If New York Fashion Week has taught me anything, it’s to never refuse a free sample at the Lincoln Center. A sponsored Kefir popsicle comes in handy more often than you thought was possible. Also, Kefir: Is this a thing now? Certainly, what still captures the fashion industry’s heart is a good ‘ol collabo, with New York presenting some fine examples of teamwork for spring 2014 (see also: super cute Sophia Webster pumps for J Crew).
At Jeremy Laing’s show, I met Julia Dault, the Canadian-bred New York-based artist with whom he had collaborated on a series of sorbety prints (side note: ice cream is trending) as she was seeing them up close for the first time backstage. For me, their alliance produced some of the most delightful pieces in the show, particularly this dress. (Editor Miranda Purves also singled out the Laing + Dault pairing.) Fun fact: Dault told me that the collector who owns the original artwork already asked to buy the dress. Matching your art to your outfit = new hobby for the 0.5 per cent?
“It’s quite incredible to see someone on the ride of the their lives,” The Globe and Mail’s Andrew Sardone told me Saturday night as we left a dinner feting affable Ostwald Helgason designers Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason’s spring collection. Indeed, it is: The duo had just revealed a well-received Aldo Rise collabo for 2014, which included pumps, stacked heels and bags (a Rise first) bearing their signature quirky colour blocks. But I loved the little red backpack most, likely because Fashion Week always gives me back to school feelings. Oh, and Solange made an appearance at their presentation, which is exactly like having the coolest girl in class come to your birthday party.
If you (like me) bring your gym clothes to work every day under the pretense of finally fitting in a workout, you should consider better discipline this fall. Spring 2014 demands some gruelling abdominal work thanks to the sizeable assortment of crop tops on offer at NYFW. Some of my faves were at Jonathan Simkhai, where the designer presented cut-out dresses and abbreviated Ts in innocent, ice-creamy colours that were more Kelly Kapowski than Kim Kardashian. Trust me, there is a world of difference.
Michael Kors also killed it with the crops yesterday, with little bralets alongside strict pencil skirts all wrapped up in boxy cardigans. It veered into utter romance despite all that skin. Kors is the kind of New York designer who likes a serious woman (see: last season’s camo prints and knife-sharp heels) but I like seeing this softer side. When his shapes give a little, they get downright pretty, like in this forties kitchy floral dress on Karen Elson. Also, can we agree that Karen Elson is a downright dreamy human?
Speaking of fantasies, I stepped into one upon entering Altuzarra’s runway room in the Meatpacking on Saturday night. The whole place was scented by Diptyque (Figuier, to be exact), reminiscent at first of fancy department store bathrooms or maybe just of one of Vanessa Traina’s libraries. (Danielle Steele’s offspring is the muse and stylist behind some of the hippest New York collections, including this one.)
The show played with boro, a form of patchworked dress prevalent among Japanese peasants and farmers in the 17th century, here elevated by Joseph Altuzarra with the use of decidedly unhumble silks so supple and relaxed they seemed to just barely float. The idea came together best in the suiting, with flashes of skin bringing the sex.
I held my breath during the finale, where pillowy lame skirts and gowns served both to aesthetically please and remind us of the new flow of corporate gold infused by Kering, who recently bought a minority stake in the label.