Red carpet chic spotted at New York Fashion Week ahead of Oscars
- November 4, 2019
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New York Fashion Week got a slice of pre-Oscars, red carpet glamour Tuesday
with minimal chic from Vera Wang and Spanish sophistication from Duchess of
Cambridge favorite Jenny Packham.
In a snowy New York, the American designer showcased a modern twist on
Savile Row tailoring for next winter, offering daywear alongside the
sophisticated evening dresses for which she is perhaps most famous.
“I thought there was a real need for purity, because I have seen so many
red carpet dresses lately. I really wanted to go our own way,” she told AFP
backstage. “I think it takes a lot of courage to be minimal today.”
She laughed when asked whether she could provide any hints ahead of
Sunday’s Oscars in Los Angeles, when designers fall over themselves to dress
Academy Award nominees — and, better still, the winners. “We are trying,” she says. “You never know!”
Her inspiration was tailoring and menswear, she said.
“A lot of work went to the inside of the clothes that you don’t see on the
runway,” she said. The collection was “based a little bit on Savile Row, but
then worn not the Savile Row way. Worn looser, edgier and cooler.”
Wang incorporated a lot of sportswear — a key trend on the New York runway
this season — and played with proportions to make new shapes. Despite
splashes of white, the collection was overwhelmingly black.
She summed it up as “very sporty and boyish, tomboyish but still female.”
Crystals and pearls
Across town in Greenwich Village, Packham showcased sophisticated
evening wear inspired by the paintings of 19th century Spanish artist
Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta. The British designer said she was captivated
by his portraits of beautiful, fashionable society women — the clientele
she has made a career out of dressing.
She presented slinky cocktail dresses and billowing evening gowns, encrusted
with beads, feathers and sequins. Trousers and jumpsuits were tailored, and
breathtaking jackets were made out of crystals and pearls.
Her dresses, which have been worn by Hollywood A-list actresses such as Oscar
winners Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet, came in many hues — navy, green,
black and cocoa, accented with bursts of red and orange.
Flamenco and Spanish art
The California-based sisters at Rodarte — who have dressed Oscar winner
Natalie Portman and designed ballet costumes for her 2010 film “Black Swan” —
offered sequin and flamenco-inspired evening wear.
Designer duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy rooted their collection in the colors
of autumn, using the same browns and oranges that have been bang on trend this
“For me it’s like going back to the more outdoorsy palette, kind of brown,
things that are almost muted in a way but to me it’s like seeing that in
contrast with bright purple or orange,” Kate Mulleavy told reporters.
Other highlights on day six of Fashion Week came from affordable luxury brand
Tory Burch, who sits atop a reportedly more than 3 billion dollars empire,
and mainstream brand J.Crew — beloved by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Burch presented a delicate, feminine collection using fabrics that
and tapestries, and which was inspired by Morocco’s historic city of Marrakech
and London’s Chelsea in the 1960s and early 1970s.”How to interpret that
and make it modern, was the challenge,” the American designer told AFP.
The palette was simple and alluring in white, olive, blue, gray and burgundy.
Keeping to her brand of affordable luxury, there was little of the fur that
has characterized more extravagant collections this season.
There were silk and crepe de chine blouses and silk georgette dresses, cut on
the bias and embellished with sequins, gold rings or buttons, to sparkle in the
light. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, took time
out of her busy schedule ahead of a Security Council meeting on Ukraine to
attend the J.Crew presentation and hob-nob with creative director Jenna
“A lot of style that you see today, when we look at them, it might have been
something that we would have done 15, 20 years ago,” Lyons told AFP. “But
how does it look today? How do you make it feel playful, more fun and more
modern?” (Jennie Matthew, AFP)