Tucker

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Spend a few moments with Tucker designer Gaby Basora and you’ll pick up on her carefree nature. For her latest pre-fall collection, that same easy breezy, down-to-earth quality carried over to the clothes. “It’s the quintessential Tucker recipe,” Basora said at her Soho studio. Fans of the label will recognize the essential ingredients—dainty floral prints, a fresh color palette, and classic silhouettes like high-waisted flares and tie blouses. This time around, she did the pants in denim. A tie-neck top was paired with camel cropped trousers. That look channeled Lauren Bacall at the Carlyle Hotel, Basora said.

The designer’s favorite gals showed up elsewhere too. A navy and white short-sleeve sheath was inspired by Marilyn Monroe and a to-the-floor white tank dress was originally meant to mimic the black one that Sofia Coppola wore while running down the street in “1993 Changing Fashion,” a video short she did with Anthony Kiedis for Details magazine. Striped linen separates and a made-to-look-like-tweed metallic pink shorts suit were also in the mix. That was a good call on Basora’s part, because like it or not, every recipe needs an update now and then.
—Jessica Minkoff
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Nicole Miller

December 30, 2012 by  
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The hallucinogenic hues and beach-y neons from her recent Spring and Resort collections had Nicole Miller feeling like it was time for a palette cleanser. For pre-fall, she designed a lineup entirely in black and ivory. But where there was a lack of color, Miller made up for it with prints and embellishments. A number of separates featured a geometric “pianoforte” pattern, while others were done in a burnout giraffe and kaleidoscope motif. Plaid was also on hand, turning up on a lightweight tunic and dress, the latter of which was trimmed in leather. Intricate beadwork and chain details appeared throughout, most notably on a series of T-shirts—one of which was paired with a pony-hair miniskirt—and on the sleeves of sleek black dresses. “I design for the uptown, downtown girl,” Miller said. “So she always has feminine style but with a tough edge.” The collection’s outerwear was its strongpoint. A black denim blazer with leather panels and nailhead studs, and a raffia moto jacket with tweed sleeves will serve Miller’s girl well.
—Jessica Minkoff
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Erdem

December 29, 2012 by  
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According to Erdem Moralioglu, the sexiest part of a woman’s body is her collarbone. His pre-fall collection put it on show: strapless dresses, obviously, but also pieces yoked in sheer organza and provocative PVC. After spicing up Spring with snakeskin, Erdem turned to plastic and leather to give his latest designs the requisite…no, let’s not say wrongness yet again…let’s opt for incorrectness this time ’round. That was his word. The need to create a sense of jarring disturbance is clearly an obsession with the designer, like it’s something he requires to balance out his equally obsessive precision and perfectionism. Here, the results were so sophisticated but so peculiar that they left you craving a taste of whatever it was that spiked the punch at Erdem’s cocktail party.

That PVC, for example, mounted with crepe cutouts in a psychedelic Prince of Wales check. Or the sheath in a tensile organza-backed, jeweled netting, vibrating over a black bra and slip. Or the tulle-yoked frock in a navy leather broderie anglaise. Or another dress raw-cut from pink silk, green crepe, and navy lace bonded to create one techno-organic cloth. Erdem’s ever-growing technical acuity was clearest in these odd but unforgettable fabrics. He claimed that was the point: simple silhouettes whose impact was dramatically concentrated on texture and color. One short-sleeved floor-sweeper, shaded in a deep petrol splashed with sick pink, said it all. These were clothes you’d expect to find on the backs of Erdem’s favorite psychological subjects, immaculately collar-boned Hitchcock blondes and their Italian cousin (Monica Vitti in Red Desert). When he veered away from that kind of clarity—with a boxy, angora-collared suit in a lamé tweed, for instance—his hand wasn’t quite so sure. There is, after all, always the risk that obsession will breed excess. On the other hand, excess looked rather splendid in a dress of floral silk crepe overlaid with huge paillettes dyed to match, like giant fish scales.
—Tim Blanks
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Badgley Mischka

December 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

According to the Mesoamerican calendar, there are three days until the end of the world. The 2012 “prophecies” have crossed most people’s minds in the past few weeks—designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka included. Fittingly, the duo let Aztec and Mayan artwork drive their latest pre-fall collection. “For us, we’re looking at this not as the end, but as a new beginning,” Badgley said. The art lent itself well to the range’s embellishments, which appeared on almost every gown. Two peplum styles stood out, one in oyster and one in jet black, with beading on the trim and sunburst motifs on the skirts. A matte jersey gown had a two-dimensional serpent design that wrapped around the bodice. Mischka explained it was felt padding, a technique used by Schiaparelli in the thirties.

Elsewhere, beads served as more than just an accent. A fluid tulle number with a chiffon lining was covered in jewels and sequins, creating the illusion of a cocktail frock layered over a gown—that’s forward thinking. But a black sheath halter gown with a tulle inset cape dusted with antique chains and diamonds was the collection’s winner. It’s the one that the duo’s girls will rush to get their hands on, whether it’s the end of the world as we know it or not.
—Jessica Minkoff
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Wayne

December 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Robert Frost once wrote, “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice, from what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.” By the looks of her pre-fall collection, so does designer Wayne Lee, a longtime fan of Frost. She set a dark, romantic mood with a red-hot solar flare print that blazed on a layered peplum top with duchesse-satin trim and a matching pair of sporty shorts. The athletic vibe carried over to black tuxedo trousers with elongating white stripes down the side. In embossed crocodile, lamb leather, and silk wool, the jacket that went with them was less sportif than luxe. Ditto a vest top in the same material that was styled with a sheer side-slit tank and leather to-the-knee biker shorts. A series of laser-cut separates with a lacelike lattice pattern rounded out the range, demonstrating Lee’s continued efforts to elevate the label. “I’m always looking to build on the brand, without skimping on details,” she said.
—Jessica Minkoff
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VPL

December 26, 2012 by  
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Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, VPL gotta VPL. Even as she was describing pre-fall as a new experiment with volume, Victoria Bartlett was showing off a recent lookbook for which a model had been coaxed to contort into yoga’s most om-breaking asanas. The athleticism at the core of the brand is still there. But that’s not to say this collection wasn’t a departure, or that it wasn’t a welcome one. Drape has always been a key element in Bartlett’s arsenal, but here silhouettes were positively loose. That felt fresh. So did new experiments with lamination, which led the way to crinkly “cracked and fractured” elements, in Bartlett’s words. But lest it all sound too damningly comfortable—it surely is, but no tarring this line with the negatives of that brush—consider the mind-bending puzzle presented by a standout sweater, striated like a geode, that’s woven on Japanese looms as a seamless tube. You don’t so much wear it, as it orbits you.
—Matthew Schneier
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Erin Fetherston

December 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“Pre-fall is about capturing the last spark of summer,” Erin Fetherston told Style.com at her Tribeca studio last week. Reminiscing about a trip she recently took to Los Roques, an archipelago in Venezuela, allowed the designer to do just that. The crystal-clear water and brightly colored buildings lent themselves to a folkloric print that appeared on a shift dress and a lightweight button-down tank. A black and white ikat pattern was the other print story, appearing on a cool motorcycle jacket and a body-con number with a cutout neckline.

Dresses have always been a strong suit for Fetherston, and they were the focus here. Among the standouts: a party frock in a metallic jacquard and a black cocktail number whose sequined skirt was veiled with a layer of organza (an attempt to explore sparkle with subtlety that worked). On the other hand, it’s evident that the designer is also upping the ante on the separates front. Tailored shorts paired with a fuchsia collared blouse will be fundamental when riding out the final waves of next summer.
—Jessica Minkoff
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Timo Weiland

December 24, 2012 by  
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Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein heeded the call of the jungle this season. In Weiland’s own words, the design duo went “a little animal-print crazy,” developing leopard-spot lace and a tonal leopard brocade, as well as crystal leopard embroideries. To go with their big-cat motif, because why not, Weiland and Eckstein introduced a deep-sea reference to the collection, creating a nice underwater print of dappled blues. All very Life of Pi, if you think about it.

Not that the Timo Weiland girl, herself, had gone particularly wild: Per usual, there was a sweetness and a sense of decorum to these clothes, though the collection’s emphasis on sheers did push the look in a sexier direction. There was also a welcome sense of ease, with unfussy looks like wide-leg printed pants and semi-sheer tees straddling the line of dressed up and dressed down. Elsewhere, the black brocade tuxedo suit made for a relaxed yet natty evening look. Overall, the animal kingdom theme this season may have been a metaphor for Weiland and Eckstein’s evolving approach to design: Ever so tentatively, they are beginning to let themselves run free.
—Maya Singer
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Preen

December 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

It often feels like it’s David Bowie’s year in fashion, but 2013 will be something special with the huge retrospective opening at the Victoria and Albert Museum in March. Preen‘s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi staked an early claim to Bowie-mania with a pre-fall collection based on his 1983 vampire movie, The Hunger. It gave them a surprising amount to work with. Most immediate was an eighties New Wave edge: the dramatic color palette of night black and blood red; the graphic patterns (a poppy print, polka dots, the black-and-white leopard jacquard); the boy/girl element in, say, a quilted tartan biker with pebbled leather sleeves, or pleated, slightly pegged pants with zippered pockets. The eighties designer chic of The Hunger‘s queen vamp Catherine Deneuve was echoed in a blouse in black satin devore or a shift dress laden with swirling rococo embroidery. Thornton and Bregazzi even referenced the movie’s lighting effects with a striated texture intended to evoke light shining through blinds. “We’ve done so much print in the past that we were more interested in texture this time,” said Thornton. “We wanted something more abstract.”

But there was nothing abstract about the collection’s hard-edged sophistication. When the Preen twosome used lace, it was in an anything-but-fragile crazy-paving pattern. That same lace was tiered with silk in a skirt to create a tough-frills effect. Navy tulle was touched with a flash of fluoro citron. Bondage pants were cut from luxe silk crepe. Thornton and Bregazzi also sharpened their signature Preen hybrid, backing pebbled leather biker pants with a tailored pant, or attaching a nylon pac-a-mac front to a tailored wool rear. The star outfit might have been the matte stretch crepe halter dress with the pleated bodice and flared skirt. In the back room of their West London atelier, 12-week-old Blythe was peacefully napping, while out front, her parents were cooking up clothes to make night-stalkers wilt with desire.
—Tim Blanks
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ICB

December 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“I was thinking about when it’s going to be shipped,” Prabal Gurung said of his new collection for ICB, the Japanese contemporary label he took over three seasons ago. “It’s called ‘pre-fall,’ but it’s really high summer.” He channeled images of vacations, the orange of the setting sun, those first summer tans. He emphasized ease, with draping and ruching and soft fabrics like georgette and jersey. “You don’t need to be crisp, all the time,” he reasoned. The synthesis of this mindset was a sailor-striped jersey dress, ruched at the hip and collarbone.

Crispness, however, could have helped the edit a bit. Price more than style seemed to be the unifying theme. But that, on the other hand, is ICB’s point of difference. It’s Gurung designs at un-Gurung prices—though with a decisively more real-world-friendly than red-carpet-ready spin. He imagined a customer wearing her dress from the office straight onto the train and onto the beach. “It’s about making life less complicated,” he said. For his customer, at least. Gurung designs his namesake line, this one, and at the moment, a Target collaboration due out next year. As if that’s not enough, a runway show (a live-action one, not the digital runway on which he premiered his inaugural ICB range for Fall) is in the offing for this collection next season.
—Matthew Schneier
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