NYFW AW18 Amehl by Amanda Mehl

NYFW AW18

Amehl

Verve Fashion Shows

       In a parody of awards ceremonies and the citations, certificates and trophies which Amanda Mehl says, defines our society, Amehl presented her AW18 line in a storefront converted into a performance space with mock red carpet and her eclectic line worn by all contenders.

        Amanda Mehl is ambitious with her ideas and her intents. Her line is surprisingly wearable and the details of each piece fits a combination of downtown chic and details that aren’t as ironic as the performances she produces.

        Metallic foiled fabric in cocktail dresses, fringed or lace edged, the pieces are all well done. Other combinations suggest cheerleaders, Star Trek , beauty pagents and fabrics used for wall hangings. The wit and references are unavoidable, but each piece is a done well. And many of the items would go over well at Comic Con.

– Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 All Comes From Nothing

NYFW AW18

All Comes From Nothing

Verve Fashion Shows

          All Comes From Nothing is a line from Ewa Yiwei Xu which she says is for the “woman who creates for life.” She defines her woman as “artistic, elegant, intuitive and adventurous.” In truth, her line is eminently wearable, with the dresses of varying length that touch the body, all having a softness and comfort, while the outer layers of leather, quilted or overthrown coats are protective and insulating both in looks, and feel.

          Like other designers, the inspiration of this season’s line comes from an artistic perspective: viewing of Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” The collection is entitled Love Is the Only Gold.

          As the line name suggests, the designer, and her current collection, is philosophical as well as vision-driven. Visually, the statement is not overt, but her pieces have the feel of becoming a favorite of any woman who wears it. The fabrications, combinations and layers, all exude a subtle beauty with small details that suggest elegance without demanding it.

          When Xu defines her line as an “accomplice,” to the woman, rather than her “calling card.” Xu’s philosophy is committed to creating lines that allow the wearer to live without worry. To “yield to the essence of the individual,” I can see women being allowed to pursue their own interests with pieces from this collection put on, or grabbed, as they run out the door.

– Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Irina Vitjaz

NYFW AW18

Irina Vitjaz

Verve Fashion Shows

            Irina Vitjaz is an Austrian designer of Russian birth whose family had connections to the old Imperial Russian court. As many artisans during that period, her grandfather was a master tailor, and those family secrets, techniques and perspective of creating for the class is continued with this present day collection.

           While this a beautiful couture line has deep classic elements, Vitjaz use of gauze, tulle and lace to create a more modern seduction, pops up throughout the collection.

            Her use of tight tailoring on jackets and a short silver dress with a high collared jacket reminds us that couture draping and detailed tailoring can produce relevant silhouettes.

          There are long gowns that make us think of traditional state dinners, but there are enough daring styling (her red pants and jacket with nothing underneath) to allow us to see Vitjaz in greater social circles.

          Each item is classically balanced and each detail has luxury elements remind us of Vitjaz’s classical roots. Gold or silver leafing on lace or other fabrics is a technique used heavily in the late 1700s and early 1800s and the use of silver on a see-through lace top, and gold leaf on the skirt of her final ballroom gown is spectacular.

                                                                                                    – Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Misha Kaura

NYFW AW18

Misha Kaura

Verve Fashion Magazine

         Misha Kaura’s AW18 line is a study in the complex and intricate textiles of the Indian cotton and silk industries. Embroidered and printed patterns adorn dresses of both Eastern and Western silhouettes.

          Unlike many designers in the NYFW AW18 season, Kaura does not mix fabrications, but in order to focus on the printed or embroidered patterns, she chooses to keep single sourced fabrics, long lines and relatively simple cuts. Unlike Chinese use of silks and cottons, which are cut in geometric shapes and boxy, softer Indian cottons are wrapped, while heavier fabrics are cut to fall.

                                                                                                        – Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Just In XXX

NYFW AW18

Just In XXX

Verve Fashion Shows

         Just In XX is a streetwear collection without apology. When I initially saw the collection, I thought to myself that he was trying too hard to go over the top. But looking over my photos of the collection, and recollecting the stream of unrelenting, surprising combinations and items – it reminded me of recently seeing Blade Runner 2049, and the original Blade Runner. A coherent vision of a new and different world.

           This is a street world that is comprised of statements, slogans and beauty. The calligraphy and painted canvases are refined and purposeful. An element of street fashion is the individualized meaning of each statement on clothing, in piercings, tattoos and hair. Designers gravitating toward street fashion run the risk of searching for statements without meaning, and trying to be cool without offending.   It isn’t easy simply because mass manufacturing can not create individual statements – only the broad canvases that allow individuals to individualize.

          Just In XX finds definition in the sheer quantity and diversity of mixed layers, pieces that hang, tie, and combine. I was enthralled by a green knit dress bunched into an obnoxious elaborate floral pattern ending in a gauzy skirting – but it worked.

        A faded denim jacket worn by a model over a red baggy pants and qipao neckline had enough fascinating detail to hold attention – but a subtle detail was the arm length of a gauzy over-jacket (was it a second jacket or part of the denim base?) extended past the model’s arms to her knees.

          Street fashion is not generally thought of seriously. Partially because of lack of design and décor quality, but partially because certain marketing arrogance doesn’t go over well on the street. If designers don’t take their market seriously, why should their market take the “designer” seriously? I’m not sure if this is street fashion that will sell, but the amount of thought and detail taken with each item, and each styled outfit is not accidental.

          Reviewing my own photos of the line reminds me that every decade of popular music has never been taken seriously because the belief was the form was too simplistic or didn’t contain real content. Blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, hip-hop, grunge . . . if street fashion has designers like this, it will gain traction.

– Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Calvin Luo

NYFW  AW18

Calvin Luo

Verve Fashion Shows

           The Calvin Luo AW18 line holds together with motifs that run throughout the collection: belting, layers, repeating shapes and fabrications, but whether it was because of the conflicting inspirations (he mentions Brice Marden, an inspiration which seems more minimal that Marden’s minimalist reputation), or the 50s look, or the amount of layers in some pieces, the line isn’t as clear, succinct and dynamic as his SS18 presentation.

 

            Collections don’t have to be clear, but they when compared to Marcel Ostertag’s eclectic presentation, I couldn’t imagine seeing this parade on a street in SoHo or Times Square, and looking twice.

            The question of talent, and promise is great, and there are individual pieces that use beautiful textures or accents, but the whole is not strong, and compared to his earlier presentation, neither fires the imagination, nor does it awe with the simplicity of lines that became Marden’s signature.

            It may not be my place to make suggestions, but I would suggest that IF there are references to others, we make a powerful attempt to measure up, or exceed those references.

-Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Sally LaPointe

NYFW AW18

Sally LaPointe

Verve Fashion Shows

           Sally LaPointe’s Fall 2018 collection feels luxe, smooth and calmly elegant. Seamless movement from ivory, to heather greys, to darker greys, rich browns, deep celebratory reds to burgundies, the line follows a deep rich mix of mixed fabrications and drifting colors.

           Cashmere sweaters, jersey cardigans, mohair and shearling, walking through hallways of light, the collection feels richly textual.

            Sally LaPointe is an active supporter of the fashion and apparel industry in New York City, producing all garments with local businesses and artisans in her line started in 2010.

                                                                                                  – Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Mimi Prober

NYFW AW18

Mimi Prober

Verve Fashion Shows

           Mimi Prober’s approach to design lies more in a philosophy of the holistic world we live in, than a trend. Prober’s philosophy combines antique remnants of fabrics and fabric production with more modern, sustainable pieces that are woven into garments that are unique, suggestive and classic.

          Having the opportunity to see fashion items presented together, comprehensively, allows us to understand how both the beauty and philosophy bind together a “form follows function” continuity.

           Pieces sewn together using antique fabrics into bold quilted jackets or flowing dresses that are both beautiful in distance and fascinating in detail, Prober’s collection transcend seasons and remind us of the why fashion is more than a temporary retail transaction but has promises of integrity, purpose and awe.

          To see a model wearing pieces from the Prober collection (but also from McLaughlin or Bet), is to instantly understand that you are in the presence of something different. These are pieces that make us want to know more: Where is it from? How was it made? What is behind it?

                                             – Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Hogan McLaughlin

NYFW AW18

Hogan McLaughlin

Verve Fashion Shows

            Kelly Cutrone’s People’s Revolution produced a single group show with three designers, of which, Hogan McLaughlin, was one. McLauglin’s AW18 presentation is cool, classic, unusual, stirring and sexy.

         As with many designers in this season, the fabrics are rich, textual and classically rich in simplicity and color, but McLaughlin has beautiful draping, cutting and tailoring. The shapes on a woman’s body are simple and demur in approach while stunning in bold sexiness in retreat.

   While other designers reveal with lace and tulle transparencies, McLaughlin reveals with surprising cuts and daring shapes.

   Hogan McLaughlin began as a dancer at the Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago and his understanding of how the body moves, is apparent. His interest in architectural structure, and historical costuming is a repeated motif throughout the collection.

– Phillip Wong –


NYFW AW18 Xuly Bet

NYFW AW18

Xuly Bet

Verve Fashion Shows

              Malian born, Paris-based, Lamine Badian Kouyaté has designed Xuly Bet (“Keep in Open Mind” in Wolof) since 1989. Like all of the designers in Kelly Cutrone’s Vodoun Ceremony show, Xuly Bet is iconic in the fashion world. Cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary designers, each brings a different perspective to their work and Kouyaté is no different. His background of architecture, and West African awareness gives his choice of prints and colors, a range of bold, tribal, distinctive and celebratory emotions. The design structure of silhouettes and shape combinations reflect his architectural understanding of form.

              When we see a Xuly Bet print, we wonder at how vibrant it is, even in the cacophony of a city street, and then he shows us how it can be worn. Beautiful in a modern setting. far removed from an African farm.

            Often, designers find something that they latch onto, a color, a fabric, a technique, trying to shoehorn that something, into a trend or a style . . . but the discipline of architecture encourages not only form, perspective and beauty, but how it interacts with the human inhabitant. Xuly Bet reminds me of Franco Moschino perception of  how a bold statement can be integrated and  celebrated as part of our lives. 

– Phillip Wong –