STACY LOMMAN : NEW YORK - Luxury Apparel

STACY LOMMAN : NEW YORK  -  Luxury Apparel


Fall Back Just As We Spring Forward

Just as it's starting to get hot and we approach the official start of summer, designers are stressing out about delivering their first shipment of Fall 2010 merchandise to the stores.  They are also starting to get their creative juices flowing as they turn their attention to Fall 2011.
DKNY runway, Fall 2010
Photo: Coutorture

So, what can we expect to see in the stores in July and August?  I thought I would share my Fashion Week overview that I wrote for the Fashion Group International.  I also have a report on FGI's Fall Ready-to-Wear presentation  by Marylou Luther, but that piece is in the bulletin for members only.  To become a member of the Fashion Group International, check out their website.

Fall 2010 New York Fashion Week started as sadly as it ended, bracketed by the tragic passing of designer genius Alexander McQueen and a heartfelt farewell to Bryant Park. But, what was sandwiched in between was pretty fantastic.

Alexander McQueen

Many designers opted to show off-site instead of the tents. Tent favorite Ralph Rucci unveiled his exquisite pieces in his SoHo space, Betsey Johnson showed at the Altman Building and FGI provided the space for its rising star winner, Peter Hiladgo, to exhibit his subtly intricate dresses. Marc Jacobs scaled back his guest list at the armory, but uploaded his show to YouTube for the entire world to see just hours later. Alexander Wang broadcasted his show on a giant LED screen in Times Square.

Neutral color palettes dominated the runways. On the first day in the tents, Max Azria sent shades of taupe and grey strolling down the catwalk. He followed with similar palettes at the BCBG show and for Herve Leger later in the week. Ports 1961 designer Tia Cibani also showcased tones of grey warmed up with rich browns and bronze. Designer duo Costello Tagliapietra chose toasty desert hues complemented by dusty rose and fiery orange. Other designers to stand their neutral ground included Michael Angel, Catherine Malandrino, Cynthia Steffe and Behnaz Sarafpour.

Costello Tagliapietra (left), Ports 1961 (right)
Photo Credits: Firstview

Classic camel is definitely back in vogue—not that it’s ever really out (that’s why we call it “classic”). But, it is one of the “must have” colors for fall. Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors and Yeohlee featured camel color as did last season’s Project Runway winner, Irina Shabayeva, who showed a herd of camel coats, a few of which were painted with feathers. Speaking of camel coats, Carolina Herrera showcased some of the most beautiful outerwear pieces of the season in double-faced cashmere with sable trim.

Carolina Herrera (left), Irina Shabeyeva (right)
Photo Credits: Firstview

While dove grey, beige, camel and pale tints ruled the runways, the fall 2010 season is not going to be completely colorless–shades of red, purple, turquoise and cobalt all made a strong appearance on the catwalks as well. The Custo Barcelona show was, as usual, a huge draw, and Spanish designer Custo Dalmau never fails to please the crowd: The label is known for color, wild prints and mixing unexpected fabrics. Custo’s fall 2010 collection added some much needed vibrancy to the sea of neutrals flooding the runways that week. We also saw bright color and pattern from Anna Sui, Alexander Herchcovitch and Peter Som.

Custo Barcelona

Color blocking continues as a trend. Grey and nutty-brown serve as the foundation for DKNY’s fall 2010 collection. These base colors were chopped into patterns using shots of cobalt, chocolate and maroon. Phillip Lim approached color blocking a little differently, through oversized buffalo checks showing up in a skirt, pant, shorts and a cape.

Photo: Firstview
Also, an emphasis on texture was apparent on the runways—the fall/winter season is a natural for chunky fibers and yarns. We saw plush velvet, extravagant fur, wooly knits, nubby tweeds and crosshatch menswear suiting. Donna Karan contrasted textured fabrics with buttery satin, which contributed to the modern quality of her line.

Donna Karan
Photo: Firstview
Save the Garment Center crusader Nanette Lepore worked in a rich, warm palette encompassing texture through plaid flannel, metallic jacquard, plush velvet and beading. Diane von Furstenburg showcased just a few of the cozy knit sweaters we’ve come to except from her, but this season, DVF added other textural elements, such as metallic embellishment, fur, prints and rosettes. The Rodarte girls went for an arts & crafts patchwork feeling for fall 2010, mixing knits with chiffon, prints with plaid and crochets and embroideries.

Nanette Lepore (left), DVF (right)
Photo Credits: Firstview

Luxury and fur continue to thrive, and while many designers are scaling back, there are those who will never need to—and the society women who buy their clothes would not stand for it anyway. Ralph Rucci added a little more sex appeal to draw in a younger customer this season, but his main focus remained on his loyal clients. He showed refined, sophisticated pieces in moirĂ©, cashmere, mink, leather and guinea feathers.

Ralph Rucci
Photo: Firstview

“Ladies Who Lunch” won’t have to look much further than Oscar de la Renta next fall. Feminine skirt suits and outerwear in expensive fabrics were accented with fur. Colors were strong and saturated, belts flattered waistlines and prints were appropriately fresh. The award for the use of the most fur goes to designer Dennis Basso. Basso showed one exquisitely lavish coat, capelet and stole after another.

Oscar de la Renta (left), Dennis Basso (right)
Photos: Firstview

Leather is another fall staple and the 2010 season did not disappoint. Newcomer Joseph Altuzarra showed a tight little assortment of leather, fur-trimmed, cinched-waist, sexy black jackets, dresses and skirts. Coach’s Reed Krakoff debuted his signature line at a gallery in Chelsea. The military-themed collection featured shearling and leather mixed with wool and knits. Rad Hourani and Yigal Azrouel are two young designers who show both men’s and women’s apparel. Both designers used leather quite liberally. Even the Proenza Schouler boys mixed some leather into their graphically driven collection.

Yigal Azrouel (left), Reed Krakoff (right)
Photos: Firstview

A movement to bring professional attire back to the workplace for fall 2010 was indicated. Tailored suits took a serious stroll down the runway at Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Tahari and Ralph Lauren. At Jacobs’ show, shoulders remained strong, but were brought in considerably from his fall 2009 proportion, and crisp menswear jackets still looked soft and pretty. Along with her lovely little black cocktail dresses, Wang mixed in several black tie suits. Tahari belted the jackets, a la YSL, on his sleek power suits while Lauren’s beautifully tailored herringbone and velvet jackets armed with leg o’ mutton sleeves were balanced with slim-fitting trousers.

Tahari (left), Marc Jacobs (middle), Ralph Lauren (right)
Photos: Firstview

Several designers went for a stripped-down and refined approach for fall 2010. The King of Minimalism, Franciso Costa, brought us sculptured silhouettes that morphed into rounder shapes for Calvin Klein this season. Narciso stuck to his usual formula, producing clean yet cleverly executed dresses and jackets. While maintaining fuss-free, classic styling, Michael Kors kept things from looking uptight by baring a leg with a high slit in a skirt or showing some skin with an ultra-deep V-neck. Even the typically bold and sometimes overdeveloped Isaac Mizrahi toned it down and outfitted his women in lots of solid neutral-based colors, subtle prints and simple shapes.

Calvin Klein (left), Michael Kors (right)
Photos: Firstview

Bryant Park has served as the venue for New York Fashion Week since IMG Fashion Sr. V.P. Fern Mallis put it there back in 1993. While it’s sad to say good-bye, we are moving forward—and according to IMG Fashion, the space at Lincoln Center offers 25 percent more square footage than Bryant Park.


  1. seriously, love this post! and the title is just so wow! xx

  2. This was such a global look at the season and your montage is perfect (and beautiful).

    But OMG - Mary Lou? I spent years and years after the shows at the Louvre walking across the street to the Regina with my then husband Charles for lunch. I would eat - I spent my life on buying trips jet lagged and starving; some designers had not yet decided to feed buyers, sigh - and they would argue over which designer had shown such and such a look first. Love Mary Lou. Totally out of touch with her and can hear her laugh just thinking of her.

  3. Geez, what happened to Steve Sadove's talk about shifting delivery schedules so they were more in tune what the customer needs at the moment and fall wouldn't be on sale by October? Oh yes, it was all bullshit.

  4. What a great, succinct roundup! Now I don't need any of the fall issues! :)

  5. Love this. I am not ready (at all) for the fall offerings but these at least give me something to look forward to. I agree with MissW, it's way to early for fall clothes to hit the floors. I hate it when I want to buy a sundress for the 4th of July BBQ but can't find anything but corduroy and coats. Great post!

  6. Sigh, I just got done with my spring/summer shoppping and I only have a one month break before I have to starting thinking about fall?