Thursday, February 18, 2016

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ®

Bye Felicia! My Warm and Fuzzy Reflections on NYFW Fall/Winter 2016

Milk Studios
Photo Laurel Marcus

Dear New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016,

Now that it's over between us, I have a few things I'd like to say about our brief time together. It was obvious that you could never fully commit to being my fashion week by your indifferent behavior, not to mention your lack of respect. You gave me the run around, played hard to get and rarely let me in, despite my best efforts to get to know you better. I tried to look cool for you but all you're ever interested in is IG and Twitter followers. I didn't want to seem needy, however at one point I confess to becoming so desperate for your attention that I would have done almost anything that you asked-- even if it involved a drunk text or a booty call. BTW you won't need that restraining order --I'm done stalking your email for show invite requests -- at least for another six months...

OK, don't look at me like that. You know that I'm tired of being ignored or left to traipse all over town, waiting patiently outside in the cold so that we could have our pitiful time together -- like 15 minutes tops. Last Saturday I even planned my entire day around you only to have you refuse to see me at all! I'm honestly glad you're going! I'm fed up with you and those of your (m)ILK (Studios)! How could you invite me (and all the others) only to have us queued up at an elevator while you just go ahead and start the show? It's always about YOU! I made an effort to see you, even knowing that I wouldn't be offered a seat, only to get turned away anyhow? I deserve better than this.

Rihanna in Kye Fall 2014 jacket
Photo credit: Daily Mail UK

Now that this flawed relationship is over, I'm left with whatever warm, fuzzy thoughts I can recall which haven't been tainted with disappointment. That makes perfect sense, dear Fashion Week, since my best memories of you center around your variety of cozy outerwear. Nothing is more welcoming in cooler temps (such as during this week) than a fun statement-making fur, be it faux or real. I take comfort in the fact that they were there in abundance, helping to distract me from our bad relationship.

Kye Two tone faux shearling over fake calf leather biker jacket,
stretch-crepe wide leg pants
Photo: Getty Images

It started off with Kye, a brand that I was obsessed with last year, thanks to my style icon Bad Girl RiRi. Ms. Fenty was seen about town in December 2014 wearing a vibrant blue faux fur with her winter white jeans. At one point she even went twinsies with a friend or relative in the same coat. I already own a blue fur so I couldn't convince myself that I deserved another, however, I've had the name of Kye deeply imbedded in my brain and jumped at the chance to attend the show. It really is like Heidi Klum says, "one day you're in and the next day you're out" as the Clarkson Skylight show, while well attended, didn't seem to have much of a celeb luster, maybe because Rihanna's fave designer du jour is Vetements?

Kye Oversized Faux Shearling Jacket
Photo: Getty Images

This year the unisex Korean street wear brand helmed by creative director Kathleen Kye debuted several two-tone faux shearling looks including a blue and tan trench style, a blue and yellow coat and a chartreuse and black jacket as well as one in solid red. There were also some part velour, part faux fur sweatshirts that looked appealing on a cold winter day. Although based in Seoul, she has been showing her collection since its inception in 2011 at NYFW.

Ev Bessar--B&W Mongolian Fur coat, Turtleneck, leggings,
Alligator skin neck piece
Photo credit: Geometria.tv

Another designer who features furs along with her interesting open weave knits and leather pieces, is Russian born Ev Bessar. Her unisex line is produced here however, in her basement "dungeon" in Harlem. One of the most covetous pieces from this collection has to be the Mongolian lamb coat which is split vertically down the middle like a straight edged Yin and Yang , one sleeve white and the other black making for an interesting dichotomy.

Mongolian fur with attached sleeve and net tunic with
silver skirt and face cover
Photo credit: Geometria.tv

Bessar's edgy look is distinctive although not eminently wearable. Her show was based on the concept of the Russian fairy tale "The Firebird," a bird who sings despite life's trials and tribulations and apparently left his black feathers all over the runway. Her clothes have a raw, deconstructed, goth look, earning her a recent mention as an "on the rise" designer by The New York Times.

Adrienne Landau presentation
All photos Laurel Marcus
Click image for full size views

Probably my favorite fur sightings were at the Adrienne Landau presentation. Landau, a longtime New Yorker who does a line of faux furs for HSN showed her show stopping genuine fur pieces and for the first time, debuted some that are unisex as well. She is featuring a men's and women's ready-to-wear line to go with her signature fur collection including black and white fur dresses, skirts and knitted rabbit jogger suits. I especially like the way she handles the fur, incorporating it with canvas patch pockets and trim on fur utility jackets, on backpacks, fanny packs, gym and messenger bags, hoodies, and hats.

Catoon leopard coat and backpack, red Mongolian lamb coat,
Goat Hair cheetah print coat

Silhouettes were given a young, updated, trendy twist but many of her pieces could really be worn by any age. I especially loved the styling which incorporated items such as a sheer lace jumpsuit, mesh or tulle wide pants, shorts and tops, along with leather, velvet, fishnet, lace and glitter just to name a few of the juxtaposed elements.

Knit rabbit tunics at Adrienne Landau

The outerwear (bombers, parkas, mixed media vests, coats) done in a variety of furs including rabbit, fox, mink, curly lamb, Mongolian lamb, and goat hair and range from solids, to solids piped in leather or canvas, or feature fur with contrasting fur trim. Two of my favorites were a black and white tie-dye coat as well as a cheetah print coat done in a bright, almost neon orange.

 Farewell NYFW fall/winter 2016! It's been (sort of) fun while it lasted. Don't let the elevator door hit you on your way out!




- Laurel Marcus

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