NYFW Spring 2014: Jason Wu, Tess Giberson, Cushnie et Ochs, Nicole Miller, Chadwick Bell

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(NEW YORK) Jason Wu 
One of the most coveted shows to score an invite to on the NYFW sched remains Jason Wu; the designer has eclipsed golden boy status to just be one of the designers you can count on to deliver season after season. Just ask Mrs. Obama. Spring ’14 is no exception, thanks to his latest show, entitled “A Dialogue Between Construction and Ease.” In sum? Another winner. For a front row that included Alicia Keys, Maria Sharapova, and Jessica Paré, he sexed it up for spring with lingerie-inspired looks. (The boudoir being a point of inspiration Wu has dabbled in in prior seasons.) Always one to give a little glam, Wu will keep his fans happy with highlights including a bias cut sage embroidered dress and a black tuxedo jumpsuit that’s just waiting to meet a red carpet. Also of note, on the strutting front: Props to Wu for a diverse runway of models, once again. 

Tess Giberson
Emerging from a crocheted piece of art work webbed together inside a giant wooden frame? A colorful collection emerged from Tess Giberson’s imagination, full of rich emerald greens, barely-there baby blues, and multi-colored plaid madras-esque patterns. Giberson was clearly in a different mood than last Spring’s all-white palette. “I think people have it in their mind that I just do black and white,” said Giberson. “But I’ve been playing a lot more with color and print. I may not wear it, but I love working with it!” Giberson told The Daily with a giggle or two. Those prints? Watercolors that Giberson’s artist husband, Jon Widman, created and they found their way onto simple, easy shift dresses as well as festooning silk chiffon tops and trousers. As for Giberson’s labor intensive backdrop? It signaled one of Giberson’s strengths: knits. Intricate knitwear pieces, like a nautically striped sweater dress with multi-colored crocheted sleeves, was particularly interesting, as well as her take on the proverbial crop top. Giberson’s iteration of the ab-flaunter surfaced via an emerald green knitwear version, cut-out with holes and worn over a white bandeau. And if you want to see the backdrop inspiration in person, stop by Giberson’s storefront, where she plans to display it in the upcoming months. “It was very therapeutic,” said Giberson. We’ll take her word for it, but we suspect the mother-of-two hasn’t slept much this summer. The result? A simple yet eye-popping collection that will be wearable above and below 14th street.

 Cushnie et Ochs 

 Backstage, designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs said the inspiration this season were hospitals. Mental institutions, to be exact. That means they were looking at straight jackets, harnesses, and bindings. “It’s like fashion hospital!” said Cushnie. They obviously had the grueling fashion week schedule in mind. Karlie Kloss’ lengthy frame opened the show in a white asymmetrical viscose crepe bandage dress. Emphasizing the straight-up sex appeal of the collection models marched out in a series of body-con numbers in a palette of white, grey, black, and aubergine to Kelis’ track “Copy Cat,” replete with literal cat sounds in the song’s background. Perhaps it was a reference to all of the cut-out looks, for which the design duo has become known, that are flooding the market? Meow! And just for the record the next track was, “I Just Want To Be A Lesbian” by Felix Da Housecat. Laurent Vacher from Labtronic, who did the music, had the crowd buzzing over those cat calls and selected track lyrics, nearly on par with the tizzy made over the garb on parade. “This music is so awesomely weird,” one front row attendee was overheard whispering to her seat mate gleefully. We’re sure front row DJs Chelsea Leyland and Harley Viera-Newton, were taking notes and planning their future behind-the-booth looks, non?

Nicole Miller
Lithe models slinked down Nicole Miller’s opulent golden runway, with each piece competing with the last in regards to the frockery’s bling levels. These rebels with a cause (to be totally gorgeous) donned skin tight pants, in black leather or slashed denim. On top, bejeweled tops and flowy peasant numbers abounded. Also on deck? The printed dresses that have arguably made this designer’s name in the industry, plus separates derived from the same concept. Chloe Norgaard hit this runway for the third consecutive year, this time with shocking green hair (that everyone wanted a photograph of, obviously). Rather than carry out the traditional finale, Nicole sent her girls out in groups, to the tune “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”. And that they did: There was laughter and running down the runway as each model linked arms with their fellow mods, evoking quite the sense of comradery.  Cheers! 

Chadwick Bell 
As we all know, the designer that can make a poncho look chic, and have the chicsters in the room already planning outfits around one, is a talented individual. The poncho in question was a maxi-poncho: long, tassled, and cut-out with maroon striping. To what can we owe this glorious creation? The Nineties SoCal youth of designer Chadwick Bell, complete with a tinge of Mexicana and a whole lot of off-white. Tailoring played a huge role in the collection, with inventive suiting like a canary yellow skirt set with a cropped jacket topper and a deconstructed short-sleeved double breasted blazer. In addition to the clear cut silhouettes were sheer chiffon skirts, a handful of chunky knits and a “tech-y looking tweed.” The final touch were the striking gold collars and geometric necklaces from Anndra Neen, which Chadwick took the liberty of describing as “a little bit chola.”

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