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Charming Prints Light up the Runways

"Fashion week is about celebrating the industry we’re in and gathering friends and industry people together."
                                                                         -Alice Temperley

Temperley London Spring 2014
Pretty prints, feminine silhouettes, and all colors of the rainbow have been on display this month in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. It's no surprise that the dresses from Temperley London were ultra-feminine and full of charm. Alice Temperley is an expert at designing pretty clothes for women. Season after season, she puts on a good show.

Talbot Runhof Spring 2014
One designer that experimented with a new look is Victoria Beckham. She strayed from her usual militant and office-ready design aesthetic by adding an all around lighter feel to her spring 2014 collection. The pieces are still minimalistic, but with less buttoned-up stiffness. She also embraced the concept of layering, which is perfect for the changing seasons. “It’s just me,” Beckham said when referring to her new designs. “It’s everything I want to wear!”

Another collection full of girlish silhouettes and clever prints was Talbot Runhof's. Comprised of Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof, this Munich-based design team is mostly known for its red carpet looks. For spring 2014, the two designers pulled inspiration from Barbra Streisand. There was a lot of emphasis on geometric prints and some looks featured built-in capes. Who doesn't want to feel like a superhero?

This week I constructed a top using a Marc Jacobs polka dot cotton voile. The print is very retro chic, so I added a peter pan collar to make it reminiscent of a past decade. I also purchased a black suiting fabric made of rayon, wool, and lycra for an a-line skirt to complement the top.



The Three Ms: Michael Kors, Marchesa, and Marc Jacobs

"I am the oldest young designer in New York City."
                                  -Michael Kors

It was a hot day in New York yesterday, but that didn't slow down fashion enthusiasts flocking to the city. The spring 2014 designs seen at the Michael Kors show mid-morning were reminiscent of clothing worn in the 1940s. Not only did the prints give a nod to the decade, but so did the silhouettes. Wartime in the 40s led to fabric rationing, which greatly impacted clothing production. Dress lengths were raised and clothing was worn closer to the body to save on yardage. To give his designs that 40s flare, Kors kept some hemlines just below the knee and waistlines above the belly button (think 40s swimwear). "Michael Kors has gone romantic!" said Kors when referring to his latest collection to walk the runway. “It’s that forties versus seventies moment!” Loving all things retro, Kors's collection blew me away.

Later in the day, models geared up to walk at the Marchesa show. "It was this idea of curiosity cases, full of birds and butterflies," said Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman. As always, the dresses were extravagant, romantic, and full of exquisite detailing that would highlight any woman's femininity. Often worn by celebrities on the red carpet, designs by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig (who happened to meet at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London) are inspired by the Italian heiress Marchesa Luisa Casati. If I had the financial backing, I would don a Marchesa dress every day of the year.

Tonight marked the end of New York Fashion Week and for the grand finale, cue . . . Marc Jacobs. Always beating to his own drum, Jacobs's new spring collection is very dark. As Marc Jacobsites fanned themselves while they waited patiently for the show to begin, a creepy soundtrack worthy of a Tim Burton film slinked through the speakers. Out walked, or rather speed-walked, the models down the winding runway. Floor length black lace dresses with a hint of sparkle, board shorts paired with military-inspired jackets, and a print you'd likely see on a floral Hawaiian muumuu were all on the agenda. Only Jacobs can take all that hodgepodge, pair it with the ugliest shoes you've ever seen, and somehow make the most wildly absurd combinations seem hip. Sometimes I think it's a little joke he's playing on the world. 

The runways are focused on spring again, but I'm gearing up for fall. I recently purchased the mother load of fall and winter fabrics and have them piled high in my closet waiting to be sewn into something grand. I love autumn because there are so many pairing options. It's always fun to mix and match summer and winter clothes for a new look. I purchased a Carolina Herrera textured brocade and sewed it up into a skirt. Then I striped a black stretch charmeuse with a black lace for a top. Here's to a new season!



Cut it Out

"The woman is the most perfect doll that I have dressed with delight and admiration."
                                                           -Karl Lagerfeld

Another September, another fashion week. Models have begun to walk the runways of New York sporting fresh spring/summer 2014 designs. One trend that seems to be holding strong from 2013 collections is cut outs. Here are three of my favorite dresses with the cut out or peekaboo design element from this summer, made by Stella McCartney, Versace, and Cushnie Et Ochs. 

Another trend that seems to be sticking for next spring is black and white ensembles. Rather than the candy-coated pastels we saw back in 2012, the first designers to show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week have focused on the contrasting hues. The following new designs for spring/summer 2014 are by rag & bone, Helmut Lang, and Jason Wu.

I made a dress using a retro floral cotton fabric and paired it with a black fabric. The airiness of the sheer peekaboos at the waist is perfect for those hot summer days. After selecting a slinky black jersey and Anna Sui floral lace from Mood Fabrics, I sewed another dress with peekaboo detailing.

It's always fun to see repeat trends from a past season recreated in a new, innovative way, but let's hope the upcoming shows at fashion week have a few surprises for us as well.