The mood on the runways was dark and sexy as New York Fashion Week designers began unveiling their Fall/Winter 2014 collections. On Friday, two Boston-area designers, Sally LaPointe and Jackie Fraser-Swan, offered their glamorous and edgy takes on next season’s looks.
Women’s Wear Daily declared that “Sally LaPointe has grown up this season” in its review of her Fall/Winter collection. They may have been specifically referring to the addition of knits and clutches to her collection because the Marblehead native’s designs reached maturity several collections ago. But the most dramatic shift is LaPointe’s embrace of the luxury market, with pieces such as a bomber made from pirarucu fish skin. With each season, her work grows more intricate, but remains powerfully feminine. She showed fox fur, leather, and thick knits, but made her greatest strides in evening wear. For several seasons LaPointe faltered there, but this Fall/Winter collection married her darker side with her ever-increasing love of glamour.
The theme permeating Emerson designer Jackie Fraser-Swan’s show at Lincoln Center was “break the mold.” The East Bridgewater designer didn’t exactly accomplish that (at least the one she has created for herself), but she did continue her sprightly mash-up of girly-meets-grunge. Her Fall/Winter collection played to her strengths, which is a love of incorporating Chanel-inspired fabrics into unexpected asymmetrical hemlines paired with Doc Martens. She added more pants and graphic sweaters to her collection, a natural fit given that the Emerson woman is a rebel who appreciates the finer things. Fraser-Swan pushed herself, not always successfully, with evening wear. But the designer continues to build more confidence with each runway appearance.