Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fall 2012 remainders: Degen, Ann Yee, Katya Leonovich, Juma, Tuleste Market & MaxMara Atelier

I kept trying to think of a clever way to organize these last few reviews from Fashion Week, and since it's been a week since it ended, what better way than to throw them all together into one big post?

Degen was actually the first show I attended, two Wednesdays ago. It reportedly drew Patti Smith, although I didn't see her. What I saw was a collection of whimsical, if slightly silly, knits, loosely inspired by "Don't ask, don't tell." There were some wearable cropped and striped styles, but I found the styling, as well as some of the more theatrical pieces (knitted pasties, anyone?) rather distracting.

After several seasons of scheduling conflicts, I finally made it to Ann Yee's presentation, in a penthouse loft in the Garment District, which was a refreshingly serene change of pace. And I'm glad I did—Yee's draped melange knits and painterly printed dresses had an earthy vibe that was a nice contrast to the extremes on the runway. Even cooler: the models were given rock candy to gnaw on (see, they do eat).

There are always some avant garde designers in the mix during Fashion Week, Katya Leonovich being one of them. She showed a mixture of sleek black-and-white looks and more outré graffiti-printed ones, the former falling into the more wearable category. Then again, there's something out there for everyone, isn't there?

Jamil Juma takes lovely, vividly colored digital prints and weaves them into a collection of very wearable silhouettes. It's such a practical way of introducing something so fashion-forward into one's wardrobe, it's amazing more designers haven't tried it.

Tuleste Market makes great on-trend costume jewelry, and for fall, they're adding an equally appealing line of footwear to the mix, featuring colorblocked, Mondrian-esque motifs. Worth mentioning: This was perhaps the only presentation I went to at which the models were smiling. (And: props to my hairstylist, the awesome Tommy Buckett, who did the hair for the show.)

Finally, I had a one-on-one walkthrough of the MaxMara Atelier capsule collection for fall, a jetsetting affair inspired by the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor film The V.I.P.s. Now, I love a good coat, and there were some amazing ones in this collection, many with dramatic collars that evoked neck pillows. There were also some practical quilted vests with fur, perfect for wearing alone or layering under the coats—or perhaps for doubling as a super-luxe travel blanket. With coats like these, you'll want to find more excuses to travel.

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