It's that time of year again. Whilst September is more commonly known as 'the January of fashion', with thanks to Fashion Editor of American Vogue, Candy Pratt Price's infamous quote in 'The September Issue', for me the February offerings bring more inspiration and aspiration for the coming season. February Fashion Week in New York, London, Milan and finally Paris present designers Autumn / Winter collections and perhaps due to my penchant for noire, this appeals to me far more than the customary pastel shades showcased in September.
Although I follow the unfolding events of each fashion week, hailing from Great Britannia, my biased view of course places London Fashion Week at the pinnacle for me, closely followed by the ever chic Parisienne, leaving New York's sport luxe and Milan's opulence sharing third position in terms of my attention over Fashion Week. However, I was pleasantly surprised this season by New York Fashion Week's offerings. Although sporty-chic still dominated the majority of shows at the Lincoln Center at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, some designers opted for collections that leaned slightly towards the avant garde and were refreshingly edgy amongst the arguably generic (can I say dull?) designs accustom to NYFW.
Like the previous London Collections: Man round up from January, read on to find my top picks of NYFW.
Charlotte Ronson's Autumn / Winter '14 collection incorporated two of my favourite things in terms of fashion; black and leather. Born in London, but raised in New York, her dual heritage resulted in an edgy yet sophisticated style, reflected in her designs. Pairing tough leather with sheer detailing and ladylike silhouettes means that this collection can be dressed up or down, making it the perfect Ready-To-Wear combination to bring you from day to night. The leather looks thick and of good quality which complements the delicate sheer panels.
Despite paying homage to, and thus reviving punk, HACHE's Italian designer Manuela Arcari is a notoriously introvert. Tartan check accents, heavy cat eye liner and the occasional black lip define this collection. Although the majority of my wardrobe is black, leopard print is favourite print of mine, so the inclusion of a leopard faux fur coat, plus trimmings on other coats definitely tick my fashion essentials box. I feel this collection is the perfect mash up of the sixties, with the shift dresses and eyeliner, and the nineties grunge period. Surprisingly, the two era's work well together, as depicted in the HACHE Autumn / Winter collection!
LEE JEAN YOUN
Although South Korean designer Lee Jean Youn's collection was no doubt avant-garde, and therefore beautiful, what caught my attention was his exquisite millinery. Having studied Accessories Design at FIT in New York, his amazing hat designs compliment and set off his Autumn / Winter collection perfectly. Again we see another black heavy collection, with burgundy and berry highlights. Leather and sheer details feature highly, hopefully a trend that will continue across the coming fashion weeks, as it is a look that I adore. An easy trend to replicate here is the knee high socks, a look I've been contemplating trying for some time now. It is importance to get the balance of sexy right when wearing knee high socks. While it can look effortless, it can just as easily look over done, and cliche in a school-girl type way. I've seen many style icon's and street styler's working over the knee socks, so perhaps Lee Jean Youn may give me the push to try it myself. Watch This Space.
So, week one of four is over. Fortunately I have been invited to some shows at London Fashion Week, so can give a more in-depth review of the collections, particularly focusing on upcoming and new designers showing at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, plus one highly respected, and quintessentially British designer's catwalk show. Cryptic. I am also lucky enough to be going to Paris Fashion Week for work, however I will have one day to explore and hope to take some street style snaps as the Parisienne style is of constant inspiration to me.