Friday, September 27, 2013

NYFW: Catherine Malandrino SS14

Catherine Malandrino's spring show was held in a warehouse at Pier 92, a perfect location for a collection inspired by the Mediterranean sea and summer breeze. The models stood on platforms in the middle of a large, open room, fans blowing behind them, a crowd of media and photographers in front.

The pieces were elegant and understated, inspired by French summers in Saint Tropez. Delicate fabrics of silk and lace blew in the air. The prints featured colorful sailboats, airplane silhouettes, and nautical stripes. The main colors of the collection were named Mediterranean blue, Speedo red, blanc, admiral blue, and cliff added to the seaport theme. Malandrino used draping to add drama to pieces like her cascading, pink column gown and striped, deep v-neck t-shirt.

This was my favorite collection of the week for its effortless use of fabric and construction. The lightweight materials in the dresses combined with the heavy, structured jackets made a beautiful contrast among the bright colors and whimsical prints. There was a piece for every occasion, day or night, from color blocked jumpsuits to eyelet button-down blouses.

Mary J. Blige was one of the celebs who graced Pier 92 to see the show.

She made this model's day!
Kelly Rutherford made a brief appearance as well.

Monday, September 23, 2013

NYFW: Samantha Pleet SS14 "Arcadia"

           My second show during New York Fashion Week wasn't actually a show, but rather a film premiere party. Held at The Wolverine Company in SoHo, Samantha Pleet revealed her Spring 2014 collection with a short film called "Arcadia." Guests were led to a room in the back of the store to experience the movie on screen. I had the pleasure to meet Samantha and interview her about her designs.

            This was a really fun way to present a collection, especially as the day was ending and everyone had certainly been itching to get away from runway monotony. The pieces had a perfect island getaway vibe, while still being wearable in a city. There were jumpsuits, cutout dresses, shorts, and shirt dresses in bright, playful colors and patterns. My favorite print was a mountain stripe. From far away, it looks like a typical, nautical stripe, but as you get closer, you see little mountains. These whimsical details in Samantha's garments are just right for a girl who doesn't take herself too seriously.

You can read all about her collection  and see the full film in my article for Papercut Magazine here:

Designer Samantha Pleet

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NYFW: Reem Acra SS14

          Reem Acra was the first show I went to during New York Fashion Week. I got off my bus, lugged my giant suitcase to my cousin's apartment (with the help of her generous friends, of course), and headed to Lincoln Center. I was so excited to be there and to be seeing my first show in NYC, that I could've watched trash bags and potato sacks go down the runway and I would've been happy!

           That being said, this show was my least favorite I attended. I'm also probably right in saying that it was one of the least profound of NYFW, but I didn't see them all so that's up for debate. The clothes were nice to look at, the fabrics moved nicely down the runway, and the models had bigger hair than Grace Coddington, but everything else was lackluster. How many times have we seen a designer do disco party style? And this wasn't a unique spin off of that inspiration either. It was a collection of shiny fabrics, sexy draping, and volume in places most people would rather leave in the 70s. I really don't see hounds tooth and polka dots becoming popular in chiffon or charmeuse.

             Fabrics and prints aside, design wise, the pieces lacked dimension. The structure of each dress and pantsuit was either unoriginal, unflattering, or impractical. There were hardly any accessories or layers used to add interest and the color palette was mundane, with the exception of the occasional orange and poppy. However, the collection did end on a more positive note with detailed embroidery, reminiscent of fireworks, exploded onto black evening gowns.

Below are the top looks from the collection. (These aren't my own pictures because I quickly realized how impossible it is to take runway pictures with my iPod.)

Photo credit:

My Reem Acra SS14 Top Five:

  1. Favorite fabric - silver silk crepe 
  2. Best backstage element - Pat McGrath's makeup magic
  3. Memory brought to life - watching "The Last Days of Disco" with my mom
  4. Best look for spring - sheer silk with trapunto stitched detail
  5. Coolest moment - meeting Robert Verdi after the show

Monday, September 16, 2013

Highlights From My First New York Fashion Week

         I had such an awesome time at New York Fashion Week and I'm so grateful to my internship at Papercut Magazine for sending me. I got to interview emerging designers, meet cool people, see celebrities, get to know the city, and look at beautiful clothes! I conquered my fear of what I thought would be a complicated subway system and discovered that getting around wasn't nearly as overwhelming as I thought. I only got lost once!

          While I'll be writing individual posts about the shows later, here's an overall look at everything I did and the people I met last week!

The street style was exactly how I imagined it would be.
I learned that it's impossible to take good runway pictures if you don't have a professional camera. The models walk way too fast and the lighting completely washes them out!
I met Robert Verdi at my first show and he taught me how to take a selfie the celeb way!
I met designer Samantha Pleet and was mesmerized by her mountain stripe print.
Mary J. Blige brightened the models' days at Catherine Malandrino.
I snapped a photo of these three Teen Vogue elites looking fabulous in Chelsea.
I met super cool jewelry designer Heidi Gardner and fell in love with her and her amazing designs. Girl crush!
I hung out with my cousin Maddie and her boyfriend and they introduced me to the delicious artichoke pizza of a pizzeria called Artichoke. Who would've known!?
I also met their friends Jose and Sarah (not pictured).
I had a backstage pass at Mordekai by Ken Borochov and watched the models get hair and makeup done like a true fashion week reporter!
I sat front row at Daisy Fuentes and got a swag bag of free clothes and accessories.
I introduced myself to Teen Vogue writer, Andrew Bevan, who I'd taken that street style photo of the day before. He's such an inspiration and was incredibly nice to talk to! I don't think I stopped smiling for an hour after that!
Went to perhaps the coolest fashion party of the year. It was in a pier warehouse, everyone was dressed super fly, and it looked out on an awesome view of the city. 

And ended my fashion week experience with artfully abstract designs at a Parsons grad student show in Made's Milk Studios.
          Last week was definitely one of the coolest times of my life! I had the opportunity to go to NYFW much sooner than I ever dreamed and I experienced it with a fresh, optimistic outlook...something I realize goes away after you've seen hundreds of shows because it's your job!   Everyone I met was really friendly and I'm happy I got to see more sides of the city than I have in previous trips. A huge thank you to Maddie Allen for letting me stay with her and to her friends for making me feel welcomed in a sometimes overwhelming city!