, metallic lace “naked dresses” that La Perla is known for making and Jenner is known for wearing — heating up Instagram in the process. With lingerie this stylish, it’ll look just as good outside the bedroom as in it. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris)

Rag & Bone

To celebrate the brand's 15th anniversary, Rag &To celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary, Rag & Bone did away with the runway show and went straight to the after-party. Well, not quite. In a large event space under the High Line, the label plastered walls with photos of the fall men’s and women’s collections, worn by friends of the brand — from models (Joan Smalls, pictured), to actors (“The Americans” lovebirds Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), to actor-models (Amber Valletta), and other downtown artist types.

The clothes themselves looked deceptively simple — a tweed sheath maxi dress, or a cream sweater with grid-like panels on the sides — but half of the artistry is in the luxe materials used here (sweaters made of plush cashmere). There were also plenty of the label’s workman basics — the patch-pocket work shirt, or denim jumpsuit with a drawstring waist — the kind of thing that might’ve been worn at this very location a few years ago (when it was a gas station), albeit without anywhere near the chic attitude.

Move on through to a huge back room and the party was in full swing. Smalls was there, wearing a cropped camo bomber with a shearling collar from the collection — and chowing down on one of the Shake Shack burgers being served by waiters. See? Models do eat. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Joseph V. Amodio)

Cinq à Sept

The blustery winds outside were soon forgotten onceThe blustery winds outside were soon forgotten once the fashion world nipped into Le Coucou, a cozy-chic downtown restaurant where Cinq à Sept showed its fall collection.

Helmed by Jane Siskin, the label has made a big splash this past year at stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Intermix. And no wonder: The line is alive for fall with a mix of sweet flutter dresses in burnout velvet, colorfully embroidered jackets and eye-catchers like a rum brocade “ember coat” with wide fur cuffs.

The name — that’s “five to seven” in English (think haute happy hour) — refers to the early evening hours in a chic fashionista’s life when the sun is setting and the night is full of potential. It’s the perfect time to slip into the flouncy velvet dress with embroidered cardigan falling casually off one shoulder, or the brushed terry “I love everyone” sweatshirt (a bold statement in these divisive times) and fox coat.

Serving up a selection nibbles from Le Coucou’s kitchen — caviar, veal, lobster — was a nice reminder that the brand can take you from brunch to happy hour and beyond. It’s like a trip to Paris, sans jet lag. (Joseph V. Amodio)

(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

Desigual

A floral runway heralded Desigual's spirited and joyfulA floral runway heralded Desigual’s spirited and joyful romp as models strutted in fanciful mash-ups designed to incorporate punky Spanish New Wave and the California rock scene. Included in the fun-filled mix: animal prints, geometric lines, checkerboards, leather and lace. There were vivid colors — wow, those tights in neon blue — and prints, girly embroideries paired with more masculine pieces and lots of zany headwear. The snow kept some front-row types away, including Claire Foy, the award-winning star of “The Crown.” (We waited, your majesty, but ended up sitting on your throne.) Bet you the queen would’ve given the lineup the royal nod. (Anne Bratskeir)(Credit: Getty Images for Desigual / Neilson Barnard)

Nicholas K

It was an ode to the '90s atIt was an ode to the ’90s at Nicholas K, where sibling designers Nicholas and Christopher Kunz cited in their show notes “a decade promising communal diversity and unity” along with “political militancy undertones.” Inspirations were wide-ranging, but included Guardian Angels and Black Panthers (yep).

This collection had power and attitude, opening with a gold lame trench and matching beret that read tough and feminine simultaneously. The back of a red coat revealed a dramatic black velvet inset (a wow) and there was plenty of crushed velvet, along with leathery frocks, some with cut-out shoulders. Trench-shaped coats starred in the lineup — they had serious swagger. Silos ran the gamut from airy to body-con, with the brand’s signature layering. Colors, save for red, were mostly neutral — black, beige and gold all over. Accessory of the moment? Horseshoe-shaped nose rings. But the show’s scene-stealer was the designers’ new dog, a rescue boxer mix from Puerto Rico named Barbosa who had never seen snow before. (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: Getty Images for IMG / Gustavo Caballero)

Tommy Hilfiger

The clever designer award goes to Tommy Hilfiger,The clever designer award goes to Tommy Hilfiger, who moved his traditionally New York-based show to the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, the day before New York Fashion Week officially opened — thus avoiding this winter’s worst snowstorm. The elaborate gig was a music festival-inspired extravaganza that included street performers, grub trucks, graffiti muralists, skateboarders and carnival rides (including a gigantic slide) to sate the fun-seeking needs of nearly 3,000 people who reportedly attended the event. Lady Gaga was one of them, fresh off her Super Bowl smash.

As for the clothes — shimmery patent short shorts and skirts, stripes, color-blocking, patchwork and patches; minuscule crop and bikini tops; sheer boho Liberty print dresses along with a heavy dose of American flag motifs and a smashing denim duster. In all, a saucy mash-up of East Coast prep meets Cali-cool. While many designers in New York will show clothes for next fall, Hilfiger, a huge proponent of the “see-now-buy-now” trend, showed spring styles. His second Tommy X Gigi collection — inspired by model/muse Gigi Hadid who opened and closed the show (little sis Bella was in it, too) — was reportedly already blowing out immediately after at tommy.com. Within the collection’s mix: bomber jackets starting at $295, a patch-laden canvas backpack, $129.50 and a brightly colored patchwork skirt, $119. And, as if the drama of the spectacle was not enough, Fergie performed after the show. Wow! (Anne Bratskeir)

(Credit: Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger / Rich Polk)

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