Last month's blizzard blanket New York Fashion Week Fall 2010 in tons of fierce femininity that held it's own in the snow, the freezing temperatures, and the whipping winds; what a great testing environment for the crop parkas, the printed wraps, the fur-trimmed shrugs, and knee-high boots stomping down the runway.
This writer was lucky enough to gain the sketches that set the foundation for Tracy Reese, Rebecca Taylor, Milly by Michelle Smith, and Elie Tahari, their Fall 2010 Collection.
Practicality and wearability were the first and foremost for Tracy Reese. She ponders and wonders what her customers would like to wear, something soft enough to skim and highlight her customer's body without exposure and yet loose enough to comfortably toss and wear. Closet classics that isn't menswear-inspired but girl-powered.
Ms. Reese didn't set out to reinvent the wheel but tweak what became her main stay's, girly wear in luxurious texture and draping that isn't borderline slutty.
She styled her Rustic Prince of Wales checks, distressed faux fur and stretch suede styles, softened by cosmetic toned lingerie then layered in soft alpaca sweaters, stirrup pants, arm warmers, chunky cardigans, and cozy scarves. They were coated in jacquard, crystal embroidery, and faux-fur trims. Her signature short, ruched dresses adopt well on most body types.
Romney Leader, of Style.com, praised her for making pragmatism fashionable.
Another unbashed girly-girl designer, Rebecca Taylor expanded on building on what she knows best by keeping her Springy, printed silky, ruffled tops, dresses-short enough as-tunics. Her fans can rest assured that her signature pieces aren't going away soon.
Therefore, no need to break the bank for a major closet over-haul. Rebecca simply added on cropped parkas and leopard spots in slate gray on puffer vests and ski jackets to warm up her perpetual Girl in Spring, making the fluffier pieces more sporty.
Like Tracy, for Rebecca, if ain't broken, don't fix it. Just tweak it to make interesting enough.
If Ms. Reese add a dose of sophisication to her girly mix, Ms. Taylor easily added on jaunty but sensible parkas and timeless leopard print coats to something that her customers already have.
For inspiration, Mr. Taylor described a mixture of 70’s Parisian attitude and an urban New York City girl.
With a renewed love for classic sportswear, silhouettes have been re-worked with a twist to give subtle edge on signature feminine designs.
The palette includes dusty hues and new neutrals contrasted with military olives and hints of old gold. Fabrics are washed to provide a worn, overly-loved appeal and are combined with cashmere wool suits, leopard faux furs and down quilted coats, together giving this collection an affordable luxe quality.
Affordability for her, just like Ms. Reese, is building upon what you know the best for frugality then playing around with for fun.
Michelle Smith's drawing out her collection.
Milly by Michelle Smith's early Sixities' inspired Fall Collection, is another continuation of what Tracy and Rebecca are doing, giving what the customer wants and needs, something special but not too out there that will cost an arm and a leg.
Her prim and proper collection is second skin for Upper West Princess, "Gossip Girl's" Blair Waldorf.
If Rebecca's French girls are "babakul," a french hippie style of bohemian then Milly is a throwback to the early Sixities.
"What's classic is modern. For my fall collection, the artsy, chic girls of Paris’ Left Bank are my inspiration, in a combination of luxe fabrics, clever techniques and cool attitude.”
"My fall 2010 collection is homage to the great women who traveled the globe in style.", Elie Tahari.
His women, not girls, are the no-nonsense jet-setting, take-charge business woman who equates style with stealth yet unencumbersome leather leggings and studded and fur-trimmed motorcycle jackets. Clothes that takes her places-on time.
For Fall 2010, it's conservative chic that cushions comfortably in your wallet. No need to dump everything, just build on what you already have.