It’s that time of the year again. Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2014 season just wrapped up in New York City and moved on to London, which, if you follow as many fashion bloggers and magazine editors on Instagram as I do, means you’ve already seen too many red vintage phone booths, cobblestone streets and photos of sassy minimalist girls posing on the street with large scarves, gold jewelry, oversized coats (@Celine @PhoebePhilo @DerekLam @SongOfStyle) and winged eyeliner (probably NARS, Stila or — let’s be real — NYX) to boot.
The tents have left Lincoln Center and casual elevator shutdowns (imagine Andre Leon Talley stuck in a crowded elevator for 45 minutes) have ceased. Hopefuls have returned to their snowy apartments in Brooklyn or the Bronx or — dare I say — Jersey, and the nuclear Anna Wintour has sashayed off to London in search of her next fashion victim.
In terms of fashion, there were two motifs in New York City: soft and hard.
On the forefront of many minds was Marc by Marc Jacobs (MBMJ), the Marc Jacobs diffusion line, which has undergone several changes.
First and foremost, Jacobs has hired two new creative directors to take creative control of the brand — Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier. The power duo co-designed the first MBMJ line, receiving soaring reviews across the board.
Also, MBMJ has apparently stopped making wearable, fashion-forward items and started dressing the Power Rangers.
Styled with braided pigtails and a single tear drawn on the models’ faces, this collection instantly channeled London-club-kid meets third-grader-with-a-lunch-box. The clothes were tough, utilitarian and crisp.
Thicker-than-thick belts, boots that can take a beating, and effortlessly cool tops with cheeky graphics, reading “Revolution!”, “Twisted!”, “Uprising!” marched down the runway. These were girls you didn’t want to mess with.
The look of the show, for me, happened about halfway through. Model Fei Fei Sun turned onto the runway in a pale pink, metallic pencil skirt, hitting right around the knee. This look solidified the line. It illustrated, for the viewer, how these pieces are wearable and chic. It reinforced the collection as cool, fashion forward and, above all, wearable.
MBMJ’s collection was perfectly ninja meets Power Ranger meets 1986 girl power. And it was effortlessly cool.
Proenza Schouler, another NYC brand, is quickly making a name for itself as New York Fashion Week’s rising destination for sartorial crispness, wearable art and looks that will captivate the magazine world until the next season.
Designed by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (a cuter-than-cute couple), Proenza always walks collections that impress both the at-home viewer and the industry elite.
Style.com quoted Hernandez, saying “‘[The collection is] about energy, humor, and speed.’
Inspired by architecture, this collection boasted huge shoulders, tight waists and rounded hips, Proenza signatures; it felt like a natural continuation of what we have been seeing from Proenza in previous collections.
Unique this season, however, were the prints! Amid a pretty monochromatic, minimalist season, this collection really stood out. Proenza mixed prints like a fourth grader getting dressed in a fur shop.
The attention to detail solidified the collection. Each model wore a gorgeous, crisp statement ring and cool shoes that actually — for once — looked nice to walk in.
Bravo, Proenza Schouler. Bravo, indeed.
Last but not least was Alexander Wang. Bringing the fashion world out to Brooklyn (outer borough, ugh) for a show was a daring move, but a move that paid off.
Taking place in the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn, Wang’s models marched onto a large runway with steel, architectural structures built on the stage, absolutely complementing the clothes.
For Alexander Wang this season, the collection was all about survival. With each model rocking cool, over-the-knee boots and coats loaded with pockets for anything a girl-on-the-go could need.
Wang’s girls are not trekking through the mountains, though. There was something resolutely urban and crisp about the collection that had us all thinking of New York City.
The “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” mentality was alive in this collection.
Wang proved that he is a powerhouse who isn’t going anywhere this season.
Other standout collections were Pabral Gurung, The Row (which is designed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), Milly, Helmut Lang, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, among others.
At the end of the week, we had Power Ranger-inspired warriors; streakers, girls and gongs at Gurung; tough yet grouchy chicks, ready for a Cormac McCarthy-esque apocalypse at Wang; and piles and piles of wool and cashmere, in true MK&A Olsen fashion at The Row. But, at the end of the week, on all of our minds is, where in the world is Cara Delevingne?
The thick-browed, mink of a supermodel is yet to be seen in a fashion week show. All I can say is, Cara, we are waiting.
Ian Crane is a senior visual arts major at PLNU. He worked at Harper’s Bazaar as the Photo & Boookings Intern in New York City during the summer of 2013. After graduation, his dream is to move to New York City and become a rich gypsy, fashionista/editor-in-chief, and self-diagnosed bagel addict. His favorite animal is the cow and he’s inspired by the colors nude and black.