by Beth Hammarlund
“Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” So said Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in the I’m-not-ashamed-to-enjoy-it movie The Devil Wears Prada. Bitch is right. Nothing new here. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to enjoy. Liberty prints, watercolored silks, and graphic black and white blooms all made appearances in New York over the past week.
Richard Chai Love
I kind of forgot about Richard Chai. I used to follow him quite closely and made a mad dash to Target for his GO! International collaboration, but somewhere along the line we drifted apart. But his spring collection for Richard Chai Love has recaptured my attention. I forgot how youthful and fresh his designs can be.
The designer went about as springy as you can get, with pastel washes of floral and delicate sheers. His cut-out dresses and bra tops were a refreshing departure from the cropped top that we’ve been seeing season after season. Both girlish and cool. And are those shorts loose and swingy enough to be called culottes? Finally! The culotte returns!
Though Peter Som is one of my favorites, he’s not the most consistent designer. Sometimes his collections have editors raving across the board. Sometimes they’re completely forgettable. This year, I’m going with the former.
We saw some trends that have already been making rounds (the sharp collar this fall, the peplum over the past several seasons), but nothing about Som’s interpretation felt recycled. Though his dresses were adorable and will surely be popping up on actresses at photo calls, it was the boyish separates that caught my eye. Oh, and apparently capped toe heels are still super in.
You don’t go to Lela Rose for groundbreaking fashion. You go to her for beautiful, inoffensive dresses that reference current trends, but rarely so much so that they risk ever going out of style. This year’s delicate offerings were nothing unexpected, but damn if they weren’t pretty. Elegant and princessy.
A watercolor floral dress was particularly stunning. It didn’t immediately jump off the page for me, but after scrolling through detailed images of the print, it was clear that in person, this dress is a show-stopper. It probably wouldn’t get a celebrity much attention if worn on the red carpet, but up close that fabric is swoon-worthy.
Although I’ve always appreciated Rebecca Minkoff’s style, I’ve never really been over the moon about her as a designer. I’ve always found her looks a little too cool for school, like she was designing exclusively for 22-year-old models with boyfriends in British indie bands. But then I saw a little video on Youtube, an adorable rendition of “Call Me Maybe” performed by Minkoff, model Hillary Rhoda, and fashion blogger extraordinaire The Man Repeller as they were getting ready for the CFDAs. They were all unapologetically nerdy, and it’s impossible not to love Minkoff once you’ve seen her do the running man while wearing her son Luca on her chest in a Baby Björn.
And now I’m thinking, maybe the reasons I wasn’t wild about her designs were a bit unfair. The people who wear her clothes might grate, but the pieces themselves are playful and fashion-forward, clearly the product of someone who truly has fun making clothes. Her Spring 2013 showcased her joy for fashion more than any of her previous collections. Tomboy shirts and trousers were dressed up with floral prints, and a pair of track suit was just chav enough. I swear, in this case, that’s a good thing.
I can barely think of what to say about Suno. Awesome. I’m trying to think of a brand that more successfully mixes prints, and I’ve got nothing. Prints are certainly what launched the company, and they’re sticking to what they do best: eclectic and risky juxtaposed patterns and clever wallpaper prints. Their cuts aren’t typically anything to write home about, but when you have so many crazy visuals, best to keep the lines simple and restrained.
A personal favorite was a a cocktail dress in a print of grandmotherly burnt orange roses. The color choice was unexpected and gave the look some serious impact. After taking my time and processing the collection, it’s the first piece that jumps out in my mind. Surely a sign of success. I’m guessing we’ll see it on Kate Bosworth next week. Fall 2012 is so totally over.
All images via style.com
Click HERE for Beth’s Spring 2013 NYFW reviews of Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, Jason Wu and Altuzarra.
Click hERE for Beth’s Spring 2013 NYFW reviews of Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Narcisco Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren.
Click HERE for previous installments of String Theory.