Saturday, 6 September 2014

At New York Fashion Week: Living in the moment means designing the right shoes

NEW YORK — The spring 2015 fashion shows have begun in earnest here, and on the womenswear side of the business there has been very little that is head-snappingly remarkable – at least above the ankles.
The sparks so far have been few. Peter Som’s floral printed swing coats and dresses in pea soup green popped off the runway. (They were joyful reminders of the splendid floral gown he created for actress Julia Bowen to wear to the Emmys.)
And Stuart Vevers’ collection for Coach, which was inspired by road-tripping through the Texas landscape, was filled with quirky shades of pink and lavender, cropped skirts and leopard-spotted jackets.
But mostly, only the shoes – a seemingly endless parade of flats and reasonable platforms that were designed for the actual purpose of walking around easily but stylishly – have offered any reassurance that the denizens of Seventh Avenue are alive and well and paying some attention to the women living and working around them.
So much of what is happening up top – with the dresses, skirts and blouses – feels precious and staid. Fussy and ultimately uncomfortable.
The designer Wes Gordon presented his collection late Friday morning to a full house. Still in his 20s, Gordon has become a designer to watch thanks to support from top retailers such as Neiman Marcus and a 2014 nomination as best up-and-coming womenswear designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Gordon used his prodigious skills to craft a spring collection that, quite simply, looked old. With skirts that fell to mid-calf, blazers that seemed only fleetingly familiar with the curves of the torso, colors that were noncommittal and fabrics that looked heavy, the collection called to mind that dreaded term: career dressing. There is nothing wrong with professional style, but career dressing has the ring of something that is a costume, a self-conscious choice that has little to do with personal sensibilities but that is dictated by an unforgiving and impersonal series of corporate memos. It is dress code attire for the kinds of careers that those just beginning their professional lives do all in their power to avoid. All that was missing from the runway were nude pantyhose and color-coordinated lanyards.source

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