The hits at New York Fashion Week just kept on coming, with designers getting nostalgic for years past.
There was movement in Michael Kors’s collection for Spring/Summer 2014, and romance. Here was a nostalgia for 1940s Hollywood with softer silhouettes, looser trousers, flowing maxi skirts, and Doris Day-friendly bikinis. What’s amazing is that Kors creates clothes that women actually want to wear. It’s a designation that few designers here can claim.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
The early 1980s Kim Wilde hit “Kids in America” was not the soundtrack on the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway, but it should have been. Jacobs’s idealized American kids were wearing a re-imagined version of what might have been worn at a Malibu party filled with the spoiled offspring of movie execs circa 1982, down to the satin letterman jackets. There were missteps (Merlin gown anyone?), but it was a fresh reinvention of the era.
Hints of the 1970s dominated Rachel Zoe’s designs for “the modern jet girl.” Those safari jackets, maxi dresses, and her updated, perforated leather motorcycle jackets popped beautifully in a sea of white trousers, crop tops, and mod shift dresses. Throwback denim separates were undeniably Zoe, but a series of mint pastels lacked the freshness of her easy California perspective.
Lest her audience forget, Tory Burch wanted to make it clear that the influence behind her show was the 1969 French film “La Piscine.” The floor resembled a swimming pool, and the clothes were meant to call to mind Romy Schneider, but came closer to a late-’60s Mia Farrow. Embroidered flowers on white cotton pants and skirts evolved into Liberty of London-influenced print jackets, which deliberately clashed with skirts. Burch excelled at sweet shift dresses, failed with fringe, and pulled off an aspirational line for women who think young.
His Spring/Summer 2014 collection was a celebration of Elie Tahari’s 40th year designing, but you’d never know. His sporty and youthful men’s looks brought to mind a more wearable, down-to-earth version of Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 line. For women’s, he used pattern and bright colors sparingly. Not everything looked particularly summery, but the pieces did make his women look dangerous and ready for fun.
Christopher Muther can be reached at email@example.com.