It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not only does fall mark the return of Scandal (I’ve missed you so, Olivia Pope) it’s also when designers debut their collections for next year’s Spring/Summer season. In addition to the month of shows starting in New York and wrapping up in Paris, we have slews of street style pictures to pore over and to inspire us to higher levels of sartorial greatness. Although my invitations somehow got lost in the mail (again), I have been obsessively streaming runway shows and running up the data on my cell phone scrolling though looks of all the best collections that were presented in New York and London. Read on for my round up of the stand outs. Let us begin with Nueva York.
Jenna Lyons, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. J Crew went back to their preppy classic roots for their Spring/Summer collection, perhaps in response to a reported drop in women’s wear sales recently. While the overall collection was maybe less fashion forward than we’ve seen in seasons past, the styling of the looks, which always reflects Lyons’ personal style POV, maintained that cool girl/borrowed from the boys’ edge that the brand has come to be known for. Lots of gingham in the form of sandals, flats, button downs and pants stood out in the brand’s presentation along with nautical stripes on super-duper wide leg trousers. Several options of pants were show in the silhouette that is Everything (that’s Everything with a capital ‘E’, folks) right now; cropped short and cut wide. Casual looks paired with statement earrings, off the shoulder tops and dresses and, of course, menswear inspired pieces. Gimme.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne launched their label in 2008. In 2013 they won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund joining the ranks of heavy hitters like of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Joseph Altuzarra. This year the duo continued their steady ascent in the industry and was named creative directors of DKNY. Take a classic label which designs for the modern woman and interject a dose of urban edge and what you get is a collection consisting of look after look that is so dope it makes my heart hurt that I can’t have it all. Not all reviews of this collection were positive but I dig it mucho. Maybe I’m biased because I so love these boys but, man, it’s good stuff. Using a color palette of black, white and grey (yes, yes and yes) they recreated DKNY’s eponymous pinstriped power suit into new silhouettes. A pinstripe gathered wrap skirt paired with a plain white tee, black ankle boots and socks is officially what I want to wear to work every day from now on. And in addition to designing 41 looks of awesomeness for DKNY, they still managed to put together a pretty rad show for their own brand, Public School.
If you don’t know this New York based label from Australian designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin allow me to introduce them. The two met while studying fashion at The University of Technology Sydney. After graduation Martin went on to work with names like Alberta Ferretti, Jean Paul Gaultier, J Mendel and Derek Lam. Lobo worked as a designer buyer, stylist, journalist and brand consultant. TOME was launched in 2011 and has been gaining notoriety ever since. The pair are alums of the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund which is when they first hit my radar. Minimalism at its very best; that’s super cliché, I know, but it’s the truth. The collection consisted of looks mostly in black and white, grey and camel with pops of vibrant yellow (also seen at Joseph in LFW) and pink. Midi skirts with slits, paper bag pants and skirts, wide leg trousers, structural tops, belted outer wear and jackets saucily slipping off of one shoulder which is apparently how we should all be wearing our jackets. Keep your eye on these kids.
If asked which boys I heart more than those of Public School it would be David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone. My love for this brand knows no bounds. Their 2016 Summer/Spring collection debuted at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn and did not disappoint. With a nod to the 90’s and mix of masculine and feminine aesthetic, the British born/New York based designers sent look after look down the runway that made me murmur “That’s my favorite. No, THAT’s my favorite. No, wait that’s DEFINITELY my favorite” until my husband told me to shut up. When I’m not wearing Public School for DKNY to work I want to be wearing a racer back midi length knit dress with high top sneaks and a varsity jacket. Or a silk slip dress. Or an oversized vest with slouchy trousers. Sigh.
Here are a few extras for you because it’s so hard for me to pick just a few collections to write about. It’s like Sophie’s Choice…except with clothes instead of a human child (same thing, right?). Anyway, check out Rebecca Minkoff for a dose of Cali girl cool and Banana Republic to see how creative director Marissa Webb continues to elevate the brand to new heights.
London based luxury label Mary Katrantzou was launched in 2008 and is credited with pioneering the digital print revolution. Her prints somehow always seem to work no matter how large the scale or crazy the colors. This collection is fun and fanciful; definitely party clothes. Sequins, metallic quilting, tiny floral prints and flirty minis mixed with more structured silhouettes in vibrant colors. These are the kind of clothes that make you smile and want to go out with your girls and be admired.
Like Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos built their brand on the colorful digital prints that they’ve become known for. The designers took a break (and a risk) from what made them so successful this season and showed a collection of mostly solids color, gauzy fabrics, car wash pleats and the ever present cropped wide leg trousers. While the collection met with mixed reviews I for one give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
As you might expect from the high street brand, Topshop’s Spring/Summer collection is completely London cool girl wearable. The Unique line is higher end (and higher priced) but still attainable for the everyday girl who doesn’t mind putting down a few more duckets for some nice stuff. Chiffon dresses with thigh high slits, florals, leopard, large scale polka dots and fur trimmed strappy sandals that are not at all Peggy Bundy strutted down the London runway. Well done, I say.