Unordered List

Sunday, 12 February 2012

New York Fashion Week, Fall 2012: Rag & Bone, Rebecca Taylor, Tess Giberson, Jen Kao, and St. John.

Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone have come a long way from their original starting place as one of the jeans-and-jackets brigade of Ready-To-Wear designers. This season they went for a slight (very slight, since RTW shows at New York Fashion Week are not generally a place for wild experimentation) Indian influence, which mostly made itself known in the shape of dhoti-inspired pants and skirts. For instance, the stylised, dhoti-like folds on this skirt were sleek as fish scales, and the otherwise street-friendly jacket and accessories edged it firmly into wearable RTW territory.

Assymmetry was an ongoing theme, with a lot of single shoulderpads/epaulettes like the collar on this coat/dress. I'm not full certain where the leather collar comes from -- riding gear, perhaps? -- but it toughens up an outfit that otherwise is just a lot of heavy-duty knitwear. I must say I was kind of psyched to see such an overwhelmingly (and I'm probably going to get fired from life just for mentioning this word on a fashion site, but...) sensible Fall line. As in, these clothes would be suitable for winter in real-life New York, as opposed to the magical wonderland New York that most fashion designers seem to inhabit -- ie, the one where it's A-OK to wear open-toe stiletto heels in November and maybe one cashmere sweater plus outsized fur hat.

OK, so straight-up: this is not me condoning blankets as clothing unless you live in a Polar region. I mean, if you feel the need to wear a blanket I'm not going to harsh your comfy vibe, but my snobbery gland tends to flare up when they make an appearance on the catwalks. Unless it's a gold-weave blanket inspired by Russian Orthodox architecture or something, because I'm not totally ruling out the possibility that Karl Lagerfeld might do that someday. Anyhow, the reason I'm drawing your attention to this next picture is the trousers, specifically the lower half:
Ankle buttons? Yes and yes. Long cuffs on shirtsleeves are always awesome; on trousers they are doubly so. Unfortunately this isn't a style commonly found in affordable high-street shops (or, you know, not affordable on my budget of No Money, anyway) since it's a lot trickier to manufacture than a generic tube of fabric, and Who Looks At Ankles Anyway? But for those of you who do feel the urge to break free from generic fabric-tubes and into the bright world of ankle adornment, I recommend a snazzy button or five.

Nearing the end of the show, there were a couple of outfits that really wowed me: complete-outfit urban businesswear that looked -- somehow -- like armour:
The rigidly smooth fabric choices, I think, were what immediately made me think of military clothing, plus the kilt-like side-buckles on the skirt.
But this final outfit was even more armour than military. The panels of the skirt, combined with the single-shoulder epaulette, reminded me of Chinese armour, while the assymmetrical buttons on the jacket and leather gloves were more military dress uniform. Of course, the whole thing is cut from floral fabric, but just because you're wearing flowers doesn't mean you can't be tough.
Rebecca Taylor
I've already seen a lot of pattern-mixing over the first couple of days of NYC Fashion Week, but my favourite thing about this outfit has got to be the sheer trousers. I don't know if this is something that will actually catch on, but I kind of like the idea of... fitted yet not skin-tight tights? Not instead of trousers, but for layering, although preferably not with shapeless satin shorts and fur booties as in this outfit.
Tess Giberson
This one is kind of Neil Gaiman, but since I rather like Neil Gaiman, I'll go with it.
Jen Kao
Another show taking partial inspiration from traditional Indian clothing, although in this case far more overt, especially when it came to fabric choices.

St. John
We all have our weaknesses, and the St. John show catered to so many of mine that this particular outfit lurked in an open tab the entire time I was writing this post, even though I didn't originally plan on including it. Yes, I realise that objectively speaking a combination of black high-necked shirt/jacket and black mens' dress trousers is far from mindblowing, but given the opportunity it would be my uniform for life. In an idea world, this picture is what I'd look like all the time.


  1. Love the Rag & Bone. I'd like to have that folded skirt and the red suit - although maybe in a different colour.

  2. Saving this entire post because I love everything in it. And wow, your inner self looks like pantsuited Marion Cotillard, which is just cool.