#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.

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