NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: J Mendel

NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: J Mendel

J Mendel cited two seemingly disparate inspirations for his luxe fall collection: a Helmut Newton editorial shot at a Gaudi building for Diana Vreeland at Vogue and one of his mother’s bouclé Courrèges suit he remembers from childhood.

Clearly the opening white story relates to the feminine, anthropomorphic shapes as seen in Gaudi’s La Pedrera above. The lightness and combination of textures can be seen as art is translated to fashion.

The crescent cutouts of this jersey top directly echo the architectural elements of Gaudi’s masterpiece. Note how Mendel interprets the glove trend.

The plunging V’s are softened by the gentle pleating of the black silk chiffon and elegant drape of the plum textured silk cloque gowns.…

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Pamella Roland

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Pamella Roland

With a very pretty set, that my photo does not even remotely do justice to, Pamella Roland set out to capture the natural beauty and luxury lifestyle of Aspen.

A part of Rolland’s life since childhood, the casually chic lifestyle of Aspen was captured effortlessly with her stylish looks for daytime comfort and understated elegant designs for special occasion wear. Carmen Kass opened the show with skinny jeans, white cotton blouse and coyote overcoat – perfect!

Those of you who are not fans of fur will be thrilled to know that Roland included faux as well such as here on this beautiful ivory wool knit cape.…

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Dennis Basso

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Dennis Basso

CBS Sunday yesterday morning did a segment on the new Boeing 787, interviewing the aerospace company’s executives who explained they were hoping to bring back the glamour of travel with their new Dreamliner. They should have had a chat with Dennis Basso first! This is a man who understands glamorous travel in a big way. His luxurious fall collection was inspired by visions of a “Mystery on the Orient Express.” Considering the inconvenience of travel today, I think everyone was happy to imagine such a scenario.

With so many rich visual possibilities, the set was a bit disappointing, although the sounds of an old fashioned train whistle and wheels turning on the tracks made the message clear.…

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Vera Wang

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Vera Wang

Of all the shows at fashion week, I found Vera Wang‘s to be the most artistic, connecting all elements involved in the production in a unique conceptual way. From the dramatic set, to the music, to the collection, it felt united in a single creative vision.

The title of Wang’s show was Vis-à-gris – an expression of opposites, united in the middle – black and white, structure and flow, resulting in the middle ground of gray. This is a gray of both industrial sharpness and strength as well as the softness of a dove.

Playing off the futuristic architectonic set, the outerwear represented the structure of the vision and the extensive use of chiffon the flow.…

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Badgley Mischka

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Badgley Mischka

Using Fritz Lang’s hallmark German Expressionist masterpiece Metropolis as inspiration, Mark Badgley and James Mischka presented an amazing homage full of rich metallics and structured form.

photo: Getty Images

The set was breathtaking with a magical New York Central Park background video replete with falling snow. The architectural skyline echoed both the film’s deco influence and the sleek lines of the collection.

The first beautiful dress indicated what was to come – burnished metallics of the bronze sequin chiffon with luxe beading on the shoulders.

Interestingly, the duo mixed both their high-end collection with their younger and lower priced Mark + James line.…

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Naeem Khan

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan has always designed with a nod toward his native India. But this season, inspired by a trip home last fall, Kahn translated the extremes of Indian culture, from Tilaka dots to elaborate paisleys into a breathtaking collection worthy of Maharajah splendor. The title “The Body as a Canvas: From the Mughal Paisley to the Hindu Tilakas” tells the story.

From this first beautiful metallic embroidered silk faille evening coat, it was clear this collection was going to be exquisite. You can tell in these two shots, that even from where I was sitting, you could discern the intricate threadwork in the designs, which evidently took hundreds of artisans three months to make.…

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NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Tory Burch

NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Tory Burch

They say you should write what you know – and perhaps it’s the same with fashion design.  Tory Burch describes her fall collection as “inspired by the idea of a prim girl who’s under the spell of the wrong kind of guy. She’s an innocent, unaware of her own sex appeal…The looks are polished and proper, but with subversive undertones…”

She clearly can relate to this story and designing from the heart agrees with her, for Tory has hit a major home run with this collection. For me, this represents a big step up for the already successful designer. It’s as if she went from light romcom to Hitchcock, from ingenue to woman.…

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NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Lorena Sarbu

NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Lorena Sarbu

I must admit I was not that familiar with Lorena Sarbu‘s line when I arrived at her presentation, but I think we’ll all be hearing her name with more frequency in the near future. What a glamorous collection! Growing up in Romania, Lorena always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. After coming to the States and continuing her studies in Chicago and Los Angeles, she launched her collection in 2009 and opened her NY showroom the next year.

While there was no lack of short evening dresses to choose from,

it was the gowns where Lorena really hit her stride.…

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NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Lela Rose

NY Fashion Week Fall 2012: Lela Rose

As soon as I read Lela Rose‘s inspiration in the show package, I had a feeling I was going to love the collection. Inspired by the work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Rose’s show centered around “the fusion of structure and movement”.  As an architect, sculptor and engineer, Calatrava’s merging of form and function spoke to Rose. It was this balance of geometry and fluidity that she translated into the collection. As a result, this was one of my favorite Lela collections I’ve seen at fashion week. Anchored by stronger day and outerwear pieces, I found the sporty tailored approach totally appealing .…

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Black & White Carpet: Stéphane Kossman

Black & White Carpet: Stéphane Kossman

Between fashion week and the upcoming Oscars, the latest offering at the Samuel Owen Gallery is perfectly timed.

Last week I attended the opening for Black & White Carpet, an exhibit featuring the candid red carpet photographs by Stéphane Kossman, below. For the past 20 years, he has been covering the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, first for “7 a Paris” and then for “Cinephage” magazine.

He quickly became known for his black and white photos of celebrities and directors caught off guard in candid moments.

During the festival in 2004 and 2005, the city of Cannes blew up several of Kossman’s shots as 100 square meter posters on buildings around town as a thank you to the photographer for his work.…

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