Badgley Mischka Spring 2020

Claudette Colbert is a name that many may not remember. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1935 for “It Happened One Night,” and over her long career counted a Golden Globe win, along with Emmy and Tony nominations. She wasn’t one to be obsessed with the spotlight and buying a Hollywood mansion wasn’t her style, so instead she purchased Bellerive, an 18th-century home in Barbados where she would entertain the likes of Frank Sinatra, Princess Margaret, and New York socialite Babe Paley.

When the creative duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka, the duo behind Badgley Mischka, saw the photos of how these notable figures dressed while visiting Bellerive, Badgley Mischka found their inspiration for their spring 2020 collection. Tropical patterns of colorful florals and the bright colors of lilac and orange were reminiscent of a vacation to Barbados. If Barbados was the mother of inspiration, the island’s seas and palm trees were the children of inspiration with forest green and aqua helping to create a dazzling collection.

Although this collection was for spring 2020, it did look a bit like a resort collectionperhaps a few of these designs could have been used for resort 2020. That said; Badgley Mischka also took classic silhouettes and gave them a twist.

The opening look was a tailored suit fitted for the professional businesswoman. Rather than your traditional black or navy power suit, this suit was done in gorgeous lagoon blue with Hibiscus flowers. Perhaps, it is time businesswomen are allowed wear more print-patterned garments into the board room.

As usual though, the duo’s design strengths are made most evident in their evening wear. A one-shoulder column dress in vibrant red was the perfect fit for those Upper East Side charity gala attendees, many of whom were found in the audience and have been long-time Badgley Mischka customers. A lilac gown with embroidered shoulders and a thigh high slit was both sexy and sophisticated, proving that the designers can dress both the older New York City doyennes and sexy young starlets.

Photos courtesy of Filippo Fior/gorunway.com/vogue.com

Badgley Mischka has taken the Hollywood fashionista look and given it an island aesthetic that is perfect for the modern woman. Once you escape winter, slip into your most colorful evening gown.

Kristopher Fraser

Adeam Spring 2020

There is an East-meets-West design aesthetic almost every season at Adeam, the fashion brand by designer Hanako Maeda that has quickly become a favorite of celebrities including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Suki Waterhouse, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. Maeda is continuously inspired by her two favorite cities, New York and Tokyo, creating an aesthetic that is part Japanese street style and part American contemporary. Maeda transported the audience to the port of Yokohama—where the Japanese first encountered Western culture when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships—for her latest collection.

City girl style met nautical dressing as knitwear and tailored pieces were laced with classic maritime details such as stripes and sailor collars. Chunky sweaters in Adeam’s signature Angel Hair Cotton yarn, a fabric used to create breathable, lightweight pieces, included the color palette of ocean such as oyster beige, aqua blue, navy, and terracotta. They were accented with nautical stripes and sleeves that unbuttoned to expose a touch of skin. This increased versatility, giving consumers the ability to go from an early, balmy spring day to wearability in early summer temperatures.

Maeda also draws inspiration from kawaii, the culture of cuteness in Japan which refers to people and things that are charming, vulnerable, shy, or childlike. This inspiration was demonstrated in pieces like convertible sleeves and bold strip shirting. These playful, youthful sweaters were paired with structured, tailored pieces like sailor jackets, resulting in elevated, yet comfortable looks.

The more delicate cocktail dresses and evening gowns were inspired by a more fairytale-like idea of the ocean. Dresses were embellished with pearls and crystals that looked like droplets of water on the skin. Maeda also took an unconventional approach to seersucker, using it to create whimsical ruffles of red and oyster beige.

Images courtesy of Karla Otto

As Adeam’s celebrity clientele list grows, Maeda is now creating more red-carpet worthy looks.  While there are still tons of day wear to be found, Adeam has expanded beyond elevated, tailored looks that are worthy of the Fashion Week street style photographers into looks fit for Hollywood’s prominent actresses. Adeam continues to be a brand with something that every woman would want to own.

Kristopher Fraser

Deveaux Spring 2020

Informing fashion editors and other industry professionals that they have to attend a 9 am show on Sunday during New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) is not typically met with glee and fanfare. Street style photographer Tommy Ton, the designer and mastermind behind fashion brand Deveaux, realized that if he was going to have his audience leave Spring Studios, the main NYFWS venue, with a good taste in their mouths he was going to have to do something outside of the box. Cue the live music, a marching band, and models getting to treat the runway like a dance party, and voilá, Tommy Ton found the formula to turn sleepy, irritable frowns upside down.

As Janet Jackon’s “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” was performed by the live band, models walked the runway in a celebration of individuality, blowing kisses at the audience, or smiling broadly and strutting. One of the most notable things about Deveaux’s show was the diversity of the models with ranges in age and ethnicity from newcomers like Brazilian model Mariana Coldebella who has starred in editorials for international editions of Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Baazar, to legendary African-American models Veronica Webb and Coco Mitchell, who rocked the runways of Paris and Milan in the 1980s and 90s.

The combination of diversity and live music was appropriate for a collection that was easily approachable and filled with wardrobe essentials. Neutral tones of black, brown, navy, white, grey, and beige made up most of the color palette of the collection. There was something for the professional working woman with casual, but elevated silhouettes for blazers, and something for a casual everyday look with comfortable slip dresses.

Images courtesy of Alessandro Luciano/gorunway.com/vogue.com

Ton did have a bit of fun with some color evidenced in a printed dress that had images of vacationers and a long sleeve orange knit shirt that would make an excellent transition piece from winter to spring. He managed to create something that any woman could want or need from a sundress to corporate professional looks. His versatility is what continues to keep Deveaux thriving and worthy of editors attending an early show.

 Kristopher Fraser

 

 

Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2020

Interestingly, Bibhu Mohapatra’s spring 2020 collection was inspired by the book Nothing Personal. Published in 1963, Nothing Personal was a project by James Baldwin and Richard Avedon. Both Baldwin and Avedon were high school friends. And though paths were divergent from each other, in their own way their voices documented the American spirit and individuality of its time. Avedon through a photographic celebration of American beauty and changing norms, and Baldwin’s take on America’s dark side, a dissertation on America’s exclusivity, cruelty, but hopeful future.

In Bibhu Mohapatra’s spring 2020 collection, which is also the brand’s 10th anniversary, the designer sought to show how these disparate reflections can express courage, diversity, originality, and strength. And like both Avedon and Baldwin, this collection shows incredible beauty and freedom, as well as honest transparency and reflection.

In this collection, Mohapatra is not afraid to express his maturity and ascendency. No longer pandering to outside influences who seek to direct a designer’s aesthetic, Mohapatra, in this collection, stays the truest to his brand’s DNA and soul. Perhaps, after much reflection and examination, Bibhu Mohapatra has discovered what works best for his brand and what truly reflects his purpose. If that is true, this discovery showed through in this collection. There were no tricks, no gimmicks, and no nods to what’s supposed to work, but bravely, just true Bibhu Mohapatra.

This collection contains some of Bibhu Mohapatra most-loved design aesthetics; asymmetrical cuts, non-traditional fabric combinations, pinstriped fabrics, and glam embellishments. And to balance out these signature looks, Mohapatra has also incorporated some the seasons most enduring trends; denim, polka dots evidenced in this collection as point d’esprit, swan feather jackets, and long-hair mink.

Though Bibhu Mohapatra’s day looks were strong and further expressed his new-found confidence, still, like in previous collection Mohapatra’s evening wear is his strong point. Where in previous collections Mohaptra’s architectural and asymmetrical cuts, at times, lacked movement and fluidity; however, in this spring 2020 collection there was much more ease of movement and comfort.

Photos courtesy of vogue.com

Standout looks in this collection include the brand’s mango crepe double-breasted vest suit over pleated tulle and cotton tunic, ivory point d’esprit dress with guipure lace skirt, ivory crepe column gown with crystal lattice embroidery, tangerine and turquoise dress with crystal lattice embroidery under black swan feather jacket,  navy point d’esprit ball dress with crystal medallions under white swan feather jacket, and blush and black silk barathea gown with train.

William S. Gooch

Elie Tahari Spring 2020

The 1970s was a transformative time for downtown New York, particularly the Soho district. Artists and other creatives took over downtown neighborhoods, working in industrial spaces to create collectives and loft studios. For Elie Tahari’s spring/summer 2019 collection, Tahari took inspiration from 1970s downtown creatives, creating a contemporary New York-centric collection with a vintage feel.

Tahari himself first arrived in New York City from Israel in 1971, so his introduction to America was witnessing this transformation of New York’s downtown scene. At the same time, the ‘70s also saw a rise in the working woman, an inspiration for Tahari as he designed no frills collections for professional women. The look of the working woman has changed since the early 70s, and rather than do a collection that looked like wardrobe for Jill Clayburgh’s character in “An Unmarried Woman,” Tahari took ‘70s elements and gave them a contemporary twist.

A tailored jacket was done in a beautiful olive color and belted at the waist; a sleek trench coat featured a leopard print collar, and ikat prints elevated a cheetah silk twill shirt paired with matching pants that was quintessential modern fashion PR woman office attire. Many women today get to be a little more artistic and push the boundaries with their fashion choices at work, especially those in creative fields found in the current downtown New York scene.

There were a few pieces, namely a cobra cotton sateen jacket and a polka-dot shirt with matching pant in brown that seemed a bit out of Tahari’s element as he attempted to venture into more comfort chic pieces rather than office attire, but it was an acceptable attempt at something out of his comfort zone. He still sees what the working woman today wants for her wardrobe, and that idea continues to permeate through the DNA of his collections, whether it be a tailored jacket with some flare or a work dress with an artistic, but not too loud pattern. 

Photos courtesy of Corina Lecca

The collection was committed to two silhouettes, either short and sleek or long and flowing, with little variation in the said silhouettes. Although there were many eclectic elements to the collection, like wide-patch pockets, oversized blazers, with a color palette ranging from rattan to macadamia, the juxtaposition of the corporate style against the creative helped the entire collection work as a whole. Here’s to the working women who have found a new sense of fashion freedom.

— Kristopher Fraser

Cynthia Rowley Spring 2020

Cynthia Rowley knows how to put on a fashion show!! Unlike some nascent brands that understand production value, Cynthia Rowley acutely understands that no matter how good the collection is, a milquetoast production can bring down the value of the garments.

For her spring 2020 collection, Cynthia Rowley took up back to the streets, literally!! That’s right, Rowley set her spring 2020 show outside on Tribeca’s Jay Street. (Inside tip: Rowley’s design team moved to Jay Street a few months ago.)  A tip to New York Fashion Week: The Shows designers; consider having some street shows in the future. Nothing is better than New York City architecture as a backdrop.

That said; for her spring 2020 collection Rowley was inspired by Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You Go. And with Seuss’ estate’s permission, Rowley used some illustrations from the book as prints in her spring 2020 collection. Like Seuss and many of the characters in his book, there was a heavy psychedelic 60s reference that will entice many consumers to want to go back to that carefree time when being hip and unstructured was the norm, and you could seemingly be who you are, experimenting with cultural trends that reflected the mood of time.

Though the garments in this collection at times were unstructured, phantasmagorical and cartoon-like, there was great humor and vitality. Additionally, the floral prints on occasion did overshadow some of Rowley’s silhouettes. Still, this was a fun, easy breezy collection that with some tweaking will have instant consumer appeal.

Images courtesy of Filippo Fior/gorunway.com/vogue.com

Standout looks in this collection were Rowley’s sky blue boxy tied-at-the-waist thigh-length jacket with matching two-tone emerald and sky blue slacks, black extended crouch suspender-like romper, white baby doll dress with multi-colored sequined floral motif, green and black floral print dress, floral paint-splattered short dress with floral paint-splattered peasant blouse, and purple and blue sequined suit.

—William S. Gooch

Taoray Wang Spring 2020

Taoray Wang presented their spring 2020 collection that was projected toward a younger consumer. This spring collection featured classic Yi embroidery.  The collection was part of an effort to lift and assist residents of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. In Chuxiong, there are over 70,000 women creating embroidery, an industry that is now worth over 100 million yuan—about 14.11 million in US dollars—according to Xu Xiaomei, head of the prefecture’s publicity department. Creative Director Wang Tao brought this embroidery technique, dating back thousands of years, and incorporated it into separates for men and women that Fashion Reverie thinks will be a big hit with consumers, even if some of the styling choices were a bit inconsistent.

The collection featured sophisticated Yi embroidery on tee shirts, hoodies, and coats. The embroidery was so distinctive and elegant, yet not so trendy that it appeared dated, not appealing to consumers looking for garments that go beyond trends. The show also featured piecework shirts that despite being both asymmetrical and busy were also quite chic and youthful.

However, when those separates were combined with other looks, in combination they were a bit overwhelming. A brown embroidered jacket worn over an embroidered mesh tee shirt–begging the question HOW do you embroider mesh?–with a shredded hem, paired with distressed cut-offs and studded cowboy boots, to quote style guru Tim Gunn, “that’s a lot of look.”

The two looks of neon green jumpsuits that featured beautiful embroidery were so minimalistic, sleek and different one can’t help but wonder if they were intended for a different collection. Still, the more minimal looks did allow the beautiful embroidery to take center stage.

Photos courtesy of Concrete Communications PR

The show itself was quite interesting. It’s challenging to add theatrical touches without distracting from the clothes. When a pair of models passed each other they high fived. Then two models circled each, giving menacing looks after colliding shoulders. One model grabbed another’s hand and twirled her.

Designer Wang Tao commented that the appearance  of Yi embroidery’s at New York Fashion Week  was a successful attempt to promote the region’s cultural heritage on a world stage, adding that as more people learn to appreciate the aesthetic of this technique, the industry will grow at a faster pace and Chuxiong’s female embroiders could live a better life. Taoray Taoray’s beautiful spring 2020 collection will no doubt have consumers clamoring for more!

—Cameron Grey Rose

 

 

Pamella Roland Spring 2020

Pamella Roland does not rests on her laurels. It is not a secret that Roland has established her brand that is well-known for high-end eveningwear and red carpet looks. In that respect, Pamella Roland fits comfortably in the constellation of such American brands as Oscar de la Renta, Bibhu Mohapatra, Carolina Herrera, Dennis Basso, Badgley Mischka, and Vera Wang.

That said; Roland’s inclusion into this hallowed and elite class of American fashion designers does not end with membership. Pamella Roland is also solidly an international brand and has evolved as her appeal in Europe, Asia and particularly the Middle East has expanded.

Pamella Roland should also be admired for continuing to show her collections during New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS). As her brand has become more international, like some other American brands could have abandoned NYFWS as this fashion week has lost much of its luster. Still, Roland stays loyal and true to NYFWS which helps to give this embattled fashion week some of the glamour and shine that this fashion capital desperately needs.

Always staying true to her DNA of updated classic silhouettes, ombre sequins and flirty, fun cocktail dresses, Roland this season sought to further modernize her brand’s signature looks by injecting a new level of youthful sophistication and glamour. And this youthful injection, so to speak, in the brand’s spring 2020 collection not only worked, but also brought and renewed freshness and vibrancy.

For spring 2020, Pamella Roland incorporated bold and soft colors and textures into new embroidery techniques and silhouettes. The brand’s signature ombre sequins are re-imagined, adding dyed pearls, 3D flowers, and hammered sequins. This collection also focused on using linear aspects juxtaposed against the softness of colors and floral motifs. A metallic lurex jacquard and two-tone floral Mikado highlight the brand’s more structured pieces in asymmetrical ruffles.

Images courtesy of Filippo Fior/gorunway.com/vogue.com

Standout looks in this spring 2020 collection includes the brand’s blush crepe column gown with crystal-embroidered bodice and ostrich trim, blush marabou and tulle cocktail with fuchsia dip-dyed feathers, blush pearl and sequin embroidered lace suit with satin color, blush and gold ombre sequin-caped ballgown with ostrich feather degrade, ivory floral jacquard suit with gold lurex and lace inserts, and fuchsia draped tulle cocktail with 3D ruffles.

—William S. Gooch

 

Laurence and Chico Spring 2020

Since the launch of the brand in 2015, the Canadian-based brand Laurence and Chico has been a fashion brand that pushed the proverbial fashion envelope of what is acceptable. From their fantasy, fairytale collections—collections based on their personal illustrations of their friend and family depicted as flora and fauna—to their genderbending in-your-face no holes barred collections to their over-embellished garments that somehow work, Laurence and Chic season after season create collections that are not only adventurous by tongue-and-cheek fun with a hint of wink wink.

There was a lot of wink wink in Laurence and Chico’s spring 2020 collection. With gender fluid models opening the show, and I must say, strutting like it was the last strut of their lives, Laurence and Chico set the mood of their show.

Laurence Li and Chico Wang, the design duo behind the brand, were inspired by New York City and characters from the iconic television show “Sex and the City.” This spring 2020 collection was a lively fashion compendium on the ladies who lunch as seen through lens of an acid-based design aesthetic. Imagine Miranda, Charlotte, and Carrie Bradshaw having lunch in Manhattan with “Alice in Wonderland’s” Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat, and dressed accordingly.

Though this collection was an purview into Laurence and Chico’s interpretation of “Sex and the City” on steroids, this spring 2020, like fall 2019’s collection was a direct diversion for the DNA of the brand whose previous design aesthetic was more fantasy based with few consumer-friendly garments. This spring 2020 collection as did last season’s collection included far more accessible separates. There was a panoply of tweed blazers, tweed trousers, and cardigans. And although these items were combined with outrageous accessories, accessories aside the traditional looks could easily fit into an Upper Eastside socialite’s wardrobe.

Images courtesy of Agentry PR

There a few carryovers from last season, namely the tweed jackets and coats, and pearl-encrusted blouses and tops. That said; standout looks from the spring 2020 collection include embroidered pearl top and plaid shorts, Empire State Building printed blue pants and blazer, heart-shaped tulle top and red tulle skirt, and include embroidered pearl top and plaid shorts, Empire State Building printed blue pants and blazer, heart-shaped tulle top and red tulle skirt,.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Victoria Hayes Spring 2020

If you desire sexy, va va voom garments with a modern panache, then Victoria Hayes spring 2020 collection gives you a lot to choose from. Still, this was not a collection for the kittenish, come-hither sex siren. This was mélange of strong silhouettes for the modern woman who is not only empowered but is not afraid to show off her curves and her sexy side.

This woman embraces her sexuality and her strong sensual self not for a man and not even for her girlfriends. This feminine celebration reflects how this woman feel about herself; empowered, self-assured, and bomb ass sexy!!

Since the Toronto-based Victoria Hayes launched her eponymous collection in 2016, her clothes have always been about a woman’s strength. Whether it be her sexual power, or strength found through beauty and bold color, Hayes’ woman is always resplendent and fashion forward.

For her spring 2020 collection, Hayes was inspired by the 90s action sports comedy “Space Jam” and 1990s nostalgia. There was also a strong Western aesthetic in this collection.

True to form, many of the looks in this collection were showstopper looks that would fantastic on that celebrity who wants to grab attention, or that celeb who is not shy about demonstrating a strong, in-your-face sex siren vibe.

With astute attention to detailing with hand painted-prints, colorful silks and ornate embellishments, the Victoria Hayes spring 2020 collection explores the dichotomy of present-day womanhood; beautiful and aggressive, romantic yet protective, tough but precious. And Hayes accentuated her beautiful, yet powerful collection by having some of the best runway walkers in her show. Hayes even had supermodel Coco Rocha close the show!! (Coco Rocha often wears Victoria Hayes on red carpet.)

Though Hayes’ spring 2020 collection was great distillation on the modern-day, strong sexy woman, there were a some looks that bordered on “Viva Las Vegas.” Some the embellishments on some of the garments were a bit overdone. And perhaps, Hayes, at times. should explore the “less is more” fashion dictum.

Images courtesy of MAO PR

Still, Victoria Hayes, for the most part, accomplished in this collection what she set out to do, presenting the modern female consumer with options seen through lens of Hayes’ own design aesthetic. And there were ample options to choose from.

And as one of the opening shows for New York Fashion Week: The Shows spring 2020 season, this was a surefire hit. You rule Victoria, and victory to the victor!!

William S. Gooch

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