Prim With an Edge
Good girls were on the runway wearing simple sleek sheaths, retro shoulders and slim skirts, but somehow the look wasn't so innocent after all — in a good way. Tracy Reese has always drawn out the lady in her collection. This season was no different. One pretty look was a periwinkle knit jacket over a turquoise skirt with matching wedge shoes.
For several seasons now we have seen hand-knit and crocheted pieces incorporated into designers' collections. This season, handwork is everywhere. Marc Jacobs took drama to a new level with oversize hats and extra-wide, sumptuous coats. Many of these looks were topped with large, hand-crocheted stoles finished with huge shawl pins.
For women who want to stay warm or just furrily fabulous, there was plenty of fur to behold. DKNY showed several fur pieces.
Skins are in. Tory Burch made a mean blue leather skirt suit with a peplum jacket.
The whole Mad Men-Pan Am-Marilyn look back in time has once again found its way onto the runway. Oscar de la Renta captured the look stunningly with a black-and-white group of ensemble dresses that kept a prim appeal but had a decidedly urban edge.
An appeal toward the Asian-inspired asymmetrical as well as precision architectural cuts on bodices and hemlines made a statement this season, sometimes through sheer garments that gave it a sexy edge. Narciso Rodriguez presented beautiful slim dresses with asymmetrical hemlines and necklines.
There is a search for new terrain to discover, especially with designers who are invoking the wild, wild West in a modern nomadic way. Mara Hoffman presented what I call "urban nomad": long, flowing, prairie-printed dresses topped by oversize floppy hats that cradled desert-protective flowing scarves.
A few designers always know their customer and always deliver. Diane von Furstenberg perfectly captured an off-the-shoulder sheath dress, a glazed burgundy leather coat topping slim fuchsia leggings, and tons of black and white whimsically patterned dresses.
Visions of today's woman in the position of ultimate power found their way to the runway, albeit much more elegantly that what you might imagine in an S&M club. Most notable was Herve Leger. Stellar (and not scary at all) was a delicate white chiffon evening gown topped by a series of black leather straps.