On the Runway

New York Fashion Week: Rachel Roy and Rad by Rad Hourani

Photography by Anthea Simms

As I head off to the first presentation of the day, I still have last night’s Marc Jacobs show in mind. With London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks still to come, I can’t wait to see if Jacobs’s frame of mind will be parallel with any other designers this season, or if he will stand alone in his approach to harder fabrics and strict silhouettes. For now, I’m starting my day with Rachel Roy, well-established for her modern, feminine main line and also her commercially successful diffusion lines. The main collection is presented at the Lincoln Center, and I have to laugh when I see my schedule will take me from uptown to downtown and back about four times before noon. No amount of running around can discourage me though (not even the traffic delays!) as I’m in the home stretch of NYFW and soaking up every minute of it. Roy is well worth the trip, and upon seeing the clothes I’m so glad this has been done presentation-style. Clothes with such rich detail and layers require a long and up-close look. Each outfit has a wealth of texture (coarse brocades), print (feathers, tribal), or colour (bold horizontal stripes) but nothing feels overdone. These are timeless pieces that can effortlessly update your existing wardrobe for next season.

Next it’s down to Milk Studios for Rad by Rad Hourani. This Canadian designer has made a definite name for himself with minimal, androgynous style in precisely-cut leathers. As I walk into the venue I have to do a balancing act to walk along the bleachers—no stepping on the carpeted runway, please! Its well-attended despite some conflicting shows scheduled at the same time, demonstrating that Hourani has a strong draw. A steady stream of both female and male models sport Hourani’s unisex looks, each one marching in heeled sandals. Oversized and angular grey coats with wide lapels are in the first looks out, but its the later ensembles that I see some real mastery of pleating and fastening. A selection of exits feature wool tunics strapped on like chest plates—utility chic style for cold-weather climes. In spite of all the strict harnessing, each model is highly mobile, proving that you can be fully equipped for what the day (or night) throws at you without succumbing to dense layers.

See a gallery of looks from Day 6 of New York Fashion Week: Rodarte, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez and Rad by Rad Hourani