NYFW Spring 2014: Thom Browne, Tommy Hilfiger, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alice + Olivia, Katie Gallagher

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(NEW YORK) Thom Browne

Positively clinical! In the chicest of manners, of course. Asylum-themed and one of the most theatrical shows we’ve seen this week, Browne brought the insanity for a seriously sick show. The collection consisted of stark contrasts between black and white, the occasional navy, and a few instances of creamy silk looks offset by models’ messily smeared crimson red lips. With frizzy, wildly teased coifs and equally crazed looks in their eyes, their exaggerated appearances were just as important in presenting the elaborate collection. Aside from straightjacket-chic, Browne also took inspiration from Elizabethan-era style, borrowing heritage accents and silhouettes like stiff cone-like collars, leg-of-mutton sleeves, and structured, exaggerated hips. Browne also showed his penchant for perfectionism with intricate design details. Think ribbon-laced back seams than ran the length of the garments; pearl buttons, embroidery, feathers, and pockets (all on one garment!); sculpted, stiff funnels and arcs and voluminous plissés of fabric that gave the collection a three dimensional interest.

Tommy Hilfiger
Life’s a beach chez Tommy. Just this summer Hilfiger launched his new West Hollywood flagship for the brand and made a cross-country tour with the brand’s Surf Shack bus, which started its road trip from Venice Beach. So, the West Coast surfer babe references were aplenty. Walking down a boardwalk in a room filled with sand at Pier 59 in Chelsea, models strutted out in colorful surf-inspired neoprene-like tops that mimicked wet suits, to scuba-style zip-up swimsuits and floral printed button down diner-style shirtdresses. He even debuted a few sports jerseys, which have recently enticed all the L.A. girls. We’re already dreaming of next summer. Too soon?

3.1 Phillip Lim
Geode print, fringe, and leather. Lim’s collection, which was set against a white back-drop in a huge, expansive warehouse space, had that cool girl vibe that is de rigueur for his client base. All of the key silhouettes were there. To wit: a wide leg crop pant in yellow, black, and white fringe, a knee-length canary yellow A-line skirt in leather, and boxy bomber jackets and sweatshirt tops. The latter of which were done this time around in organza embroidered with a marble geode print that ran throughout the collection. In a word or two? Rock solid.

Alice + Olivia  
Alice + Olivia is nothing if not for the girls. Spring 2014 was no different and this season designer Stacey Bendet did her beloved feminine frocks with a twist—a “preppy meets pretty” twist, to be exact. There was a little something for everyone here for spring, from the edgy (an embellished cropped blazer paired with slouchy, slashed jeans) to the elegant (a black lace layered evening gown). There were also a selection of trendy items for offer, reiterations of our favorites from seasons before. Flirty circle skirts came in a variety of lengths from mini to maxi, in an assortment of colors. Bendet’s classic tailored trousers also made an appearance. Cropped jackets and tuxedo-lapel blazers complemented the bottoms, and beaded crop tops or piqué polos mingled with as well. Opting out of a strict color scheme, there was a wide-ranged palette that saw very few repetitions. (The one exception? A colorblocked black, red, and nude print.) Floral motifs were also seen throughout, including a daisy print cardigan, Japanese flower collarless jacket, and large-bloomed multi-colored print. Also eye-catching? The shoes. Platform espadrilles came in hybrid ballet flat or Mary Jane editions, the classic styles topping the thick woven wedge.

Katie Gallagher
In an abbreviated but impactful collection, Katie Gallagher proved her prowess as the princess of darkness, although her collection contained more muted shades than black. While each piece was bestowed with the name of a certain type of flora, there were (thankfully) no frills. Instead, a rather sporty collection, mixed in with hints of swimwear, was presented. A sheer dress which nearly overtook a model was nipped in with pleats and presented a bouquet of tattered flowers on the chest, presenting a sort of romantic feel. The last look, which a model presented while holding a rose in her mouth, featured a serious babydoll dress with short sleeves and a gathered hem that bared just a bit more leg in the front. Don’t expect this flora-inflected collection to wilt anytime soon. 

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