Fashion doesn't take a holiday

Photo by Keystone Press

Photo by Keystone Press

Photo by Keystone Press

Today is a holiday in both Canada and the US, but I’m off for a 9am call time at Zac Posen.

Posen has been vocal lately about how the economy has affected his business and how his sky rocket to fame may have actually hindered his label. So he’s now dedicated to taking his label in a more serious, grown-up direction. (That explains 9am, rather than  his usual 9pm show time.)

While there were still signature ruffles and pleats, a sober camel cape and pants sent their message loud and clear. Besides some wearable seperates, cute cocktail dresses in floral prints and brocades replaced his usual floor length gowns.

There were fur coats in a variety of colours – from teal to cranberry to purple – and skirts and dresses were mini in length. A pair of copper tuxedo stripe pants caught my eye…


Some shows at NYFW are guaranteed to draw huge crowds. Like DVF, Carolina Herrera has been a mainstay in New York fashion and she’s certainly achieved icon status, so all of NY society has come out to pay tribute.

Karen Elson opened the show and classic, ladylike looks with South American flair unfold.  Large brimmed hats, wide leg pants, beautiful puffy ruched sleeves and splashes of red follow.

From a classic camel coat to beautiful floral print gowns, these are clothes for women not girls. A gorgeous charcoal beaded cocktail dress with fur-trimmed collar dipped in the back started the procession of incredible eveningwear. This is where ladies of NY’s Upper East Side go to buy their party dresses. A beautiful steel blue gown with meille fuille layers over the shoulders is the perfect alternative wedding dress.

Herrera closes the show with a parade of some of the most beautifully executed gowns I’ve ever seen, like one beautifully wrapped present after another.

In between some major heavy-weights I checked out little known label Carlos Miele. A young designer from Brazil, his show is full of bright red and purple with geo print dresses.

Off to Donna Karan’s 25th anniversary. The place is scented with incense and Sting is on the soundtrack. I’m on the road to Zen.

One of the few A-list sightings is Demi Moore, who is sitting alongside Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Marisa Berenson. All long-time Karan fans and friends, so these are not photo-ops, but rather support for an old friend—so refreshing after seasons of celebrity circus.

The show is stunning! An almost all black line-up, that focuses on structured architectural silhouettes like brillant origami. Cocoon coats and the most stunning white shirt with a huge multi-layered collar, open to the navel. The pants are tight, some bell-bottomed, and the finishing touches are just as beautiful as the clothes with laced leather gloves and hard modernist  jewelry by Robert Lee Morris.

The collection is pretty fierce and hard-edged for Karan, with galactic looking coats made of wet laminated wool. The only hit of colour is an electric blue, teal-like colour, which seems to be another running theme this week.


Monique L’huillier took a trip East with an Asian inspired collection. Red and a dragon jacquard print mini dresses set the tone and then lead to what we all really want to see from L’Huillier: great eveningwear. A nude and gray sheer layered one shouldered number with distressed floral appliqués beautifully showcased what she does best.

What’s new at Rad Hourani? Beside a newly launched e-commerce site, his show also featured bags. In an ode to Helmut Lang, jackets featured inside shoulder straps, allowing them to hang, while wool and leather combos added texture and variety to his signature unisex all black look.

Also of note? Tasha Tilberg made a rare runway appearance.


Seems I’m the only paranoid editor to show up at Marc Jacobs an entire 45 minutes early. Now that he’s the most punctual designer on the schedule, you risk missing the entire show by seven minutes past the hour. (Most shows run a half hour to forty-five minutes late.)

Once inside, I find myself in a cardboard box—literally! The entire set is covered in brown cardboard from the walls to the floor and the benches. At exactly 8pm, Marc Jacobs and business partner Patrick Duffy come out to unwrap a huge brown paper box shell, to unveil all fifty-six models neatly lined up in rows. Various renditions of “Over the Rainbow” play as models in war-era-inspired looks parade down four runway aisles.

There are gray wool skirts with mid-calf A-line skirts, fine gauge knits, fur and suede coats, and nightgown-inspired dresses. Amidst an entirely neutral colour scheme of beige, gray, ivory and silver metallic, the only shot of colour is one acid green sequined skirt and chunky sweater. Along with classic kelly-inspired bags, are novelty bags made entirely of fur balls or sequins with long haired fur trim. Refreshingly, the shoes are sensible with Mary Janes and cute half-inch pumps.

I especially love the quirky nude coloured eyewear frames. Even though the vibe is 40’s retro, these clothes feel very new in their femininity and simple clean lines. Just what fashion needs after so many seasons of punky spikes and hardware.