The Art Institutes AW14

Creativity was in full force Tuesday night as 13 student and alumni designers from The Art Institutes presented their micro-collections at Lincoln Center during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. The burgeoning designers came from all walks of life. There was a former marine, a carpenter, an architect, a mother – all of whom switched or added careers in order to design.

Industry experts John Bartlett, Bonnie Young, Cliodna Egan, Christina Neault and Douglas Hannant selected and mentored the talented up-and-coming Gustavo Alonso, Luis Aponte, Joshuan Aponte, Lauren Barisic, Lorena Cabrera, Anna Charest, Samuel Ciccone, Michael Doyle, Ryan Edmonds, German Madrigal, Christopher Maracha, Rei Yamamoto and Simone Young.

Bravo and Brava! Here a view into each one’s world:

The Art Institute AW14 MBFW Show

Simone Young’s hand dyed silk

The Art Institute AW14 MBFW Show

Lorena Cabrera’s architectural lines

The Art Institutes AW14 MBFW Show

Luis Aponte’s “special event attire”

The Art Institutes AW14 MBFW Show

Michael Doyle’s avant-garde experimentalism

The Art Institute AW14 MBFW Show

Christopher Maracha’s sheer mesh for the skater crew

The Art Institute AW14 MBFW Show

Joshuan Aponte’s version of the down puffer

The Art Institute AW14 MBFW Show

Lauren Barisic’s Americana inspiration

The Art Institutes AW14 MBFW Show

Gustavo Alonso’s romantic cocktail wear

Rie Yamamoto's Time Travelers vintage/modern aesthetic

Rie Yamamoto’s Time Travelers vintage/modern aesthetic

Anna Charest's creation inspired by a Civil War medical wagon

Anna Charest’s creation inspired by a Civil War medical wagon

Samuel Ciccone's appreciation of black

Samuel Ciccone’s appreciation of black

The Art Institutes MBFW AW14 Show

Design duo Ryan Edmonds and German Madrigal balanced nongender-specific creations

Carmen Marc Valvo AW14 – Medieval Modern

Chain mail, metallic leather, bling for days. These were gowns for the strongest of women, leaders, ladies ready for battle deep into the night. All at the hand of Carmen Marc Valvo, a master of the flowing evening dress. His AW14 styles were transformative.

After the show a very happy CMV gushed to his crowd of admirers and fans, which included the lovely Vanessa Williams. Strong women, indeed.

Carmen Marc Valvo AW14 Carmen Marc Valvo AW14

Carmen Marc Valvo Carmen Marc Valvo

Vanessa Williams at Carmen Marc Valvo

Designer Carmen Marc Valvo

Noon by Noor AW14

Designing cousins Noor Al Khalifa and Haya Al Khalifa presented their take on contemporary evening wear to a front row that included The Face’s host, Nigel Barker. Colors were saturated, Swarovski crystals were plentiful and skirts were long, drapey and dramatic. My favorites were the camel coat-covered red party dress toward the beginning of the show and the burgundy floor-sweeper encrusted with bling. The super messy pony-tail hair do’s and the deep burgundy wine lip were great styling elements that accentuated the Eastern-Western influence of the Noon by Noor collection.

The Face's Nigel Barker

The Face’s Nigel Barker

Noon by Noor AW14

Noon by Noor AW14 Noon by Noor AW14 Noon by Noor AW14

Noon by Noor AW14 Noon by Noor AW14 Noon by Noor AW14

Happy, Smiling Color – Desigual SS14

Okay, call me crazy, but this may have been one of the best collections I have seen to date. The most happy-making, to say the least.

Desigual started its fantastic Spring/Summer 2014 runway show at Lincoln Center during Day One of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with contrasting geometric op-art print black and white dresses, but the entire effect of the collection was one of washes of vibrant color, a Mediterranean landscape of happy clothes for him and her, with smiling, joyful models prancing down the runway. The upbeat music, floral, dot and striped patterns and flowy silhouettes underscored the brand’s La Vida es Chula (Life is Cool) theme and made the editors and buyers in the audience smile, tap their feet to the beat and walk away from the show thinking, “Yeah, life IS cool!”  Way to go, Desigual!



Desigual SS2014 IMG_0617 IMG_0619

Jogging my Style Memory – Steven Alan AW13

Fashion Week may be over and done with until September comes, but the clothes and styling ideas I saw are still zinging about in my head, percolating as to what’s the most wearable, the most buyable, of the season.

Calculated disheveledness for Steven Alan's women's

Calculated disheveledness for Steven Alan’s women’s

One of my absolute fav looks, above, from the pithy collection put forth by Steve Alan, he of showroom-now-retail success, he of the button-down shirt fame. Relaxed, insouciant casualness is his domain. We loved the women’s chalk stripe trousers that were, in reality, jogging-style sweatpants. Can we say, stuff my backpack, I’m ready to board the plane now?! And shirt tails hanging down and out? Super caszh and cool. Doesn’t it just make ya wanna get dressed for Saturday brunch with a bunch of friends?

Alan, who told FashionWhirled during his presentation last week that he’d been inspired by “bop musicians,” that is, if we heard him correctly, gave guys a throw-back to sophisticated casualness, influenced from skinny suit silhouettes worn with the coolness of turtlenecks, to zip-front suede windbreakers, corduroy pants and grandpa wrap cardigans. More for us girls to borrow from our boys!

Men's autumn/winter 2013

Men’s autumn/winter 2013

Designer Steven Alan

Designer Steven Alan


Steve Alan aw13

Neutrals and knits

Neutrals and knits


Brandon Sun AW13

Designer Brandon Sun with all the models from his presentation in The Box at Lincoln Center

Designer Brandon Sun with all the models from his presentation in The Box at Lincoln Center

Brandon Sun has never been one to shy away from fur in any of his creations. He cut his teeth designing within that medium for J. Mendel, and then worked in the fur division of Oscar de la Renta before stepping into the limelight, working on the relaunch of the Blackglama What Makes a Legend Most campaign featuring Janet Jackson. He kicked off his eponymous fur accessories collection in 2011 and then launched ready-to-wear one year ago. Today Sun was right in step with the rest of the big guns this season, almost all of whom worked major amounts of fur into their collections.

Collaborating again with BlackGlama, this time for a collection filled with modern elegance and a contemporary way of incorporating fur, Sun looked to the Gutai art movement for inspiration, telling FashionWhirled how his materials, like mink shaved so low it appeared to be plush velvet, layered upon each other and fit together “like pebbles washed upon each other in a stream.”

Model wearing mink peplum bodice, sleeves and skinny silk/wool trouser.

Model wearing mink peplum bodice, sleeves and mink/leather stole with skinny silk/wool trouser.

Citing the “mystical interior designs of Axel Vervoodt,” eastern Wabi Sabi randomness and a palette pulled from Vervoodt’s shots of mountain and forest before sunrise, Sun provoked with peplumed bodies, long lengths and layers upon layers. Hues of grays,  charcoals and blacks were accented with a touch of early navy or shimmering camel. Satin, crepe, flannel and silk/wool and wool/cashmere fabrics were tactile manifestations of the collection’s luxuriousness.

Brandon Sun AW13

The young and talented Sun, with work that is dark, wild and extravagantly modern, is poised to become a creative force to be reckoned with, for sure. We just hope that one day he will incorporate faux fur into his beautiful collections as well.

Brandon Sun models aw13Brandon Sun

Designer Brandon Sun

Designer Brandon Sun

Catching Bill Cunningham Catching Street Style at Lincoln Center’s MBFW

Bill Cunningham busy doing what he does best

Bill Cunningham busy doing what he does best

Try taking a picture of Bill Cunningham, the industry gem who’s been riding his bicycle around snapping candid Street Style shots for decades now for his weekly The New York Times “On the Street” spread. While he’s on the prowl clicking away Continue reading

Look, Ma! It’s Me! In Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street” column in The New York Times

Bill Cunningham's On the Street in The New York Times

Bill Cunningham’s On the Street in The New York Times

Shucks, BIll. THANK YOU!!!

I was planning to honor the delightful Bill Cunningham with his own “Sighted” FW posting (see next post), when my attention was drawn to his column by P early this morning and, well, what can I say. Yes. There I am.  Continue reading