CHADO RALPH RUCCI
Color and contemporary details took the show for the luxury line Chado by Ralph Rucci.
Rucci and his team mixed old world glamour with new world touches like a swirl pattern of braiding on the sheer top of a chiffon-skirted dress. The same braiding in a riot of neon colors was used on one long sleeve of a basic black pantsuit.
Crystals sparkled on a coral blouse worn with a white wrap skirt that carried the pink along the hem, separated by a single black line. The minimalist line was also used in a wearable white tunic with bright pink at the waist and hem, paired with white cigarette pants.
A subtle quilting technique called trapunto lent elegance to silk faille suits and dresses made of the wetsuit material neoprene in white and bright pink.
You've got to have a sense of humor — and some guts — to send a birdcage-print dress down the runway as the opening look for a New York Fashion Week preview.
Thakoon Panichgul proved he has both.
The clothes mostly were more serious than silly (Panichgul dresses the first lady sometimes, after all), but, come on, a little gold chain dangling between the beaks of two embroidered birds is certainly a conversation starter.
‘‘You have to have joy in fashion,’’ Panichgul said in a pre-show interview. ‘‘I wanted to show classic cool with whimsy.’’
He got that with a few pieces covered in clear plastic paillettes that mirrored the flashes from photographers’ cameras. Panichgul featured many layers of sometimes weighty fabrics, which gave the clothes their shape and structure while still allowing for a looser silhouette.
Tracy Reese rode her Michelle Obama bump from the Democratic National Convention to the runway, putting on a show of juxtapositions in color, textiles and embellishments.
‘‘It’s still such a big high,’’ Reese smiled backstage after the show. ‘‘It reminded us how grateful we have to be to live in this country.’’
In a range of foliage greens, cool blues, warm ochre, tangerine and crimson, Reese put wide bands of flat industrial shingle sequins on airy loose trousers in yellows and reds.
She mixed a dainty, beaded floral pattern on top of one sleeveless shift dress with zigzags outlined in black sequins against bold blue on the bottom. Reese worked in phosphorescents to embroider bright pink flowers on the top of a tunic, using the same technique in yellow in a tribal pattern at the bottom.
Burgundy foil paillettes for cocktails or skinny madras plaid trousers with matching jacket in a military green for the office? You can take your pick from Derek Lam’s spring collection.
Lam’s edgy but wearable runway at a downtown venue included black lambskin halter tops and a fitted black leather dress with a pleated hem. Solid-color leather pieces, including a foldover bodice vest and matching skirt in bright blue, stood in contrast to lasercut foil accents on dresses and skirts and macrame and lace work in tweeds and basketweave patterns.
Lam went metallic gold for a skirt with macrame that stopped at the knee. Most hems landed just above or below the knee.
The audience at Alexander Wang is trained to know the best is coming last.
The mostly inventive black-and-white, pieced-leather looks that filled the first part of Saturday’s show would have held Wang’s place as one of the princes of cool. There were sporty parkas, tops inspired by hockey jerseys and even some more refined halter dresses.
Wang could have called it a collection and be done with it.
However, the final parade of nine models — all wearing a cream color — had their embroidered tank tops, pencil skirts, crewneck dresses and Bermuda shorts turn into glow-in-the-dark lightsticks when they assumed a final pose on the runway and the lights went out.
Wang also created a stir by having model Liberty Ross — the wife of the director Kristen Stewart had an affair with — walk the runway, along with the likes of Erin Wasson. Jennifer Aniston’s fiance actor Justin Theroux sat in the front row along with rapper A$AP Rocky.
The red carpet during the upcoming Hollywood awards season could be a sea of ocean-inspired gowns if Monique Lhuillier has anything to do with it.
Lhuillier, a favorite source for celebrity gowns, presented a bright aqua lace gown draped with a tulle overlay that gave the illusion of rippling waves — and so did a one-shoulder tiered gown in crepe. A sea-glass green gown was embroidered with sparkly beads and had a low, sheer illusion back, and a textured jacquard strapless gown with a trumpet hemline was an underwater kaleidoscope of colors, including blues, greens and purple.Continued...