Fashion with a capital ‘F’

Just when everything started looking the same, (with an emphasis on sportswear), Marc Jacobs closed the week by delivering an eye catching, highly visual tour de force that was all about the joy of getting dressed and putting the fun back in fashion. Gone are the waifs in their sad military outfits and combat boots from last season. In their place: a parade of grown up, sophisticated women (down to the dark red lips, severe top knots, leather gloves), each and every one of them polished, put together, and dressed to the nines.

The collection, an ode to a true fashion icon, Diana Vreeland, spoke volumes about her unabashed obsession with fashion and her love of the bold and eccentric (there was nothing shy and retiring about her pronouncements, directives, or her personal style). It was the polar opposite of minimalism and quite frankly, you didn’t know where to look first (“The Eye has to Travel” indeed). There was no surface left unadorned or kept plain, and other than the relatively simple opening group of dresses in black, it was a beautiful mash up of metallic brocades, leopard and snake prints, bugle beads, jet embroidery, menswear patterns, cabbage roses, and fur. Graphic skunk to be exact. There were skunk capes, coats, muffs, bags, and stoles. It was not lost on me that Marc’s very first collection as head of design for Louis Vuitton in Paris, was all about skunk, so it’s as though he has come full circle.

Trousers were shown sporadically, but basically, it was all about a feminine silhouette (dresses and skirts). There were narrow pencil skirts and there were very full, knife pleated skirts, which were really the focal point of the collection. They came in dizzying variety, in lengths that went from below the knee length to floor sweeping, and were shown with everything from tailored jackets and belted coats, to voluminous capes.

It was often so over the top, it begged the question, “Good taste or bad taste?” Diana Vreeland said it best, “Bad taste is better than no taste”. Touche!

Groovy Baby!

Calvin Klein Fall 2015

Well, it looks as though Francesco Costa has been spending some quality time at the periodical vintage shows (I’ve  spotted him at the Manhattan Vintage Shows held at the Metropolitan Pavillion), but it seems he couldn’t quite make up his mind as to which pieces (or decades) most inspired him. His fall 2015 collection for Calvin Klein was quite a departure in that it was an unabashed nod to mod (modified space age), but it also referenced the 70’s and 90’s as well. To the designers’ credit, he made it his own and nothing was taken too literally. The overall effect was subtle and sophisticated, and hardly stuck in a time warp.

Working in a signature palette of black and white, there were hits of camel, coral, brown, and deep burgundy. The emphasis was on dresses and skirts (both short and long), and only a few pants were shown in the entire collection (they were cropped and wide and paired with cropped jackets). The elongated pieces looked especially good, thanks to their perfectly proportioned, narrow, lean silhouettes, and almost everything was shown with a mid-heeled second skin boot (there were also mod inspired block heeled pumps).

Coats and outerwear, the true stars on the runways here in New York, have always been a strong part of the DNA of the Calvin Klein label, and they were the stars in Costa’s collection as well: everything from 60’s inspired abbreviated coats (combining plush fur and leather, often horizontally worked), to long and lean coats layered over long dresses. Highlights in the latter group include the elongated black coat with pronounced silver buttons, trimmed with black patent; the ivory double breasted coat with silver button; the belted number in rich brown and black leather patchwork.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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