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NYFW: A Review of 19 of My Favorite Designers from Fall/Winter 2018

New York City

New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but with it came many gorgeous designs that leave us longing for this coming Fall.  Bright, bold colors ruled the day as most of the designers reviewed in this piece used colors such as marigold yellow, orange, and blue to highlight the strength of their collection.  Patterns made a big appearance too, as plaid, windowpane, and leopard print were seen throughout NYFW.  Fabric textures like velvet and silk created an ephemeral look in many designs.  Several designs looked like a throwback to the 1980s and many of these designs demonstrated the power of woman.  This was an exciting season which is certain to be memorable both for its craft as well as the statement it intended to make.  Below are 19 of my favorite designers that I’m excited to tell you about!

ADEAM

Prior to the show, Hanako Maeda described her collection as representing the 1920s Japanese woman who was very much considered “modern”.  This modern woman was financially and emotionally free and this trickled down into her wardrobe. The opening look set the tone for the entire collection: A marigold trench layered over a matching dress with soft, cascading ruffles. Next came the Western vibes in the form of structured dark denim peplum tops, skinny jeans, and a belted jacket. Woven into the collection were mixed fabric overlay dresses, one of which was decorated with sashes across the front and another worn with a feather-embellished sweater underneath. One of the most robust pieces was a gorgeously draped strapless houndstooth frock, which was placed over a long-sleeved black blouse.

Bottega Veneta

Ordinarily, Bottega Veneta shows in Milan, but this year was special.  After opening a flagship store on Madison Avenue in NYC and securing a place on the New York Stock Exchange, the fashion house wanted to do things a little different and show at NYFW.

Tomas Maier began his show with rich silks in colors such as marigold and deep red.  These colors appeared to dominate the show.  As the show progressed, the colors softened into beautiful pastel hues.  Based on my observations, marigold was the dominant color showing up in many of the designs in one form or another as it has in other collections throughout Fall/Winter 2018 at NYFW.

Brandon Maxwell

Bella Hadid opened the show with a beautiful pale trench coat dress and her sister, Gigi Hadid, closed the show dressed in a sparkling ball skirt and black knit hoodie.  Both designs were superb.  In between, the prolific designer Brandon Maxwell presented designs predominantly in yellow and red, as well as black cocktail and evening gowns.  The contemporary collection was a resounding success as it featured not only the season’s ever-present trench coat, but was also quite original in many of its colors and shapes.

Carolina Herrera

At 79, Carolina Herrera will be stepping down as the creative director of the company that she founded in 1980 to assume an ambassadorial role.  Wes Gordon will be taking over as Creative Director as he has been quietly designing by Herrera’s side in anticipation of her departure.

Herrera’s last hurrah was beautiful.  It was just as elegant and graceful as she has designed these past thirty-seven years.  The first design to hit the runway was her iconic white top and dark bottom ensemble fitted perfectly as only Herrera could do.  This was followed by several variations of the white top with different bottoms.  Then, there were plenty of dresses in every color: yellow, orange, black, white, red print, black fringe, and many color combinations.  The finale, fittingly, consisted of a bevy of models wearing Herrera’s famous white shirt walking down the runway right behind each other with different colored long skirts.  A quintessential Carolina Herrera look, and a tribute fit for a queen.

Christian Siriano

Beginning his show with fur trench coats, Christian Siriano excited the spectator as to what was coming next because his designs are always so incredibly beautiful.  Siriano next created red fur sashes that covered leather mini skirt designs.  Then came strapless dresses, cold shoulder dresses, midi leather skirts, and gorgeous pantsuits in metallic and with metallic embellishments.  A bright pink gown with matching tiara ensemble was included to brighten up this part of the collection.

Siriano mixed red and pink on several dresses and gowns providing for the right pop of color for an evening out or a gala or formal affair.  There was also a series of silver dresses that were perfect cocktail attire.  The finale saved for the bevy of red dresses and gowns, most elaborate in design and most, if not all, very “red carpet” appropriate.

Derek Lam

Derek Lam quoted National Velvet, the movie that made Elizabeth Taylor a star, in his show notes. “I want it all quickly ‘cause I don’t want God to stop and think and wonder if I’m getting more than my share.” His theme for Fall was equestrianism and his collection was a stand out.

Muted colors, dark colors, bright colors, and jewel tones all mixed to form a beautiful palette with which Lam had to play.  Out of this palette came ponchos in muted beiges, dresses in quilted patterns, bright colors in oversized sweaters, and several trench coats in dark colors.  This collection was seamless and a joy to watch.

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham designs evening wear as beautifully as her clients who wear it.  This collection is “red carpet” ready with hopes that it will be seen there very soon!  Packham’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection has everything.  From cocktail wear to formal wear to a gorgeous ruby red jumpsuit, it you have an event, Packham has the outfit.  From extensive beading to a variety of necklines and hemlines to the differing fabrics, one could choose the perfect formal outfit from this collection alone.

Lela Rose

Lela Rose presented her Fall/Winter 2018 collection not on the runway, but as a lookbook. It is little wonder as Rose has been busy preparing not only pre-collections, but a bridal collection as well.  And her clients love it.

The lookbook contains twenty-one beautiful images of some stunning designs. The first three designs feature a windowpane pattern on a dress and two pantsuits which creates visual interest in the designs.  Look four features a coat with fur trim on the bottom third of the coat.  It is unique and simply breathtaking.  The remainder of the collection features floral patterns, peplum waistbands, and solid color dresses and pantsuits.

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs’ collection began with gorgeous, wool coats with broad shoulders in every color, a throwback to the 1980s, no doubt.  The remainder of Jacobs’ collection was also reminiscent of the 1980s as many of his designs resembled ensembles worn in that decade.  I was taken aback by the beauty of this collection.  The colors were gorgeous, the patterns were fascinating, and the designs, as a whole, were completely mesmerizing.

Michael Kors Collection

Plaids, florals, and leopard prints punctuated this runway as Michael Kors livened up his show by presenting bold colors such as red, yellow, and blue.  The colors were mixed into a palette full of various shapes and sizes as Kors blended coats and scarves with sweaters, pants, and dresses.  Patterns played a major role as plaid, argyle, florals, and polka dots ruled the runway.  These patterns were blended together quite nicely.  All-in-all, this was a fun collection with bright, cheery patterns and colors combined to create beautiful designs.

Oscar de la Renta

Filling the enormous shoes left behind by fashion icon Oscar de la Renta is a tremendously difficult task; however creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are proving with each collection that they will be up to the challenge, if not now, soon.  This show is the third time the co-creative directors have shown a collection under the iconic label.  The silhouettes throughout the show were familiar.

De la Renta’s main objective was always to make women beautiful and, at the core, Kim and Garcia succeeded.  Bright colored coats and dresses and different floral patterns on different silhouettes peppered the runway.  The stand-out piece was a black corset with a ball gown attached.  It was feminine, elegance, and quintessential Oscar de la Renta.

Pamella Roland

As beautiful as it was intricate, Pamella Roland’s collection showed attention to detail with the cut and shape of every line and the placement of every bead. Inspired by a recent visit to Prague and the perspective from a water boat tour, she used jewels and jewel tones in several of her pieces to reflect the historical architecture of the city.

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe showed her collection from Los Angeles and made a beautiful presentation. Although the collection contained very little color contrast and no real bold color, it made up for this lack of color with brilliant sheen and shine in the fabric. These metallic designs included metallic gold which is Zoe’s signature fabric and color. The entire collection can be summed up in one word – glamorous!

Ralph Lauren

With a Fall/Winter collection that began looking more like designs for summer occasions, the collection still eventually rang true for its intention – cooler weather.  The blue floral print that began the show was feminine and beautiful.  The pieces that it was paired with was even more perfect: dresses and skirts.  Many of the designs were classic Ralph Lauren: blazer, slacks, turtleneck and the colors were bright, especially the red, white, and blue.  You don’t get much more Americana than that.

Tadashi Shoji

If you have a red carpet event or a formal affair, this is your designer. Tadashi Shoji has shown up on all kinds of red carpets and for good reason – his designs are brilliant! For his F/W 2018 collection, metallic fabric and embellishments dominated the runway. He also presented designs in long gowns, short cocktail dresses, jumpsuits, and pantsuits. I find his work to be inspired and can’t wait to see who wears his designs on the next red carpet.

Tory Burch

At the base of the Queensboro Bridge, there was an oasis of pink carnations and mossy turf so beautiful that one could not believe that he or she was standing in the middle in Manhattan.  Tory Burch constructed a similar approach to ambience in her Spring/Summer 2018 show as well.  The set design for both shows set the tone for a lovely display of sartorial beauty.

The collection began with a beautiful, feminine dress with a gorgeous print.  Burch named her lush, painterly flower print (a look very much on point at the moment) after her muse this season, Lee Radziwill, and the memoir that she penned, Happy Times.  After that came denim, long skirts, parkas, and white linen dresses to round out the collection.

Victoria Beckham

This collection began with Fall’s must-have staple: the trench coat.  However, Victoria Beckham found a beautiful and ingenious way to design the traditional trench coat to make it look less traditional.  It’s her standout piece.  Many of Beckham’s pieces were in dark, muted colors; however, she punctuated her collection with leopard print and beautiful, saturated blue hues.  I found this collection to be inspiring and complex in its simplicity, something that’s not easy to accomplish.

Zac Posen

Zac Posen presented a lookbook containing his Fall/Winter 2018 collection and which featured Katie Holmes. It is a stunning collection of designs brilliantly posed and composed. The pieces are fresh and there is something for every occasion. From formal gowns to cocktail wear to shirt and pants, this collection by Zac Posen is a comprehensive approach to fashion. It is also incredibly beautiful. Posen hit the mark with this collection!

Zang Toi

Zang Toi is one of my favorite designers.  His designs are consistently beautiful.  For his Fall/Winter 2018 collection, Toi’s theme was “Haute Roman Holiday” and the colors orange, pink, and red dominated many of the designs.  Toi focused on elegant palazzo pants and tailored coats, and cashmere and wool sweater dresses, tops and skirts. He even incorporated fur into the lineup, all in grayscale, with a divine floor-length mink coat. Florals were brought in as embroideries, as a print on a suit set, and as large flower crowns that were paired with evening looks. A mini dress with skirt of hand-appliquéd silk flowers titled, “Portrait of Haute Roman Princess,” fittingly closed the show.

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