New York Fashion Week Picks Part One

It’s New York Fashion Week February 9-16, the fall collections are being rolled-out, and the Highland Fashionista is paying close attention. So close, in fact, that she burned some toast just now, and the house smells of scorched wheat and arson.

Because there is so much ground to cover, HF realizes that fabulousness on the scale of NYFW is perhaps better digested in smaller bites, so without delay, here are the HF’s picks from the runways, chosen especially for The Real Gal Brigade, Part One. 

Doo Ri . The queen of draping, the one that is not Madame Grés, that is. This is look no. 3 from her runway show, and it is All. About. The. Coat. 
All Photos Courtesy

I love the monochromaticity of the entire ensemble, actually, but it is really the coat that makes it. It looks, no is,  absolutlely luxurious, yet tough enough to be wearable without looking like the woman who nips out to the supermarket with her fur and all of her jewels on. This is a garment which achieves a nice balance for a Real Gal, and it has Potential Investment Piece written all over it. I would LIVE in this thing in the cold weather, and if it becomes available on Moda Operandi (if you’re listening MO….) I would consider mortgaging my soul. If its still worth anything.

Cushne et Ochs.  The inspiration behind this collection was the recently-released Pedro Almodóvar film The Skin I’m In, starring Antonio Banderas as a hot twisted mess of a plastic surgeon who is turning a captive patient into his dead wife one procedure at a time. Gross. Although, had I read that before I watched the show online, I would have probably enjoyed the show more. I was absolutely gaga over the first look, this.

Love the shape of the neckline, the cutouts, and the contrasting panels that, lets face it, look like they are reaching around from behind and adjusting her boobies, or maybe steering her down the runway. And yes, although that could be vulgar, the colors are subtle, and the panelling creates a nice little contour of the waistline, and the hemline keeps it demure. So I was quite excited to see what else they were going to produce. That’s when this came down the runway.

Huh. It is only by virtue of the fact that the model has a very lean, boobless body that this dress does not look vulgar. If you put that on a Real Gal with 36Cs, it would look quite a bit different, I can assure you.  Put Boobs Here is the message I am getting from the front of this dress. I can easily see some Hollywood starlet in this dress, thinking that she is being very edgy and fashion forward because someone took a sharpie and underlined her (store-bought) boobies. But not for the Real Gal Brigade, thanks.  And though I usually only review the items I love, I thought I had to add this because it sort of sums up how I felt about most of the other pieces in their fall collection. I could clearly see their point of view and therefore I do commend their vision, but the HF is about wearable clothes people, and after the first look (which I loved) the rest just seemed a bit off.

Helmut Lang. My parents always wanted me to wear my helmut to do what seemed like the most mundane of sports activities, and now I can see that they were right. I always associate Helmut Lang with asymmetrical monochromatic neutrality with a modern twist. The fall collection provided…….monochromatic neutrality with a modern twist. And..wait….what’s that….some colour sneaking in there? Excellent. Look one.

Classic yet modern, and that jacket screams investment piece. Could do without the mock turtleneck, which makes it look like she just rose from the sea in her wetsuit and put her tux on over the top and headed in to the casino à la James Bond (might want to keep a safe distance from the secret agent cuff links). But the silhouette, although perhaps not particularly unique, is something that will become a part of the go-to section of the closet. The go-to section where the cat doesn’t like to sleep, because he knows you go in there a lot and he will get busted. Lets talk about look five.

Classic Helmut Lang. Asymmetrical. Black. Leathery bits. Is it a top or a dress? Who cares. Real Gals can wear this. It layers. Real Gals who live in Scotland can wear this under other things Real Gals are wearing when it is cold. Love.

Jason Wu. Inspired by a trip to China that he took with his dad, the Asian influence abounds. Looks 8 and 14

Look 8 is the sophisticated older-sister dress to the Cushne et Ochs that I liked, with a bit more of a military influence (which ran throughout Wu’s collection). The military colors that were used throughout don’t necessarily excite me (having been in the actual military, the American one, not Chinese), but this dress pulls it together in a way that a Real Gal Going Out could definitely use. And the red version is just beat-me-with-a-stick amazing. A Real Gal with a special event coming up would stop all the pacemakers in a three mile radius in that red dress. And for more asystole-inducing drama, looks 38 and 41.

These are for the Real Gal who actually gets to go to the gala this year. Beautiful, feminine, powerful, luxe, fabulous. You will have sucked all of the light out of the entire solar system of fabulousness in these dresses. I hope you’re happy. I only wish I needed one of these this year. 

Rebecca Minkoff.  All of it. Just….all of it. My favourite picks of 
Part One, I had a hard time choosing which luxe bomber jacket I wanted, which pair of trousers were most suitable. Reminded me a bit of diane Von Furstenburg's aesthetic, another favourite of mine. Looks 4 and 6,  I want to wear you right now.

I want to rip off my pajama bottom……..vintage Prada palazzo pants and silk chemise ;), and wear this right this minute.The layered look of that gray jacket is giving me palpitations, and with the yellow pant....sigh. Real Gals all over the universe will want to wear this too. This is hip, modern, and young without even a hint of twee. Casual enough to be comfortable, but not feel completely underdressed if you get caught out. Looks 21 and 22.

Again, I want to wear you right now. Everyday clothes for Real Gals with style. I love that there is a lot of bright color in this collection, especially for a fall show. Thing is, it is so well-balanced that you don’t feel like a moving target. Very important. Look 26.

This is the only pair of printed pants, white ones no less, that I have ever seen and thought, I must have you. That is saying something, because I have been toying with the idea of dedicating a post to my disappointment in the floral denim pant trend of spring 2012. But this...the red shoe, the ethnic print, the fuzzy boxy tee (which a Real Gal might replace with something more workable, but I still love it).  This is lovely. Want. 

I'm not normally one for a full-length dress for day, but this works. Love the neckline, the ethnic print, and the fact that just by changing your shoe or boot choice, a real gal could take this anywhere. This would work great on a one-bag holiday where you went from a cold to a hot climate. Love. 

So Real Gals of the world, those are HF's picks from NYFW Part One. Now if you're like me, you are going to have to go and have a wee lie down to rest your eyes from the fabulousness, as we still have quite a few shows to get through in the next few days.  So drink plenty of fluids (some without alcohol in them), put some cucumber slices on your eyes, and I'll see you back here pronto. 

The Highland Fashionista


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