NEW YORK — When names such as Rihanna and David Beckham are swirling around the crowd, it can be hard to remember that this is New York Fashion Week, not New York Celebrity Spotting Week. Designers need to dazzle on the runway to compete, and here are a handful of standouts.
Emerson by Jackie Fraser-Swan
With each show at Lincoln Center, local designer Jackie Fraser-Swan has been finding her voice. On Sunday, that voice sounded a bit like the Ramones as she showed a spring-summer 2014 collection that tidily stitched together her love of Goth fashion, raucous punk, and Chanel. The result was her strongest and most confident runway to date. There was a touch of Tim Burton in a black and white striped suit and a tip of the hat to her beloved Karl Lagerfeld in a multitiered houndstooth dress with leather sleeves. Feminine touches in a striking floral print gown added just enough foliage to keep the collection on track for spring.
Diane von Furstenberg
The queen of the wrap dress called her spring-summer collection “Oasis,” and for Diane von Furstenberg, oasis meant a calmer and slightly more restrained runway. Black and white dominated, be it in diamond or zebra print. Chili-pepper red rompers and jumpers were tempered by chambray, and then turquoise and blue column gowns. A DVF oasis, which included a runway walk by Naomi Campbell, would not be complete without colorful prints, and they stood out brilliantly against the black and white landscape.
There was little question where Tommy Hilfiger would go with his spring-summer line, even before the models walked. His catwalk was a boardwalk, surrounded by hills of sand and tufts of beach grass. His beach girl was West Coast and ready to surf — and shop. “It’s Melrose to Malibu,” Hilfiger explained. Neoprene was turned into jeans and jackets, while leather polo dresses looked deceptively light and summery with scuba-suit seams. Impractical? Perhaps. But a nice change from the East Coast to the West.
Chado Ralph Rucci
It’s difficult not to use the word sublime to describe everything that came down the runway at Ralph Rucci’s Lincoln Center show. Rucci did not deviate from his minimalist approach to color, but those white wool silk tunics and jersey dresses allowed his workmanship to shine.
Christopher Muther can be reached at email@example.com.