On the Runway

New York Fashion Week: Peter Som, Jeremy Laing and Jason Wu

Photography by Anthea Simms

Photography by Anthea Simms

Photograpy by Anthea Simms

Anthea Simms

Photography by Anthea Simms

The show line-up for Day 2 holds a number of must-see collections, including top Canadian talent Jeremy Laing, Complex Geometries, and Pink Tartan. First on my busy schedule is Peter Som. Som continues to play with brights as he did for spring, with punchy hits of tangerine and fluoro pink in smart suits. Digital prints remix traditional stripes and tartans in knee-length day dresses. There’s plenty of clever play with proportion in a peplum-hipped blazer and wide box pleats on the reverse of a gala-ready frock. Microscopic sequins sprinkled on tailored-to-a-T dresses and tweed jackets brighten staple neutral tone pieces. The biggest message comes in the versatility of the looks—you could easily piece one daytime blouse with cocktail-hour embellished trousers, or throw on your utility parka over a party dress.

A quick hop up to Jack Studios takes me to the Jeremy Laing presentation in an airy warehouse venue. Burning incense and a flood of sunlight creates an invitingly mellow mood. The crowd is far from mellow though, with a big turnout of press and buyers, buzzing to see the parade of Fall looks. The presentation leads with a row of sleek, elongated silhouettes. Laing’s strong suits—draping, layering, and prints – are all present in a subdued range of grey, olive green, and navy. Unexpected velvet pops in a maxi-dress but doesn’t feel heavy due to its ultra-slim cut. Fans of last Fall’s wool ‘bubble’ sweater will be happy to see a new incarnation of special knits with a polka-dot pattern cut-out draped dress and knit topper. The new print this season is inspired by moon crater motifs and is very effective in graphic pieces.

I’ve really lucked out so far today – lots of shows are located within a few blocks of one another so I have time to pop back to the hotel – Donna Karan ticket waiting for me! – before Jason Wu. Once I do hit the show, the venue is enticingly sophisticated. Chandeliers dangle from exposed wooden beams, and a runway constructed from large plates of framed mirrors snakes around the room. As an accessories fanatic, I’m thrilled to score a front-row seat so that I’ll have a full view of the shoes and bags. They don’t disappoint—revived classics like the doctor bag and ponyhair bootie are paired with a series of lace-trimmed wool separates, in a great mix of practicality and prettiness. Other wardrobe staples pop up; wool field jackets and pleated black-and-white print dresses. The tone of the venue is then matched by regal cocktail looks. There’s an audible reaction from the crowd as everyone oohs and ahhs upon seeing a sparkling jewel-encrusted dress coat. Other crowd-pleasers include high-waist, high-drama gowns that play hide-and-seek with nude mesh bodices and plenty of appliqued gems. Collaborating with Wu this season is millinery extraordinaire Maison Michel (the Olsen twins are fans) and jewelery designer Alexis Bittar (a FLARE favourite).