The Best of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week pt. 2

Lauren Burns

Day 5:

The second half of the week started off Monday with the Jenny Packham show. Jenny’s show was a multitude of soft, ethereal, and feminine pieces. Her confident use of sheer fabrics produced a suspended aesthetic, primarily in toned down shades, but with a touch of the season’s hottest color: orange. Jenny’s use of hi-lo hems, embroidery and lace to detail her evening wear make each piece unique.

Carolina Herrera once again stunned her star studded crowd, as she does season after season. Carolina brought fashionistas to their knees with her sleek pencil skirts, sheaths, fit and flare dresses, and pleated cropped pants. Carolina presented an array of pop colors, soft tropical florals, Mondrian prints and geometric designs.

Carlos Miele conveyed two strong feelings in his show, both of which were designed to evoke the natural beauty of the Brazilian coast. The first concept was a simple white one-piece bathing suit, draped in a long, sheer printed fabric inspired by surreal artwork, which served as a beach cover up. The second concept was stronger and more masculine feeling: column dresses, pencil skirts and a more structured aesthetic. This idea was held together tightly and focused attention on the narrowing waists, with many necklines dipping to the naval. There was a strong sexuality to both visions, and the bright blues and citrus hues in textural wave designs gave off a carefree appeal.

Rebecca Minkoff was inspired by the architect Luis Barragan’s poetic use of color in her desert love collection. She portrayed this through earth tones with hints of neon, vintage garments that were weathered and burned out, and deconstructed crochet. Rebecca had fluid feminine silhouettes with leather and cutouts—true to her inherent, yet subtle edginess. Fun, short hemlines on skirts, culottes and shorts were peppered with wild presentations of snakeskin, classic animal prints, and bold stripes. The notorious Manrepeller, Leandra Medine, strutted down Rebecca’s runway flashing her iPhone with a knowing smile in a cropped jacket and leather shorts.

The Betsey Johnson show brought the excitement of the week to a new level. The room was decorated in black and fuchsia and read true to Betsey’s style. The music was energetic and the front row was filled with celebrities from Nicki Minaj to Lisa Marie Presley and Sophia Coppola. Betsey’s daughter, Lulu, kicked off the show strutting her way down the aisle with a smile and the other girls followed suit. They portrayed a feeling of confidence in outfits that balanced overtly sexual touches: bras more than peeping out; corseting and spandex printed bodysuits with young, fun, girly floral prints; and the occasional skeleton inspired outfit. Betsey closed the show with her famous cartwheel, which she segued into an excited dance, splits and all; clearly enjoying the fashion, friends and finishing of another great line.

Day 6:

Vera Wang had a truly light touch when it came to color. She leaned towards soft, lightweight fabrics and textural prints in shades of grey, white, pastel pink, soft blue, and yellow with just a touch of royal blue. Vera designed a sophisticated line that included true waist peplum details, sheer layering, delicate tie closures and weaves with simple sophisticated lines.

The Zang Toi show was conservative and stylish with plenty of coverage, floor length jackets, dramatic high necklines, and long dresses. Zang brought this look to a chic stage with touches of shine in the fabric and details. Kirstie Alley, 60, made her dramatic debut on the Zang Toi runway in a long Navy dress, looking very proud after a 100lb weight loss.

Herve Leger by Max Azria developed a fresh style within their iconic banding dresses with new touches this season. Herve Leger presented a strong tribal warrior princess look full of metallic shine, body conscious woven piecing, and Ikats in print and weave.. Adding much more trim than previous seasons including rope details, and exhibiting new ways to construct the banded dress with cutouts and flare hems Herve Leger thought of a new reason everyone must get yet another dress in this line.

The Argentine designers fashion show was a collection from several different designers that each had their own personal touch and style. Some designers followed a very traditional Argentinean look with cognac leather and fringe while others branched into a very modern, trend defined look. It was simple to differentiate the eye behind the design as the groups transitioned smoothly and an entirely new inspiration developed from group to group.

Tibi exhibited simple, sleek beautiful lines in straight bodies and shift silhouettes. The group was in soft saturated colors of coral, turquoise, blue, and yellow back to black and white with very little print. The details were in the tailoring with Bermuda shorts, trousers, sheath dresses, camisoles and jackets; each piece had the air of wearable, real girl fashion.

Narciso Rodriguez presented geometric lines with diagonal designs, there was a heavy use of color blocking and Mondrian inspired styles. Narciso designed bold styles in orange, aqua, black, and white and naturally softened this with his use of sheer fabrics. The draping in each style seemed to be derived from the wearer’s right side, creating a strong flow in the line.

Day 7:

Nannette Lepore brought a whole new level of color and color mixing in bold creative ways with bright pops of yellow and highly saturated orange, pink, magenta and cobalt. She designed fun and playful pieces with chic retro tailoring, including the high waisted skirts that were flared in a below the knee silhouette. Much appreciated was the abundance of extra touches including embroidery, colored lace, bright stripes and the time taken to consider how to assemble such vivid ensembles.

Milly by Michelle Smith presented an all Americana retro look with red, white and blue being the tell all, followed closely by the classic silhouettes in flare trousers, trench coats, Jackie necklines and fit and flare dresses. The strong color choices worked splendidly in the color blocked styles and Mondrian geometric prints.

Anna Sui had the funky retro look all decided with Art Deco prints, turbans, and gathered shoulders and hips. Her dalliance with the 1920’s flapper look came through with little fur accessories and girly belts, feminine styling and detailed pieces. And Anna’s homage to the sailor girl waiting for her beau at port was apparent in the cutesy, feminine styles that showed off tiny waists with hourglass figures and wore red, white and blue. There were flutter sleeves, peplums tops and skirts, slim styles and soft shorts worked into a line full of dresses and long flowing cover-ups.

Elie Tahari blew his crowd away with a display of deep sophistication that any working girl would admire. His palette of soft neutral colors and touches of blue and gold set his well tailored pieces apart. There were pencil skirts, flowing trousers, long vests and jackets with sheer soft tops, and each outfit had an elongating effect, with simple pieces and longer top layers.

Day 8:

The Sergio Davila show was full of young and hip models in clothing they could easily walk off the runway in, heading straight over the bridge to Brooklyn. The styles were in neutral colors with hints of blue and had a strong stripe statement. There were heavy details in texture and draping for both the men’s and women’s line.

The Naeem Khan evening wear show had a long lean design with most styles being floor length and emphasizing the waist and slim shapes. There were cutouts, gathering and a wide variety of bright colors, metallic and prints including Baroque style designs and vintage floral prints.