Reviews of the first two days of Spring 2013 Fashion Week shows
By By John-John Williams IV and The Baltimore Sun
Sep 07, 2012 | 1:30 PM
(Wednesday at The New York Public Library)
Creative Director Bernardo Rojo offered a dramatic collection that included plenty of color, fabric options and lots of great outerwear.
Presented at the New York Public Library, the collection began with one of the hottest colors of the new season -- canary yellow. There were a slew of colors to chose from: white, cream, navy, cornfield blue, coral, red, charcoal and other shades of gray to black. I was impressed with the diversity of shapes, types of garments and fabrics and particularly loved the patent leather jackets in red and navy blue. The crinkled linen suits were also terrific. Even though they had a younger feel to them, they were still very much tailored and form fitting. I also liked the way Rojo mixed jackets with shorts. Speaking of shorts, Rojo offered options that were mid-thigh or to the knee. There were plenty of pieces to justify a special trip to J.S. Edwards in Pikesville, which carries the designer.
Yes, it was hot. Sure, the opening dance number was a little cheesy, but the bottom line was the jeans were fabulous. Housed at the runway at Pier 57, DL1961 teamed with Dani Stahl,
's style editor-at-large, for this show. Color, texture and design were the overarching themes from this collection. The men's collection was ripe with plenty of color options, including canary yellow, powder blue and lavender. The women's collection offered an array of options, such as the sparkly, beaded jeans in black, white or silver. I also loved the leather, waxed looking jeans --in black and red--with the noticeable golden zippers. The great thing about these jeans are the fit. They're a top seller for Lisa Ponzoli, owner of Babe in Fells Point.
A haunting violin version of Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" accompanied the BCBG MAX AZRIA show, which began with strong white pieces with touches of black, and then transitioned into pieces with lace and sheer accents. Then came the patterns. Loved this black, white and patterned jumpsuit.
I was surprised with how edgy/risky the collection went. Surprise pockets in the back of garments, stripes of fabric shooting out in different directions and sheer skirts gave the show a fresh, new appearance. Everything is still very wearable and practical -- without appearing to be safe. I particularly liked the ensemble consisting of a pair of black leather shorts matched with a black lace blouse and solid black jacket. Superb.
This show emphasized designers of color, which also yielded a diverse crop of models. What a refreshing change.
Designer Gavin Rajah emphasized plenty of sparkling pink in his show. There were also pops of white, gold and cream, but the collection was anchored by pink. It was both very feminine and flirty. Designer Maki Oh focused on fringe, which was both good and bad. When it worked, in the form of a champagne-colored cocktail dress or used to adorn the side slits of a skirt, it was wonderful. But when it failed --and it did on a number of pieces -- it was downright miserable. (Weirdly placed tassels of fringe are a tough sell for anyone.) Tsemaye Binitie used several capes -- to the side and a classic half-cape -- in the collection, which was quite lovely.
(Thursday at Lincoln Center)
Even though Ozwald Boateng's show was part of the Arise Magazine showcase, his collection and presentation was so special that it deserves its own mention.
The show by the former creative director for menswear at Givenchy was the best I've seen so far this season -- mixing a plethora of colors with superior tailoring that created powerful, clean silhouettes. The show began in a dramatic fashion with close to a dozen male models -- dressed in various dark garments -- taking the runway simultaneously. They lined up as a group and were replaced by a new crop of models -- this time mostly dressed in beige suits, with the occasional pop of color in the form of a raspberry suit. The third group of models wore everything from a bright yellow sweater combo, a bold red suit and hot print pattern pants to a kelly green cardigan. That scene ended with two models dressed in bold patterned suits. The show wrapped with the first crop of models -- the ones in dark attire -- taking the stage and lining up at the very end of the runway. The remaining models joined them lining the rest of the runway to showcase the full spectrum of colors that Boateng used. The crowd jumped to their feet with roaring applause. They just witnessed something truly special.
A select group of students were able to present their best pieces during the show. There was real promise with some. Others, not so much. The show gave me more of an appreciation for the work of Christian Siriano, who won "Project Runway" at the age of 21; Ozwald Boateng, who opened a boutique on the famed Savile Row in London at the age of 23; and Maryland native Danielle DiFerdinando, who is now the creative force behind the popular handbag line Danielle Nicole and who, at the age of 21, became the youngest vendor to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman.