NYFW Fall 2014: Carolina Herrera, Phillip Lim, Billy Reid, Reem Acra
(NEW YORK) Carolina Herrera
The inimitable Carolina Herrera had a ball with proportions for the Fall, starting from the hair (a big braided bun) and ending with the shoes (jewel-tone kitten heels from Manolo Blahnik). And while one would make the assumption that Herrera was glancing towards the past for inspiration, she insisted her collection was in a full sprint in the direction of the future. Once you looked past the ladylike wool gloves and cocoon shapes, you saw it: the geometric cut outs, the brilliant color hybrids, and the influence of technology. The skins were to die for, from a cobalt crocodile to a luscious navy fur, and the shoulder-dusting earrings even featured a touch of luxe fuzz. The velvet waist belts were a delight as well, cinching graphic gowns. The show closed with vitalizing hues like juicy maraschino cherry and electric blueberry. A bright jolt of joie!
It should have been a sign from his invitation (a sheet of opaque cherry red plastic and a swipe of bubblegum pink) that Phillip Lim was looking towards pop culture to influence his Fall collection. His show was housed in the vacuous Moynihan Station and featured sheets of see-through plastic, throwing shade in colors of red and orange on the floor. Those weren’t the only colors in the room, as Lim decided to embark on a pastel color combo for fall, mixing pinks, yellows, lilacs, and blues in a patchwork print, anchoring them with bursts of black and white. Those anchors kept the collection grounded, turning items like an eggshell blue jumper into an it-girl piece, especially when paired with lace-up boots. Elsewhere, tan leather and purple shearling were paired together, and sequins were the texture of choice when it came to patchwork. Who was Lim’s girl of the season? He introduced her as Soleil, someone who was bright and cheery, but with a certain darkness that reared its gorgeous head from time to time. Her dark side came out in pieces that were adapted from suiting, like a grand plaid vest, a mulberry trench coat, or a black jacket that wrapped across the body with satin details. The accessories that dotted the collection were fantastic as well: like oversized geometric belt buckles, noir sunglasses crated in collaboration with Linda Farrow and of course, handbags! This season the purses became a bit daintier, like a mint green version with a slight silver chain, or a nude envelope clutch. Compared to the numerous collections filing down the runway, this one felt fresh and new, for this season at least.
Among the many things that make us really happy, we adore well-made clothes worn by handsome boys. And for Fall, Billy Reid did not disappoint. The Louisiana-born designer peered towards home goods to start designing his collection, which was most obviously displayed in the presence of a striped and fringed blanket. Elsewhere, the inspiration was a bit more subtle, but could be found in the divine quality of a cashmere sweater or a fuzzy jacket. Backstage, Reid touched upon the fact that women purchase his men’s clothing and vice versa, which would explain a pair of slim velvet pants in crimson that was paired with a caramel fur coat. Other items girls and boys alike will covet? The shoes, which were presented in a variety of skins from a dyed snakeskin shootie to a caramel monk strap version. Can we get those in the petite sizes, S’il vous plait? While some items in the collection had a certain air of yesteryear, others were decidedly modern, like a crisp white tunic and a knit that melded chevron and plaid prints. While the colors may have lingered between caramel and brown, for the most part, pops of yellow and navy did a brilliant job of creating a sense of diversity.
Although it was 6 p.m. in New York City, it was midnight in Paris on the runway at Reem Acra. “It’s strong, it is about a woman that loves to go out and loves to travel and has the Parisian attitude,” Acra told The Daily. She is confident, she is alive, and she is chic. Indeed, Reem Acra’s is a collection for every occasion that calls for glamour. She took us through her woman’s most elegant of circumstances, like say, a Parisian holiday. It was hard to pinpoint a decade in fashion history that might have inspired the collection, because we saw several. For day, sweetly embroidered sweaters paired with fluid A-line skirts were nostalgic of a ’50s silhouette. There were also Deco-esque design details like the graphic hourglass shapes in blush nude and black. For night, Acra’s forte, she didn’t hold back on gorgeous, encrusted, standalone gowns. Beaded illusion dresses flowed like liquid down the body and bright red rococo embroidery added another level of opulence. Finally, closing the show was the collection’s brightest stunner. The at-first-glance black embroidered gown transformed under the lights of the catwalk to reveal the fabric’s lavender iridescence. C’est magnifique, Ms. Acra. We shall see you in Paris!