Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fall 2012 quickies: Nonoo, Alice and Olivia, Walter and Negarin

Misha Nonoo (pronounced no-NEW) recently won the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award for Women's Ready-to-Wear, and based on the super-polished yet totally accessible collection she showed on Friday, it's an honor well deserved. The looks, inspired by French actress Anouk Aimee, were refined, with ladylike peplums and godet skirts, embellished with fur, lace, and beading. There were also perfect-looking ankle-length pants and maxi dresses that looked anything but sloppy. I think this is exactly how a lot of women want to dress: pretty and pulled-together, but not too precious.

Alice and Olivia's Stacey Bendet declared 2012 the year of the dinner party, so she invited us all to a loft in Chelsea where...there were free drinks! (Hey, it's Fashion Week! Who eats?!) That said, she turned up the mega-glam for fall with sequins galore, jewel tones, graphic prints, and fun party frocks of all shapes (fall marks the launch of the brand's Gown collection), many paired appealingly with bomber jackets and blazers. Daytime looks stood next to evening looks in one big, fun, bright mishmash—in real life, not all these girls would be going to the same party, but at Alice and Olivia, all are welcome.

"Walter girls are the coolest in the room, and they're always happy," designer Walter Baker told me tonight at his presentation at the Empire Hotel (side note: having been here twice this week, I can report it looks nothing like it does on Gossip Girl). It's a bold statement, and while purchasing one of his delicious-looking coats may not make me the coolest girl in the room, it would definitely make me happy. There was a leather blazer with knit sleeves, a buttery leather vest, several belted jacquard trench coats, a cropped shearling motorcycle (that one might just be my favorite), and a bright red number that put a smile on my face. There were great dresses and separates too, as well as a new line of bags, but the outerwear stole my heart. And, perhaps, my credit card. Whatever makes you happy, right, Walter?

Negarin is a British contemporary line making its U.S. debut. Geometric pieced dresses with flattering detail at the waist, kurta-inspired tops, and belted jackets appeared to be mainstays of this collection geared toward modern working women. Everything looked very well made, if a bit too generously cut for the models (then again, isn't everything?); I got incredibly excited about the shoes until I discovered they were provided by Nicholas Kirkwood, designer of my shoe dreams. As the Rolling Stones say, you can't always get what you want.

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