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NY Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs gets subversive, J. Crew goes skiing

Globe Style's Amy Verner has packed up from Paris and landed in New York to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. On Tuesday, a number of big-name designers debuted their Fall 2012 collection including newcomer Naeem Khan

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On Tuesday morning, Tory Burch showed a collection inspired by a “prim girl who’s under the spell of the wrong kind of guy,” according to the program notes. “She’s an innocent, unaware of her own sex appeal.”

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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This was a strong showing for Burch – an inspired mix of looks for lunching ladies (pretty blouses and bouclé jackets) to knits sprouting plastic flowers and leather painted with graphic grid pattern.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

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She looks like a girl involved in a scandalous tryst, no?

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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And she looks like a girl who is dressing for the society pages… and has a banker husband.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

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This was J. Crew’s second presentation at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. The women’s collection has a new designer, Tom Mora, while the men’s wear continued under the direction of Frank Muytjens.

Kena Betancur / Reuters/Kena Betancur / Reuters

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This advanced style of unexpected mixing is genuine Jenna, as in J.Crew’s president and executive creative director, Jenna Lyons. It’s that “Oh, I just picked up these pieces that were scattered around my bedroom and now I look fabulous” look.

Bebeto Matthews / AP/Bebeto Matthews / AP

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Similar to Thakoon, Mora has combined makeup shades of pink and fuchsia. They’re particularly juicy on this turtleneck ski sweater and sequin skirt. What you don’t see are the lady-like pumps, a new collaboration between J. Crew and Manolo Blahnik. Yes, that Manolo.

Bebeto Matthews / AP/Bebeto Matthews / AP

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Et voilà, two men’s looks: one for Monday-through-Friday, the other for an out-and-about weekend.

Bebeto Matthews / AP/Bebeto Matthews / AP

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Sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy are so beloved by fashion people that it doesn’t really matter what they do because editors will find a way to spin it as brilliance. But this coat – with its wing-like epaulets, curving button progression and contrast pattern – is the real deal.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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This seems like a soften sensibility for Rodarte. (I’m resisting the groan-inducing wordplay.)

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

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With Kristen Chenoweth, Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso looking on, Naeem Khan made his Lincoln Center debut on Wednesday as the Mercedes-Benz Presents featured designer (fashion week’s title sponsor acts as fairy godmother, overseeing production costs, for one label each season).

Kena Betancur / Reuters/Kena Betancur / Reuters

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Khan married traditional Indian decorative motifs with present-day glamour. But for all the splashy dresses, I liked this cape. With the reflective mirrored beading, it still achieves a wow factor but in a less predictable way thanks to the satin cigarette pant and tank.

Bebeto Matthews / AP/Bebeto Matthews / AP

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The last few gowns went full-throttle glamour. Still, Kahn has balanced the open back and plunging neckline with long sleeves.

Kena Betancur / Reuters/Kena Betancur / Reuters

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You can always expect a good dose of nonchalant style with Marc by Marc Jacobs. This season, the colours felt muddy compared to the crisp greens and corals for spring. Yet the line has not lost its cool. It strikes me as Hogwarts grads go to fashion school.

Kathy Willens / AP/Kathy Willens / AP

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Don’t bid adieu to the red trouser trend just yet, especially if Jacobs is still touting it. This one is super slim and in wool felt (versus the ubiquitous denim). But even with the officer’s cap, the look feels more updated prep than subversive.

Kathy Willens / AP/Kathy Willens / AP

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More subversive, in fact, is this navy onesie and the mismatched stripe sleeves.

Kathy Willens / AP/Kathy Willens / AP

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Do you remember Tory Burch’s inspiration from earlier – a prim girl hanging out with the wrong kind of guy? I get that message with this velvet dress and motorcycle boot look. And, yet, I’m sure she’s having fun.

Kathy Willens / AP/Kathy Willens / AP

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In the best possible sense, Oscar De La Renta is the Benjamin Button of fashion. His collections are getting more playful – while still appealing to his loyal grande dames – the older he gets (he’s 79). A jewel print opened the show. And things only turned more bejeweled from there.

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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Like this suit, as just one example. But a young woman buying this today might wear it to a Kanye West concert. Heck, even Kanye West might wear the jacket to his own concert.

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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Give a fashion demigod a down-filled jacket and this is what he’ll do with it.

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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This is a showstopper gown. I overheard star stylist Rachel Zoe going bananas over it, too. Although she wondered whether the velvet appliqué flowers would translate on the red carpet.

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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Go all-bijoux or go home; De La Rented carried the bejeweled theme right down to the glittery booties.

Allison Joyce / Reuters/Allison Joyce / Reuters

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Distinctively formed coats were the standout element from Narciso Rodriguez’ show. Such is his skill with fabrics that they almost appeared buttressed or propped up from underneath.

Adam Hunger / Reuters/Adam Hunger / Reuters

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While First Lady Michelle Obama often wears Rodriguez, it seems unlikely she’d wear this on the campaign trail.

Adam Hunger / Reuters/Adam Hunger / Reuters

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This, on the other hand, has her name all over it.

Adam Hunger / Reuters/Adam Hunger / Reuters

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