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

Grungy Gentleman Fall 2019

Like so many brands, Grungy Gentleman is tapping into collaborations. Grungy Gentleman’s creative director Jace Lipstein realizes that with multiple collaborations he is accomplishing a lot of task and expanding is customer base in one blow.

For its fall 2019 collection Grungy Gentleman collaborated with eight collaborators including footwear with Pony, bikes with Schwinn, bags with Footaction, hats with New Era and NBA, slides with Giza, apparel with Renzo Cardoni, Pendleton, and Clinton Hall. The depth and wealth of these collaborations produce a fall 2019 collection that was more vibrant with a stronger design aesthetic than in previous collection.

Grungy Gentleman has established itself as a men’s sportswear brand with deep roots with professional sports team. That said; this affiliation with sports teams continues with sports figures mixed into the runway show along with male models. “[Sports figures] Dave East and Styles P embody everything the Grungy brand wanted this show to be about– an ode to New York City– the grit, the grind, the inimitable style and presence of those who came up here, and the power of collaboration across different generations and categories,” said Ali Moon, talent booker for the show.

Photos courtesy of Grungy Gentleman

Creative director Jace Lipstein expanded the brand’s design aesthetic by included the wider color palette of peach and red accents. These new color accents complimented the brand’s signature aesthetic of color-blocked cotton workout gear with stripes and piping on legs and arms. Lipstein additionally found an ingenious way to incorporate plaids and denim into the brand’s design aesthetic this season.

Good job Jace; continue expanding your sportswear aesthetic!! Just a tip, next season a bit more order and less chaos at your show will serve your fans and fashion industry professionals better. Remember, fashion reviews still matter!!

—William S. Gooch

 

Robert Geller Fall 2019

Almost more than any other menswear designer, Robert Geller finds inspiration and nuance from some of the most unusual sources and references. For his fall 2018 collection, Geller drew from memories of his life in Hamburg, Germany and the joy of hanging out with his friends. He married that youthful reminiscence with Olympic outfits of the 1980s, and Germany army sportswear apparel.This outing was in direct opposition to Geller’s fall 2017, the year of his 10th anniversary. For that collection, Geller shrouded his models in dark symbols of protest and rebellion, as though dystopia had already arrived.

For his fall 2019 collection, the Tibetan mountain climbers inspired Geller and the clothes layering required in such frigid temperatures. Though this is an interesting reference point, it is not unique. References to mountain wear and hiking has been used by many menswear designers in the past—Gilded Age created a beautiful, modern distillation on hiking and mountain apparel in their fall 2012 collection.

That said; Robert Geller did not stop with conjuring up images of mountain hiking apparel. Geller ingeniously combined layered mountain hiking clothes with the dyeing of different textiles techniques that are incorporated into one garment. Working with his Japanese team, they found a way to properly dye nylon, wool, and cotton with all those textiles combined in one garment.

In this fall 2019 collection, Geller also collaborated with athleisure wear company Lululemon on 12 pieces entitled “Take the Moment” that are injected into the collection. The purple line on the headgear distinguishes the Robert x Lululemon garments. With this collaboration, Robert Geller celebrates the marriage of function, performance, and style.

What is the most obvious brilliance of this collection is Geller’s ingenious layering of not only fabrics, but blending the layering into one cohesive look. Unlike many designers where the individual layering garments can be  mixed and matched, Geller created looks that completely standalone as individual fashion ideas. There is no need to pair any of his layering items with something else in the collection or other collections. And though Geller tends to go for more somber color combinations in most of his collections, this season his pops of color complimented his usual somber color palette.

Photos courtesy of Khora Consulting

Standout looks in the collection are the Leopold jacket with Sigmund pant, the Yuri Vest with moon traveler pant, the “Take the Moment” collared long sleeve with “Take the Moment” Jogger, and the Sigmund bomber with the Roberto pant.—William S Gooch

LANDLORD Fall 2019

LANDLORD’s Creative Director Ryohei Kawanishi in his seventh menswear collection went back to school for inspiration for his fall 2019 collection. Initially inspired by the Ivy League—the Darmouth, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard version of higher education—Kawanishi decided to expand his original perspective to include education from kindergarten to graduate school.

This expansion resulted in a collection that was playfully dark with a color palette inspired by building blocks juxtaposed a very relaxed a design aesthetic that bordered on psychotic kid’s play. One would think that a menswear collection inspired by education would be an intellectually hip compendium on style and fashion seen through the lens of brainy pursuits, or at least a fashion-forward, sporty collage of well-known collegiate silhouettes and symbols.

Not so, Kawanishi’s in this fall 2019 lecture conjures up images of an anti-intellectual student; a student that is somberly playful and may be a product of the laid-back stoner and slacker culture. And that stoner slacker culture has a definite, if not significant, place among young consumers.

Kawanishi’s formal meets informal projection, though admirable, just doesn’t quite hit the mark. And one of the downfalls of this collection is Kawanishi’s use of non-traditional models that did not serve the garments well. For fall 2019 lots of designers are including non-traditional models in their collections, and for the most part this inclusion is a fail. This attempt at inclusion only works if the non-traditional models add to the design aesthetic of the collection. Unfortunately, as in most other collection this season, this inclusion is an oddity and detraction, not a relevant expansion.

Photos courtesy of Laforce Stevens NYC

Though this collection does have some great menswear separates—great coach jackets, blazer jackets, and leather coats—combining these traditional collegiate silhouettes with a Crayola-colored palette and neon colors, as well as, the oversized design aesthetic, rendered an incohesive collection. And only a few looks for this collection actually had some retail value.Unfortunately, Ryohei Kawanishi missed the mark in this collection. And with the exception of a few interesting Instagram moments, this fall 2019 collection didn’t have the strong —William S. Gooch

Palomo Spain Fall 2019

There were not many bright spots during the New York Fashion Week: Men’s (NYFWM) fall 2019 season. Amid rumors that this season may be NYFWM’s last season, it was more than evident that NYFWM is a mere shadow of what it was or what it aspired to be.

With the absence of major American menswear brands Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger and others, NYFWM’s fall 2019 season was mostly a miss. However, there were a few bright spots and the shining moment that roused the most attention was Palomo Spain’s fall 2019 collection.

Inspired the rural Spanish of the early 20th Century and Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, Palomo Spain’s creative director Palomo Gomez found an ingenious way to fuse what seemingly appear to be two disparate ideas the Ballet Russe and rural Spanish culture of the early 20th Century into an almost seamless design aesthetic. And a more interesting and notable aspect to this collection, Palomo Gomez found a way to inject the brand’s signature aesthetic of gender fluidity in a way that was not overwhelming, but added to the brilliance of the collection.

The Ballet Russes in the second decade of its existence was beginning to incorporate Spanish influences into its dance repertoire which was expressed in the music of Manuel de Falla, the choreography of Leonide Massine, and the backdrops and scenery of Pablo Picasso. These influences produced such dance works as “El Sombero de Tres Picos” and “Cuadro Flamenco.”

In this fall 2019 outing, Gomez expertly paired feminine and masculine silhouettes, which is expected. What was superb in this collection is Gomez’s acumen of pairing the feminine with the masculine is a way that is more accessible than in previous seasons.

The ‘new’ or ‘purified’ Palomo Spain is projecting to bring the brand’s historical references into the 21st Century. The brand’s new direction is made evident in the new color palettes. This season Palomo Gomez incorporated grey into the collection, balanced with tones of emerald green, navy blue, and scarlet red. There are also more refined fabrics of heavier wools, silk taffetas, cashmeres, and velvets. The brand even developed its own signature print of a deconstructed polka dot.

There was also a wide array of brand accessories in this collection, ranging from gloves, hats, and bags to shoes and belts. These dynamic accessories came in the signature deconstructed polka dot print, as well as leather and suede. Additionally, there were several garments that could easily be mixed and matched with items within this collection or garments from other collections—particularly the collection’s jackets and skirts.

In spite of the brand’s new direction, what stood out most in this outing was Palomo Spain’s collage of textures, silhouettes, and the masculine juxtaposed against the feminine, all melded in ways that one aesthetic did not overshadow the other, brilliantly complimenting the entire direction of this collection. Where other menswear collections this season did not cause pulses to quicken, Palomo Spain’s fall 2019 collection not only caused fashion palpitations, the collection also elicited refrains of bravissimo and applause.

Images courtesy of Pelonio Press

Now, that is what NYFW should be about. With this collection, Palomo Spain gives fashion industry professionals great hope!!—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

Copyright © 2012-2019 | Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC - All Rights Reserved