Heavy Metal the Look for Fall at Fashion Week

Heavy Metal the Look for Fall at Fashion Week

Monique Lhuillier: Lhuillier’s days as a bridal gown designer pay off whenever she goes near lace and tulle, and the red carpet gowns she previewed Tuesday morning were delicate, feminine and pretty. She alternated shapes between slim seamed sheaths and tufted ballgowns.

But the starlets who wear these dresses need to ward off autumn’s chill, and Lhuillier offered them fur capelets, brocade coats and, for the daytime, a salt and pepper brocade peacoat.

Marc Jacobs: There was no marching band this time, but Marc Jacobs’ show was a crowd pleaser nonetheless with a fall collection that was more Edie Sedgwick than Grace Kelly.

The Penn State Blue Band kicked off Jacobs’ show last season at the New York State Armory, but the theatrics this time were limited to the clothes.

Jacobs cleverly took some ladylike standbys of his past few seasons and turned them into tough girl accessories. Dainty tea party gloves became leather, elbow length gloves; mary janes got a patent leather makeover and their heels were raised to dizzying heights.

Traditional fall colors and cozy fabrics were punctuated by shimmer and shine. Huge sequin berets and metallic leather boots added bombastic accents to slouchy pants layered with dresses, tiny tank tops and oversize, boxy coats.

Jacobs clearly had his younger fans in mind Nicole Richie and Rachel Bilson cheered him on Monday night along with longtime muse Winona Ryder when he designed these looks, whose mix and match sensibility give the wearer a chance to reveal her personality instead of her body.

Max Azria Collection: This line, formerly known as BCBG Max Azria, is undergoing a transformation as the company tries to elevate the image of the runway clothes beyond cute, breezy dresses and flattering pants.

Azria concentrated on knits which made great casual cashmere coats and borderline bizarre bloomers. He wasn’t the only designer to send bloomers down the runway. In fact, the crowd at the Bryant Park tents probably have seen more bloomers and knickers over the first four days of Fashion Week than they’ve seen in the last four years.

Azria also offered several pieces that had origami details, which were similar enough to hit on the big bow trend but different enough to stand out. But there’s something to be said for simplicity, and the cashmere turtleneck dresses worn with either tweed or cashmere coats were the most sophisticated outfits in the collection.

Betsey Johnson: The sometimes risque, but always playful Johnson was on her best behavior with this collection.

She offered cute cocktail dresses that surely will be on the high school dance circuit; skirt suits, with miniskirts, of course; and a taffeta trench coat that could go just about anywhere and be worn by just about any woman.

The trench coat, paired with a gold blouse with ruffles around the neck and a black flounce skirt, was one of the show’s best outfits. A latte colored crocheted dress and a boucle suit with candy colored dots to break up the black background were also standouts.

The hot pants and bloomers that have been far too prevalent at Fashion Week were also on Johnson’s runway, but since she’s Betsey Johnson, they belonged.

Jill Stuart: Stuart dresses a young crowd, and the Goth look she offered should be right up their alley. Models wore long, black Matrixlike dresses, the best being a satin version with a V neck and high waist.

The runway wasn’t all somber, though. A winter white nubby coat and a silver lame all over pleated gown were winners. Stuart then switched modes and send out a delicate chiffon dress with flutter sleeves in an abstract blue floral print.

Oscar de la Renta: De la Renta’s fall collection confirms some of the emerging trends. His runway had metallic fabrics, three quarter sleeve tops and jackets worn with long gloves, belted jackets, sweater coats and both skinny cigarette pants and wide leg cuffed ones. Somehow, though, everything looks a little different when done at de la Renta’s direction. They’re classier and more luxurious.

De la Renta traditionally does great coats and embroideries. This time he combined those skills into an outstanding brown embroidered cashmere coat with pony skin that was paired with a green leather embroidered skirt.

But de la Renta’s other specialty is eveningwear, and while a black sheer tulle dress with embroidered polka dots was pretty, most of his gowns and cocktail dresses with defined waists and voluminous skirts looked stiff and of another time and place. A better black tie look was a black cashmere jacket with embroidered rosettes, a black sequined T shirt and skinny black flannel pants.

Carolina Herrera: Herrera said she was inspired by the late ’50s, but many of the outfits were reminiscent of the sportswear of the ’70s, when American ready to wear first put its stamp on the world.

She sent several suits down the runway. The skirt suits, in a rust plaid, were fitted and to the knee; the pants had wide cuffed legs.

A new look for fall is fur that is sheared so close it looks like soft velvet. Herrera used that technique for the sleeves on a black and brown wool dress that was otherwise simple and very sophisticated.

Herrera matched coats with cocktail dresses to create a complete outfit, and the chocolate broadtail coat with a turquoise swirl print lining with a pleated strapless dress in the same fabric was a standout.

Marc Jacobs: There was no marching band this time, but Marc Jacobs’ show was a crowd pleaser nonetheless with a fall collection that was more Edie Sedgwick than Grace Kelly.

The Penn State Blue Band kicked off Jacobs’ show last season at the New York State Armory, but the theatrics this time were limited to the clothes.

Jacobs cleverly took some ladylike standbys of his past few seasons and turned them into tough girl accessories. Dainty tea party gloves became leather, elbow length gloves; mary janes got a patent leather makeover and their heels were raised to dizzying heights.

Traditional fall colors and cozy fabrics were punctuated by shimmer and shine. Huge sequin berets and metallic leather boots added bombastic accents to slouchy pants layered with dresses, tiny tank tops and oversize, boxy coats.

Cynthia Steffe: Steffe featured the lightest colors seen so far, almost halfway through Fashion Week. But the delicate pink and cloud blue blouses and dresses with lace trim took a supporting role to what Steffe called “the offhand chic of the coolest girl in prep school.”

How to Put on a Paris Style Fashion Show

How to Put on a Paris Style Fashion Show

As one of the Big 4 Fashion Week events, sharing the stage with New York, London and Milan, Paris stands out for its outrageous and dramatic runway productions, which are more like theatrical spectacles than mere fashion shows. Fantastical set designs have included full sized carousels and even escalators to usher models down the catwalk. Creating your own Parisian styled fashion extravaganza just needs a bit of French flair to come alive.

Discuss hair and makeup techniques with a team of designers who can embellish the look of each model. Go for a Marie Antoinette hair and makeup effect or other stylized theme to bring in the overall Parisian concept.

Step 6

Build your runway stage. Decorate a backdrop in the shape of the Eiffel Tower or the entrance to Versailles. Use fabric or strips of ribbon to create an entrance to your stage. Get creative and use influences from your inspiration board to create a runway that will wow your guests.

Step 7

Decide on music selections with your DJ or emcee to enhance the entertainment value. Listen to French rap or caf tunes that will create the overall mood for the show. Time the music and make sure the DJ is well versed in mixing tunes and troubleshooting any potential problems that could occur during the actual event.

Run through the entire show order on location with music and models in outfits, if possible. Add lighting effects if the location allows and spotlight each model as they hit the runway. Create an itinerary for the day of the event and discuss it with all the participants during the run through so everyone is ready for the catwalk.

Step 9

Depending on the size of your fashion show, invite guests, special VIPs, photographers and journalists to attend. Market the event with various media avenues to draw your desired audience.

Step 10

Get ready for lights, camera, action! Oversee every detail backstage to make sure the models are being dressed and prepped in hair and makeup. Line up the models, cue the music, turn on the lights and du spectacle!’Indulge your fashion show attendees in an after party with champagne cocktails and French foods to celebrate your extravagant event. Contact a champagne brand or local restaurant for possible sponsorship. Include gift bags for your guests with marketing materials and swag from all of your participating vendors.