Monday, February 7, 2011

Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week Preview

California Dreamers
The past few years have seen designers venturing into film. Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern are turning the tables. Based in L.A., Danan is a film producer and Kern is a screenwriter and the man behind the art party Not to be Reproduced. Together they're launching Co, a line of knitted furs and silk and cashmere staples. The debut collection will be shown by appointment, but the fashion public needn't fret: Danan and Kern have put their clothes on tape. Their short film stars Élodie Bouchez and was directed by Breaking Upwards auteur Daryl Wein.

O.C.'s Expanding Universe
Opening Ceremony has done some cool collabs—the Chloë Sevigny collections and that Where the Wild Things Are juggernaut, to start. But for Margiela fans, the news that Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are mashing minds with the folks at MM6 is so cool it might induce brain freeze. Due in stores in September and set to be previewed over fashion week, the capsule focuses on adaptable garments. A quilted black leather jacket buttons out to make another, water-resistant nylon one. "You could say there are 20 items, and 60 looks," says Leon.

In the Post
Alex Dellal has his eyes fixed firmly on the future; last month, the 20 Hoxton Square gallerist introduced POST, the first independently published iPad magazine. But to celebrate its debut, Dellal and crew are doing things the old-fashioned way. On February 15, POST is hosting a party at Soho House, replete with real-life DJs, non-virtual cocktails, and a door even the best hacker couldn't crack. Don't be surprised to find Purple editor Olivier Zahm and gap-toothed beauty Ashley Smith in the crowd—both are featured in the magazine's debut issue.

Cloak and Swagger
Have you lately found yourself seized by the urgent desire to wear a cloak? If so, credit Lindsey Thornburg. Her graphic blanket capes are a must-have among fashion's downtown demimonde, and they've earned her the honor (if that's what it is) of being one of New York's most frequently knocked-off emerging talents. Thornburg's Fall line, which she's presenting for the first time at NYFW on February 7, is a streamlined take on signatures like Pendleton wool and hand-dyed velvet. "I'd describe it as ominous and beautiful," she says.

Home Is Where the Art Is
In Lena Dunham's semi-autobiographical indie hit Tiny Furniture, the role of Mom was played by the director's real-life mama, the artist Laurie Simmons. Meanwhile, Simmons has also been training her lens on home. After ordering a Love Doll from Japan, she photographed the object of desire throughout her house. The Love Doll: Days 1—30 opens February 15 at Salon 94's new Rafael Viñoly-designed galleries on the Bowery. Elsewhere, curators Andy Valmorbida and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld (whose own mom needs no introduction) are making their customary NYFW foray with a show of work by graffiti artist Retna, opening February 10.

French Toast
It's been a while since A.P.C. impresario Jean Touitou graced NYFW, but this season he has good reason to come back. On February 8, he's opening his second store in Manhattan. Called A.P.C. Specials, the West Village shop will house projects Touitou hasn't had the space to do justice to elsewhere, such as the Butler Worn Out series of used, rehabbed A.P.C. jeans, and the Quilt Project, limited-edition throws made from archival fabrics. Quilt designer Jessica Ogden—who also collaborates on A.P.C. Madras—will join Touitou at the store's opening party.

Do Good, See Better
Suno's Max Osterweis founded his label to help bring socially responsible garment production to Kenya, so it makes sense that the label's latest collaboration is a meeting of philanthropic minds. For the brand's Fall 2011 show on February 12, Osterweis has teamed up with the eyeglass maker Warby Parker, which uses the sell a pair/give a pair model to deliver prescription glasses to people in need. When they go on sale at Warby Parker's online store, the glasses are guaranteed to go like hotcakes.

Thom Thom Club
Thom Browne's menswear presentations are always a must-see, not just for his tailored looks but for his deliriously deadpan performance art-like stagings. Now the designer—whose debut women's styles are about to land at Colette, Dover Street Market, and Jeffrey—is taking a stab at womenswear theater on February 14. "I think the performance will show people why I've been wanting to do women's clothes," he says. Browne's mum on the details, though he did drop a two-word hint about the design of the collection. "Conceptual tailoring." One night only, folks.

ce Capades
Necessity is the mother of invention. Elise Øverland was looking for a venue for her Fall show, and when her friend André Balazs offered her the ice rink outside the Standard Hotel, a whirlwind of creativity followed. Her February 12 fashion show-on-ice will feature an installation from the Art Production Fund and figure skaters from the Ice Theatre of New York. And that's not all: Longtime Øverland client Johnny Weir is choreographing, and will come out for a skate. Special bonus: The designer will be serving glögg in the Standard's lounge.

Man on the Move
It was inevitable that London's Duro Olowu would show in New York sooner or later. The designer's wife is Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and he splits his time between the two cities. Still, Olowu is surprised by how much the transatlantic move, slated for February 13, has affected his Fall line. "Not every editor makes it to London. Knowing I'd have an audience that could see the garments close-up inspired me to do something more intimate." Not that he's backing off his eye-catching hues; his key look is a coat inspired by the biblical coat of many colors.

Opposites Attract
Fashion collaboration has made for some odd bedfellows, but this season, a few matchups seem odder than usual. And that's all to the good: Take Tim Hamilton, never known for pattern, who has transformed paintings by his pal Ross Bleckner into rave-y prints. Then there's tongue-in-cheek deconstructionist Johnson Hartig of Libertine, who has turned to Jean-Michel Cazabat, a master of French polish, for shoes. And we're really, really curious to see what Alexander Wang and Betony Vernon, maker of fine erotic "jewel tools," have planned for his show on February 12.

Scrap Mettle
Reduce, reuse, recycle. For most people, that means making sure their bottles and cans go in the right bin. For London's Christopher Raeburn, who sells his rehabbed military deadstock outerwear at Barneys New York and Liberty of London, it's a business plan. On February 10, he debuts the results of his first-ever collaboration with similarly martial-minded Victorinox at a presentation featuring film taken of his de- and re-construction process. In addition to this smart parka, look for a Remade in Switzerland Original Swiss Army Knife made from recast horseshoe nails.

Many Happy Returns
Tawfik Mounayer's name will be familiar to those who were watching up-and-comers in the early aughts. After a few years at Isaac Mizrahi, Mounayer is re-entering the spotlight with Tribune Standard. "The line is a balance of utilitarian sportswear and crafted flourishes, with a seventies edge," he says. If that sounds timely, so is Daryl Kerrigan's return to NYFW. It's hard to look at the boot-leg trousers that have been showing up on runways without thinking of Daryl K, whose versions were once the hottest pants on the planet. This year, Kerrigan marks her 20th in the business.

So Hot It Sizzi
Sofia Sizzi has a résumé any new designer would kill for. She started her career at Gucci, punched the clock at Donna and Calvin, and has consulted for Michael Kors and Jason Wu. Now, with the launch of Giulietta on February 14, Sizzi is going out on her own. The line takes its inspiration from Fellini's La Dolce Vita-era Italy and its crosscurrents of jet-set cosmopolitanism, Catholic guilt, and earthy sensuality. "There's a kind of veiled sexiness," Sizzi says of her collection. "Most of the pieces are quite covered up, but the fit is a bit of a tease, or the length is shorter than you'd expect."

A Small World
Fall's most hotly tipped new models are all over the map. Following in the footsteps of big sis Agnete, Denmark's Gertrud Hegelund walked the recent Chanel pre-fall show, while Roberta Narciso won last year's Elite Model Look Angola competition and showed up at Valentino Couture. But we're betting on Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, left, as the breakout star. From Tunisia, she was exclusive to Givenchy for Spring, walked Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier at Couture, and has a unique, androgynous look.

Turn It Up to Eleven
Dennis Freedman hasn't missed a trick since leaving his creative director gig at W. In addition to his appointment at Barneys New York, he's launching a book imprint, Freedman Damiani, and his first publication is ELEVEN, a retrospective of W editorials photographed by Philip-Lorca diCorcia. The book isn't out until April, but a show of the 11 editorials featured in it opens at the David Zwirner Gallery on February 10. DiCorcia's surreal fashion tableaux have been massively influential, and this show marks the first time they've been exhibited as a whole.

Having a Blass
Jeffrey Monteiro didn't make too many waves when he showed his first full collection for Bill Blass last season. But this time around he's pulling out all the stops, staging his February 17 presentation at Monkey Bar, with music provided by Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. As for the collection itself, it's a virtual collabopalooza. Belts and jewelry designed with Philip Crangi! Hats by Albertus Swanepoel! Manolo Blahnik shoes! "It feels less like everyone's chipping in with their own contribution," Monteiro notes, "and more like we're celebrating what's unique and great about New York."

Wang Bang
Alexander Wang usually saves his hot-ticket parties for September fashion week. This season, however, he has an extra reason to celebrate: He's opening his first store, as any girl who's spent the past several months staring lustily at the old Yohji Yamamoto space in Soho well knows. Per usual, Wang is keeping mum on the details of his fête, except to say that it will be a more intimate affair than the carnival romp he threw last season. We expect the real madness to happen on February 17, when the Alexander Wang store opens for business.

Who You Calling an Accessory?
Accessory designers used to be consigned to also-ran status, but no more. This season, a handful are presenting new collections on their own. After showing her Spring '11 lineup at Milk, Ecco Domani winner Pamela Love is doing the same this time around, and she'll be joined on the roster by specs-maker Illesteva and jewelry designers Erickson Beamon. The latter—that rare brand that's both Gaga and MObama-approved—has dreamed up an extravaganza, featuring dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy performing in showstoppers like this necklace.

Dirty Boy
Speaking of accessory designers, the ever active Waris Ahluwalia is hosting not one but two events. On February 10, he's having a party at the Wooly to celebrate the launch of Waris Loves You, an umbrella organization he's created for his collaborative projects. (First up, a do-si-do with Yoox called Dirty, a range of undies, towels, totes, and mugs emblazoned with the words "YES," "NOW," or "MORE.") Then, on the 15th, House of Waris stages its first fashion week presentation, comprising not only jewelry but Ahluwalia's new range of hand-worked scarves.

A Matter of Kors
Michael Kors' 30th anniversary celebrations began last June when he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA, and they culminate next month in Paris with a dinner at the U.S. ambassador's residence. Here in New York, the front row at his milestone show is guaranteed to be starrier than ever; ditto the after-party being held at his new Madison Avenue store. In other party news: Westway, the former strip club now in the hands of Carlos Quirarte and Matt Kliegman, is shaping up to be the week's late-night hangout. UPDATE: Though Westway may host some private events during fashion week, it won't be open to the public until March.


God I love this piece...the illustrations, collage, and of course that breathtaking necklace by Erickson Beamon! What a show stopper!

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