While we may be vintage peddlers in essence, we would like to think of our aesthetic as far from retro, because after all, there is nothing intriguing about looking tarty, costumey or too precious and controlled. Nothing seems to excite us more than fashion week since it inspires our buys and gives us a feel of contemporary fashion's new direction. With the gut-wrenching status of the economy and the volatile political climate of the world, we honestly didn't know what to expect from the New York collections. Looking back, what we seem to have gotten is pretty much what's been floating around the past few seasons, with designers focusing on luxe knits and hardcore furs, it seems as though the urban warrior is here to stay at least one more season. Yes there may have been the usual unfocused, stand-out bores, but we wanted to take a moment and highlight our top four favorites, the lines that we thought beautifully represent the times we live in.TSE(also pictured above)-Maybe it's shows styling takes top honors, but fabled cashmere house TSE had us longing for it's monastic, minimal and almost sci-fi double-faced leggings, scoods and blanket coats, all with the perfect touch of androgyny and tricked out with wild fur throws. These are the kind of straight-forward pieces that will help you get back to basics in the best sense possible.
ALTUZARRA-Our favorite New York new comer of the season was hands-down Altuzarra, by Joseph Altuzarra. With his sober fusion of 40's & 80's decadence, his show updated all of our favorite trends from sci-fi to body-con with a certain restrained austerity that was harmonious enough to ultimately keep those trends grounded, because sometimes sci-fi and minimal happen to border precariously on being pretentious and too controlled. We loved the draped dresses, the rabbit's foot fringe and the beautifully raised seams. It's no wonder that he can count on ultra-stylish twenty-somethings like the Traina sisters as his biggest supporters.
DONNA KARAN-If anything, one could vouch that Karan is far from a one-note designer even though she is credited as the genius of "uniform dressing." This season she brought that novel idea back but tricked it out in such a refreshingly easy, no-nonsense manner that was as elegant as it was strong, without being severe. The exaggerated proportions of the shoulders and waist, the dark color-way, and the strong accessories were positively on mark, sure they had a somewhat Lanvin feel, minus the frou that is. It was great to see Karan returning to the hard edges of life in the city after a few lackluster seasons spent obsessing over draping.
PHI-The house that the Dell Computer Co. launched may be only four years old now, yet it has quietly built a solid reputation as an American powerhouse that's not intent on regurgitating sportswear classics. Designed by Andreas Melbostad, it's focus seems adamant on catering to our favorite kind of girl, the urban warrior. With sharp body-con silouehettes counterbalanced by peeks of lingerie, his collections hit every trend dead-on with unstoppable force. From motor-cross jackets, to printed georgette dresses, jodhpurs, harem pants, yetti furs and biker leggings, this collection was packed with ideas, all while retaining a strong cohesiveness. That's what's great about Phi, it riffs on current trends thus it never seems out to be a definitive directorial rant of how must one look from head to toe, instead just great pieces you must own. Everything seemed to have been ingeniously read off of every urban girl's shopping list without seeming overwrought with the intellectual baggage many stylized collections of this sort tend to overwhelm with.