Fashion Week Day 1 Recap

New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday, with a day-long schedule that was packed with great design.

There were, however, some designers who jumped the gun and showed their wares earlier in the week. On Wednesday, John Bartlett showed his collection for Claiborne that was a sea of blue and green nautical-influenced sportswear, all pieces priced under $100. Jenni Kayne’s simple well-tailored pieces were roughed up in leather and accented by exposed zippers and sequins. Rachel Comey’s usual librarian-chic was made a bit more modern with longer, flowing silhouettes.

The first “official” day of fashion week was chock full of great designer offerings. John Patrick was inspired by the 1940s for his Organic collection of great, full-but-fitted trousers, sweet floral prints and sexy shorts. BCBG Max Azria’s young women will b e wearing great little dresses, many in bright prints, that could make their way out for d ay or night. There was a lot going on at Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock’s Vena Cava – punk, tribal, sexy – but under it all, kicky shorts and short shifts ruled the day. Duckie Brown’s Daniel Silver and Steven Cox showed a collection that was really grown up with sophisticated tweeds and lightweight shirts. Monique Lhuillier has walked away from the ball gown this season, instead showing long, modern draped columns and shorter fringe-y dresses. Elie Tahari’s collection was easy with paper bag waists on slouchy shorts and skirts and included chic little dresses and a smashing jumpsuit. CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Simon Spurr’s namesake collection for men was English in feel, but American in sensibility with double-breasted jackets, reinterpreted trench coats with low belts and unexpected color (yellow! salmon!). Fellow CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Wayne Lee showed beautifully draped mini dresses, made modern with cutouts and leather details in his collection, called simply Wayne.

The fashion festivities wrapped up early Thursday evening, so that designers, retailers, editors and the like could hit the streets for Fashion’s Night Out, which they did in droves. More on that later …