NY Fashion Week Recap

A look back at last week’s shows. Here are my favorites from New York:

Oscar de la Renta

Inspiration: Madrid glamour circa 1950s
Accessories: Raffia bags/Double leather belts/Black sashes worn around the waist

Thoughts: Oscar’s show is one I look forward to every season. Always exuberant and sophisticated, Oscar’s desgins are a girl’s dream closet (for cocktail hour, anyway). The designer looked to the garden for this colleciton sending out one floral piece after another: green leaf-like prints on a strapless gown, 3-D peonies in ombre pinks. Even the palette was reminiscient of flowers in the garden: blushes, reds, celadons, and neutrals. The Spanish-esque influence was seen in the chantilly-lace (LOVE that white lace dress with the black sash) details on the party frocks.

Lela Rose

Inspiration: Lima, Peru
Accessories: Lela Rose for Payless wedges/Braided rope necklaces
Thoughts: The first thing I noticed about this collection was not the clothes, but rather the way Ms. Rose styled her model’s hair. It was in a disheveled, fishtail braids with deep side-parts. I was immedietly intrigued. This messy look contrasted perfectly with the polished, girly-girl looks that Ms. Rose is known for. Working with metallic tweeds, printed silk and embroidered tulle, Rose’s collection was chock-full of to-die-for party party dresses. My favorite? A coral one-shoulder sheath with an embroidered belt. (Let’s be honest: they’re all my favorite).

Michael Kors

Inspiration: The designer’s own backyard
Accessories: Cross-body messenger bags/platform wedges/flat sandals

Thoughts: Life’s a beach for Mr. Kors. For Spring 2011, the Project Runway judge presented a collection full of easy-breezy pieces, including oversized cardigans, gray cotton sweatshirts, and tissue-cashmere pieces (note: the stunning daffodil dress). Staying true to what he does best, American sportswear, Kors took our favorite closet staples (sweatshirts, tank dresses, trench coats) and put his own spin on them. The result? A wear-me-now-and-forever chic collection.

Proenza Schouler

Inspiration: The surfer-girl of late is all grown-up!
Accessories: Embossed crocodile pumps/Black webbed flat knee-high sandals/Futuristic sunglasses

Thoughts: PS is all grown up. The Spring 2011 collection has come a long way from the surfer-chic, tye-dye fabulousness we saw a year ago. This time around the designer duo presented a more polished, womanly aesthetic in the form of ladylike jacket-skirt combos and tweed dresses. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough didn’t want you to feel like you were wearing your grandmother’s suits, though, so they kept it cool by introducing neon tweeds, lingerie-revealing sheaths, and sequined hologram dresses.

3.1 Phillip Lim

Inspiration: Reduction/minimalism
Accessories: Wood platforms and booties

Thoughts: “Reduction and removing the things that don’t matter” is how Phillip Lim described this collection. Working with a muted palette of camels and taupes contrasted by light blues and coppers, Lim sent structured looks down his runway – jacquard jackets and simple shifts with sheer sleeves. Taking the minimalist approach, this collection was ultra-clean and more focused than we’ve ever seen it.

Rebecca Taylor

Inspiration: 1970s
Accessories: Oversized gold hoop earrings/Mirrored accents
Thoughts: Rebecca Taylor looked to the disco decade for her Spring 2011 collection sending halter-top dresses, denim bell-bottoms, and silk rompers down the runway. (Can’t you see Ali MacGraw in that canvas trench?) Staying true to form, though, the designer kept it girly with scalloped-edge details and lacy camisoles in a feminine palette of creamy peaches, taupes, and cherry reds. Playful prints in leopard (my favorite!) and snakeskin gave the collection the cool factor ideal for the warmer months to come.
Tibi

Inspiration: The designer, herself!
Accessories: Loafers/leather loafer wedges

Thoughts: A look in the mirror was all Amy Smilovic needed for inspiration for her Spring 2011 collection. The designer infused her own personal style into the collection full of circle skirts, playsuits, and party dresses. There were ultra-modern and simple looks – like the bright orange jacket and pleated short – contrasted by the perfect-for-a-party looks: basketweave sleeveless dresses with circle skirts.

Oxfords

To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of oxfords. Flattering styles seem to be few and far in between, but if you are able to find the right pair it will really complete any look. As usual Sienna Miller makes anything look good. If you are interested in matching Sienna’s look, here is a great feminine option from American Apparel, available in white, black and khaki.

Book It: Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

It seems it has been Chanel mania in the book and film world as of late, but Justine Picardie has managed to bring us fresh insight into the ultimate French fashion designer’s world with her new book: Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. Inspired to write the book after visiting Chanel’s apartment in Rue Cambon (where everything is preserved just as it was left), Picardie tells the true story of Chanel’s life, revealing new details of the secretive couturier’s life. Picardie, no stranger to fashion herself, is the former features editor for British Vogue and currently writes a style column for The Telegraph. The biography will be released on September 21 – just in time for Paris Fashion Week!

Editorial: Allure October 2010

While I may not be an avid reader of Allure magazine, the October issue featuring Blake Lively is certainly one I will snap up from the store. The Gossip Girl, as always, looks so stunning on the cover. Check out the behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot below! I’m in love with that silver gown in the first shot! What do you think?

Spot On: Leopard

Channel your animal instinct with one of this fall’s biggest trends: leopard. From accessories to outerwear, the bold print is a must-have this season. It’s simple to find ways to incorporate the animal print into your wardrobe (note: leopard should not be head-to-toe look). Try to focus on just one leopard piece: pair a printed shirt underneath a black blazer, or a leopard dress with a neutral shoe. If you’re not into leopard garb then accessories are the way to go. Try tucking a printed scarf underneath your winter coat or pairing a leopard shoe with a military-inspired ensemble. Just remember: a little goes a long way. 

Book It: The Imperfectionists

Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists comically chronicles the lives of those working for an international newspaper in Rome. The fabulously complex characters overshadow the violent and cutting edge stories they are reporting as each chapter focuses on a different staff writer and their wild idiosyncrasies within the group. Rachman’s writing style is beautiful and encourages a second reading, or even a third! Shop here.

Blinged-Out Band-Aids by Cynthia Rowley

Designers lends their names to everything from fashion to home decor to cosmetics, and now even to first-aid! Cynthia Rowley has teamed up with Band-Aid to create a limited-edition collection of the adhesive bandages. There are 14 various designs including lace, gold chain, sequin and gemstone patterns. Even better? One dollar (each tin is $10 and contains 20 bandages) from each sale will benefit Design Ignites Change, an organization that engages high school and college students in design and architecture projects that address social issues in their own communities. Getting a paper cut has never looked so chic.

Shop it here.

Get in Line: Alexa Chung for Madewell

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for some time (thank you!) then you know how much I love Madewell. The J.Crew little sister is always spot on when it comes to laid-back basics and unique accessories. And this week the boutique gets even better: Alexa Chung for Madewell arrives online and in stores (September 9 and September 11, respectively). The British “It Girl,” known for her downtown-cool style, brings us a collection full of super-chic and youthful pieces. The collection consists of around 20 looks – think effortless dresses, high-waisted pants, and super-skinny jeans – that will be perfect additions to your fall wardrobe. Get in line now, ladies, because this collection is sure to sell-out quickly.