Hakan Akkaya Fall 2019

 Glam Rock is back!! If you are old enough to remember the New York Dolls, Ziggy Stardust (early 70s David Bowie), the Glitter Band, Gary Glitter, or early Elton John, you know there was time where rockers had long hair, were lots of glittery stage makeup and wore shiny, sparkly tight clothes while they sometimes sang in a falsetto or screamed loudly about love, sex, and rock n’ roll.

We cannot exactly bring that era back, as much fun as the fantasy was—remember music taste have drastically changed—but, the fashion of that era is back with a vengeance. Glam rock fashion reigned at Michael Kors, Paco Rabanne, Faith Connexion, Rick Owens fall 2019 collections, as well as Phillip Plein’s resort 2019 collection. Add to that esteemed list, Hakan Akkaya’s fall 2019 collection.

Not a stranger to New York Fashion Week, this was Hakan Akkaya’s third outing at NYFW: The Shows (NYFS). And in this fall 2019 outing, Akkaya demonstrated that he has the ability to take a retro trend and elevate it a modern distillation of style with a fashion-forward sensibility.

Though Hakan Akkaya’s fall 2019 collection is not for that timid, shrinking violet—there are lots of statement-making pieces in this collection—there were some great separates that could be easily mixed and matched for that consumer that wanted to be fashion forward, but was not looking to overwhelm.

There was lots of silver metallic and shiny black in this collection with touches of pink and other pastel colors through in to balance out the looks. There was also a range of black and white and bold-striped faux fur coats in the collection.

Still, this collection is really for the adventurous consumer who is not afraid to look like they are in a perpetual state of being in route of a rock concert or the main act. Restraint be damned, pull out all the stops and let fantasy be your guide.

Photos courtesy of The Bromley Group

And though there were some fantastic women’s looks in this collection, it was the menswear garments that might have the most retail appeal. Particularly, if that male consumer lives on the edge and is not reticent about making a statement. The women’s looks are lot more niche and perhaps are more limited in their appeal to a wider consumer base.But all that doesn’t really matter. NYFWS needs more fantasy collections like this. In a season where most collections didn’t register on the fashion Richter scale, Hakan Akkaya certainly caused fashion heartbeats to amp up.

Standout looks in the collection, and there many, includes Hakan Akkaya’s men’s silver metallic parachute coat—can you say Norma Kamali?—pewter, shoulder-padded bodysuit, men’s black velvet tuxedo jacket with quilted, silver metallic padding, silver and pewter jogging suit, and off-the-shoulder velvet jumpsuit with sequin-embellished thunderbolt.

The Blonds eat your heart out. You’ve got competition!!

—William S. Gooch

Son Jung Wan Fall 2019

With Son Jung Wan you know that there is always going to be lots of combinations of fabrics and a wide color palette. Sometimes Son Jung Wan’s combination of fabrics and colors work, other times it is disjointed. Still, there is lots of imagination. It is almost as if the experimentation never stops and continues onto the runway in a product that is not finished. And sometimes that is good thing, other times it might look messy.

Son Jung Wan’s fall 2019 collection was adventurous, bold, and messy. And for the most part that was the charm of the collection. Inspired by the “romantic mood of retro art and culture,” this “Romance Returns” collection will cause consumers to glance back at silhouettes that were very popular in the early 1970s, a trend that was most evident in the collections of Michael Kors, Cynthia Rowley, Nanette Lepore, and others.

Though there was a boxiness to many of the silhouettes in the collection, the padded shoulders to conjure up images from the early 70s when many fashion designers were referencing the 1940s. The boxy shoulders were best in Son Jung Wan’s jumpsuits which were to die for, and those jumpsuits were the most successful looks in this outing.

As the liner notes of this collection denoted, Son Jung Wan has set her own unique standard in the use of edgy fabrics. And in this collection, Wan’s utilization and combinations of faux fur, checkered prints, flower prints, embroidered fabric, sequins, and velvet, though in line with the brand’s signature aesthetic, really demonstrated a continuing evolution of the brand.

Continuing along that fashion projection, Son Wang Wan mixed faux fur, sequins and ruffles with a combination of bold oranges, blues and greys, creating a unique color palette, symbolizing the romantic mood of retro art and culture. This mélange of color and fabrications worked best when Wan minimized the mixing and matching, revealing how beautiful and reflective her work can be.

Images courtesy of Deborah Hughes, Inc./Rodin Banica

Compared to the brand’s spring 2019 collection, the fall 2019 collection is a step in the right direction. Keep up the good work!!—William S. Gooch

Alice + Olivia Fall 2019

For that fashionista that wants flirty, fun clothes with a bit of edge, Alice + Olivia has been a go-to brand for that customer for over a decade. As one of the most coveted shows during New York Fashion Week: The Shows, Alice + Olivia always draws a huge crowd and on occasion a few select celebrities show up for good measure.

For fall 2019 Alice + Olivia Stacy Bendet took her consumer on a trip around the world. Different travel vignettes were set up in the presentation—Marrakech, Paris, Provence, Positano, Tokyo, Careyes, and surprise, surprise a mythical “Wonderland.” Didn’t “Wonderland” also make an appearance in Alice + Olivia’s spring 2019 presentation?

For the past several seasons, Stacy Bendet has presented her collection in a presentation format, a format that works so much better for the brand than a runway show. Editors, stylists, industry professionals and attendees can get an up close and personal view of the collection.

This up close and personal touch served Stacy Bendet well in this collection, as she partnered with Booking.com for this travel-inspired collection. This collection was a shoe-in for those fashionable young ladies who suffer from wanderlust and want to make a statement at every turn.

Photos courtesy wwd.com

Bendet is a master marketer, and by Bendet pairing the brand’s fall 2019 collection with Booking.com she demonstrated her marketing genius. In all honesty, Bendet’s collections are not groundbreaking and new silhouettes or combinations are never produced. Still, Bendet’s style choices are brilliant, and she presents some interesting style combinations for her savvy consumers.True to form, Bendet dresses her consumer at every jointure of her day. And butterfly motif works well for the Bendet girl who want to flit around the universe while looking beautiful and stylish at every turn.

—William S. Gooch

NONIE Fall 2019

Ethical fashion is obtaining a stronger presence in fashion. There was even a Vegan Fashion Week for the fall 2019 season at the same time as New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS).

For fall 2019 NONIE made its debut at NYFWS. Based out of Canada, NONIE is known for its ethical approach of fashion seen through the lens of a tailored, refined aesthetic with an Eastern twist. This East meets West design aesthetic approaches fashion from a minimalistic point of view injected with an East Indian menswear point view.

Launched in 2008, NONIE’s creative director Nina Kharey has solidly placed her fashion brand as a part of Canada’s, and more specifically Vancouver’s, hierarchy of fashion-forward fashion brands. And with the brand’s debut Kharey is hoping to get more market traction in the US after much acclaim in Canada.

That said; NONIE’s initial showing during NYFWS was notable, but not groundbreaking. However, breaking the mold is not what Nonie is known for. Though beautifully and artfully designed, Nonie’s debut did not quicken fashion pulses.

Perhaps, the challenge for NONIE in presenting during NYFWS is using a runway format for its debut. A presentation format would have been a better choice, where fashion industry professional could have witnessed the fall 2019 collection up close and personal, easily observing the brand’s workmanship and charm.

Images courtesy of Matte Nordstrom

Still, Kharey did make some significant strides by revealing a collection that was ingeniously designed around relaxed draping and accessible separates. An injection of a wider range of vibrant colors would have helped the collection. Kharey should distance herself from “Brady Bunch” color palette that only helped to mute the collection.For that female consumer that looking for a relaxed casual wear with a variety of silhouettes and separates that can be mixed and matched, NONIE has a lot to offer. Standout in the collection include long, black gowns trimmed with lace, and fur coats of animal prints, as well as fantastic trench coats.

—William S. Gooch

Missoni Pre-Fall 2019

Fashion has on-going love affair with classic silhouettes from the 1950s and 1940s. And those eras of changing attitudes in fashion is not enough for the current arry of fashion designers, brands and designers will reach back to iconic fashion designs of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. And if grunge becomes the style that a fashion designer is referencing, then the 1990s becomes the order of the day.

For it pre-fall 2019 collection, Missoni reaches back to some of the brand’s iconic knitwear collections from the 1980’s while its founder and creator Ottavio Missoni was still at the helm of the company. This archival re-imagination of 80s trends successfully accomplishes what brands of Missoni’s ilk sometimes fail to demonstrate.

Conjuring up and repurposing iconic collections of yore is a risky move for well-known fashion brands, particularly when the originator of the iconic collection is not currently manning said fashion brand. The repurposed collection will always be compared to the original iconic collection.

This will not be the case for Missoni pre-fall 2018 collection. Missoni ingeniously combined British sartorial expressions and winter wonderland inspirations with the bohemian kaleidoscope of bold knitwear that the brand first established almost 60 years ago. Because the brand’s predilection for colorful knitwear is the standard, bringing in seemingly disparate design concepts does not clash with the brand’s signature aesthetic.

Still, it takes quite a bit of craftsmanship to pull all of these inspirations and design aesthetics into a cohesive collection. And for pre-fall 2018 Missoni has done just that!!

This season metallic yarns keep the brand right on trend. And the inclusion of Peruvian alpaca sweaters marries well with Missoni’s bohemian, well-spirit perspective. There are also some very interesting sartorial jackets that work well for the brand’s glance back this season, particularly as these sartorial jackets are infused with Missoni’s infectious designs.

Images courtesy of C&M Media

As other iconic brands struggle with maintaining their consumer base, Missoni is maintaining and expanding their base. Other household-name brands should take some lessons from Missoni.—William S. Gooch





Anne Barge Bridal Fall 2019

Two things can be said about Anne Barge, her bridal collections are ideal for brides that are looking for traditional gowns and her collections always have a strong story. That is not to say that Anne Barge’s bridal collections don’t contain the occasional trending bridal pieces; however, Anne Barge, for the last couple of decades, has established her bridal brand as the go-to bridal brand for modern brides that want traditional fare.

For fall 2019, Anne Barge looked to powerful architecture and photography that has depth and perspective for inspiration. With bridal gowns named after Franklin Lloyd Wright, Frankie; the Eiffel Tower; Windsor Castle, hence the Windsor; Pei, conjuring images of the memorial in Washington, DC, etc.; there is no doubt that creative director Shawn Jacobs is tapping into well-recognized powerful architects and their structures to be embodied in garments that have a strong architectural aesthetic with clean graphic lines and craftsmanship.

“The Anne Barge fall 2019 bridal collection is full of mystery and surprise. Past the clean, graphic lines of the collection lies layers of rich detail and meticulous craftsmanship,” explains Jacobs. “This season, inspiration is taken from perspective photography, with each dress open to interpretation base on the viewers’ lens.”

While Anne Barge has set a standard for traditional bridal gowns with a touch of that special charm that exists below the Mason-Dixon line, for fall 2019 Anne Barge has opted for more timeless gowns with a contemporary appeal. This is a very smart move for the brand; particularly, in a bridal market that is becoming increasingly more saturated with new bridal brands or ready-to-wear brands attempting to capitalize on the multi-billion dollar American bridal market.

Photos courtesy of Dan Lecca/ODA PR

Standout looks this season includes the (Foster) bateau neckline princess seam trumpet gown of Mikado with V-back neckline accented with bow; (Ellis) off-the-shoulder gown of Mikado scuba with pleated bodice and full skirt; (Windsor) square neckline long sleeve trumpet gown of Mikado scuba accented with orgami pleating and notch at neckline, and (Paxton) demi corset drop waist bodice with 3-dimensional floral embroidery and manipulated textured tulle ball gown skirt.—William S. Gooch

Watters Bridal Fall 2019

Watters Bridal 

There is more than just one kind of bride. Every woman isn’t going to go for the classic princess ball gown, especially younger women who want something more modern, eclectic, and unique. For that woman who wants something different, there is Watters bridal collections.For their fall 2019 collection, Watters presented three collections, their main line, Wtoo by Watters, and Willowby by Watters. Each spoke to a different type of woman, from the classic bride to the new age bohemian. Watters was classic with their main line, which featured lace bodices and illusion sleeves, minimalist A-line designs, and embellished bridal veils. Off-the-shoulder necklines and strapless bodices were key details of this collection, too.

WToo Bridal

Wtoo played to the whimsical. There were many oversized skirts that said Disney princess chic, bowing to the fairytale wedding aesthetic. There is still that idea of Prince Charming and living happily ever after, and that all begins with the wedding gown and the bride walking down the aisle.Willowby by Waters was a call to the millennial demographic, because yes, despite all the commitment phobia jokes, millennials still get married. Between halter style bodices and crop tops paired with denim jackets, this was a collection for a new age bride, the kind of woman who thinks outside of the box and dances to the beat of her own drum. She’s opting for a wedding at a resort or in a forest, foregoing the traditional church or country club.

All images courtesy of Coded PR

While many outside of the bridal industry often ask, “how many white dresses can you see?” There is so much more to bridal than that. There is a multitude of brides that need to be catered to, especially in an era where style has become more individual. Watters exists for the modern bride as a one-stop shop.—Kristopher Fraser

Justin Alexander Signature Bridal Fall 2019

Inspired by modern women who live in diverse cities and diverse cultures, Justin Alexander used this inspiration to explore graphic silhouettes juxtaposed with soft textures and floral embroideries, creating a modern collection that transcends tradition.

By naming each bridal garment after a specific international city, Justin Alexander solidly designated what each garment was suppose to conjure up. Not an easy task, but Alexander rose to this challenge.

In this collection Jason Alexander had the arduous task of finding that delicate balance between keeping the collection market viable and expanding his design aesthetic beyond just beautiful bridal gowns. In an ever-expanding bridal market that is faced with over saturation, bridal designers are challenged to increase their bridal demographic while at the same time staying true to their vision and core audience. With this fall 2019 collection, Justin Alexander does just that!!

This collection was very sophisticated, exquisitely designed and combined the classic with the cutting edge. And one has to add, that the styling in this collection was of the highest quality.

Though Alexander has elevated his design aesthetic in this collection with several bridal looks that caused bridal editors hearts to quicken, there is a concern that this collection might not have as much market value as previous collections. Still, there were some garments that will have wide market appeal. And because this was a fall/winter collection, Alexander appropriately include some fur or fur-like embellishments.

Images courtesy of Jason Alexander

Standout looks in this collection include straight clean silk Mikado dress with flare back, ostrich feather skirt ball gown with V-neckline, allover beaded jumpsuit, Venice lace-embroidered ball gown, and bateau neckline geometric beaded fit-and-flare dress with keyhole back.—William S. Gooch

Ines di Santo Bridal Fall 2019

There are too many superlatives about Ines di Santo bridal than can be described. However, without gushing here are a few. Her bridal designs are stunning, innovative, thoughtful, and above all, consumer ready and market friendly, particularly if the bride has deep pockets.

For the fall 2019 bridal season, Ines di Santo pulled out all the stops. There was something for almost every bride, including something for a range of age demographics and sizes. Inspired by the power of storytelling with an East meets West theme, Ines di Santo gave her bride a walk through a modern fairytale. And a fairytale journey it was!!

Ines di Santo enhanced her exquisite bridal collection by launching her first jewelry collection that was made its debut on the fall 2019 runway. Partnered with Ciner, a 125–year old, family-owned jewelry company known for its attention to detail. Ines di Santo’s Fairytale Collection was inspired by illustrations from “East of the Sun; West of the Moon.” The jewelry featured pavè stones, antique glass flowers, and birds freed from their cages on a range of exquisite rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Additionally, the models in the fall 2019 show wore crystal-heeled shoes, The Diego Dolcini footwear, inspired by Baccarat, the quintessential French crystal maker.

When it comes to the fall 2019 bridal collection, Di Santo left no stones unturned. There were a variety of bridal silhouettes, from mermaid silhouettes, sheath, and fit-to-flare silhouettes to traditional ball gowns, lace jumpsuits and shorter cocktail dresses with detachable trains. Also, there was lots of continuing bridal trends included ranging from statement sleeves, lacy bridal party jumpsuits to bridal gowns in non-traditional colors.

What also can be said about this bridal collection is that the bridal gowns displayed in this collection is for the bride that wants to make a big statement with her gown selection. These gowns in this collection are chosen casually, these gowns should be collected for the bride that is planning a well-thought out bridal ceremony. And there is a reason for that. Ines di Santo’s gowns are for brides that have deep pockets and many of these gowns can be passed on as legacy or heirloom gowns.

Photos courtesy of vogue.com

Standout looks in this collection—and there were many—one-shoulder illusion jumpsuit with lace appliques and separate detachable, exaggerated cathedral train, fairytale sleeveless illusion plunging V-neck ball gown with detachable poet sleeves, dreamy floral embroidered strapless, natural waist corset with detachable off-the-shoulder poet sleeves, batteau neckline, cigarette leg jumpsuit with striking cowl back separate detachable train, and embellished tip of the shoulder plunging neck corset with ball gown skirt and detachable grand matching cape.—William S. Gooch

Gracy Accad Bridal Fall 2019

One thing that can be said about Gracy Accad, she always includes a pretty wide demographic in her bridal collections. And there’s lots of variety of bridal garments for Accad’s ever-expanding bridal customer.

Gracy Accad always has interesting sources of inspiration for her bridal collections. This season Gracy Accad was inspired by the Greek purveyors of art, beauty, sciences, literature, and movement; in other words, the muses. These nine Greek muses inspire mankind creatively to work at a very high level. And that high level of art was most evident in Gracy Accad’s very sophisticated fall 2019 bridal collection.

“Through this collection, I south to represent their influence, whether through sheer feats of craftsmanship, or dramatic re-embroidered laces. Frothy gowns of Italian tulle move like the romantic whisper of a poem, while silk taffeta coats billow as if aerated by a soprano’s bravura,” explained Gracy Accad.

Like bridal designers this season, for fall 2018 Accad sought to include in this collection something for almost every type of bride. There was a lace and metallic chiffon tracksuit for that young hip bride; there was a corded lace peplum jacket and crepe pants ensemble for that mature bride who is probably going down the aisle for the second time, and there were more traditional bridal fare for the traditional bride.

Photos courtesy of Atelier PR

Still, this bridal collection appears to be headed in the correct trajectory of where Gracy Accad is taking her bridal collections. And this trajectory projects how the modern bride envisions her very special day. That said: standout looks in this fall 2019 bridal collection include a beaded lace cage cocktail dress with crystal details an silk taffeta opera coat, guipure lace and metallic chiffon track suit, hand-embroidered silk satin gown with pleated skirt, and silk satin gown with architectural draped bodice and beaded appliques.—William S. Gooch

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