Monday, February 17, 2014

IFs at New York Fashion Week

Here we are -- in the snow (again) -- at Lincoln Center last Sunday evening for a runway show in the Pavilion. New York Fashion Week is an amazing semiannual phenomenon.  It is sort of like the migration of birds south for the winter and north for the summer: While the flocks are quite exotic to observe, all of that high flying and aerial maneuvering is hard as heck on the birds themselves.  Besides the designers and their staffs, models, hair dressers and makeup artists behind the stage, out front is an army of PR staff handling the invitations and RSVPs and navigating the mine fields involved in seating the movers and shakers of the fashion world in the prime seats for the right shows.

Many thanks to Mauricio and Roger Padilha at Mao PR for inviting us to three amazing shows by three talented female designers showing three very different collections in runway shows that ran like clockwork.

Our first stop was GEORGINE. We love being able to brag that we had a front row seat, but the fact is everyone had a front row seat.  Benches were configured in a kind of nesting boxes shape, and the models strutted past everyone at least once.  Very egalitarian.  The people sitting behind us were facing away from us.  Additional benefit: we didn't have to take off our hats! Everything in the GEORGINE show was sexy and luxurious, with words like cashmere, framboise, iridescent aqua lace, aubergine and motorcycle leather jumping off the pages of our programs.

GEORGINE is a designer collection dedicated to creating beautiful, chic clothing that every woman would feel great about wearing. The collection combines intricate and simplistic, marrying classic and modern ideals and blurring lines between casual and formal wear.

Georgine herself is 24 (!) and a 2011 graduate of the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan. Her senior thesis collection was purchased by the prestigious SIEN boutique in Antwerp, Belgium. GEORGINE sells at Heist in Los Angeles, Gnossem (Singapore), Dany May (Belgium) and FF International in both Monaco and Moscow.

GEORGINE went back and forth between saturated colors and stark black.  Here, a bit of both.  We're hoping that's faux fur. (Ha!)  NICE slash across the skirt.

Jean loved the sunglasses -- a rounded aviator shape with really dark lenses -- sported by many of the models and we liked the pairing of longer pencil skirts with short jackets.

We both fell in love with these gloves.  The whole package is great, but the gloves and muffs are amazing.   Again, hope that's faux at the wrists.  What a statement piece!  (Imagine what the matching hat must look like.  Go ahead - say matchy matchy.  You know we're righty righty.)

GEORGINE's palette was big on bright blues and pinks, which appear again here.  And she brought back unstructured large brim hats, which looked great on the models, almost all of whom had long hair.

This coat is very reminiscent of the austere Halston/Calvin Klein minimalist look, but has a wonderful pink lining to set it off.

There were several outfits in this wonderful reflective black neoprene.  OK, the model's face is blurred in this shot (grrrrr…), but look at the amazing strategically placed slashes and the netting that hold the pieces together.  It raises the question, though: What does one do about strategically placed lingerie?  There was a similar piece (not shown here) that was slashed and netted across the clavicles, with another wonderful slash down the center of the back.  Yum!

More high tech material in the silver skirt, with a body-con top.

Here is a shot of those last two outfits as the models circled behind our seats to exit the runway.

All too soon, the show was over. The models circled one last time in the finale and left the runway.  We dashed out into the snow and headed home.

For more information about GEORGINE and to view her runway video, go to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website.  Check out GEORGINE's official website here.

The next afternoon, we were back at the Pavilion at Lincoln Center, in front row seats (ahem), this time to see Katya Leonovich.  The Russians don't seem to go in much for minimalism, but that's fine - they're showing that they know how to do maximalism the right way.  Even her ten years of training in Italy didn't dampen her exuberance. The best word to sum up Katya Leonovich for the fall season is metallic. Of the twenty-three outfits she showed, only four did not have the word metal in the description, and of those, two had the word pewter. The other two had the word mesh, so Katya is definitely going for dazzling, feminine and sexy.

Katya continues to do very interesting things with metallic fabrications. This dress has a series of horizontal metallic rolls. All the models wore this hair style. Incredibly, it looked great on all of them.

Katya Leonovich, a womenswear designer and artist from Moscow, Russia, graduated from the Fashion Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow in 1995. The following year, she went on to study at Studio Bercot in Paris. From there, she continued her studies at the Instituto de Europeo Design in Italy from 1998-1999. Katya was able to further extend her craft by studying at the Saga Furs Institute of Design in Denmark in 2000.

Katya is past winner of such awards as the 1995 Nadezda Lamanova Prize of the Russian Federation, the 1996 Smirnoff International Competition, the 1997 Mittelmodal Prize, and Supima’s Inaugural Competition for Emerging Designers in both 2007 and 2008.

The debut of her namesake bridal collection was held during New York's Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Week. The introduction of Katya's couture bridal collection allows for her edgy and dynamic forms to be joined with the traditional concept of bridal wear. All the while expressing her signature ‘Beautiful Garbage’ concept that consists of embedding fabrics such as gauzes, chiffons and silks with an assortment of materials including torn paper, bits of fur, pieces of aluminum, strands of cotton, feathers and fringes.

In September 2011, Katya made her Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week debut in which she presented her Spring/Summer 2012 Collection in The Box at Lincoln Center.  We both luuuuuuuvved this so-called bubble dress.  Our photo doesn't do it justice.  It's a knock-out!

This black sliced dress was probably most unlike the rest of her line. An experiment? Not the right look for us, but we can still appreciate what we can't wear. It looks GREAT on this model!

Before the show we met Lexx Perry, who designed the jewelry adorning the necks, wrists and ankles of several of the models.  This black rubber neck piece and the one in the opening shot of this section were favorites of ours.  Lexx was wearing fabulous accessories of his own.  We're saving the "people" part of our report for next time, when we'll show you how Lexx accessorized himself.

This is one of Katya's most insouciant looks. There are cutouts on the neck of the jacket and in the thigh-high boots.

By contrast, this silver pants suit was one of Katya's most toned-down looks. It's defined by its huge portrait collar and the lustrous fabric, but the cut of the outfit is simple so the design is not overwhelmed.

These armlets were another great accessory we began to covet -- just the thing for the upper arms of "women of a certain age"!!!  And best of all, they and the dress looked like they were spun out of air.  Note also the strategically placed pockets near the hem of the dress.  Lexx Perry's ample necklace, not for the faint of heart, complemented the dress beautifully.

We both just about fell over ourselves when we saw the final outfit. Called Paloma, it's not listed as a wedding dress, but rather as a "silver pewter metallic evening blouse with silver pewter metallic crinoline full length skirt".

We were stopped by Swedish television both before and after the show.  When asked for our thoughts on what we'd seen, we both raved about this piece.

You can see a hint of the crinoline. We DO want to know if, with all the modern technology clearly evident, the crinoline folds up obediently in, say, a taxi, only to spring out again when you stand up. Every woman's dream!  The back has a lovely asymetrical peplum. Almost makes you want to get married just to have an excuse to buy it.

For more information and to view videos of Katya Leonovich's runway show, go to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Check out Katya's official website here.

Karolyn Pho's eponymous collection is what she describes as a delicate balance between an artful avant-garde ideal with the ease of classical American design. She strives to combine textile innovation and experimentation to produce an understated collection appealing to a minimalist customer. A wardrobe stylist for film and music videos, she got her BFA from California State University in 2007 and established her own company in 2012.

Her clothes were quite different, and very West Coast laid back, compared to the outfits in the previous two shows.  And -- all of her models wore FLAT sandals!  (We loved that but would have preferred them without socks.)

Don't let the minimalist label fool you.  The cut and craftsmanship are top notch. Check out the seaming on the dress below.

This black sheath was paper thin and the hint of scalloping on the top looked very feminine without looking girly.

Karolyn does not hide her zippers, but rather accentuated them every chance she got.

This gold column was a departure from her matte fabrics and even from her satins and was an audience favorite.

The fluidity and of her fabrics and the cuts of her designs gave a sense of motion to all of her long looks.

This prominent white zipper showed up in several of Pho's black pieces. We also saw it on the front and side of a skirt, and in the center back of a peplum. Although it was just a few inches long in the peplum, it was a nice counterpoint.

View our youtube video of the finale of Karolyn Pho's runway show here.

Check out Kathryn Pho's official website here.

Pho showed her collection at Chelsea Piers, just a few blocks from the High Line and the Meatpacking District.  Once an area you wouldn't visit after dark, it is now a hot destination. When we exited Pier 59,  we were greeted by this wonderful Frank Gehry building, for a perfect end to the evening.

Stay tuned! As noted above, we couldn't fit everything into a single post, so we split it up between coverage of the runway shows and the people at the shows. This was part one. Part two will follow soon.


  1. You two have the most beautiful coats - you look just as, or more, stylish than all the other NYFW fans that refuse to dress for the weather. I like the outfits from the first two designers, but the rubber jewellery from Lexx Perry is what makes my style senses tingle!

  2. I haven't visited her site in awhile, but I couldn't help but think you're going to give Susie Bubble a run for her money here. What a pleasure to see these shows through your eyes. Looking forward to more. XXOO