Bonobos - Fall 2014 Men's Suit Collection

Let me just start out by saying: If you're a guy who has a sense of style, enjoys exquisitely crafted garments and prides himself on looking his best at all timnes, you need to get acquainted with Bonobos. Fashion insiders from the Big Apple have been raiding Nordstrom for seasons now...and for good reason. 

The Bonobos fall men's suit collection is full of investment pieces that are the perfect addition to any man's closet. Not only is the design aspect amazing (gingham an paisley for the daring, navy and charcoal grey for the classicists), but the fit is remarkable, as well. After all, one of the brand's main principles is: "The foundation of any great wardrobe is fit."

Here, I broke down the collection for your reading (and viewing) pleasure.

Academy Blazers

A wool blazer is probably one of the staples of season-appropriate menswear. Bonobos offers you beautiful classic pieces from their Academy collection (appropriately named, because many of the blazers have a collegiate vibe to them) in somber dark grey and navy. 

Wear it with: washed denim and crisp white shirt or colorful pants and a polo for your ultimate stamp on American sportswear.

Top picks

Left: The Academy Blazer - Gingham Lining - Navy
Right: The Academy Blazer - Solid Lining - Dark Grey

The Foundation

As much as a house needs a good foundation to remain whole, your wardrobe needs one of the suits from Bonobos's Foundation collection. Appropriate for high-profile business meetings and first dates alike, the versatility of these pieces comes through in the body types they accommodate and flatter too. These wonderful wool suits come in Standard and Slim fits to ensure you look your best no matter which particular style you choose. Another great thing? Except for wool, there are three great suits in cotton perfect for this transitional weather, as well as chillier summer nights in the Hamptons.

Top picks

Left to right: The Foundation Slim Suit - Marled Grey Tweed,
The Foundation Slim - Blue Microstripe
The Foundation Slim - Cotton - Grey Microstripe

The Capstone Tuxedo

How appropriate to name this collection "The Capstone" considering its definition is "the high point". In your personal tuxedo collection, I can assure you that one of these pieces will be the ultimate high point. A suit you will turn to for every major event in your life...whether it's a wedding or an after party for the Golden Globes. The 007 punch many of these tuxedos pack is lethal for the opposite sex, so please, use them carefully. It doesn't really matter if you choose a gorgeous black shawl collar piece or the oh-so-dandy plaid one, the effect will remain the same - looks to kill.

Top picks

Clockwise from top: The Capstone Slim Tuxedo - Grey Honeycomb,
The Capstone Suit - Navy Double Breasted,
The Capstone - Black Shawl Collar Tuxedo,
The Capstone Slim Tuxedo - Blackwatch Plaid


The reason why a blazer is one of my favorite things to have in the closet is because you can throw it on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and instantly lift the outfit. It's great for a morning class, Friday night drinks and, over a pair of nice slacks, a laid back friend's wedding. Bonobos gives us a wide range of styles, from brown wool to navy knit, all of them impeccably tailored and easy to pair with whatever is already in your wardrobe.

Wear it with: A vintage band T-shirt and a colorful scarf or a longer white dress shirt buttoned all the way to the top and low suede boots for the perfect autumnal look.

Top picks

Clockwise from top: Unconstructed Blazer Slim - Lightweight Italian Wool - Navy,
Maide Club Knit Blazer,
Cotton Blazer Slim - Paisley Camo,
The Nottingham Blazer - Brown

Obviously, these styles are already available for shopping on the Bonobos web-site, so have at it and make sure you're all set for the season that is upon us.

All photos courtesy of Bonobos.


#NYFW trend alert!

I'm well aware that fashion nowadays is (trying to be) much more style oriented, rather than being a slave to trends, but you also have to admit to one thing - trends are pretty fun. Their progression can be fickle at best, for gingham might be big in the Big Apple, but completely snubbed in Milan. We shall see. For now, let's concentrate on this short, seven point compendium on New York Fashion Week trends.

It print: gingham

It's been a few seasons since gingham has been on anyone's radar (most memorably, Christopher Kane did a stellar collection centered around it), but New York designers have been going mad for it, whether for sweet (Oscar de la Renta) or seductive (Diane von Furstenberg) looks. What else to say except: welcome back, old friend!

The new navy

What kind of spring collections would they be, had there not have been for some navy stripes? Except that this time around they packed more of a punch. Designers such as Altuzarra and Thakoon used this classic print in interesting new ways, such as wrapping it around the models' bodies or graphically aligning different pieces for an ultra-modern take.

50 shades of suede

Suede and all of its incarnations were a big thing on the New York runways. Altuzarra opted for a classic, sand tone version, whereas Derek Lam had a bit more fun with the skin, coloring it with pastel hues. Suede should be the choice of every woman going for subdued luxury.

Focal point: shoulders

Don't get me wrong with the title of this little trend polaroid - crop tops are still hot and heavy and everywhere, but it's the bare shoulders on the runways that really caught my eye. Victoria Beckham spiced up her LBDs with shoulder cut-outs, whereas Prabal Gurung's asymmetric peek-a-boo knits were one of the biggest hits at NYFW.

Evening wear, reinvented

Finally, designers have realized that the nude tulle, strapless gowns stopped being exciting on the red carpet, so they came up with a pretty fresh concept - a cropped T-shirt (at Carolina Herrera) or racer back top (at Prabal Gurung) over a floor-length or cocktail dress. If you're looking for celebrity validation, look no further than Diane Kruger who already donned this Prabal piece a few days ago.

Jacket of all trades

For the spring/summer season, gigantic jackets aren't such a common part of the collections, but this time around they were the pinnacles of designers' visions. Bedazzled fishermen's jackets at Rodarte and military stunners at Marc Jacobs were personal favorites.

The return of the slims...

Suck in your bellies and hit the treadmill, ladies, because the skin-tight, high-waist pant has made a comeback. Pair it with a cropped bomber jacket (as seen at Alexander Wang) or a romantic top and S&M boots (chez Rodarte).

What is your favorite trend (if any of them)? Let me know below...


#NYFW SS15 pt.8 - Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein & Marc Jacobs

The legendary Ralph Lauren is so frequently inspired by sports, whether its spectators (as in his "Downton Abbey collection") or the actual people doing it (last spring's surfer chicks). Yesterday it was a mix of the two - horseback riders headed to the safari, in a nutshell. That essence was seen in the first few opening looks - suede jodhpurs paired with bright colored satin tops. The color combination, although sometimes a little hard on the eyes, felt pretty fresh after the monochromatic showing six months ago. The latter part of the inspiration was in full force with loose-fit shirt dresses and YSL-like skirt suits paired with chic hats and luxe bags. Black pieces were almost surprisingly alluring - high slits and exposed shoulders showed just the right amount of skin, while crossing into tacky territory. The same couldn't be said for a few of the presented gowns. A particularly unfortunate was a bright pink embellished T-shirt and tulle skirt combo that felt more Sherri Hill than Ralph Lauren. New York's debutantes and A-list actresses alike will go mad for some of those tulle gowns, whereas the throwback-to-Veruschka closing dress is the perfect addition to an upcoming safari inspired fashion spread.

There's a fine line between minimalistic and morose. Calvin Klein's creative director Francisco Costa walked that line with his latest show. What is usually a smash of a show, at times felt a bit boring. The thought process and execution were all well and good, but the lack of diversity was a tad bothersome. I loved the elongated silhouette - racer-back tunics over impeccably tailored culottes and midi-skirts (in navy, black and white) were pretty cool, in part because they were accessorized with thin, metal belts right under the bosom. Another thing I must point out is that only the last day of Fashion Week we witnessed the return of the chunky platform shoe (if it wasn't for the peep-toe, I would've loved them more). Welcome back! The little gems in the middle of the show were richly colored leather minis and jackets. Particular treatments of fabrics at the end of the show gave us a few glamorous, but somewhat unflattering looks.

You may like his stuff, you may hate his stuff, but you cannot deny that any Marc Jacobs collection gives you plenty to think about. When I first logged on to the live stream, I was taken aback by the pinkness of...well, everything. Benches the guests sat on were covered in hot pink shag carpet and at the center of the runway, Jacobs' team built an idyllic looking pink house. Another thing that was surprising was that all the show-goers (including Anna Wintour) had huge headphones on which was explained by Jacobs in a way that he wanted to provide everyone with a personal experience of the show. Kind of genius, right? From the first girl out (Joan Smalls, FYI), there was an aura of uniformity surrounding each piece. Washed out greens and blues, lack of make-up and blunt black Anna-Wintour-on-a-bad-day wigs didn't have a lot of joy, but surely packed a powerful kick. I might be standing alone, but I felt a sense of menace with a few looks - models carrying five bags seemed to be moving away from a darker place, even though its outside was pink. Gold buttons and large pockets, an obvious military reference, weren't literal in a way that the pieces consisted of sturdy-looking fabrics and girly ones, such as satin. Almost as if a baby doll dress had an affair with a military uniform. Bags were a huge part of the collection, with certain dresses seeming as if a clutch bag was sewn on to it. Women, rejoice, for you'll be able to go hands-free! The decorations provided a whimsical element - graphic, 60's inspired appliqued flowers, whether on gorgeous floor-length columns or Twiggy-like collared minis. It is so incredibly fitting that Jacobs closed the New York portion of the Fashion Month, considering that his was the show truly worth waiting for.


#NYFW SS15 pt.7 - Michael Kors, Hugo Boss & Proenza Schouler

No one loves and appreciates and constantly reinvents American sportswear as much as Mr. Michael Kors. Whether it's a glamazonian approach (smoky eyes and a fur shrug) or a more pared down type of thing (as was seen yesterday - barely there make-up and a loose braid), it's always super wearable, luxurious, and comfortable. This time around he was apparently inspired by Gossip Girl-like vacations in the Hamptons. Going to town for lunch in a floral day dress, heading to the beach in a strappy 50's inspired bikini (perfectly modeled by Candice Swanepoel) or chilling by a bonfire in white summer knits sound like Blair Waldorf's itinerary during her summer break. All the Kors staples his usual customers salivate for were on show - voluminous midi-skirts, crisp white dress shirts, menswear inspired blazers and classic taupe and chocolate leather bags. Although the designs were safe by all accounts, Kors did confirm a few trends we've been spotting during the week (gingham, anyone?). I feel like you simply can't write anything bad about a Michael Kors collection, just because he is simply the best at what he does, so why change now?

Jason Wu truly made a name for himself when he dressed Michelle Obama for her inaugural ball what feels like forever ago and some of the pantsuits he presented for Hugo Boss felt like an audition for dressing Hillary Clinton. That amusing thought was basically what kept me interested through his presentation. A lot has been invested into reinvigorating Hugo Boss and I bet miracles are expected from Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, with his latest show he didn't really deliver. Paneled shifts and sheer overlays over strapless snug cocktail dresses weren't particularly memorable. Wu's talent shined as the last few girls (including house muse Edie Campbell) walked the runway. The look before the last was gorgeous - a nude body-con, deep-V dress with strategically placed shiny embellished panels (in my weird mind) had front row guests Zoe Saldana and Kate Bosworth fighting over who gets to wear it at a future red carpet appearance.

The diversity of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler never fails to amaze me. After a few lamentations on minimalism and last season's study of animal prints, the time came for Proenza Schouler to leave their mark on classic American sportswear (in quite a different way than Michael Kors [see above]). Fashion connoisseurs will agree that Jack and Laz make a mean ass (leather) jacket and so it was this season. Particular favorites include a cobalt blue boxy piece and a longer acid orange python coat. The interesting use of leather didn't stop there - long-sleeve dresses were finely perforated. I really loved the duality certain pieces had - butter-soft leather track pants where one leg was black and the other strikingly red (the same with pleated midi-skirts). Polo shirts had their coolest incarnations in a long time with leather panels and collars, whereas intricate, technically advanced knits provided texture Proenza is so known for. What took me a bit by surprise were the final looks - swinging fringes were the perfect blend of raw and sophisticated, mostly so when paired with stitched rhombuses as sweaters. Sounds silly. Looks beyond amazing.


#NYFW SS15 pt.6 - Rodarte, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta & Narciso Rodriguez

Every Rodarte shows gives plenty for the eye to look at. Last spring season, they presented punk rocker chicks from Los Angeles with their chain necklaces and striking zebra bra tops, but this season they seem to have incorporated a more romantic and delicate approach (I couldn't believe it as well) with their signature hard-edged cool girl chic. The marriage between geeky and cool was visible in the opening looks - sprayed-on, high-waisted pants tucked into S&M inspired knee-high lace-up boots were paired with girly (almost toddler-like) ruffled blouses. The rest of the collection took us under water in the most literal sense. Pailettes on minis reminded me of fish scales, fishnet overlays resembled exactly the ones used to catch sealife and sea urchin ornaments decorated the neckline. These highly conceptual cocktail dresses with ripped hems would probably be what the Little Mermaid would wear had she arisen from the ocean yesterday. Although some of the pieces were a tad too busy for their average customer, Laura and Kate Mulleavy's exquisite approach to designing these pieces shall not go unnoticed by fashion editors. My favorite pieces were the oversized, boxy, utilitarian jackets with belted pockets and interesting detailing. P.S. Those pierced eyebrows were genius!

It's hard to imagine a more stressful situation for a designer to be in than to try and outdo their smash hit first collection. I'm guessing pressure was the one of the main components that went into designing the latest collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Thankfully, Luella Bartley's and Katie Hillier's innate coolness translated beautifully into another street style smash. Multiple neon triangles at the center of the venue hinted at an ode to clubbing culture and EDM madness. What followed wasn't far from the initial thought, but interestingly transitioned into work uniform inspirations and a quintessentially British way of putting an outfit together. Basically anything you could imagine a stylish Brit wearing to a Disclosure concert was presented - bras over T-shirts, nylon skirts, latex tights and neon slips. What you thought might be a more somber part of the collection, quickly took a turn for the quirky with corsets sticking out from under oversized T-shirts with a flared mini and some tulle attached. Crazy? Yes. But it's hard to imagine a girl wearing any one of these pieces and not have the best night of her life in them.

How fitting that the models at the Oscar de la Renta show entered and exited the stage through an arch of peonies considering that every flower imaginable was featured in the pieces. A lesson in Upper East Side ladylike dressing, the collection featured what every young rose would love to add to her wardrobe. Refined tennis shorts and tasteful mini-skirts (monochrome or in a magnified gingham print) were paired with sophisticated blazers and floral lace shirts. After a few smart black and white ensembles, the romantic vibe continued with classic de la Renta shifts with printed poppies and dandelions that are bound to fly of department store racks. Perhaps we could all agree that no one in New York does glamorous evening wear as well as Mr. de la Renta and he solidified that status with about a dozen Oscar-worthy gowns. The best of the best was a striking brick-orange voluminous strapless piece with bright yellow peeking out from underneath.

Along with Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez is one of the pillars of American minimalism. He bore that moniker with pride whilst showing his latest collection. Although not his most enticing work, he did manage to show a lot for his fans to get excited about. Plunging V-neck day-to-night dresses with asymmetric hems and slim-fit high-waisted pants were perfectly tailored, but painstakingly safe and sparkly waves across minis seemed like afterthoughts.


#NYFW SS15 pt.5 - Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Zac Posen, Rag & Bone & The Row

Yesterday at New York Fashion Week was ruthless. Ruthless. I wanted to cover eight shows, but due to an overflown schedule, I had to settle for five (as well as writing at such a late hour).

Just after receiving the Couture Council Artistry of Fashion Award a few days ago, the legendary Carolina Herrera proved to the fashion world that she's not going anywhere with a fresh spring collection. The opening look, a white cropped T-shirt over a matching dress with a striking blown-up image of an abstract flower was enough to tickle the fancy of show-goers. What followed was equally as memorable, as was Mrs. Herrera's commitment to the architectural aspect of dressmaking. The origami techniques applied to the silks, as well as models' graphic hair and bright lips evoked modern geishas. The youthful vibe the collection was soaked in really showed each time the models turned their back to the audience, for what seemed to be a simple silk top was actually slit in the back, exposing quite a lot of skin. To prove that she still has her finger on the pulse of what is trendy as much as any young designer, Mrs. Herrera's evening wear was a two-parter (as well as at Prabal Gurung) - voluminous tops over column dresses. This was one of those shows that got ladies extremely excited to get dressed up next spring.

After a sexy and vampy collection six months ago, Donna Karan took a more artistic approach to creating her latest spring collection. The belted silhouette was omnipresent, whether in the form of a midriff baring top and a high waisted skirt, or a swinging day dress in a graphic print controlled at the waist. Karan was in her groove in the best possible way whilst showing a few voluminous shirt dresses in beautiful hues, but the most memorable pieces were the graphic ones. Off-the.shoulder dresses with graffiti prints and splattered with paint added an interesting and intellectual note to this somewhat forgettable collection.

Anyone who's ever seen a woman wearing one of Zac Posen's dresses can attest to the fact that he's madly in love with the female anatomy. His love affair seems to have reached new heights with his latest show. Although not as enticing when it comes to coloration (black, white and red), the collection was impeccable from an architectural point of view. The corseted gowns gave the figure an hourglass shape, whereas more modern pieces, tailored away from the body in an A-line with an asymmetric hem felt like a nod to Raf Simons' tenure at Dior. When the drama kicked in, mental applause followed. For example, an impeccably tailored jumpsuit with a flowing train (which I envision Angelina Jolie in) and a white column gown with a floor-length cape were particularly flawless.

After three glamorous shows, the time came to return to the streets...courtesy of the guys from Rag & Bone. Under whelming is a word that unfortunately came to mind as the last model took to the catwalk. Various incarnations of outerwear staples (think light parkas and anoraks) and cool cross-body bags were the high points. Poorly executed ankle-length dresses and tunics looked like what you feel like after waking up in the middle of summer on a rainy and gray morning.

The serenity and calm each presentation from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's label, The Row, induces is unparalleled to anything you're able to see during New York Fashion Week. Their willingness to be so bold in their minimalism continues to amaze me. Every woman that ever added a piece from The Row to their personal collection says that it goes perfectly with everything they already have in there. It's a sustainable, rather than a trend-oriented idea of fashion, which I find to be extremely intelligent and something that truly sets them apart from any other designer. The fabrics were exquisite, the overall feel - monastic, the silhouette - elongated, high heels - non-existent, the manipulation of said fabrics was wrapping and tying and each and every look was better than the one before.


#NYFW SS15 pt.4 - Public School, Opening Ceremony & Versus

The level of coolness of the people sitting front row at these three shows was insane. INSANE. Miguel (at Public School), Mindy Kaling (at Opening Ceremony), Rihanna and Naomi (at Versus) enough for ya? And these guys had plenty to feast their eyes on. Whereas Public School and Versus had "classic" presentations, Humberto and Carole from OC opted for a performance art type of thing (written by Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill) and to great success (I hear).

The modern cool of Brooklyn favorites Public School has been lauded in the September issue of Vogue, which means they're a pretty big deal at NYFW (Anna was sitting front row, nonetheless). Their unique brand of androgynous fashion for women (or better yet, girls) and tough, street-cred pieces for the guys has made them a cult favorite in many New Yorkers' eyes. You didn't need a lot of experience to see that the Public School designers took to the streets for inspiration and the results were pretty great - mesh jerseys, basketball shorts, bomber jackets and tunics (for him and her). The elongated silhouette reminded me of Rick Owens' masterful designs, whereas the layering made every look imaginable on one of those cool, but intimidating people sitting front row.

Opening Ceremony doesn't really seem like a fashion brand, as much as a movement. Carole and Humberto, who spent years collecting and discovering pieces from up-and-comers from every single burrough, have recently ventured into designing their own collections (for Kenzo, as well as their alma mater). Experimenting with textures and playing with cool girl staples (they have resurrected the cultish sweatshirt) is definitely their forte (and bread and butter), so why mess with a good thing, right? There was definitely plenty for fans such as Chloe Sevigny and Rashida Jones to wear. The standouts? Incredible outerwear (boxy jackets and anorak-like coats in wild prints), kimono-style minis and, of course, the perennial sweatshirt in various iterations.

Since "cool" is becoming the operative word of this report, no one comes close to it in comparison to the larger-than-life icon by the name of Donatella Versace. When you put the wunderkind who sets Paris' sartorial elite on fire season after season, Anthony Vaccarello, into the mix the results should be (and were) fabulous. Black. Gold. Short. Tight. Leather. The marriage of Versace and Vaccarello proved to be an extremely successful one. Donatella's Grecian key motifs and sharp pants paired with Vaccarello's asymmetric hems and thigh-high slits were pure heaven. It was literally as if Vaccarello jumped into a time machine and went back to the inception of Versus, then put his unique stamp on it. Seamless. And safety pinned, of course.

#NYFW SS15 pt.3 - Victoria Beckham, Derek Lam, Thakoon & Diane von Furstenberg

The fifth day of New York Fashion Week was so eventful that I'm going to write two different reports on the collections that were shown. Check out how I've devised it: the first installment (which you're reading at this moment) is focused on the acclaimed designers of the Big Apple such as Derek Lam and Diane von Furstenberg and the second one features up-and-comers like the guys from Public School and the runway party thrown by Donatella Versace and Anthony Vaccarello. You apparently have a lot of reading to do today, so best to start now.

After browsing through the latest Victoria Beckham collection, a thought immediately popped into my head - she is New York's answer to the genius of Phoebe Philo. Think about it, she has made a name for herself by designing pieces worn by stylish working women. A uniform of sorts, also created by Phoebe Philo immediately after being hired at Céline. This is in no way a diss to the fabulous Beckham, but merely an observation that if you're a working woman in her prime, there is no excuse for looking less than fabulous. Utilitarian minimalism was the name of the game - beige and navy coats with asymmetrical fastenings, boxy tops with large pockets and plenty of straight lined midi-skirts with a pop of contrasting color near the hem. The great thing about every single one of those pieces was that it seemed like the perfect and reasonable addition to any woman's wardrobe. Beckham didn't rely on the strength of individual looks, as much as the strength of each and every garment. Her designs took a turn for the whimsical with three hibiscus print closing looks. They may have felt a tad out of place, but surely got a lot of Instagram love.

Derek Lam gave us a two-for with his spring collection. Whereas some may say it lacked focus, I found this sartorial version of the bipolar disorder fun to watch. Lam started us off with 20 or so looks I lovingly call "a love letter to suede". A throwback to the golden era of 70's rock'n'roll, this section featured a gorgeous aquamarine colored A-line suede skirt and a softly color-blocked coat in the same fabric. A duality of messages also came through in Lam's silhouette of choice - the skirts were swung low on the hips, whereas the pants were high waisted and flared. The end of the show also marked the end of Lam's fascination with flower children and his return to the safe and loving arms of a city girl. Monochromatic shift dresses and the resurrection of the peplum (why, oh why?) ended what could have been a great show if it was edited properly.

I feel like Thakoon is the dark horse of high-end fashion in New York. Although not yet a household name, he is featured on select red carpets and magazine pages and has blossomed into one of the finest designers, which was also proven by his latest NYFW outing. He was the first one this week to take us on a proper journey with his clothes - a bevy of novelty printed wrap-dresses and tunics (think palm leaves rendered in bright colors, as well as gray scale) and fringe adorned, sailor striped midi-skirts. Everything, from the decorations (clusters of brightly colored fringe) to the treatment of the fabrics (slightly disheveled) had sort of an artisanal feel to it and made you actually WANT to spend money on it (which, let's face it, is the ultimate goal).

In the dawn of releasing her memoir, The Woman I Wanted To Be, Diane von Furstenberg gave the women in her audience aspirational looks for who they might want to be in six months. It might have been the sun rays splashing through the venue or the models' radiant smiles, but this was the feel-good show of the day. Baby-doll gingham dresses, tropical print wrap-dresses and bra-tops paired with high waisted skirts evoked glamorous vacations in the south of France from a different time (the heyday of Cannes, perhaps). Although not the most innovative of collections, the joyous nature of every piece was infectious, as was Diane's lip-syncing of Volare while taking her bow.


#NYFW SS15 pt.2 - Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang & Altuzarra

Man, it's only the second day of my New York Fashion Week coverage and I already have a few additions to my favorites of the season. The New York fashion triumvirate consisting of Gurung, Wang and Altuzarra all showed their collections for next spring and they all knocked it out of the ball park. Saturday could also be deemed "R day", for we've seen our resident style icon that goes by the name of Rihanna at Wang's and Altuzarra's presentations. Rih was probably mapping out her looks for the next few days (she's notorious for wearing pieces "phresh off the runway").

Rarely has there been a designer who impressed me in such a short amount of time as Prabal Gurung. His evolution from ultra-feminine to strong and sexy was marvelous to watch and resulted in some truly incredible pieces. Yesterday's show was no different. After last season's fiery reds and oranges and military inspired outerwear, Gurung's approach to designing this collection was a cooler one. Literally. The icy blues, mints and snow-whites were a breath of fresh air, as well as the merging of strong and soft fabrics on minis which proved that a conceptual idea of a somewhat tiresome garment can transform into something new and exciting when done right. The concept didn't stop there. Gurung's color palette was as strong as ever. Having been inspired by the landscapes of his native country, Nepal, Prabal reached for purple, dark blue and orange while creating whimsical, feather covered, ruffle adorned cocktail dresses (a signature of his), as well as intricately structured knits. An area of the female body he was particularly fascinated with were the shoulders - hence the cut-outs on the knitwear and the frequent use of racer-back tops. Racing wasn't only influential while creating the top parts of certain looks, but the bottom parts as well, for we were able to see jodhPurs with contrasting insets that followed the natural curves of a woman's leg and zippers for an additional note of toughness. The evening wear section was exemplary in its simplicity and laid back appeal. Strapless dresses done in the lightest of fabrics topped with a racer-back crop top should tickle the fancy of any starlet with a sense of style.

You can take the kid out of the club, but you can't take the club out of the kid. That would be my summation of Alexander Wang's presentation. Known to be a favorite of cool downtown New Yorkers that frequent his front row, the fashion wunderkind went back to his roots with this spring collection. Considering that his pieces tend to sell like crazy, it came as no surprise that Alex ironically used the motif of a barcode on his dinner-jacket-worn-as-mini opening look. What started out to be a pretty monochromatic show (think impeccably tailored crisp white shirts and cigarette pants), soon turned into the fashion equivalent of a rager at a hip night club. A trio of sexy, neon colored minis with black accents that made them look like creatures of the future was a particular stand-out part of the show. Front row guests like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj surely took note. A style-180 followed in the form of gorgeous, languid T-shirt dresses that looked like the most effortlessly beautiful things shown this week. By the looks of it, Wang's favorite material to incorporate into any and every collection is leather and his predilection towards its treatment is punching some holes through it. Yes, we were able to see tennis-style minis in white perforated leather with a pop of color. A certain silhouette was Wang's  most prominently conveyed message - a slim, high-waisted black pant paired with a crop top (yup, they're not going anywhere) or a sporty cropped jacket will most likely be the spring uniform of young girls across Manhattan.

Softness is not a word that comes to mind while thinking about Joseph Altuzarra's designs. The designer that has made a name for himself with tight skirts with thigh-high slits and relaxed, tucked in, borrowed-from-the-boys shirts, showed his softer side with yesterday's show. The opening look said it all - sexiness seen through a softer, dare I say, pink lens in the form of a pink gingham printed suit (the slit was intact, thankfully). The lightness of the print, as well as the shirt dresses it adorned, were a bit of a throwback to the 50's. Marilyn Monroe on vacation, perhaps? Another hint at resort garb - nautical stripes. The thicker kind, wrapped around the body for an interesting and flattering effect. Altuzarra's creative genius came through in a series of looks which included woven leather, cage-like skirts and vests. Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada famously declared: "Florals for spring? Groundbreaking!" and I completely agree with that sardonic jab at designers and their inspiration for spring/summer collections (or lack there of), but Altuzarra's were done in a stunningly fresh way that they resembled faded wallpaper from the 70's. The volume was another striking element of those closing looks. The sashaying of the hand painted silk, even if only for a minute, transported us to a sunnier place.


#NYFW SS15 pt.1 - Wes Gordon, Jason Wu & Cushnie et Ochs

While it's not exactly day 1 of New York Fashion Week (and the Fashion Month, obviously), yesterday's shows by the likes of Jason Wu and Cushnie et Ochs truly set the week into high gear.

Up-and-comer Wes Gordon started us off with a unique take on minimalism reminiscent of the great heyday of Jil Sander. The simple lines in which the monochromatic sweaters and skirts were cut in had all the qualities of staples in any woman's wardrobe. But it was Gordon's interesting use of lace and fabrics such as sweatpants-cotton (I coined that just now) that really caught my eye. A pretty simple strapless creamy white dress was much enhanced with the addition of contrasting black lace around the neckline and hem. As for the "sweatpants looks", I'm guessing they may work in editorial settings or the everyday life of Miley Cyrus. My absolute favorite moment (and today's Look of the Day a.k.a #LOTD) was a mesh-adorned cashmere sweater paired with chic black cigarette pants. I just saw it as the definition of what the Vogue editors frequently call "the day-to-night look". A cool minimalistic sneaker will get you through the day, whereas the addition of a Louboutin stiletto will transition you into the nighttime vamp.

If you knew a bit about the design esthetic Jason Wu has become known for in the past few years (red carpet-ready gowns), you would never have tried to compare him to Wes Gordon. Well, Wu's latest presentation changed that and marks the designer's radical turn into unknown territory - minimalism. As Saskia de Brauw (not Karlie, not Joan) opened the show in a marble print skirt suit you could see that this would be some sort of Wu-point-oh collection. What came to follow only confirmed everyone's predictions - crisp white palazzo pants, a slip dress in the same (non) hue and, most memorably, a suede T-shirt dress and wrap coat. Quite a turn, wouldn't you say? The young designer also felt inspired by the chic utilitarianism of Carolyne Bessette Kennedy (as was Gordon, I imagine) and used plenty of navy, denim-like fabrics to create the ultimate working woman's uniform. The Wu young ladies of New York City know and love came through in the last few pieces - relaxed, yet glamorous sequined midi-dresses in coral, forest green and midnight blue. Celebrity stylists have probably already commissioned the last two looks for their clients considering their vibrant hues and evocative nonchalance are perfect for a big summer premiere.

The equivalent of Wu going all minimalist on us was the mustard yellow, knee-length shift with a ruffle-adorned neckline Rianne Ten Haken strutted her stuff in while opening the latest Cushnie et Ochs fashion show. The female design duo best known for black or white ultra sexy dresses with strategically placed cut-outs threw us a bit of a curve ball with a rather sophisticated and ladylike presentation. Their strong and colorful message was also conveyed in a few dark blue pieces that featured a particularly stunning asymmetric gown with a triangular cutout on the torso and a flowing train. Their more romantic customer will surely respond to delicate pink ruffled and pleated dresses, whereas the city-slicker will go for the monochromatic body-hugging pieces.The models' styling, as well as the heavy metal jewellery (think arm cuffs and chokers; both felt a tad redundant after Sarah Burton did them at McQueen a year ago) made me think of urban warriors and it seems like a woman wearing Cushnie et Ochs will surely win the battle AND the war.