Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fashion Week: H Fredriksson

Simplistic elegance dominates Helena Fredriksson's Spring 2008 collection as the Swedish designer sent down the runway a slew of looks that are as timeless as the little black dress.

The color palette is reminiscent of fall instead of spring, but Fredriksson's use of feminine and light fabrics more than compensate the wintry-tones. Her signature silkscreen prints are ever present in this collection, reflected in cropped brocade jackets, kimono silk tops, high-waisted shorts and shift dresses.

Fredriksson continues her use of elegant silhouettes such as short dresses cut on a bias or flowing tops offset by narrow, high waisted pants. Her collection doesn't disappoint, for this is one of her strongest works to date.

Photos from top: H Fredriksson Spring 2008 Collection.

Photo credits: Elle.com

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fashion Week: Twinkle by Wenlan

Whimsical accents like scalloped trimmed pockets, piped-edges in contrasting colors and quirky prints defined the Twinkle by Wenlan show. There is a slight girlish elegance to the wearable clothing of this collection. The silhouettes are still loose and airy (with the occasional contrasting belt which seems to be the season's biggest accessory) and perfectly placed pockets are visible on most garments.

Wenlan's signature print this season is a hand drawn decorative pattern that looks like old-glamour stage curtains taken from an illustrated book you remember from childhood. It was sweet but not too saccharine -- a hommage to the innocence of the handmade piece. The knit dresses were form fitting yet easy. There is nothing homely about the shapes but you do get the feeling of comfort and simplicity.

For spring, the color palettes are muted and low-key. Grays, yellows and creams are the seasons most wanted colors. Nothing garrish is acceptable and no rhinestones in sight. This marks a new shift in sophisticated glamor with a low-maintenance approach.

All of Twinkle by Wenlan pieces seem wearable and accessible. For once, runway does translate to real world. -- Anne Sakatori

Photos from top: Twinkle by Wenlan Spring 2008 collection.

Photo credits: Imaxtree

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fashion Week: Reem Acra

Vivid colors and dramatic silhouettes epitomize Reem Acra's Spring 2008 collection, as the renowned eveningwear (and bridal) designer sent down the runway an array of luxurious dresses and gowns that are splashed in techni-colors.

Acra's approach in exploring her theme this season, "the theory of rejuvenation," involves rich satin, silk, and organza numbers that are splashed with bright colors that literally cover the spectrum of the rainbow.

Prints come in dramatic rose and polka dot prints, accented with contrasting silk or satin belts. A twisted chiffon gown in Pearl with beautiful, beaded necklace sleeves evokes a fairy-tale like aura to the collection.

Acra's pieces are not for the faint of heart, for her designs all touch upon the princesses in all of us.

Photos from top: Reem Acra Spring 2008 Collection.

Photo credits: Imaxtree

Fashion Week: ThreeAsFour

As expected, ThreeAsFour's Spring 2008 collection doesn't disappoint. Designers Gabi, Adi and Ange continued their aesthetics in flowing silhouettes and created pieces that are works of arts in themselves. The collection reflects a mystic femininity that makes ThreeAsFour one of the most watched designers -- and a CFDA/Vogue fashion fund finalists -- of this season.

Cocktail dresses came in layers of tulle that are finished with one-shoulder designs and flowing, circular seams. Pantsuits are long and tailored in the jacket and tapered in the leg, or matched with high-waisted shorts.

The palette this season is soft with hints of metallic and bright colors such as yellow and fuchsia. Something apart from their usual design is the introduction of the organza rosettes splashed on a yellow cocktail dress. It channels a Rodarte-like aesthetic that borders on couture grade craftsmanship.

It will be interesting to see how their success will translate for this downtown designer label - that with the introduction of the CFDA fame, will transcend them from obscurity to establishment.

Photos from top: ThreeAsFour Spring 2008 collection.

Photo credits: Style.com, Penny Yu.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fashion Week: Sabyasachi

The traveling nomad dominates Sabyasachi's Spring 2008 collection, with the Calcutta-based designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee sent down the runway a series of loose layered looks in linen, cotton, and shawls embellished in rich trims.

Gold, marigold separates are layered, layered, layered in tunics, loose pants, and shawls. Models accessorize the clothes with bare face, loose hair, and round glasses that evoke an English colonial ethnic chic, while strutting down to upbeat tunes of the Romantics' What I like about you.

It is refreshing to see a collection that evolves a more relaxed, carefree approach to fashion while others are doing lady-like looks that are restricted and structured. The nomad looks suit Mukherjee's aesthetics well as he go on his sophomore show at Bryant Park. It will be interesting to see how his vision translates in Fall 2008.

Photos from top: Sabyasachi Spring 2008 collection.

Photo credits: Penny Yu, Imaxtree

Fashion Week: Tracy Reese

Romanticism and Edwardian influences dominated Tracy Reese's Spring 2008 show, with her signature girly pieces evoking a more feminine aura this season.

She opened her show with models waltzing down the runway in wide-brim hats and beige tailored menswear that channeled the Jazz Age. Lady-like shifts and evening separates appeared in dreamy raspberry sequins, followed by long stripe gowns that are cut on a bias and close to the body.

Reese's signature feminine touch is prevalent throughout collection. She does not disappoint, for her excellent use in patterned fabric, and her unique tailoring (look at those high-waisted pants!) evoke a Great Gatsby influence that surely F. Scott Fitzgerald would approve. It is another collection that will go well with retailers and consumers alike.

Photos from top: Tracy Reese Spring 2008 Collection.

Photo credits: Penny Yu, Style.com

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fashion Week: Gottex

Brazilian-bond girls is Gottex's theme for its Spring 2008 show, which featured a collection of 60 swim numbers, ranging from one-piece cutouts to fabulous bikinis with matching caftans. Designer Gideon Oberson sent down the runway a wide array of styles that literally resemble a carnival in Rio.

While the models aren't exactly Bond girls, the fusion of colors, the dramatic printed caftans and their amazing matching headpieces transcend the presentation into a Showgirl-style show.

Photos from top: Gottex Spring 2008 collection.

Photo credits: Getty Images

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fashion Week: BCBG

The BCBG spring 2008 collection is as lovely as the spring blossoms. Through feminine silhouettes and the wide use of light fabrics, Max Azria and his wife Lubove showed a collection that epitomizes the delicate feminine.
Lots of white outfits started the show with models waltzing down the runway in barely made-up faces and messy, flowing hair. The silhouette this season is slimmer, more floaty with an emphasis on the waist. Tiny leather belts and ribbons with delicate bows adorned the models' waists.

The show then progressed to the use of delicate colors such as light purple, silver blue and a muted yellow. Light fabrics continued its dominance with volumes of organza and tulle framing stronger structure such as shift dresses and trench coats. The tailoring is present, yet softened by multiple layers of transparent fabrics that exude a sense of mysticism.

Max Azria did a good job in creating a collection that provides a much needed change from Fall's constructionism. It is refreshing to see such femininity returning in fashion.

Photos from top: BCBG Spring 2008 Collection

Photo credits: Imaxtree

Fashion Week: Nicole Miller

Less is more definitely dominates Nicole Miller's Spring 2008 show. Coming out of her 25th
anniversary show in the fashion industry, Miller presented a collection that is small but concise. 38 outfits were shown. Nothing is extraneous and everything is refined, as if it is her way of interpreting the streamlined glamour -- the theme of her show.

Breaking away from a season of volumes and trapeze shapes, Miller presented designs that literally follow the curve. Ladylike shifts hug the models' waif-like bodies with a clear emphasize on the waist. Jackets and blouses with stronger shoulders are balanced with light fabrics such as silk crepe, cotton and metallic jacquard.

Patterns still rule this season with a cathedral print that feature a stronger color palette of black, white, mustard and magenta. Breaking away from her past seasons' ancient cultural themes, Miller's prints are inspired by pre-Renaissance stained glass and rose windows patterns.

It is a collection that defined elegance and timeliness that highlighted the lady-like feminine. It is a good direction to go for Miller to move beyond her quarter-century rein in the fickleness of the fashion business.

Photos from top: Nicole Miller Spring 2008 Collection

Photo credits: Imaxtree

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Designers to watch for Fashion Week: Part 4

WHO: Jayson Brunsdon

WHY: Australian Jayson Brunsdon designs elegant womenswear "with a whiff of cinematic drama." Having been involved in the fashion industry for over twenty years (most recently as creative director for Australian brand Morrissey), Brunsdon's creations are inspired by the lives and looks of iconic women.

His Fall 2007 collection, presented here in New York, exuded high glamour while maintaining a contemporary touch. Brunsdon's grown-up aesthetics to day and eveningwear are reflected in his use of fine fabrics, rich colors and very streamlined yet feminine silhouettes. No wonder her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is a fan.

See Jayson Brunsdon's past collections here.
Photos from Top: Jayson Brunsdon Fall 2007 Collection, Jayson Brunsdon.
Photo credits: New York Magazine, Vogue Australia.