There was a chill in the air on the first day of New York Fashion Week, and we’re not just talking about the sub-zero temps. From Artbeam Studios up to Lincoln Center, there was a nagging feeling in the air that shows keep starting earlier and earlier every season, thereby extending fashion “week” way beyond seven days. A lengthy show-run is one thing in balmy September, but it’s quite another in arctic February.
“If I get a call to do a show after the weekend, I charge double,” said one power publicist, before taking her post at a show.
It was as though the industry was rubbing its eyes and stretching yesterday. Perhaps the fashion set was coming out of a very stylish hibernation, where it dreamt of wide leg pants, black sneakers and shapeless grey coats. Nonetheless, the crew began its bi-annual flock, mostly to presentations throughout the way west side of Chelsea and into the West Village.
The always-popular Frame Denim kicked things off in the morning at 52 Mercer Street, where it showcased its ever-growing assortment of contemporary separates by designers Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede. Apart from the swag table featuring women’s and men’s denim styles, guests were thrilled to discover a highly accessible collection of high-waisted and A-line skirts, denim jumpsuits and easy silk blouses in rusty hues of camel and navy that hearken back to the late 1970’s. On-hand to take in the very saleable collection were models Hilary Rhoda, Hanneli Mustaparta and Karlie Kloss, who will no doubt be lusting after the label’s new flare jean. Theory’s Andrew Rosen was spotted walking through the line. Is a buy-out in its future?
Next it was onto Artbeam Studios for to take in Hellessy, Sylvie Millstein’s burgeoning designer label. The inspiration behind her sophomore showing was part Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” and part urban blizzard, all conveying a moody sense of elegance and drama. Particular highlights of the collection were layered knit separates, like a doubleface alpaca coat worn over a mohair sweater and a gunmetal parka with Mongolian lamb collar worn over stretch trousers. Ms. Millstein may be trying to make a name for herself on the red carpet, as evidenced by a color blocked gown in burgundy and plum and a lurex tweed “samurai” gown.
At Kaelen, designer Kaelen Haworth presented a collection of feminine separates that was at once both sweet and serious. A series of blues and pink swing dresses and dress coats were juxtaposed with bomber jackets, black and taupe kimono jackets and high waisted striped pencil skirts that were anything but girly.
Katie Ermillo, a member of the CFDA Incubator series, closed things out for the day with a peppy collection of separates and party dresses in vibrant hues of yellow and red, along with a sexy assortment of see-through lace pantsuits and dresses that left little to the imagination.