It’s been a hot and hectic year in America, especially in New York. Fall temperatures haven’t brought much relief. America seems to be be in the midst of a fever that is affecting its temperature and mood. Maybe fashion is the remedy. And maybe by Spring 2017, this fever will break.
Fashion Week’s Spring 2017 collections refreshed us like a cool washcloth on the forehead. Designers showered audiences with references to more carefree times. Trends from the 70’s and 80’s were spooned up with sweet technique. These styles will go down easy. So sit up, breath deeply and take your medicine.
The princess of posh expanded her signature, soaring past her own limits. Yes, the hues were simple. The pleats were plentiful. However, she explored a new frontier of fabrics. Broken down leathers and velvets articulated the narrow-to-wide cuts in sleeves and skirts. Yet the look was always clean, like a 70’s space odyssey.
Shimmering colors styled the stellar retro look. Wide straps, over shoulders and across chests, and storm trooper boots in light colors added uniform decisiveness. Boots for the warm seasons? Yes, in a parallel universe we want to visit.
Vicky B. also exploded our notions with her purses. Fully integrated by pattern and cut, they maintained the silhouette of pieces with which they were paired. This was one giant leap for woman.
Ms. Burch’s collection was a study in fun contradiction. Patterns clashed. Textures were twisted. Tightness gave way to loose in back to school cool.
Structured tops with flowing skirts and slacks were a consistent theme. Floral prints cut the line between bohemian and northeastern prep, more Stanford than Yale. In her more coy designs, sweaters, jackets and suits were anything but stodgy.
It was the bright and bold consistency that made it look so easy. Orange balanced blue. Pinks bounced off green. Even the whites, served up as windowpane patterns and tennis-style sneakers, seemed brighter. A youthful offering from this versatile American beauty.
An unexpected flavor of frivolous was shared by this sweetest of designers. Michael Kors’ brought out his ripest colors. The pieces were crisp in single and paired hues. Floral prints were in bloom too. It was a sugar-high celebration of dresses.
Kors’ usual vibrancy was turned up with plenty of small tassels and trim. The collection seemed a throw back to th early 70’s, pre-disco swag with a spin. And though the designs were accessible as ever, there was a restraint and flippant taste to all of it.
These modest morsels were the surprise. Skirts were fun but lengthy. Sleeves had a ¾ cut. There was skin, sure. But more often than not it was around collar bones and calves. This innocence and strength defied expectations, good girls playing rebel with a Kors.
PS, our artistic vigilantes, unleashed a dark but dynamic vision for Spring. Primary colors were imprisoned in patterns with white. Multiple textures were exposed in black. And skin served time as surface with cuts in unexpected shapes and places.
It all seemed aimed at the unapologetic bad girl. Fabrics broken into angles and layers. Leather and black feathers accessorizing multiple looks. Geometric shapes and chunked out earrings added to the assault.
Movement was the only escape from the deep and rich coloring. Pleats upon pleats, even horizontal ones, created ruffles and rigid bounce. Clean fractures permitted breaks in the signature structure. Skirts cut high in the front and low in the back made cape-like silhouettes. Though tough and tactical, the designs always flowed. Our dark knights did not disappoint.
New wave gives new New York the finger in Jeremy Scott’s latest. Contemporary cuts and early 80’s iconography set fire to current modes. It was the colors, it was the patterns, it was the direct references to words we doodled in our notebooks. This collection was hot hot hot.
He didn’t just re-commercialize 80’s art. He did it with unflinching pretension. Familiar-looking photos were repeated in day-glow. MTV fonts, the ones seared into our eyes decades ago, were stretched tight over bodies. Fabricated slime dripped down a knit from a Nickelodeon dream.
Remember seedy Times Square and its sex shops? Jeremy does. His brutal buckles and broken zippers on black and pastel designs prove it. And what else did a bratty uptown 80’s girl need when partying in dangerous Downtown? Alain Mikli sunglasses. And printed T’s. And bathing suits. Yes, Jeremy stood up and dumped out his Trapper Keeper for this one. We’d follow him to detention for more.
Leave it to A-Wang to whip out a huge new view of active wear. The sporting life now goes all night. Clearly, his new partnership with Adidas has its attraction. But no relationship is going to pin down Alexander, not with so many units on the table. He’ll honor his commitments, but his own style is only getting harder.
Materials were cut short, bunched up and bound with drawstrings. Patterned slacks partnered with tanks. Board shorts broke the borderline of lingerie. The real scandals though were the blouses and dresses, cut with glorious holes, that moved more effortlessly than the any evening wear. This was tennis wear for a match at midnight.
Denim, lace and cotton were banged into shapes and textures we all associate with activity. And just when we thought urban athleticism had been turned, out marched a squad of models all bearing Adidas’ signature style through Alexander’s lens. Coach Wang equips his players with design conceived in tradition but craving new challenges.
Finally, In one of our favorite collections, Joseph Altuzarra flirted with the familiar tropes of spring. His emphasis was the lightness of the season, a season for swapping and stealing.
With a wink, he utilized delicate but daring design. He brightened up standards like the black evening dress and the snake skin coat with fruit prints. And with flowers, he hammed up his thick cut denims. Preppy floral prints became playful with stretching and wrapping.
Anything even remotely stoic, a jacket or a coat, was accompanied by pops of color. Tiny tops added sass to long bottoms. Bold stripes were beholden to splashes of pastel. And why not run some ruffles along shoulder straps, slits and hems? Imagine the costumes of a drama stolen by the cast of a comedy and repurposed. Now imagine Joseph Altuzzara hatching the plan.
Photo Courtesy: Vogue.com. Altuzarra’s flirty fashion hits the runway for Spring 2017 women’s clothing.