Despite being over the halfway mark, Monday signaled the true beginning of New York Fashion Week for many of the city’s most iconic fashion brands who choose to show later in the week.
Carolina Herrera kicked things off with a good, old-fashioned mega-show – none of this “intimate gathering” nonsense, in way-West Chelsea. One of the last stalwarts of the Lincoln Center tents, this was an olde-worlde Bryant Park-style show – rows and rows of editors with their longtime leaders sitting up front alongside socialites of a certain age. There was nary a blogger in sight. Ms. Herrera sent out her garden-inspired, pastel gowns and chic separates in techno-fabrics on piqué and linen for the likes of Anna, Grace, Bridget and Ed.
Then it was the mad dash across the park to Tommy Hilfiger, who put on nothing short of a rock spectacle inspired by the 1960’s British music festival. The set was decorated with gerbera daisies a-la “Sergeant Pepper” as The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix played to a background of live percussionists while models Kendall Jenner and Georgia May Jagger evoked a Glastonbury festival mood.
Sheer striped capes, patchwork denim, lurex suiting and bright faux furs, some models toted a guitar on their backs just to seal in the theme. Young rocker starlets Alexandra Richards and Alexa Chung looked on. Then it was downtown to Rosie Assoulin, a young designer gaining a following among street styles stars including Leandra Medine and even on the red carpet, when Julianne Moore stepped out in her navy pantsuit this summer at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Match.
Ms. Assoulin cited the work of ceramic artist Betty Woodman as an influence on her color scheme — a mix of jewel tones and soft pastels — as well as chic oversized hats. The gowns, some with cut-outs, others with but one or two ruffles were minimalist and divine, while her separates, an exciting white tee here, or a long sleeve button down tucked into voluminous pants – her M.O., made the ordinary look anything but. Over at Pier 59, Karen Waker sent out a feminine collection inspired by British photographer and gardener Valerie Finnis. Cornflower vests, terra cotta and clay patchwork tunics, again oversized hats (trend alert!) and wildflower print shirts will offer the Brooklyn girl plenty to wear upstate next spring.
Then it was onto Donna Karan, at Cedar Lake Theater, where Bernadette Peters and Camilla Alves took in her Urban Safari collection, complete with belted shirtdresses, rolled-sleeve shirts and high-waist skirts in shades of ivory, red and black. Ms. Karan also sent out a sky-high sun hat ala Pharrell that made model Karlie Kloss look at least 7 feet tall. As the sun set, the crowd decamped to Zero + Maria Cornejo, who showed a feminine collection for the likes of Marisa Tomei and Jenna Lyons that featured feminine, billowy asymmetrical silk dresses in shades of white and navy, and off-the-shoulder pant suits (trend alert: #shoulderporn).
Rag and Bone closed out the night with a huge show, where guests were greeted by an open bar and bags of popcorn (Got to love that). Girls’ star Allison Williams and Carmelo Anthony took in a subdued, yet chic collection, complete with denim ponchos, palm tree printed pants and oversized khaki coats and blazers. It seems the brand is betting big on its accessories collection. Casually slung leather bags and small bags draped over the chest actually stole the show.