New York, London, Milan and Paris spring summer fashion weeks 2011 kick off this September
By Fareeha Qayoom
pring is in the air! No, I am not mad. Spring is really in the air even if it’s not quite fall yet as far as fashion calendar is concerned. The season kick starts with New York Fashion week (for men and women) in progress right now – moving on to London (men and women), Milan (women only) and to finally culminate at Paris (women only). This year it’s no different either.
The light, airy feel of the clothes goes with the general feeling of optimism at spring 2011 previews at Mercedes-Benz Fashion week. Tommy Hilfiger’s twenty-fifth anniversary bash was one of the ‘splashiest’ events of the season and the fashion crowd apparently thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations I hear.
Illusion with sheer looks made a quiet statement at New York Fashion week, in other words, strategic use of sheer fabric, here and there, on sleeves, neckline, overlay or skirt, gave the illusion of bareness without revealing all. As Samantha Critchell (AP) put it, “The look was naturally sexy, without being vulgar.”
Victoria Beckham took the unusual step of narrating her own show, clad in black, she was apparently in love with one of her creations, a “white matte gazar gown with sculptural pleated shoulders and a waistband adorned with linked micro-beads,” vowing to wear it to the next big fashion event. Apparently, she “pushed” herself with this dress, not to mention, another dress that’s destined to make it to her personal wardrobe, a “Cadillac-pink shift dress with an asymmetrical, curved neckline.” The themes of her spring dresses was a celebration of curves, she said, taking out some of the corsetry that she previously built silhouettes on, replacing that with oval panels that she said would give the same flattering shape with more comfort.
Derek Lam also made a bold quiet statement. The soothing color palette in ivory, parchment and tan got a quick boost from contrasting shades in navy, black and indigo denim. The designer defined quiet chic with lanky and easy silhouettes; “an embroidered poncho worn with a belt looping through the front side only would make a chic daytime dress, and a cashmere silk tank dress-sweater combination in oatmeal was the sort of no-frills look that a woman would reach for again and again.”
The designer Thakoon Panichgul famous for dressing first lady Michelle Obama on many occasions took the sheer look and ran with it for a collection that had a “boudoir feel, with loose pajama stripes, bra tops and sheer lingerie-like dresses.” At times the runway seemed more suited to Victoria’s Secret than the front-row crowd that included former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. To be sure, there were some beautiful clothes that could travel outside the bedroom for example, “a pajama stripe silk layered vest with white cotton twill pants had a loose and pretty feel.”
Catherine Malandrino was true to her free-spirited roots, black macramé gladiator sandals to the thigh were paired with slash tops and teeny knit bottoms, with crackled leathered bolero jackets, flowing gowns in breezy jersey and wide-legged trousers in terra-cotta, olive and clay. A long dress worthy of the beach was hand-crocheted in ivory with open ovals from the chest to the bellybutton. Malandrino’s palette paid homage to ceramics maker Roger Capron and the southern French village of Vallauris.
Cynthia Rowley’s lovely, polished clothes were presented with sets of “Swan Lake” and “Romeo and Juliet” in the backdrop standing tall behind the models. The swing toward sophisticated styles is part of the evolution of fashion, Rowley said in an interview later Saturday. The first look out was an otherwise simple taupe dress, but cutout dots like a Connect Four unit made it new and interesting. The same went for all the transparent panels on sweaters and polos, and the colored pebble like embellishment on shirts, shorts and a cocktail party-ready shift dress.
Prabal Gurung, Singapore-born, Nepal-raised young man, took a bit of a risk on his third-ever runway, starting with color blocked cashmere knits. It was a statement worth making: Gurung wants to dress real women — women of style, not those obsessed with trends.
The DKNY woman breezed onto the runway neatly wrapped in the brand’s new heritage-print scarf. The spring collection borrowed from many classic wardrobe staples, including shirtdresses, ruffled blouses and trench coats. “Who doesn’t need a good trench?” said Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey on a soggy day, noting the black one she was carrying; “Works for everything.”
So would Karan’s trim blazers — many with peplums on the back — and tapered trousers that she hoped would straddle precision and effortlessness.
Beckham Celebrates Curves With Line of Dresses