NYFW Fall 2014: Ralph Lauren, J. Mendel, Marchesa, Reed Krakoff

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(NEW YORK) Ralph Lauren
Weary editors trekked through the blizzard this morning to make it to Mr. Lauren’s show at St. John’s Center Studios on Washington Street on the last day of fashion week as icy snow and wind battered faces and outfits. But per usual with the fashion crowd, there were still a handful of gals that didn’t trade in their heels for their snow boots. Miroslava Duma’s looks apparently don’t pause for the weather as she was spotted in sky-high black knee high boots.  For the editors that braved the weather, Mr. Lauren put on two shows in one. The first half of the show focused on his Polo Ralph Lauren collection. In the show notes he stated, “I love the contrast of Polo’s cool eclectic spirit with the luxury and modern glamour of Collection.” There were neon orange and green puffer jackets (something we could have used this morning!), little black dresses and leather skirts with cardigans, and classic rustic mountain wear in distressed leather jackets and navajo sweaters. The second half was devoted to Ralph Lauren Collection and featured sophisticated monochrome looks in pale pink, lavender, grey and winter white. Suede bonded cashmere capes and draped sweaters were worn over matching turtlenecks and pants. A particularly stunningly classic look came as a cream cashmere coat with a shearling collar worn over a match cream pantsuit. Both collections were stamped with the Ralph Lauren signature aesthetic; that’s just what clients and front row attendees like Kim Basinger desire. 

J. Mendel
The extravagant sophistication, luxury, and legacy running in the Mendel clan’s veins was alive and well for Fall. “This collection was a celebration of the artistry of the atelier of the house,” said Giles Mendel, reminiscent of family, who founded the brand in 1870, as we chatted backstage regarding the emotional attachment to his collection. This season, Mendel took his ultra sophisticated  woman to the Ballet Russes for inspiration dressing her in jewel-toned hues as opulent as the colorful furs that adorned her shoulders as well. Opening the show was striking a color-blocked coat in ruby, camel, and black using Persian lamb, and brushed wool trimmed with strips of quilted leather and cinched with belts of the same. Fur details ranged from cable knit mink, finn raccoon collars, and hooded fox capes. For day, there were structured leather tops paired with silky skirts, and body conscious dresses of lattice-like weave sported stunning asymmetrical details. The second half of the collection showcased Mendel’s evening wear heritage with ruched, gathered, and draped gowns of charmeuse pleated featherweight silk. When Mendel added embellished netting to his strategically cut-away gowns, traipsed down the runway by elegantly made models with long, loose curls—the result was nothing but ethereal. 

The sign of a talented designer is the ability infuse countless numbers of intricate details in one piece of clothing without making the piece feel heavy or overdone. The design duo behind Marchesa can do that in their sleep. Take their Fall collection, a confection of dyed and draped lace, buttery silks in ruched jewel tones, and layers upon layers of sparkly embroidery. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig quoted a Scottish lass as their girl du saison, but it wasn’t overtly obvious. Do field girls rock cornrows? Do they don precious lace-up architectural wedges from Christian Louboutin? No, but then again, the Marchesa girl isn’t your average one.

Reed Krakoff
To Reed Krakoff, seasons are just a suggestion, not a rigid framework to design by, as evidenced by his Fall showing. For his first show post-Coach at his namesake label, Krakoff offered minimalist designs with a luxe upgrade: sheets of snakeskin, a cashmere and fur sweatshirt, and a shearling bomber jacket. There were also plenty of airy strapless dresses and lengthy wrap skirts with leather details. And what about the accessories offerings? There was a new bag, dubbed the Krush, which is a cushy shape with a short handle, as well as jewelry inspired by Bauhaus architecture. All in all, we’re digging Krakoff’s increased focus on his own brand; we can’t wait to see what else comes from it.

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