Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

NY Fashion Week: Oil slicks on suits, space-inspired sportswear and mesh mouth masks

Globe Style's Amy Verner has packed up from Paris and landed in New York to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Over the weekend more than two dozen designers presented their Fall 2012 collections, including Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen and Canada's own Jeremy Laing

1 of 28

On Saturday, French brand Lacoste lined the runway with giant snow globe-like panels to set the stage for its haute sportif men’s and women’s show.

Carlo Allegri / REUTERS/Carlo Allegri / REUTERS

2 of 28

A grouping of body-skimming racer dresses, like this one, show designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s forward vision for the brand, best known for its preppy tennis shirts. Note the placement of a cuff circling the shoulder – a flourish that feels subtly space age.

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS/Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

3 of 28

How cool are these removable zippered sleeves, which Baptista designed in both fabric and leather? Sure, they provide a solution to overheating, but more than that, they can be styled and worn with attitude, like popped collars but far fresher.

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS/Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

4 of 28

There was a lot to love about Nepalese-born designer Prabal Gurung’s collection, which began with a high-impact grouping of black-on-black looks. This fitted and flared pant reappeared frequently and established an elongated silhouette. As for the visor, you’d take orders from someone wearing that, wouldn’t you?

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 28

Gradually, he transitioned into a series of pieces with printed neoprene panels that boasted oil slick iridescence.

Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS

6 of 28

Things got even more dramatic with the introduction of a swirling “Sistine blue” print, seen here on a blazer with cutaway side panels. What appears to be a scarab nestled into the collar are actually two steer’s skulls back-to-back.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

7 of 28

Gurung can be unabashedly maximalist about his dresses. The bodice of this one is hand-embroidered with roses more steer skulls. While it seems to borrow from both Balmain and Givenchy, its decadence and craftsmanship attests to a talented designer seizing on his momentum.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

8 of 28

The Oscar red carpet would be a lot more exciting if someone wore a shimmery gold lamé gown like this one. I happened to be seated beside a Hollywood stylist who spent the previous day visiting showrooms for her starlet client. She appeared visibly – and audibly – impressed.

Stephen Chernin / AP/Stephen Chernin / AP

9 of 28

Mara Hoffman does not design for Canadian winters; this billowing, hooded dress is just one example. But she continues to explore the potential of prints in motion and once again returns to cultural motifs, which she mixes with free-spirited style.

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS/Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

10 of 28

Call it bandage meets bondage! Just when it seemed like the signature Herve Leger slinky dress had reached its zenith (last season, gold and silver metallic versions looked like futuristic goddess garb); the newest collection has been accessorized with striking leather harnesses and corset belts.

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS/Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

11 of 28

Husband and wife design duo Max and Lubov Azria played with movement and volume, introducing a few swingy, fringed dresses and shoulders padded with fur.

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS/Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

12 of 28

Alexander Wang’s ominously tinged show kicked off with models wearing thick mesh masks over their mouths. But mirrored frames, staged at angles throughout a dark warehouse, did little to improve the visibility so fabric details such as this interesting ribbed, lacquered merino wool were difficult to discern.

Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS

13 of 28

Amid the black and oxblood, there were some winter white moments, which Wang dubbed “peroxide.” Here, a tulle dress with asymmetric embroidered fringe was layered overtop a shirtdress with a leather tab-collar. While few women could carry this off, it will look sharp and novel on those who do.

Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS

14 of 28

Saturday evening ended on a lovely note with Calla, the line designed by Paris-based Torontonian Calla Haynes. Her first presentation in New York consisted of a tableau vivant, where 15 gamines posed in her printed dresses.

Handout/Handout | Jean-Pacôme Dedieu

15 of 28

Haynes looked to the world of interiors for this season’s prints, digitizing them to the point of abstraction and shaping them into dresses that spark conversation no matter the occasion. The coat, with it’s geometric lines, creates an artistic duality, confirming that Haynes thinks outside the flower patch.

Handout/Handout | Jean-Pacôme Dedieu

16 of 28

Sunday began with Canadian designer Jeremy Laing who continues to finesse and build upon his strengths: soft layering, sculptural definition and a reined-in sense of street style. This cropped mohair pullover looks like a molded tea cosy, adding structure to a sail-like crepe shirt and jersey separates.

Handout | Collective Edit/Handout | Collective Edit

17 of 28

Zippers, at the sides and up the back, brought movement to heavier fabrics such as this pullover coat in sheared mohair. Laing bleached velvet to achieve the pattern on this legging. But most notable are the shoulders: extra wide but not angular.

Handout | Collective Edit/Handout | Collective Edit

18 of 28

Unfortunately, you can’t really get a sense of this distinctive knit from the photo. It reminded me of stone covered in lichen and then honed down.

Handout | Collective Edit/Handout | Collective Edit

19 of 28

Derek Lam presented several, not necessarily related, themes for fall, suggesting he excels in the art of juxtaposition. The first: The type of delicate floral buds you’d find on powder room wallpaper, this time atop a high sheen lambskin skirt which he’s paired with a sporty grey pullover.

Louis Lanzano / AP/Louis Lanzano / AP

20 of 28

The white and black floral embroidery yoke on this shirt (which has been layered atop an ivory blouse) brings the right amount of feminine to the tailored jacket and trousers. Also, the white oxfords are just plain fun.

Louis Lanzano / AP/Louis Lanzano / AP

21 of 28

And it gets even better. The perfectly proportioned paisley jacquard dress, the pop of orange from the embroidered collar, the cool ankle boot – this might be one of the most faultless looks of New York Fashion Week so far.

Louis Lanzano / AP/Louis Lanzano / AP

22 of 28

Working from the theme of “Poetic Rebellion,” the DKNY Fall collection combined flirty, flounced, short skirts with vamp coats and textured knits. The look is assertive without pushing limits. It’s also an easy way to tweak a work wardrobe.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

23 of 28

Accessories were as strong – sometimes even stronger – than the clothes. The “aviator collar” in black shearling functions as a clever scarf alternative. A waist-defining crocodile-stamped belt anchors this abstracted animal print dress.

Jason DeCrow / AP/Jason DeCrow / AP

24 of 28

For Thakoon Panichgul’s show, a gilded salon of the Plaza Hotel had been adorned with slim tubes of red neon, adding a pop spin to a formal setting. So it should not have come as a surprise to see a vibrant neon tube pattern among the first looks.

Andrew Burton / AP/Andrew Burton / AP

25 of 28

Amid a vibrant pairings of lipstick hues (deep fuchsias, pinks and reds), there were some neutral moments. But neutral doesn’t mean boring. Note the cinched paper-bag hemline.

Andrew Burton / AP/Andrew Burton / AP

26 of 28

Like Jason Wu, Zac Posen also looked to Asia for inspiration, incorporating origami folds into dress backs and imperial Chinese motifs on dramatic dresses. Often though, the shorter skirts were too constricting and the mermaid hemlines much too much.

Seth Wenig / AP/Seth Wenig / AP

27 of 28

Yes, Posen’s finale makes a theatrical statement but if anyone can do it, count on Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha.

Seth Wenig / AP/Seth Wenig / AP

28 of 28

There were many Hermès Etro Burberry codes at Tommy Hilfiger, where a gated garden was staged inside the New York Armory (faux red brick path included). But while the equestrian and uniform themes were familiar, they were appropriated to feel American. A moneyed metropolitan look minus the country club dues.

Kathry Willens / AP/Kathry Willens / AP

Report an error