Catch up on the autumn 17 womenswear shows from New York, including Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut and Proenza Schouler’s New York farewell.
Raf Simons daring debut for Calvin Klein
Raf Simons made his hotly anticipated debut for Calvin Klein with a bold and minimal collection. What began as a display of minimalist colour-blocked tailoring slowly progressed to a more daring aesthetic, featuring oversized classic tailoring and heritage fabrics accented with daring experimental flashes such as chest-bearing cutaways, PVC overlays, feathered dresses and skintight sheers. Suiting and outerwear dominated, in heavy materials and statement bold colours including teals and deep violet. Simmons’ debut was brimming with new ideas and quirky details, and gave a freshly experimental approach to the classic American brand.
Saunders’ success continues at Diane Von Furstenberg
Diane von furstenberg
Jonathan Saunders achieved the much-sought-after balance between daring and wearable in his third collection for Diane von Furstenberg. Bold colours, intricate, intriguing patterns and elegantly experimental shapes successfully captured the eye with their dramatic effects. Oversized sequinned dresses provided glitz and a dash of joyful personality in their bold, iridescent colours, while dizzying florals, polka dots, stripes and animal prints appeared across more casual items. DVF’s signature wrap shape was cleverly reworked by Saunders again, appearing in classic dresses, but also in outerwear:h leather jackets, trenches and fur coats all featured the classic cinched wrap waist.
Alexander Wang’s moody Wild West attitude
There was a sombre, sulky feel to Wang’s collection this season: a monochromatic palette was set alongside slick leathers, metal adornments and slinky, almost tattered silks to create a moody, rocky aesthetic. Alongside the slouchy mesh mini dresses and band T-shirts, both of which were set over skin-tight leather trousers, Wang took a more tailored approach than his typical sports casual style. Checked suiting and structured black jackets made appearances, although many looks were finished with black furry Ugg-style boots. The Wild West seemed another prominent influence in the designs, as rivets and tassels adorning many looks.
Shakespearean masculine luxe at Altuzarra
Joseph Altuzarra looked far back into history for his inspiration this season, as bodices, pearls, heavy brocades and swirling skirts created a renaissance – even Shakespearean – feel to the offering. The fabrics and prints particularly stood out: intricate floral brocades, quilting and velvet weree presented in regal shades of golden yellow, burgundy and Lady Macbeth red. Modernity was brought through in the use of leathers and modern shaping. Delicate details of ribbon and lace set alongside oversized, masculine shapes and bold practical boots, prevented the collection from veering into costume.
Monse’s deconstructed glamour
Two catwalk shows were rolled into one at the Monse showing, as Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the new creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, showed Monse and Oscar on the same catwalk, one immediately after the other. Kicking things off, Monse opened with a crisp take on deconstructed tailoring, as ruffled, cut-away shirting and cold-shoulder jackets presented an elegantly undone aesthetic that continued throughout. The ballgowns towards the end of the show were a particular highlight: popping colours were set on tactile velvets, satin and plains of sequins, while sweeping shapes were accented with cut-outs and draping to give a more relaxed feel to such grand occasionwear.
Oscar de la Renta banks on its heritage classics
Oscar de la renta
While Kim and Garcia’s first offering presented a freshly daring take on formal dressing, their debut collection for Oscar de la Renta stuck firmly to the house’s heritage classics. The clothes were crisp, elegant, and beautifully cut – an exaggerated 1950s prom dress in delicate pink brocade was a particular highlight. Set alongside the fresh and playful Monse designs however, the offer felt a little rigid and safe. There were elements of classic Oscar de la Renta, which are sure to please some of the brand’s core following, and certain dresses are likely to be set for the red carpet season ahead, but overall Kim and Garcia’s debut did little to move the design beyond its already established heritage.
Proenza Schouler’s sophisticated and eclectic New York exit
Ahead of its move to Paris next season, Proenza Schouler presented a typically eclectic, daring and delicate offering for autumn. Fused influences, shapes and textures have become synonymous with the brand, and this season came through in layered cutaways, glossy vinyl shearling coats and sweeping elegant dresses paired with bulky leathers or accented with high-neck pullovers and bold metallic detailing. Deconstruction was a key theme throughout, and was even applied to the Proenza Schouler logo, which appeared slashed across outerwear in a seemingly wry take on the logomania trend.
Colourful experimentation at Sies Marjan
While the loose draped shapes and flowing cuts of the clothes were undoubtedly elegant and eye-catching, the real standout from the Sies Marjan collection was the now signature exquisite and beautifully unique colour palette. Set against many New York designers’ predilection for monochrome, designer Sander Lak focused on soft pastels with a radiant, almost fluorescent undertone. Soft peaches had a vibrant coral hue and camel and beige tones were given a glossy lift with warm hints of bronze and gold, highlighted by mellifluous shimmering silks. The bold colours were equally captivating: magenta, cobalt and bubblegum pinks all appeared through the show.
Victoria Beckham’s sophisticated long-line silhouettes
Victoria Beckham played with lengths this season, as she moved further away from collections dominated by dresses to one that focused on an easy, smart elegance. Hemlines were long, and floaty sheer midi-skirts were paired with long-line polo neck jumpers, oversized shirts and thigh-grazing blazers to give a masculine spin on easy tailoring. Colours were similarly sophisticated – muted raspberry and navy dominated, set alongside flashes of yellow and blue. Other highlights included the super-wide-leg trousers and vanity case bags. The overall offering was both grown up and extremely wearable.
Coach’s modern saloon style
Fuzzy shearlings, cosy patterned jumpers and duvet-style puffa jackets in warm tones of caramel and rust were paired with ditzy florals, patterns and patchworks to create a sense of homespun American tradition at Coach’s autumn show. The dominance of leathers and shearlings – which appeared in oversized shapes and bold colours – along with the use of chunky flatform sandals, gave a modern masculinity to the delicately sheer floral prairie dresses. Hints of the Wild West appeared again in this collection, in riveted jackets, stallion-print dresses and hooped tassel zip pulls.
Chic sustainability from Gabriela Hearst
Sleek and refined with a focus on minimal outlines and long, sweeping lengths, Gabriela Hearst’s collection was one of pared back feminine elegance. After winning the Woolmark prize this year, Hearst took a sustainable approach to some of her designs: one coat was created out of cashmere and wool offcuts. Tailoring and outerwear were particular highlights, notably a velvet leopard print coat and a red double-breasted suit. which were eye-catching and daring, but nevertheless sophisticated.