With New York Fashion Week in full swing, Friday brought out some of the most interesting collections to date. As emerging brands tend to show at the very beginning of fashion week, while “the majors” tend to close it out, the Friday timeslot straddles a bit of both and presents some of the most promising stars in the business.
The day began at Wes Gordon, a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist who presented to great fanfare for the likes of Anna Wintour and Neiman Marcus’s Ken Downing, as well as the full roster of top-tier editors and retailers. Unlike last season, the designer set out to show his youth and presented a glam-meets-grunge collection. Amathyst print dresses gave off a cool chain-mail look, while strapless floor-length floral gowns were smartly styled with combat boots. There was plenty for the uptown set too, in the way of gray double-face wool separates and fab mink vests — perfect for lunching at Bergdorf’s.
The crowd then split, with some diving into the gypset world of Zimmermann. Once exclusively known for her knockout swimwear and resort pieces, Australian designer Nicole Zimmermann had plenty to show in the way of glamorous long-sleeve wool-crepe dresses, sumptuous overcoats in hand-dyed jewel tones and show-stopping gowns in a mélange of prints. “The collection was very much about the memory of my parents throwing beautiful, glamorous dinner parties and about the idea of occasion dressing,” said Ms. Zimmermann told the Observer backstage. “It’s not about what you wear on a cold, winter day, but what you’re wearing to a cocktail party.” We’d like to be invited, please.
Meanwhile, Tanya Taylor showed a vibrant and print-heavy collection, running the gamut from black-and-white polka dots of varying sizes to florals and leaf prints in red, blue and yellow. The prints were even present on colorful opera gloves, while solid-colored turtlenecks under each outfit gave the line continuity.
The crowd then met back downtown at Spring Street Studios for a stellar collection by Jason Wu. The young designer shot to fame early in his career after dressing Michelle Obama in her white, one-shouldered inauguration gown. Since then he’s had nary a misstep, yet this season we’ve seen his move on from his signature dresses with all the pomp and circumstance, to quieter assortment of sportswear in smoldering hues of navy, olive green and dark gray. The grand dames were still there, but this time they came in the form of silk pantsuits flanked by nothing but fur. Perfect for Mr. Wu’s front row regulars, like Hannah Bronfman, Harley Vieira Newton and Caroline Issa.
Later on Cushnie et Ochs did what it so often does, which is present a collection exclusively for young, modern women like Emily Ratajkowski and Chelsea Leyland, who turn to this fledgling label for a strong dose of sex appeal. Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs gave it to them again, this time with their signature cut-out separates, velvet plunging pantsuits and modern, architectural dresses in varying shades of pink, blue and red.
And at Rebecca Minkoff, ’70s style was in full force in a collection inspired by Patti Smith. The poet’s modern-day doppelganger, Jamie Bochert, opened the show, and all the models wore bangs. There was plenty of suede and fringe to go around, even on knee-high, peep-toe boots with long, black, suede fringe swishing along as the models walked. The incredibly wearable collection provided a master class in boho dressing without the shapelessness that often accompanies a layer-heavy look.