In a League of His Own

FashionGPS sponsored report

(Editor’s note: Calvin Klein and Ralph Rucci reviews online this weekend)

I loved Ralph Lauren’s collection, held at the Skylight studios on Hudson Street Thursday morning. While this may be an out of the way location for some, taking the fashion troops far from Lincoln Center, his showing at this space symbolically separates him from the pack (geographically and every other way). Plus, with a bus taking us from downtown up to Lincoln Center, we all got to Isaac in time anyway.

The collection played to all Ralph’s strengths and made the most of his wonderful way with mixing: soft with hard, rugged with delicate, ethnic with classic, day with evening, boy meets girl, etc. Every length and proportion was covered and it was not about that, it was about great pieces and putting it together with unabashed American joy.


It was pure, quintessential Ralph (down to the neutral color palette – no brights and no black or navy), and it didn’t look like anybody else this season. You can always tell what the overall look will be by checking out what wife Ricky seated in the front row and schmoozing with the attendees is wearing. This morning, she had on a pale camel suede jacket with long fringe trim, accessorized with a massive Southwest Indian Native Indian belt. And sure enough, that was almost the exact outfit worn by the first model out (though she had on shorts with crochet inserts and a tulle embroidered blouse).


There were cream deerskin beaded vests and jackets, serape striped linen jackets, palomino deerskin jackets and pants and one terrific fringed coat. Saddle suede tailored jackets were paired with off white cotton hand crocheted floor length skirts, and ivory hand crochet was a theme throughout (there was a wonderful below the knee length dress and knee length cardigan coat). An was an all white group in cotton pique and linen followed which consisted of terrific leg-o-mutton sleeved fitted jackets and frock coats worn with linen pants and cuffed shorts. A loose sand washed linen jacket was paired offhandedly with a natural distressed canvas jean that was heavily embroidered, and shown with an antique brown handmade braided fringe sandal.

In one instance, a serape striped linen jacket was juxtaposed over a beautiful cream tulle crinkle chiffon embroidered long dress with a train. A fitted lame jacket was paired with a beaded embroidered fringed pant, a saddle distressed leather jacket was thrown over a platinum lamé beaded slip dress, and a platinum tulle beaded long dress was pulled together with an amazing, wide vintage looking brown belt with fabulous buckle. Get the picture? Needless to say, there was a lot going on but thanks to brilliant fabrication, cut, execution, and styling, it worked!

September Showers Bring May flowers


The heavens literally opened up right after Oscar de la Renta’s 5 pm 62 piece collection, held at 583 Park Avenue, got under way. And how fortuitous since in addition to natural silk linens, pretty silk crepe de chine blouses worn with wide legged pants, highly textural degrade tulle tweed pleated silk organza skirt suits featuring a cardigan jacket (like the one worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, who was seated next to Anna Wintour in the front row), mixes of graphic black and ivory in coats and jackets, sweet ivory cotton voile and black guipure lace embroidered dresses; and a finale of prom worthy pastel confections that came out with the 50’s jukebox favorite, “Yes I’m a Great Pretender” playing in the back, it was really all about flowers.


The show, which had an unapologetically Spanish feel (Cristobal Balenciaga is a well known inspiration to the designer), opened with a natural silk linen coat whose hem was decorated with yellow silk organza flowers, and the model carried a beautiful bouquet in her yellow ostrich tote; multi color garden florals and posy prints abounded, and there was even a full skirted white silk gazar ballgown entirely decorated with red carnations, further accessorized with white gloves and high heeled satin sandals, which were also decorated with the carnations.

He’s So ‘Transparent’


If there’s anyone more madcap, entertaining, exuberant, expressive, or outgoing than Isaac Mizrahi (or anyone who is better at ‘schmoozing’ for that matter), I’d like to know who it is. And if there’s another designer, who should be showing at The Theatre at Lincoln Center, I cannot think of one.

While his best designs are actually more classical than theatrical per se. The fiber of his being, his entire ‘shtick’ is entertaining and theatrical to the core. The multi-talented fashion designer starred in his own satiric cabaret show, Les MIZrahi, is a bona fide TV personality in his own right, has directed and designed costumes for the ballet, modern dance productions, and theatre (some of which were staged at Lincoln Center).


Which is why it was interesting (or should I say, curious) that his noon time show on Friday, at The Theatre at Lincoln Center (which was called IM Xerox), was one of the least entertaining, theatrical, or madcap in a long time. I can recall several shows in the past few years, (one at New York Public Library and several at the Bryant Park Tents) that had a lot more pizzazz, and involved more staging, and actually rivaled a Broadway production. That said, the pieces that stood out among the 38 (it was really all about cocktail and evening wear, with the exception of a black pantsuit, and ivory belted ivory jacket worn with a skirt, and several pale shift dresses), involved the use of volume in the back, and the play of sheer over opaque: the use of see thru illusion and transparency (a big trend this past week). For example, a narrow black strapless short dress was covered with a longer black tulle overlay; a black and white abstract patterned dress with a cape back, had a black sheer top; an ivory sequined dress had a nude sheer top and enamel or plastic collar; a thigh length black strapless dress boasted a knee length glittery black sheer point d’esprit cage over it.

In addition to the aforementioned white plastic (?) collars, Isaac used white plastic cuffs that resembled shirt cuffs, which if you think about it, are quite inspired since it ensures they will stay forever clean! The shoes were all feminine pointy toed mules which were either flat, Sabrina heeled, or high heeled.

– Marilyn Kirschner

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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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