Fashion Week Day 5

Dennis Basso Fall 2010

Snow day. For the second time in this fashion week, New York has been forced to dig out from a winter storm. It was supposed to arrive overnight, but Mother Nature’s sense of humor kept the flakes coming all day Wednesday, turning the city, and Bryant Park, into a winter wonderland – beautiful to look at, but a bit challenging to travel around in. The backdrop it provided, however, was perfect for all the fall coats, sweaters and furs we’re seeing.

Elie Tahari’s pant suits and blazers were classic Tahari in their wearability and his great black leather jackets added and edge we’ve not seen from him. Badgley Mischka’s collection of red carpet worthy gowns and dresses were heavy on the sparkle, while the lower priced Mark & James collection focused attention on shoulders for day. Derek Lam’s modern cowgirl is an urban woman, all the better to wear the great jackets – one with the widest lapels we’ve seen – and expertly draped gowns. Vera Wang usual sculpted excesses were toned down and pared down to sleek black pants suits, slim skirts and dresses and lovely draped bustiers.

The reigning Designers of the Year, Kate and Laura Mulleavy Rodarte’s lived up to lofty expectations with their take on sleepwalking, a collection of really colorful, and wearable wrapped tops, slim skirts and the most simple dresses we’ve seen them create. Max Azria’s signature collection has gone in the direction of extreme minimalism, and his pared down, pieced dresses and asymmetrical jackets were simply stunning. Dennis Basso’s chosen medium, gorgeous furs, were draped and pieced into incredible poufs that were as interesting to see as the best ready-to-wear. Part thrift shop, part repurposed military pieces, the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection was a more colorful, playful take on the classic pieces he showed for his signature collection. Showing The Row in a super intimate setting for 100, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s collection of pieces went straight to the heart of this collection – offering low key chic and anonymous fashion.

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Sophie Theallet’s brightly colored dresses screamed luxe from the lush silk satins skimming models’ bodies to the plush velvets she draped expertly. Narciso Rodriguez, working curves and shadows, concentrated on short dresses and day looks, all the while playing up the bust with piecing that accentuates it in a subtle way. Working with Jason Wu, Tse’s offerings were light and linear, but with a playful attitude. Amy Smilovic’s Tibi has moved far beyond sweet little dresses to offer great cropped jackets, suits, well-styled sweaters and gowns with a modern, buttoned-up feel.

A gold trench coat and modern, peplumed dresses for day signify that a new, uber-elegant day has dawned at Carmen Marc Valvo. Yeohlee Teng’s experimentation with shapes resulted in a variety of well designed pieces, long and short, that stand alone on their innovation.