NY Market Report / New York Fashion Cool-Aid™

Alexander’s ‘Ball-Chain’ of Command

Ball-Chains were a recurring theme at Alexander Wang

So, you how simply adding gleaming hardware to all black, can go a long way to enliven it and make it exciting? Well, Alexander Wang took that idea and ran with it for his Fall 2015 collection; a strong, powerful statement played out almost entirely in black. He was basically acknowledging, “We all live in black anyway. It’s our favorite color (it’s certainly my favorite color), so why fight it? I’ll make it even cooler, hipper, and more appealing!” And he did.

He mixed luxurious fabrics such as velvet, satin, leather, fur, wool, and a shimmery metallic, and punctuated literally every surface with something in shiny silver. There were silver buttons (three rows on some jackets), silver zippers, silver buckles, silver chains, silver fringe, and last but not least, silver ball-chains which were a recurring theme (for a designer not exactly known for his love of jewelry, they actually served as a hip, modern substitute).

They decorated his fisherman knit sweaters (an apparent ongoing obsession of his); formed a geometric pattern on a group of quilted coats; and were further repeated on his bags (everything from mini duffles to backpacks), and his boots. The heavy black velvet lace up flatform hiking boots were the only footwear shown on the runway, and they grounded everything (superbly tailored jackets and cropped trousers, slouchy bathrobe coats, oversized metallic outerwear trimmed with fox, black velvet evening dresses with silver fringe trim).

The boots also lended that signature Wang streetwise, athletic vibe, which has traditionally infused his collections. Ah, but unlike last fall, when his gals looked ready to wade in the Hudson or East Rivers, this time around, they were more appropriately turned out for taking an evening stroll in the vicinity of the Seine. The collection, as urban-perfect for New York, as Paris, is proof that Alexander’s time spent in the City of Lights (as head of design for Balenciaga), is certainly paying off for him, from a creative point of view.

FYI, I could not help but notice that Baby North is becoming a real front row fixture at the biggest shows. She was front row at Alexander Wang, along with mom and dad, wearing what looked like a mini-me version of what was on the runway, down to the ball-bearing accented dress and leggings. If I were Anna Wintour, I would watch my back lol. I bet Kanye is grooming his little fashionista baby girl to eventually take over at Vogue and Conde Nast (if not the world).

-Marilyn Kirschner

NY Fashion Kool Aid  
Fatema Fardan Presentation: Mid-East to East Coast
Photos :Laurel Marcus

Getting anywhere on a Friday night in New York is always a challenge traffic-wise but never more so than during Fashion Week. After almost an hour in a lurching taxi I finally reached my destination of Voce Di Gallery,45 Grand Street while promising myself that the evening would deliver some unmistakable and rewarding international as well as home grown flavor. The Autumn/Winter 2015 Presentation was the New York debut for Fatema Fardan, born in the UAE in 1987 and educated in London. She is the first Emmirati designer to show at NYFW according to her Instagram @fatemafardanofficial. Fardan’s premier collection for Spring/Summer 2015 was well received in the Middle East and Fardan became known for having dressed Eva Longoria on her visit to the Dubai International Film Festival. Fardan’s New York connection was courtesy of Julia Restoin Roitfeld, the evening’s host and I knew she would be instrumental in bringing out the downtown fashionistas and notables.

Rachel Zoe, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Fatema Fardan, Leigh Lezark

On this freezing winter night the sight of a large storefront space magically  transformed with foliage and beautiful flowers covering the walls was quite welcoming and served as the perfect backdrop for the rich “Refined Folk” collection. The clothing was eminently wearable with “refined folk references” and “contemporary tailoring,”a mix of separates and dresses much of which could be dressy day wear or evening wear. Ms. Roitfeld wore one of the dresses in the collection, a short sleeved, fitted bodice black leather number with a flared skirt and she looked stunning as usual. I also loved a green ponyskin round collar jacket, a red lamb jacket worn with red flared leg pants and tapestry printed v-neck shell as well as a Piet Mondrian inspired leather skirt. Perhaps as a nod to her heritage Ms. Fardan kept everything mostly covered and I appreciated that a woman of any age could wear these fashions; nothing was overtly young, tight, cropped or inappropriate. One or two of the looks could possibly go to the dowdy side but overall it was a strong collection particularly for a relative neophyte.

As the evening wore on Ms. Roitfeld was soon joined by Rachel Zoe and husband Rodger Berman, Carole Radziwill (of Real Housewives fame), Stassi Schroeder (Vanderpump Rules), Natalie Joos (style icon), 13-year-old actress of “Into the Woods” Lilla Crawford, Leigh Lezark who also served as DJ, and Cory Kennedy (one of the nanocelebs and Internet “It Girl”). Writer, tastemaker and International Ambassador for Bergdorf Goodman Haya Maraka looked striking in black trousers and red fur vest, her black hair and red lipstick reminding me of none other than Amal Clooney. Perhaps Ms. Clooney’s looks, while exotic here, are the norm for women from the Mid East. Ms. Maraka was involved in styling the show and many of the models resembled her in taller form.
Center: Designer Fatema Farden; Left: Haya Maraka & Right:
Julia Restoin Roitfeld
At first I thought Ms. Maraka was the designer as Ms. Fardan was not readily apparent until later when she appeared to do some video interviews. She was dressed quite modestly as befitting her culture in a to-the-floor dirndl with floral embroidery at the hem. I am curious as to whether Ms. Maraka was the link that brought her here or if this was a public relations machination of sorts. Whatever unseen forces landed her on our shores she can thank her lucky stars for connecting her with Ms. Roitfeld and the coterie of fashion’s front row insiders who attended the event.

– Laurel Marcus

The Daily Bet


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– Rhonda Erb
For more Better Bets visit: http://betterbetsny.tumblr.com/

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: betterbetsny.tumblr.com

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