Dust Off Your Muppet Hands, Ladies

Fashion Week finds its rainbow connection
by Valerie Heinmets
Arts Co-Editor

Wealthy people: it’s that time of year again, when designers, editors, models, and photographers descend upon New York City to make you feel bad about the clothes you just bought six months ago. That’s right, bitches. It’s Fashion Week.

All joking aside, Fashion Week is some serious shit, and probably the most important event of the year until September, when it happens all again. And also March. And June.

Oscar de al Renta waving heyyy
Oscar de al Renta waving heyyy

Let’s start with the big stuff–for starters, Oscar de la Renta. Now Mr. ODLR has been at this forever, remaining steadily at the top of New York fashion, if not creating the most cutting edge designs more recently. At age 80, he’s shaking things up by inviting disgraced former Dior creative director John Galliano into his offices with not totally obvious intentions. This is potentially dubious because Galliano was dismissed from Dior in 2011 after some very public, very anti-Semitic rants. This isn’t to suggest that Mr. de la Renta is sharing Mr. Galliano’s views, but rather, in bringing the famed and talented couturier to New York, it would seem he is seeking either to bring couture to New York or to prep Mr. Galliano to be a replacement upon his retirement.

No matter his reasons, the risky decision proved to be a wise one, as his show proved to be the most interesting and youthful in years. Full of youthful silhouettes and beautiful gray cashmeres, leather, and fur, the looks were best exemplified in belted, feminine ruffled jackets and chic, hooded fur jackets over skinny-tailored leather pants in gray and black, with contrasted elbow-length leather gloves in a bright plum. The influence of Galliano elevated this collection to one of the obvious highlights of the week.

As for New York’s youthful upstarts, the people deciding what our trendy demographic will want to wear, black and white in minimalist styles and oversized shapes in leather and fur were ubiquitous at cool girl staples Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, and Rag and Bone. Proenza Schouler beautifully toned down their collage prints from last season into a monochromatic scheme of black, white, and aqua pastels that allowed the oversized structure of the simple pieces to grab your attention. Instead of their usual eye-catching prints were delicate chains and tweed, a striking juxtaposition that was a sure-to-please take on a tough yet ladylike look.

Alexander Wang is another designer having an important week, as he will debut his collection for Balenciaga in three weeks, a post once held by the likes of Hubert Givenchy and Mr. de la Renta himself. At 29 years old, all eyes are turned to Wang to see how he can handle the pressure. His own show, for the most part, was promising. Working in extreme devil-may-care opulence, Mr. Wang paraded down trench coats and bodysuits that I’m sure made PETA throw up at first sight. It’s certainly not accessible or even wearable for the everyday consumer, but it’s a collection that I’m sure Rihanna will look great in.

Marc Jacobs NYFW 2013
Marc Jacobs NYFW 2013

Naturally, it wouldn’t be fashion week without Marc Jacobs. The perennial king of New York did not disappoint this season, sending out shimmering pajama-like sets with cartoonish fox scarves (cementing fur as a must-have for fall, so start thrifting, y’all.) Emeralds, navy blues, and tangerines were present again in lady-like combinations or oversized fur jackets, creating the most comprehensive Muppet look. Also present were quilted silver and gold metallic suits and jackets, followed by blue and purple sequined evening gowns. Not that anyone was really worried, but Jacobs provided another innovative and on-point collection for fall.

My personal favorite, though, was Narciso Rodriguez, whose work improves greatly every season. This collection featured beautifully simple, yet bold and futuristic structurally folded jackets, tops and dresses over expertly skinny pants. Take note, anyone who strives to look fashionable without looking like they’re trying to be fashionable. The colors ranged from black and white to another palette of tangerines, purples, and navy blue. Certainly the most wearable of all the shows, Mr. Rodriguez has proved once again that he possesses one of the clearest and most unique visions of where women’s fashion ought to go, with expert workmanship to match.

So what should you wear in New York in the fall? Any fur if you have it, and the more, the better. I mean really anything — scarf, jacket, the hands of a Muppet, whatever you’ve got. Stick to the oversized shapes, with pants either extremely tailored or shaped like pajamas. Black and white is a safe bet as always, and don’t be afraid to mix in an emerald, aqua, orange or purple pop of color for good measure. So best of luck, and I hope to see all your trendy asses on HONY.

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