Who says vintage is dead, passé, over? Certainly not Tracy Reese, whose 11 a.m. show at the Tents, was filled, as usual, with her signature vintage inspired pieces. The eclectic mixes and offhanded pairings made it seem less like a runway show and more like the way an artistic, creative, perhaps slightly eccentric vintage collector and fashion lover, would dress. As always, the coats are stellar and highly collectible, and the jackets and skirts were marked by more volume than in past seasons. But perhaps more than anything, the collection is all about color, the unabashed joy of color mixing. It’s obvious that Tracy loves gold, anything gilt or gilded, AND anything that shines.
If Tracy’s show was all about her vintage aesthetic, Catherine Malandrino’s show, held at Gotham Hall, was an homage to her French heritage which has always played a large part in her work. This time, Catherine’s inspiration was La Coupole, (an area in Montparnasse where artists and poets hung out), and more specifically, Colette, the French writer. Catherine’s program notes cited an “eclectic American/French style of dressing”. While it didn’t all work, what really stood out were Catherine’s strong knits- the sumptuous cashmeres, mohair and baby Alpacas, done primarily in pale neutrals (plus lots of white on white) which were translated into exaggerated shapes and voluminous proportions as if to emphasize the texture and drape.
Esteban Cortazar, the VERY young designer who is just barely out of his teens, is showing signs of maturation. His fall/winter collection, shown today at the Tents, while perhaps a little old fashioned, is probably his most grown up, sophisticated, and urbane thus far with very little (or none) of his trademark sexy South Beach tricks on view. Well of course, this being a fall line rather than one for spring/summer, one would expect less skin, less sizzle, and far fewer neon brights. The color palette was very autumnal (a big trend on the runways in general) and the emphasis was on tailoring- tie belted coats, trenches, cropped jackets, fringed knit pieces. Of course, there were a slew of evening dresses as well, many in floral patterns.
Bryan Bradley’s 36 piece Tuleh collection, always short and sweet, was a nice surprise. It was certainly an improvement over last season’s (which was a bit strange) and relied heavily on wonderful mixes of colors (though there was quite a lot of black on black), fabrics, textures, and styles. As usual, coats are Bryan’s strong suit with trenches, duffels, tweeds, either fitted impeccably or slightly eased up and ‘thrown’ over pants, satin shorts, lace dresses, or matelesse and lace skirts, many of which were elongated and given volume through tulle underskirts. By the way, lace — especially alluring sheer black lace — was a large part of Bryan’s message. Eclectic, sexy, and young, it looked novel, fresh, and interestingly put together although he went a bit overboard with some of his furs (like the orange fox piece).
Oh, I thought you’d be pleased to know that well into day three, the Kohler sponsored latrines have remained spotless. The crew on hand is constantly cleaning up. Good job!
– by Marilyn Kirschner