What with the weird weather – snow then rain then sun then more snow – New York has been a gloomy place this season, and designers clearly feel it’s time to lighten up.
There was sparkle and glitter a go-go, and Thakoon even planted flowers in the dead of winter via a dusky palette – soft blues, lilacs and dusky pinks – in sleeveless pleated tea dresses, with sheer lace panels and capped-sleeved loose fitting tops and skirts in a dandelion digital print.
Then Marc by Marc got the party started with a bevy of blindingly brilliant glamazons – all with frenzied disco ’fros – sheathed in a wild Seventies-inspired celebration cleverly tempered with a nod to the sophisticated suiting of a 1940s pin-up. Button-down blouses and roll-necks were teamed with prim A-line midi skirts, thinly belted at the waist; the latter with throwback graphic prints that wouldn’t look out of place on the walls of your grandma’s living room (think tulip florals combined with thick diagonal stripes). The standout look of the show was a burnt orange honeycomb brocade tea dress, with neatly peaked shoulders and a trapeze silhouette offset perfectly by a bowling bag and shoes in deep brushed brown falling on just the right side of retro.
Meanwhile J Crew produced yet another impressive collection of vibrant and playful mix ’n match separates, marrying the rich textured exoticism of a vacation in Marrakesh and the stricture of a tailored American aesthetic. While designer Jenna Lyons’ signature acid brights took something of a backseat, pattern-blocking remained in force in rainbow-coloured cropped cigarette pants and jacquard paisley skirts with oversized jackets sporting bejewelled lapels.
Jewels also played a part at Tory Burch, where the designer revealed her inner magpie via a collection packed with mixed metallic prints, scattered sequins and dripping with diamante embellishments the size of championship golf balls.
Inspired by Art Nouveau, in particular the gold-ornamented portraits of Gustav Klimt, glitzy metallic threads and paillettes appeared on everything from easy floral silk midi-skirts, to long bouclé cardigans and the embroidered panels of overcoats – eyecatching for both work and play. Necklines and hemlines were conservatively high and low respectively, with the varied use of textures and materials easing a loose, free-flowing volume into overall silhouettes.
Even at Victoria by Victoria, where the formerly girlish collection had a more androgynous twist than in previous seasons (think sleeveless tweed waistcoat dresses layered upon a fitted, collared white shirt and dropped-waisted, two-toned, panelled A-line pinafores with zips down the sides) – polka dot prints and electric blue sequined panels abounded. Zing!