As fashion week continues on from New York to Europe, we take a moment to look at ApparelMagic clients’ hard-won victories during spring 2016’s edition of New York Fashion Week.
Hood By Air
It’s not often that a designer like Shayne Oliver, creative director of ApparelMagic client Hood By Air, can give his subversive take on both Jennifer Aniston’s hair and Kim Kardashian’s makeup and still end up impressing his audience with capital-F fashion, but as usual, Oliver’s done it again. The hair, based on the zig-zag center part of Aniston’s “Friends” character, and the makeup, a reference to the Kardashian clan by way of unblended, half-done conturing makeup, make up only the headline to the collection’s deconstructed assemblage of cutaway jeans, floor length dress shirts, and cropped takes on uniform dressing.
Never a stranger to outsize runway statements, Oliver emblazoned his HBA logo across school blazers and even tied several models’ arms behind their backs. The experimental shapes and angles he threw at the clothing bridge any divide that might be left today between streetwear and haute couture, and the clothes themselves are nearly androgynous, being showcased equally well on both men and women. Hood By Air might be a young brand, but its appeal–and its influence–are growing faster than ever.
Held in this season’s favorite Fashion Week venue, Skylight at Moynihan Station, Mark Badgley and James Mischka showed their spring collection for ApparelMagic client Badgley Mischka infused with a new, airy elegance. The first look out was a buttery yellow jacket in a chunky tweed, paired with matching kicky shorts – a business suit for a Hamptons lawn rather than a stuffy board meeting.
In the audience, the designers’ famous friends including Dame Helen Mirren watched as embellished, pale looks filed past, each garment flowing or glinting with sparkle. Badgley Mischka played to their consistent strengths: feminine, easy daywear and goddess-style gowns with just the right amount of drama. The gowns, toward the end of the défilé, ranged from lingerie-inspired draperies in rose pink to dresses with slits-up-to-there in the best taste of 40’s Hollywood glamour. These are clothes that are never too fussy, but instead timelessly classic and flattering.
Jill Stuart’s spring collection felt like a love letter to the 1970’s, celebrating and exaggerating the decade’s most iconic–and somehow incredibly relevant–looks. There were some updated peasant tops with high necks and blousey sleeves here and some sleek statement flares there. The front row was full of A list celebrities like Solange Knowles, who would be stunning in Stuart’s pale pink ruffled crop tops, and teenage sensation Bella Thorne, who could step right onto the red carpet in one of the collection’s creamy satin one-shoulder cocktail dresses.
It wasn’t an unconsidered blast from the past though, as each time Stuart plucked a trend from the seventies, she masterfully remixed it into something that looked poised to step down to the dance floor at some 2015 downtown version of New York’s famed Studio 54. Caftans, for instance, aren’t used as an exotic reference as they pass through Stuart’s hands, ending up on the runway in black spangled in stars over a blush-toned trouser. Indeed, the entire collection felt perfectly at home in both 1977 and 2015.
Another season, another outrageous spectacle from New York’s resident king of theatrics. This time around, the audience sat in a theater-in-the-round formation around a raw, timber-framed schoolhouse complete with desks. If that’s too simple there, Browne added disco floor lighting to the ceiling, and hung a few bushes and a picket fence around the perimeter, all upside down. Instead of turning fashion on its head, he rotated the whole world around it.
The clothes themselves are typical Browne inventiveness, all with origins in his trademark grey suit, but twisted in nearly unrecognizable ways. Models slowly strutted around the schoolhouse in pastel layers of topcoats, skirts, and shirts, each layered so that the shirt hem hung far below the bottom of skirt, in some cases all the way to the ankles. Each topcoat and jacket was painstakingly pieced together with Japanese-inspired motifs, some with bonsai crawling up the sleeves and another with a pastel geisha appliqué going from jacket lapel to skirt hem. This collection was one more hit in Thom Browne’s growing line of unforgettable shows.
Though based in New York, ApparelMagic client Hanley is a brand of a thousand destinations, each one more nuanced and glamorous than the last. Nicole Hanley’s jetsetting inspiration this season took her collection to the city of Havana, Cuba. Materializing in a bright, diverse mix of separates, the line seems like it was brought home from her travels by an impossibly tasteful student during her gap year, and meticulously styled to this season’s sense of effortless perfection.
Rich mustard tones are paired with crisp poplin in some looks, and others include shorts or a vest in a luxuriously textured stripe inspired by Hanley’s travel to Cuba. Each look of the collection sits well with the others, but it will look even better on its own when a street style star inevitably snaps up one of the pieces–especially that suede pullover primed and ready to travel anywhere in the world and wherever Hanley takes it next.
Zero + Maria Cornejo
Maria Cornejo is a New York Fashion Week stalwart. Season in and season out, her line, Zero + Maria Cornejo, is always there, preaching its signature brand of conceptual minimalism. The clothes always hit those perfect balances between daydreamy beauty and urban utility, between flattering and interesting. This spring, she proposes oversized, draped volumes that wrap around the body softly and generously in her ever present neutrals. While in a few garments she takes on a bright, painterly print in yellow and blue, even that is set against serene monochromatic greys.
The rest of the collection sticks to a mostly black-and-white palette, each color keeping to itself in most cases until the last looks down the runway, when Cornejo’s fabric research skills really shine through a couple of dresses each with lasercut grids of black or white, sections rustling and peeling back as models moved through the space. Fashion week might be the busiest nine days on the calendar, but this ApparelMagic client is always there to slow time down with her ethereal creations.