NYFW Fall 2013: Rodarte, Jenny Packham, Rolando Santana, J.Crew

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Rodarte
and Laura Mulleavy didn’t have to look far for their Fall ’13 inspiration. The sister duo nodded to sunny Santa Cruz, their Cali hometown, with models stomping out in eighties-era get-ups amid a setting of neon light sticks. As for those rave-friendly splashes of light, a fun catwalk setting for a label that usually goes very bare-bones on the ambiance front, to be sure, but also another nod to their West Coast roots: the Giant Dipper roller coaster. Naturally, there were tie-dye satin gowns (outfitted here with 3-D foam bodices), hip-baring bodysuits worn under jean shorts and studded leather jackets, and acid-wash denim aplenty.

Jenny Packham
Via sweeping hems of silk and chiffon gowns, Jenny Packham transported the crowd to a 17th Century Paris intellectual salon. Anyone else want to revisit those college philosophy class notes and begin quoting Voltaire? The Brit designer’s collection channeled the time’s sophisticated culture quotient. Those trademark Packham pack of gowns got doused in jewel tones, along with a dusting of sparkly beading. Each mod’s ribbon-tied coif lent a regal factor, too. In keeping with the sparkly theme of the dresses, the show also featured Jenny Packham accessories for autumn/winter 2013. Strong angular pieces adorned with Swarovski crystal and rose gold accents punctuated the stunning gowns in all the right places. One particular teal chiffon gown bore three quarter sleeves and a high transparent neckline peppered with colorful jewels and crystals. In the front row, Katherine Heigl, Vanessa Hudgens and gold medal gymnast Ali Reisman populated the scene. Edgy this was not, but consistent it certainly was, and that seems to be perfectly alright with Packham. “I just want to do something beautiful. I don’t try to do anything clever or avant garde.  I just want people to think” ‘that’s lovely.’” Mission accomplished! 

Rolando Santana 
There was no texture excluded at Rolando Santana’s 2013 show, to delightful ends. From leather to lace to wool to satin, he worked it all into the Fall mix. The result? A multi-dimensional show complete with flirty dresses, edgy trou, and bold jackets. The Mexican designer also experimented with color, using bold shades of royal blue, plum, and aubergine as well as metallics. The key inspiration point du season: sculptor John Chamberlain. Arty! “His use of metal scraps and cars and crushing them into the shapes and amazing textures is really where all of this started. I love to work with black, but the market really needs color. So based on some of his sculptures we developed prints and we injected colors and metallics.” Besides the threads, accessories designed by Santana made the cut, such as a lambskin “Lagunilla” clutch,  as well as gloves and shoes by the designer as well. As for the fun factor of moving beyond the clothing?  “It’s really fun to put in your own touch in other areas!” We can’t wait to see what gorgeous innovations he will come up with next! 

No longer a new kid at the tents, J.Crew showed an impressive and sophisticated men’s and women’s collection at Lincoln Center yesterday. The direction? Quite exotic, at least in terms of where the inspiration was culled from: women’s creative director Tom Mora took a vacation to Marrakech last fall and was inspired by the rich, bold colors in the city’s markets, its graphically-patterned rugs, plus tile work on buildings. Thus, the punchy hues and patternwork jived nicely with J.Crew’s signature style. On the men’s side, designer Frank Muytjens was inspired by wide-angled David Bailey portraits from the ’60s (particularly one of Michael Caine) a visit to the to the Welsh countryside and a day trip to Oxford, England. Muytjens reexamined the classics such as English tweeds, black watch fabrics, and oilcloth with stellar results. Let’s get these guys on as many holidays as possible if they return with such winning impetus for upcoming collections! So, everyone can remain calm. J.Crew is doing exactly what you want them to be doing, just better than ever…

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