New York Fashion Week Spring 2012: Newcomers to Watch

September 21, 2011

Bibhu Mohapatra – Bibhu’s spring collection continues to build on his previous seasons with a stellar collection of day to evening looks.  Sticking with sheers, neutrals and a splash of teals and orange,  there was no denying the Grecian influence in his spring 2012 collection.  Tangerine harem pants with Grecian draping, paired with a stone gray tank looked appropriate for day while a stone gray gown with a beading insert running from the neckline to the thigh opened into a sheer skirt for evening.

Bibhu’s collection is inspired by Helmut Newton. “The clothes are based on unseen Polaroids from Helmut’s shoots,” he said.  His collection is for the girl who wants to be sexy and sophisticated at the same time.  Sheer panels, bondage straps and cutouts make the clothes a lot more seductive for spring.

J. Crew – For the first time a catalog company occupied one of the time slots at New York Fashion Week and it could only be one, J.Crew.  Jenna Lyons has spearheaded the rebranding of J.Crew into a fashion juggernaut, one coveted by celebrities, socialites and the average woman looking for well fitted, classic and preppy clothes for work and play.

For spring 2012, Lyons and women’s design head Marissa Webb did what J.Crew women’s does best, color, cashmere, sequins and special occasion separates in longer hemlines and slouchier fits.  A multicolored stripe skirt with sequins got its hem lowered for a more ladylike look.  Though it was paired with a chambray shirt, this skirt would look smashing with a soft jersey t-shirt and a statement necklace for gallery opening.

Libertine – Johnson Hartig sent patterns instead of color down the runway for his spring 2012 presentation at fashion week.  His collection of flirty A-line dresses, jumpsuits, calf grazing skirs and short suits were absent of color but rich in geometric prints, Marimekko-esque florals.

Timo Weiland –  “It’s Basquiat goes to Hawaii, goes surfing, and invites all his cool downtown city girls as guests,” explained the designers about their spring 2012 presentation.  Weiland and partner Alan Eckstein illustrated this concent with illusionary prints, pops of color and soft fabrics.  One model in a pink strapless tube corset and a matching  below the knee chiffon skirt looked too cool for school with a hat worn backwards.

The Row – The Olsen twins prove they have staying power with a sophisticated collection for spring 2012 that stuck to a soft color palette of white, pale pink and mint.  Inspired by the Seattle exhibition of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits and the country of Tibet, models were styled in long pants, soft tunics with sheer pants, well tailored trouses worn with a tuxedo jacket and textured skirt suits.  Each piece had movement and a serene aesthetic that really drove home the concept of Tibet.  “We wanted everything to float and breathe, or make a sound even,” Mary-Kate explained.

Rolando Santana – Rolando was another designer who shied away from color and instead let his craftsmanship speak for itself in stone, dark pewter, whispy white palettes.  Inspired by the architecture of  Florence his spring 2012 collection oozed modern sophistication.  Hemlines were longer, with dusty stone printed dresses that grazed the calf.  These could have been any other dress, except for the keen attention to detail.  A ladylike frock was sexed up slightly by way of a sheer panel insert from neck to torso.

A sequin jumpsuit that channeled a modern day socialite going to party it up at Studio 54 could be seen on Zoe Saldana. There was something for everyone in the collection which included architectural skirts, well tailored shorts and pants paired with sheer tops and sequin dresses begging to be worn on the red carpet.  Rolando’s models walked the runway wearing pewter and gold Manolo Blahnik shoes, a collaboration the designer announced earlier this summer.

Christian Siriano – Bravo to Siriano for stepping out of the box and creating a sleek, sophisticated and grown-up collection most women will covet come spring.   If you expected frou-frou gowns, lots of frills, tulle and decadent tiered gowns from his spring 2012 collection, you might have been disappointed.  Using Katherine Hepburn as an inspiration, he created sleek high waisted skirts in punchy colors like neon green, cropped silk pants paired with a printed blouse, palazzo pants and stone and cream colored cocktail frocks you’ll soon be seeing on the red carpet.

Siriano’s collection still had that wow factor with a bold orange gown with a striped corsteted top.  Of course there were  few pieces with the Siriano signature of flounce and frou-frou but as he expands his repertoire and gains more traction, we’re hoping to see more sleek designs like those seen from spring 2012.

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