New York Fashion Week Notes

Carolina’s Mood Indigo

Carolina Herrera Collection
All photos:

This was one of Carolina Herrera’s more youthful collections to date. And I don’t mean to imply that it was ridiculously puerile; or that younger is always better. Hardly. What I mean it was relatively pared down and restrained. There was an unfussy vibe even though it was all very luxurious, dressed up, and unapologetically ‘uptown’. Lean silhouettes effectively offset the voluminous ballgowns; the use of sweaters and knitwear for day and night (in a few instances, they were thrown over evening gowns, in place of a more traditional evening coverup), and the models’ long straight hair pulled back in headbands, rather than piled into a bun, didn’t hurt the cause.

 Her color palette was almost entirely based on shades of blue ( indigo, dark navy, ‘Wallis’ blue,)  imperial purple, London lilac, modern mulberry, haute pink (a haute way to say hot pink), shades of grey, and, of course, black. Fabrics, always beautiful here, included mixes of wool and tweed, wool knit, jacquard, canvas melange tweed, cashmere, silk mikado, duchess satin, layered silk chiffon, silk crepe, and silk faille in addition to ribbon overlays and embroidery. Furs (fox, broadtail), more exotic pelts, (goat), and feathers, were used throughout but sparingly (showing up as relatively subtle trims or finding their way onto sleeves). An indigo wool jacket layered over a wool and tweed dress and melange cardigan had goat sleeves; a narrow coat in a grey and black abstract jacquard was trimmed at the hem with fox and goat.

As for entrance making gowns, we all know a Carolina Herrera collection would not be complete without them. In this collection, the standouts were those done in painterly, abstract prints: chalked marble, hand painted organzas (some of which were shown beneath cropped jackets), and a group done in an eye catching’ ‘poster’ print rendered in haute pink, black, and canvas. There were several cocktail dresses as well and they looked great.. Elegant Manolo Blahnik for Carolina Herrera shoes, and dramatic black leather gloves (in this case by Shaneen Husham and Carolina Amato), added the finishing touch.


Yeohlee Collection
Photos: courtesy Yeohlee

Why is it that I feel as though 7th Avenue is getting ‘marooned’ these days (or maybe the designers are becoming winos?) HA! Wine, port, burgundy, oxblood, maroon, are all showing up as the new neutral and almost nowhere did it look more chic and modern than at Yeohlee’s fall 2012 installation and fashion show yesterday afternoon at her West 38th Street retail shop /studio/ headquarters.

The ‘magic of mathematics’ is at the heart of the collection, and it’s all about sharp edged geometry and the human form (cloaking the body in circles, triangles, and squares). When you first walked into the store, you saw several outfits hanging on the wall: a selvedge edged acid green felted wool coat, a grey marbelized cotton knit jacket (THE perfect blazer), a purple silk faille shirt that can do double duty as a jacket, a black laser cut gabardine tunic and catenary skirt (both with almost fringe like details). On a dress form, there was a red wool melton coat shown over a brown wool melange jacket, white paper cotton shirt and brown wool melange crescent pant.

Guests, including Harold Koda, Stan Herman, Marylou Luther, Margaret Hayes, Patricia Mears, Bobbi Queen, were then led into a second larger room, where a burgundy silk gazar Venn Diagram cape, a burgundy silk gazar Venn Diagram dress, and a purple silk faille box dress were suspended from the ceiling, and we were asked to get close to the walls, while a group of models walked in. The run of show included a white paper cotton crescent collar shirt and denim box shirt; a white plastic cotton duffle coat layered over a white pleated t and black sunburst pleated gabardine shorts; a hunter green cobalt blue mohair wool double face wrap coat layered over a white paper cotton shirt and plaid linen cotton shorts, and a maroon linen wool tie neck coat shown over a burgundy silk gazar jacket and denim crescent bermuda shorts. Here, as elsewhere, the outerwear was stellar.

To Die For

Tome Brown Collection
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There have been times in my life (and especially in recent days), that I have thought (as I’m sure others who have been involved in this business for as long as I have), that fashion would, at one point or another, get the better of me, or eventually ‘kill’ me. Or that I would do the killing –  LOL. Of course, I’m not being serious (or am I???). But leave it to the always irreverent Thom Browne, to take that a step further and give new meaning to “To die for” (“Death becomes her”, or “Killer collection”!)

There were three different time slots for his fall women’s presentation, held on the third floor of the New York Public Library; and I was in the first one, at 5 PM. Since the show began a little late, I had a chance to chat with the designer’s mom and sister (nice, completely unassuming, and camel clad). who were queued up like the rest of us. I found out that Thom is one of 7 children and when I asked if he always wore his pants short (a signature), I was told that that was not the case, but he always liked his clothes very fitted and he was always precise and fastidious. I wondered if they knew of the macabre events to come (I had an inkling of what to expect because I had been told that one of the models was freaking out at having to be encased in a coffin).

When the doors opened, we were led into a beautiful candle lit dark wood panelled room with 10 ticking striped lined coffins, each with a well dressed model/corpse’ clad in- what else?- a fastidious charcoal gray Thom Browne pantsuit (white tulle ‘shrouds’ covered their heads, ankles, and cuffs). After listening to the strains of the haunting “Hallelujah” for about 15 minutes, a Thom Browne pantsuit clad woman walked up to the podium and in a very serious voice, told the guests that this evening was a tribute to “10 girls who died for fashion” and they were “dreaming about fall 2012” (this got a laugh and broke the ice). “Enjoy the fantasy” she said.

 As if on cue, each of the ‘corpses’ got up from their coffins, and stood next to them, facing the audience, while their ‘dreams’ came to life (so to speak). One by one, models, eerily made to look like beautiful corpses down to their sunken mouths and ‘decayed’ teeth, entered the room wearing selections from fall 2012 collection. Played out primarily in shades of gray, black, white, with touches of camel, (with touches of mink trim), the fabrics were quite heavy and stiff (except for a group of narrow shirtdresses with prim white collars and cuffs, and several white gowns- one with mirrored embellishments), and manipulated into very exaggerated shapes. Of course as always, beneath it all, there are some beautiful pieces. When the last model filed out, the ‘corpses went back into their coffins and the show was over. I asked the designer, on my way out, what they were going to do with 10 empty coffins and I was asked if I wanted them. I said no but considering the high cost of funerals, I probably should have taken them up on it.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Better Bets for Valentine’s Day – by Rhonda Erb

Demeter Chocolate Covered Cherries

Experience this decadent blend of cherries, Kirsch and chocolate with none of the calories or guilt. This luscious scent is made with 95% natural ingredients. It is just one of more than 250 scents in the Demeter Fragrance Library.
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PG Bracelets

Italian jewelry designer, Paola Garofalo, created these colorful fabric bracelets and they can be worn individually or in multiples, depending on the wearer’s ever changing moods. The red, white and green “Italia Universal Love” bracelet has developed an international cult following.
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Enter to win a special assortment of PG Bracelets in Valentine’s Day colors! Click  and register your e-mail address before 11:59 PM EST, Feb. 20,2012 (be sure to put “bracelets” in the subject line). One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

iLuv Vibro II

Sometimes you need a little extra help to get out of your cozy warm bed. The iMM 155-01 Vibro II has a unique Shaker that vibrates along with the alarm to give you that extra push to wake up. It has a dual alarm clock and a speaker dock that charges you iPhone or iPod. It also allows you to fall asleep to your favorite music on your iPod or FM radio.
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Enter to win the iLuv Vibro II iMM155-01! Click  and register your e-mail address before 11:59 PM EST, Feb. 20,2012 (be sure to put “ iLuv” in the subject line). One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

Speck CandyShell GRIP

You take your iPhone with you everywhere. Protect it with this hard, shock absorbent case that has a soft cushioned inner core. Fingerpads allow more control for texting and gaming.

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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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