Adam’s ‘Apple’

Adam Lippes, who showed at the Tents for the first time, cited inspiration for fall 2010 from the “lightness and line found in a painting by Isca Greenfield-Sanders” he had seen in a New York City apartment. The 36 piece collection was cool, hip, modern and of the moment, without trying too hard and oozed non chalant luxury. I detected elements of Alaia, Adrover, and Beene (especially in the gray wool flannel bustier dress with silver swirl embroidery shown over a black crewneck t), but it somehow all worked. The neutral color palette (olive, gray, putty, camel, ivory caramel, khaki, rust) was chic and easy on the eyes, the offhanded mixes (day for night, boy meets girl, etc.) were perfect, and the models, naturally gorgeous with their hair pulled back into long braids, looked as though they could have walked off the runway onto the street as is and it would not have been a stretch.

There was long, short, and everything in between; including some great leather pieces (like the caramel leather pleated back tank dress that opened the show); stellar outwear (including a coyote lined waxed cotton anorak, a gray waxed cotton utility jacket with shearling collar, a charcoal etched stripe peacoat with shearling trim); great looking pants (some of them cut like jodhpurs); interesting skirts in a variety of lengths and shapes; standout textural cable hand knits; the employment of pewter and bent metal embroidery in unusual ways; and some interesting prints (kaleidoscope and cloud).

Color his World

Is it me, or do the Lacoste shows always seem to perfectly coincide with world class sports events? In September, it was (and always is) the US Open, which is excellent timing considering the company’s tennis heritage. And yesterday, it was the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. And when you think snow, you think white and pale, which was a good segue into the first group of clothes (from the classic Club line) shown on the gals and the guys. It was all about great looking and timeless pieces (great coats, jackets, and highly textural knitwear in tonal, soft pale neutrals).

This was followed by the group in living color which Christophe Lemaire, head of design for Lacoste, described as “vibrant, energetic and youthful with a ‘Kool Aid’ palette of color blocks”. There were seemingly endless combinations layering vibrant green, pink, yellow, and black, down to the accessories hats, tights, gloves, and leg wear. It was in this group that Mr. Lemaire experimented with the proportion of the company’s classic polo (it was cropped then stitched into a bolero like cape, or made into a maxi dress).

In the meanwhile, in celebration of the company’s rich heritage and history, every show attendee’s seat had a copy of the handsome Assouline book, ‘Lacoste’. Unfortunately, it was quite heavy and so, unless you were going straight home, rather than running around to shows all day, I doubt you would have taken it.

‘Fur’ Sure?

Andy & Debb obviously have a following (I overheard one show attendee right before the show, saying she was SO excited because she LOVED the label). And I would guess this line appeals to a young woman who wants no nonsense clothes that have a look. The label generally offers a degree of fashion without making the wearer look like a hapless fashion victim and they always offer a good balance of daytime and evening (well tailored jackets and pantsuits, short dresses, evening separates).

Best pieces this time around were the black lamb pieces (a shirt jacket and deep v neck double breasted jacket), a fox collared sleeveless trench coat layered over a beige wool turtleneck; the black wool blend structured mini dress; the navy abbreviated blazer shown over belted narrow trousers, a strapless metallic textured knit mini, a fringed black mini, the black sequined mini dress with v neck back, and a black sequin mini skirt worn with a black wool ribbed turtleneck. They get an A for effort in terms of their interesting approach to furs. I wasn’t sure if their mink pieces (a scrap patch bolero, a back tiered mink vest, and a gray mink square patched long vest), were real fur until I read the run of show. I guess that’s a good thing especially if they were aiming to be ‘politically correct’ and disguise the furs.

‘Academy’ Awards

Is it my imagination or was The Academy of Art University fashion show (always a popular event), even more well attended and jam packed (with many familiar fashion faces in the front row) than ever? This season, the work of 6 womenswear designers was highlighted: Marina Solomatnikova, who was inspired by the fragile multi layered landscapes found in Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings; Bethany Meuleners, who was inspired by futuristic photography and Duchamp’s painting, Nude Descending a Staircase; Naomi Sutton, who used intaglio etchings as inspiration for her prairie silhouettes; Hyo Sun An, who was aiming for a collection with “fluid amorphous boundaries”; Steven Oo, whose hand and machine knits were inspired by the lines of Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas; and Sabah Mansoor Husain, whose felt outerwear and crochet knits, embedded with jewel like crystals, were inspired by chandeliers.
Interestingly, it was the knitwear pieces that really stood out.

My personal favorites? Bethany Meuleners, whose collection focused on navy, black, eggplant, brown, maroon, and effectively counterbalanced her cool military blanket duffle coats with lace bodysuits and silk chiffon overlays; Steven Oo, whose showed his thick and highly textural gray and black merino wool knitwear with crisp white shirts and accessorized them with chic flat black equestrian boots; and Sabah Mansoor Husain, whose armor like felted jackets, and hand knit merino wool alpaca and mohair pieces, primarily done in black and shades of gray, had the look of armor.

The show was quickly paced but if I have one criticism, it was the loud music (who selected this music anyway?) It was so loud (even before the show began), it was impossible to hear what anyone was saying and more importantly, it was a complete distraction. By the time the show had ended, I felt as if I had lost my hearing. (What did you say?)

-Marilyn Kirschner

The Daily Bet

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-Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb writes about fashion, travel and lifestyle from a New Yorker’s perspective in Better Bets. A self-confessed Instagram addict, her work has also appeared in such publications as Runway Magazine. Follow her at: Instagram: @betterbets Twitter: @betterbetsny tumblr:

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