February 11, 2013 12:10 pm

New York womenswear: Modern nostalgia

Lifestyle labels take a trip down memory lane for updated looks

This year holds major milestones for several of New York’s top sportswear names, with both Y-3 and DKNY turning 10 and 25 respectively later in the year.

And, as lifestyle-orientated labels gain increasing traction and profile in the fashion week calendar, the two birthday brands took stock of their position by looking to the past in order to find a forward-looking take for tomorrow.

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DKNY’s trip down memory lane resulted in a collection infused with playful nineties’ nostalgia. The decade’s wardrobe centrepiece – the bomber jacket – was reworked into several wearable guises, be it cropped, quilted and teamed with a flippy, flirty skater skirt; or else loose, oversized and to the knees with a shiny, hip-hop-esque vinyl finish.

Skin-skimming and panelled body-con dresses came in a series of pinks, reds and playful graphic prints, while the closing evening wear looks took a strong sporting silhouette – think T-shirt shapes and tapered trousers – before adding a billowing silk train.

At Y-3, Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas’s “Analog vs Digital” show also toyed with fusing both traditional and modern, with a masterclass in texture-blocking siring chunky-chic voluminous scarves, sleeves and bustles; the clever layered ruching gave certain pieces an almost Victorian school ma’am charm. Other looks stayed truer to the brand’s grungy street roots, namely knee-length ball skirts, cropped bolero parkas, and casual cropped pinstriped pants with just the merest hint of a nod to a gentleman dandy’s knickerbocker.

On the other hand, Lacoste’s reworking of “explorers in Antarctica” foundered thanks, to an overly heavy emphasis on a clinical, utilitarian present. Clunky and oversized experimental silhouettes in slushy whites and greys were far less feminine or flattering than those seen in previous seasons; although the closing leather dresses with artfully located zips proved a step up from the other seasonal offerings from the French sportswear brand.

For true stepping up, however, the Moncler show scaled new heights with a towering black ten-storey coliseum with hundreds of motionless models staggered right up to the ceilings of Gotham Hall, all uniformly bedecked in khaki puffa jackets, ski pants, waistcoats and futuristic eyewear. Climb every mountain and party.

For more from the runways visit www.ft.com/fashionweeks

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