New York Fashion Week Notes

Trick or Treat

Fall/winter 2013 Michael Kors neon orange double face cashgora placket coat
(All photos:

For fall 2013, Michael’s overall theme treaded on familiar territory: ‘Urban Sportif’….bright lights, fast city….urban athleticism meets uptown polish’, according to his printed run of show (which had been inexplicably downsized from its traditionally larger format). And perhaps, that was not such a great omen. Don’t get me wrong…sure there were the stable of MK signatures one comes to expect from this American designer who is known for his clean lines, and his ability to impart effortless, natural cool to his collections from one season to the next: the handsome trenches and balmacans, the perfectly cut chesterfields, the timeless pea jackets, the collectible shaker popovers, and cashmere pullovers, the perfectly cut blazers, smart trousers and pencil skirts, rendered in charcoal flannel, melton, and cashmere. But unfortunately, these were lost in the shuffle on the runway.

Michael Kors black crystal peplum gown

There certainly was a lot going on (maybe too much), within the 63 pieces for men and women that were presented yesterday morning at The Theatre at Lincoln Center. So much so that it was often distracting, and you didn’t really know where to look first, as the models sauntered quickly down the runway to the fast paced and high energy soundtrack. And it was more than a bit schizophrenic, as though Michael couldn’t decided which route he wanted to go, so he mixed it all up. There were high octane electric colors: taxi cab yellow, royal blue, and neon orange. Needless to say, a little of this goes a long way, and the combination of black with orange is always tricky, since it has Halloween written all over it (I’d love to know what man will buy the neon orange leather trench). There were peplums from start to finish: peplums on sweaters, peplums on sheath dresses, peplums on bustiers, and peplums on gowns (this surprised me since peplums are so ‘last year -ha!) There were graphic, tough chic accents and pronounced zippers decorated moto style jackets and coats. An abundance of shine came by way of gleaming metallic accents and high gloss black patent leather.

Michael Kors charcoal flannel blazer, pullover, and cashmere skirt

The footwear of choice was a high heeled pointy toed pump, preferably one that was two toned, with a strap and buckle (there were a few flats shown as well: some with a pointy toe, and some that resembled a mannish loafer). Chunky silver chain necklaces encircled come necks, fur trapper hats covered a few heads, and there were bags, bags, and more bags. And then there were the prints (a “luxe take on camo and graphic dogs tooth checks”). The camo print was a bit busy, especially when it showed up in the form of an olive and white techno gabardine zip jacket and matching trouser, but if you’ ve been in the market for a camouflage printed mink stole or coat, you’re in luck because Michael showed them (the best of the group was the olive and black camo mink clutch coat).

Fall/winter 2013 Proenza Schouler

But while all the above might personify Michael’s idea of urban survival gear, mine could easily be summed up by Proenza Schouler’s terrific collection, which was shown last evening. Just about my favorite of the season thus far (and the season is almost over), it was rigorously edited with a strong point of view and featured some of the best coats, leathers, and tweeds shown of the season. It had a couture like sensibility (with an unmistakable nod to Balenciaga via the sculptural outerwear), yet it looked thoroughly modern and ageless. It was perfectly accessorized (great bags and wonderful shoes), and it was rendered almost entirely in black & white (my idea of fashion heaven).

Trick or treat? I guess that’s for you to decide!

-Marilyn Kirschner

The Daily Bet – by Rhonda Erb

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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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