New York Fashion Week is officially over and gone, taking with it my daily excuse to look at pictures of couture and call it research.
While this year’s spring collections saw the influence of the Nineties cropping up in more than a few places, the vast majority seemed more influenced by the Sixties and Seventies. Everything is a parade of color, skirts with a hint of flare, dresses hanging just off the shoulders, frocks that would make Peggy Olson and Betty Draper happy, but with a modern, slightly assymetrical twist. Necklines are higher, skirts are as short as ever. The runways were a riot of cyan, lime and pink.
So in this divided time — clean lines or jagged, assymetrical or even, Sixties or Nineties — who placed among the best of the best? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you PCR’s Fashion Week Special: thirty of the best looks from this season.
Anna Sui kicks things off with this sassy metallic take on the standard little yellow sundress. The teeny tiny straps are almost invisible here and the darker gold markings on the dress all but blend in, but they provide just enough difference and texture to make this dress stand out. I also really love the little crimped edges at the hem.
On the other side of the color spectrum, Sui was also responsible for this cutely preppy ensemble with its patterned skirt and tie-design. Forget spring, I’d wear this right now — it’s a perfect back-to-school outfit, one that’s as neat as it is quirky.
Football was the reigning theme behind Alexander Wang‘s spring collection, believe it or not, a concept that’s cute in theory but far from it in practice. The majority of the clothes on his runway this week were ridiculous at best, but this number, while still a bit over the top, was an exception to the rule. The leather accents on the blouse make for an adorable variation on old school football jerseys.
Behnaz Sarafpour‘s collection screamed Paris in the Sixties, a steady stream of candy-colored dresses that put me in mind, alternately, of Coco Chanel and Peggy Olson. This particular outfit seems a little more Jazz Age. I love the looseness of it, the flirty not-quite-even skirt, the black on pink. It’s fun and charming and sexy all at once.
I imagine that if you took the costumes from Moulin Rouge! and gave them to Jenny Humphrey to take apart and put back together again, it might look something like Betsey Johnson‘s Spring line. Everything was about color, pattern, texture — big skirts with lots of flounce. It would take a whole lot of swagger to pull this dress off in the real world, but wouldn’t it be great if you could?
I keep trying to figure out just what it is about this combination by Cynthia Steffe that’s caught my attention. The ever-so-slightly poufed sleeves on the open trenchcoat give it a sweeter vibe. Paired with the girlish, tiered white dress, I think it may be that it brings to mind nothing so much as Peter Pan‘s Wendy Darling, all grown up and out on the town.
Oscar de la Renta had a beautiful collection to display, sleek and sophisticated. I love the draping on this sweater, the pattern of the skirt, the colors used. It’s comes off at once cool and bold.
I was pretty much in love with Dennis Basso‘s collection this season. Everything was just so fun and pretty (like this one little yellow dress that looks like what would happen if Betty Draper was in too much of a hurry to realize she’d put her dress on backwards). While I’m not wild about the one sleeve look here, I love the lines on the skirt and this fabric gives it such a powerful feel, like you’d be electric in this dress.
In simple, solid grey, this Donna Karan dress combines a neckline reminiscent of Grace Kelly with a more modern, assymetrical skirt. There’s a real fluidity to this. While it’s something you could wear on a situation which called for sophistication, it seems casual at the same time.
Much the same could be said for this grey dress by Doo.Ri.
I have to confess, when I look at couture, I like to play a little game called What Will Serena van der Woodsen Wear This Season? If I had money to spare and people who also liked to play such games, I’d be placing my bets on this Diane von Furstenberg dress.
Erin Fetherston wins with this coat dress that looks like geisha wear had a baby with the 1940s and raised it in Victorian England. Seriously, look at that. That is amazing. The little heart on the belt! The color! The texture down the front! Those sleeves! I want to live in this. Her whole collection is just so richly romantic.
There are shades of Grace Kelly in Caroline Herrera‘s collection this season, though this particular dress brings Barbie more readily to mind. Remember that classic black dress? It’s a similar silhouette, but clean and bright with a neat fishtail pattern on the skirt. You know we’re going to see this on like three different starlets on the red carpet this fall, right?
This is such a neat, simple ensemble, but between the cut of the coat and the little white gloves, there’s something surprisingly badass about this L’Wren Scott design.
Marc by Marc Jacobs provides another reminder that, suddenly, it’s the cool thing to do, mix-and-matching your patterns. I love the piping on this jacket and the sash belt compliments the sleeves so well.
While I wasn’t as wowed by Michael Kors this year as I have been in past seasons, I do love this coat/dress. The flat grey and the metallic silver work well together, the thin belt is a strong choice and the collar on this thing is gorgeous.
I’m pretty sure the bow is optional here, but I think it makes a cute addition — apparently to the entire Milly collection, since there was one with every single ensemble. I love the combination here of these shorts and that naval-influenced sweater.
This variation on the LBD made a great addition to the rest of Milly‘s collection. The gold accents add to the dress without overpowering it and the lightness of the dresses lines keeps the black from being overwhelming.
I can’t decide if this Naeem Khan design reminds me more of Scherezade or pirates, but I don’t care. There’s such a richness and vibrancy to the purple and gold, and gigantic bows on your hip have never looked so badass.
The lilac jacket softens the look of this Isaac Mizrahi ensemble while the giant flounces on the shoulder give it a little more kick than your standard suit. It’s just so Forties, very My Girl Friday.
I love Nanette Lepore. She’s just one of my favorite designers right now and this season, she did not disappoint. This khaki dress is like safariwear for the concrete jungle, fitted and draping at once, with a neckline I don’t think I could ever pull off. It’s nice to dream, though.
This two-tone dress from 3.1 Phillip Lim gets a little edge from the accompanying leather jacket. I have no idea what the fabric is on that dress, but it looks fun to wear.
If I were a red carpet premiere-attending ingenue with cash to spare, you can bet this Caroline Herrera gown is what I would be wearing. Actually, I would wear this around my living room if I could afford it, I don’t even care. I love the silver accents and I love the copper and I love the sweep of that train.
You can always count on Proenza Schouler to meet somewhere between fun and sharp. I love this combination: a funky multi-colored skirt, a loose blouse and a military-style jacket.
I just love Reem Acra. There’s so much elegance in the designs. This gold dress is like something a Greek goddess would wear (if Greek goddesses wore much of anything).
I’ve never been a big fan of this shade of yellow, but it absolutely works for this dress by Costello Tagliapietra. It’s both classic and classy.
I’m not sure what’s going on on the top of the heads of Temperley London‘s models, so this outfit and the next one took a couple glances, so distracted was I by the haberdashery. I love the way this dress is draped, though, and the way the massive belt works with the delicate cut of the dress.
I’m also a fan of Temperley London‘s clash of patterns here, the bold black and white and the studding on the jacket. It’s just crazy enough to work.
I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this Tuleh blouse. It took a bit to grow on me, but I love it now — the sweep of it, the unusual cut, even that great big brooch in the middle.
And last but not least, this Tuleh ensemble is preppy chic at its finest. The sweater’s so cute and somehow the polka dots go just write with the striped skirt — understated but confident.
Want more from Fashion Week? Check out Style.com for the rest of these collections and more.