NYFW Fall 2013: Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Ruffian

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Alexander Wang
Rebel with a cause! If anyone’s still wondering whether Wang has what it takes to work his wonders at Balenciaga, this collection shows he’s in it to win it. Warm ‘n’ fuzzy fashion revolted against the Neoprene futuristic fabrics blanketing the runways. Here it was all about soft shoulders, luxurious fur coats and wraps, mega-size mittens, and mohair knits that were simply magnifique! Slightly cocooned, occasionally metallic-threaded shapes of those sweaters and sweatshirts was classic Wang in the best way possible. And that far, far downtown setting on the southernmost stretches of Broadway, in the FiDi? Definitely off the beaten NYFW path, to be sure, and pretty glorious, thanks to the chapel-esque tiled, domed ceilings of the Cunard Building.

The M.O. for Joseph Altuzarra’s latest, inspired by the streets of NYC? I am woman, hear me roar. Power dressing was at play with severe, skinny skirt suits and leather trenches and dresses nipped tight at the waist for the working girl who doubles as a fierce fashionista looking to cast off the competition.
The color palette concentrated on black, grey, sycamore, and forest greens, accented by shocks of optic white and persimmon. The intention? Mirroring the energy of the street itself, while melding disparate materials and textures. With all eyes on the young designer, he’s living up to the hype. Plus, there’s that oversized reverse-skunk-esque fur topper that bewitched the chic masses of Instagram. Know which one we’re referring to? Of course you do…

You can always rely on Ruffian to take you on a journey during their collection—this time around, it was a truly bohemian rhapsody of sorts. While other designers (we won’t name any names) spout inspirations that we sometimes have difficulty comprehending, Claude Morais and Brian Wolk hit the history books and create a line where you get where they are coming from. “Luc Sante’s Low Life meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Reverie” connects various generations’ rebellious sartorial style against a backdrop of the world’s most provocative neighborhood.” is how the show notes describe their vision. Think: bodiced Chinois shirtdresses, pantsuits with peeping peplum, plus voluminous necktie blouses are all part of Ruffian’s 19th century vision. What does that boil down to? Another astounding success. “We were interested in looking at the history of the Bowery, opium dens, vaudevilles, cabarets,” Wolk told us. “Balmoral Castle in Scotland was also a big inspiration. Queen Victoria built Balmoral and would go there because the weather conditions were horrible, it was snowing, raining and no one would want to go visit them, and that why they built it.” A history lesson avec our runway intake? Why not!

Prabal Gurung
Marching orders much? Prabal’s warrior women were like a ferociously chic fashion tribe, taking on the runway in military green garments that looked slashed across the body or buttoned up uniform style. Fur accents made for sumptuous toppers, luxe but still quite hard-edged. Dominatrix-y details lent further bite to Gurung’s latest, by way of noir leather harnesses, chunkily pieced-together gladiator boot-sandal hybrids, and even massive, fairly dangerous-looking pierced collars, also constructed of leather. That usually darling peplum silhouette of many a recent collection, let alone entire seasons where the fit-and-flare share made a cameo or three, got badassed up by Gurung. The final trot of looks, though, was in keeping with all that military inflection and ungirly hues—but done in sweeping, high-slit peals of satin, many a slice of midriff thrown in for good measure.

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