New York Fashion Week recap

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With more than 300 shows taking place over the course of a short seven days, New York Fashion Week can be intimidating to keep up with, so here are three collections that stood out and showcased the highlights of the fall 2015 ready-to-wear season at New York Fashion Week, or NYFW.

Kanye West x Adidas Originals

Perhaps one of the most controversial people of our time, Kanye West — as Kanye West does — turned many heads with the debut of his Adidas collaboration early in NYFW. This isn’t his first time showcasing a collection during fashion week; he has done so previously in Paris during the spring 2012 and fall 2012 ready-to-wear shows. These shows, however, received mixed reviews, to say the least. One of the sharper criticisms of his work was the focus on excessive embellishments (e.g. crocodile skin collars, gratuitous use of zippers) in order to make up for uninspired designs that only worked to alienate the audience to whom he was trying to appeal: the public.

In contrast to his previous collections, however, this year’s was down to earth, stripped to its bare essence. 50 models with wildly varying physiques sported nude body stockings, highlighting the singular pieces — military-inspired outerwear, distressed knits and the much-hyped Adidas Yeezy Boosts.

Ironically, West’s collection was a little too bland. Kanye commented on the elitism and exclusiveness of high fashion in an interview with Style.com and how he wants to move away from that in his fashion-related endeavors. Is this what Yeezy thinks of the layman — that we would be attracted to the fashion equivalent of Soylent? Although the man is a bona fide musical genius, it seems as though his brilliance doesn’t translate well through a different medium.

Oscar de la Renta

Last fall, Oscar de la Renta — one of the most integral members of fashion society — passed away. Peter Copping, a designer with a prolific background — having worked at Louis Vuitton, Nina Ricci and Christian Lacroix — was appointed creative director of the de la Renta fashion house by de la Renta himself. Among the audience members were fashion icons young and old: Annette de la Renta, the widow of Oscar de la Renta, Karlie Kloss, Taylor Swift, Barbara Walters and Nancy Kissinger.

“In this, my first collection, I hope to honor Oscar’s legacy and also to start a new chapter for the house,” read a note that Copping had left on each of the seats at the show. Despite the palpable pressure of succeeding a fashion legend, Copping’s collection honored the legacy of de la Renta without losing his own brand of style.

Opening with a black embroidered knee-length coat above an off-white turtleneck crepe dress, Copping paid homage to Annette de la Renta’s iconic style. For the rest of the show, he highlighted his aptitude with color and textiles, utilizing midnight blues, bordeaux and fuchsia tones in tandem with embroidered floral lace, bold geometric prints and metallic embroidery to create astonishing red-carpet gowns.

With his runway debut, Copping allowed the fashion world to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the de la Renta legacy would be in the right hands.

J.Crew

J.Crew has become synonymous with quintessential prep: traditional patterns and colors that work with modern fits to create ubiquitous pieces for any wardrobe. At NYFW, however, it showcased a line with more eclectic designs, such as dramatic silhouettes and a multitude of textures anchored by classic pieces: pleated skirts, bomber jackets, boyfriend jeans and blazers.

Tom Mora, the womenswear designer for this collection, drew inspiration from Peter Schlesinger’s book “Checkered Past,” which documented the lives of ’70s fashion icons David Hockney, Tina Chow and Paloma Picasso. This could be seen in Mora’s introduction of pops of bright colors to the different ensembles. Sometimes it would be the sunshine yellow of a parka’s lining, and sometimes it would be the pastel pink DB blazer complemented by camel chinos. In another nod to the ’70s, fringes were a noticeable theme in the lineup, surprisingly complementing the outfits featuring them without seeming out of place.

The highlight of the collection, however, was the accessories. Mora displayed an assortment of different scarves with varying textiles — cashmere, wool and fur — and designs — baroque, houndstooth, hairline stripes and two-tone gingham. These worked to elevate the outfits and leave a memorable impression without seeming gaudy and tasteless.

Overall, Mora’s take on ’70s high fashion during the modern age created a lineup that brought innovation to the brand while keeping true to its roots in the elegance of basics.

Contact Josh Gu at [email protected]