KaufmanFranco’s collection played on the paradoxical dream women have of being embraced as strongly as possible, while staying free. Designers Isaac Franco and Ken Kaufman showcased a variety of dresses with daringly low backs, slashes across the bodice, and gorgeous mink coats. Dresses seemed as if they had been pieced together with invisible thread for a scandalous yet architectural look.
Jeremy Scott seemed to be getting ready for the Olympics with his athletic-inspired collection. There was no end his clever exploration of the classic white football lace-up, with interpretations of the familiar symbol on his models’ hips, legs, crotches, and everywhere in between. The boys got varsity-style sweaters in fluttery shag materials, and all throughout, we were reminded of the jocks we wanted to be in high school, which he made us want to be once more.
With a star-studded audience filled with everyone from club legend Amanda Lepore to gossip queen Perez Hilton, The Blonds is easily one of NYFW’s most colourful shows, with good reason: these guys aren’t afraid to have a good time. Their stated theme this season was sex kittens (Phillipe Blonde, one half of the designer duo kicked off the show in a diamond-encrusted catsuit, flicking a sparkling whip like a cat’s tail), but the only true common denominator was Blonds-ness: a mix of pure sex with over-the-top nightclub glitz. Their ability to hit this perfect note in every character they send down the runway manifested in the wild, expected ways – an Oriental harem in digital gem-printed leggings, and corsets galore – but also in subtler ways, like the pairing of an otherwise innocuous baby-pink spray-painted 50s poodle skirt with a black patent-leather waist-cincher.
Betsey Johnson turned up the heat this winter in her collection titled “HOT.” Models worked their way down the runway in sequined mini-skirts, leopard printed faux fur coats, and funky mesh dresses. As always, Johnson delivered outrageously loud colour combinations and printed garments, but this time with a splash of gold bling.
Clover Canyon transported us to the rolling hills of Ireland in her Celtic inspired collection. We saw dynamic stained glass prints reminiscent of medieval churches, quilted satin coats, and tons of lush, green plaid on long dresses. Clover Canyon proved to be that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Set to the sphinxlike music of a detective movie, Zang Toi’s collection opened with a 1930s grey gangster trouser suit, rich fur, and a swank hat. Toi’s runway show unfolded like a mystery novel as black leather gloves entered the scene, along with the reinvented Chinese dress, the qipao. The finale consisted of brilliant jade empress gowns with dramatic high collars and emerald furs with stacks of diamonds, fit for a wicked queen.
Words/ Seymour Glass