Mina got invited to some awesome shows? Count Jill Stuart among them. For fall, Stuart showed a lot of party dresses, many of them in interesting textures, and many of them in black—by the way, for fall 2013, black is the new black. Really.
Son Jung WanAnd while many designers have gone back to black for fall, Son Jung Wan opted for anything but, starting with pale nude and cream, dabbling in camel and beige, and finishing in rich shades of teal, burgundy, and violet. As usual, she used a luxurious range of materials, from cozy-looking wool bouclé to fur, including a deliciously extravagant top made out of mink, but her silhouette has become closer to the body and her pieces finished with beautiful raw-edged seams or just enough fur trim. None of these looks would be out of place on the Upper East Side; if only one could buy them in the U.S...
In her program notes, Mara Hoffman noted that she "wanted to embrace what we do best with this collection and give our girls what they love most—color, prints, and wearable yet unique silhouettes." I couldn't describe her fall 2013 collection better myself. All of Hoffman's signature elements were there, but they felt anything but stale. In fact, Hoffman seemed invigorated. She translated her signature mystical-folkloric prints into embroideries, decorating everything from pretty chiffon gowns to jackets paired with coordinating pants. She also layered a lot of looks—perfectly cozy ponchos, embellished caftans, and gorgeous-looking belted coats—over leather leggings, which is good news, because I just bought a pair and they are the bomb. And lest I forget the dresses, they came in all shapes, from short and snug to floor-sweeping and voluminous. If you're like me, you'll probably want one of each.
Can you believe Christian Siriano has been showing at Fashion Week for 10 seasons now? By leaps and bounds, the most successful Project Runway contestant to date, Siriano now has his own store in Nolita in addition to his ongoing shoe line for Payless, and his clothes are carried everywhere from Neiman Marcus nationwide to tony boutiques like Stanley Korshak and Neopolitan. And his show this season was packed to the rafters with buyers, journalists, and celebrities (I spotted Brad Goreski, Jamie King, and Ashlee Simpson in the front row), which is always a good sign, as were the cluster of crystal chandeliers dangling over the runway. Fall was an ode to the Russian Opera, primarily in black in gold. Siriano's day looks were primarily the former, with interesting textured knits, lots of leather, and faux-fur accents, while for evening, he let loose with gold filigree, beading, and sequins on tulle and mesh backing. It was all, as Siriano would say on Project Runway, ferosh.
I spend some days at Fashion Week 100% in the tents at Lincoln Center, and I spend some running all over town—many designers, like Siriano, show in gallery spaces in Chelsea, and then there's Milk Studios in the Meatpacking District, which I'd been avoiding for several seasons after the dreaded Stairway Incident. But after Siriano and a breaky-break at the Hotel Gansevoort, the last thing I felt like doing was schlepping back uptown, so I made a little switcheroo in my schedule and headed to Milk for Alexandre Herchcovitch, and let me tell you, I'm glad I did. Herchcovitch is generally quite avant-garde and thus usually not my cup of tea, but his fall collection was equally beautiful and witty. The colors and prints were quite lovely, evocative of a garden, and while the first few looks were pretty straightforward, slowly, as the show went on, the clothes seemed to fall apart like petals. Herchcovitch drew an even more interesting parallel with the last series of looks, which exposed lingerie while the models' dresses hung around their waists in a state of déshabillé. I had a smile on my face the entire time, which just goes to show, maybe sometimes you need to try a different flavor of tea—you never know what you might end up liking.
Jill Stuart, Son Jung Wan & Mara Hoffman photos by Mina Kim.