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New York Fashion Week 2012: Switching It Up

Shakyra Moore |
September 15, 2011 | 2:19 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

It’s that time of the year again – designers, fashionistas, fashion bloggers, and fashion fans worldwide drop their designer bags and mocha lattes to turn their attention to the runways of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. From September 8th-15th, over 100 designers brought out the big guns, showcasing their designs for the Spring 2012 season. 

Luckily, it didn’t require a press pass or invitation to attend the weeklong event this year – the majority of many of the participating designers provided live feeds of their runway shows via LiveStream, their own official websites, and the YouTube Live Runway, a first for this iconic exhibition.

Designers put a new spin on the typical spring collection, mixing in colors common for the fall/winter season – sharp blues, fluorescent purples, flashes of berry reds and tangerine oranges – with dynamic cuts and flattering silhouettes.

It seemed one of the most common themes for ready-to-wear designs this upcoming season is the incorporation of unusual fabrics. Mesh, graphic knits, jersey, and layered fabrics were popular. Leather also made an appearance in many collections. 

It seemed each designer put their own spin on these upcoming trends. Here’s the recap from three standout shows that offered something that every fashion fanatic can enjoy.


Alexander Wang


Two words: Alexander Wang. Synonymous with the phrase “cutting-edge casual”, and one of the obvious crowd favorites for this week, Wang left no room for disappointment in his athletic-inspired, street-wear chic collection.

The dynamic setup of the runway itself in many ways reflected Wang’s collection. An entirely jet black room with mirrored walls and bright white lights framed out a diamond-shaped walkway, creating an arena for Wang’s sport-spirited runway show.
Wang’s collection was full of powerful, bold graphic prints, exposed zippers, and laser-cut fabrics. Perforated leathers added an unexpected twist to the line. It also featured layered fabrics. There were sheer, blinding white meshes over pops of neon color, almost blurring the lines between fall and spring.
There were mini skirts. There were fitted pants. There were cargo shorts. There were track jackets. There were lightweight bomber jackets. Wang even threw in a floral printed playsuit. There were sports references galore, including nods to track and field, football jerseys, and auto racing attire. Some models even carried golf-bag weekender totes and BMX helmets.
"We've already seen Alex's influence on the runways in New York and we're only three days in…There are anoraks, pops of neon and parachute fabrics everywhere. It was great to see him take his sporty references to the next level." said Kristina O'Neill, Harper's Bazaar executive editor.
Wang mastered the art of mixing high style with invigorating style, keeping things fresh and fun for his youthful clientele. To put it simply, Wang doesn’t do dressy. And honestly, we didn’t miss it.
From Serena Williams to Lady Gaga, this was truly a collection that anyone could enjoy. In fact, Wang’s show attracted top celebrities, including Alicia Keys, Terry Richardson, and Courtney Love.
And of course, keeping with the sporty trend, Wang himself ran, instead of walked as per tradition, out onto the runway following his show.
Lacoste deviated from its usual focus on menswear for the first time ever, all thanks to the brand’s new artistic director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista. 
The 36-year-old creator from Portugal said while designing the new collection, he envisioned the clothing to be for a woman who was “energetic, casual and chic”. The brand has stated that it’s main goal for 2012 is to increase it’s focus on their female customers.
“(Women) represent 80 percent of our clients, but just 20 percent of our revenue. Women come to the stores to buy clothes mainly for men” said Lacoste CEO Christophe Chenut.
Right from the start, the effortless class that we’ve all come to know and love Lacoste for was evident, yet this time around, Baptista added a distinct sex appeal to the brand. And it worked.
Mini skirt clad models ruled the runway in shades of red, blue, sunshine yellow, white, and black. Silks, knits, cotton canvas, and pique fabrics were present in almost every outfit. Like Wang’s collection, Lacoste presented a different assortment of voluminous jackets, anoraks, and colorblocked dresses. Layering was present in this show also, with pinafore-inspired dresses over crop tops. 
The collection also featured geometric prints in striking shades of poppy red, turquoise, and cobalt blue. Long sleeved tops, tunics, button-ups, and perfectly tailored jackets dominated this show, staying true to the classic Lacoste brand.
So where was the classic tiny green croc tagged polo? Well, it was cropped to nothing in a long sleeved, cerulean blue number, and also on a floor length, sheer, navy blue maxi dress. Daring, Lacoste showed no signs of being afraid to put a spin on an iconic design. 
Not as active as Wang’s collection, Lacoste put a more dressed-up spin on this year’s sporty trend. But what else can you do when you’ve been setting the standard for high fashion sportswear for the past 77 years?
Jeremy Scott
Arguably the most outrageous designer featured during the week, Jeremy Scott came back with another entertaining show. Scott is known for his pop-culture infused, “themed” shows. The theme this season? “The beauty of the backwoods,” as the designer himself puts it. “I was thinking about the farm life and this gorgeous hillbilly girl who doesn’t know she’s sexy and doesn’t know she has this outrageous figure, but she’s hiding under a potato sack”.
Scott’s collection puts a new spin on a familiar icon – the “Hollywood” version of the heart of America we've all come to know and love through television. Call it “farmer chic”; a little bit of the Beverly Hillbillies and a little bit of Dolly Parton.
The collection featured lots of denim in the form of bleached cropped shorts with knee length tassels and overall shorts. In addition, models in pleather and vinyl dominated the runway, walking (fittingly) to Motley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls”. Scott took the audience for a trip down Route 66 with cactus and sunglass embroidered sweaters and postcard dresses. Taking classic Americana to new levels, Scott even included a metal mesh dress version of yes, you guessed it, a potato sack. 
Scott’s no stranger to the outlandish. He scored a large following after collaborating with Adidas to make his own Originals line, featuring angel-winged hi-tops and teddy bear sneakers. Even back in 2006, Scott produced an entirely food themed collection with a grand finale "pizza dress".
Scott might be known for his fashion, but he is also known for dressing some of the biggest celebrities out there, including Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, and even Kanye West.
Reach reporter Shakyra Moore here, or follow her on Twitter.

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