Noon by Noor is designed by two Bahraini sisters, but from the look of their fall 2013 collection, you'd never know. In rich shades of navy, forest green, and burgundy, the show had a very '70s Love Story vibe with great-looking capes, the best tie-neck blouses I've seen in awhile, and interesting takes on plaid—a element that's popping up on nearly every runway so far this season. And while I associate Noon by Noor with eveningwear, it comprised only a small part of the show, however ,beautifully translating that plaid motif into a glittery velvet and chiffon gown, and ending with some dramatic red silk gowns, some delicately embroidered, others dramatically sculpted. It makes me somewhat sad to think that such beautiful clothes will probably only be worn indoors by many of Noon by Noor's clients, but then again, women dress for each other most of the time anyway, don't they?
Mina had a rough first day on the photo riser—being a newbie with a not-terribly-prestigious publication (hey, we're not Style.com), she kept ending up at the front or on the ground, perched in uncomfortable positions that she had to hold for an hour. Kind of like a model! Anyway, Mina bought a folding stool on her way home last night, and today she was happy as a clam. (Or a turtle, as her stool is called.) Then again, if you were shooting hotties at the Nautica show, you would be too! As for the clothes, they're pretty solid if you like 'em clean-cut, cool, and all-American. Which I do.
Launched in 2011, Monika Chiang already has a store in Soho and a healthy e-commerce business; the fact that her boyfriend, Chris Burch, a.k.a. the former Mr. Tory Burch, is her chief investor may have something to do with it. And while it's definitely not fair to compare the two designers, it's kind of unavoidable—Tory Burch is the Park Avenue divorcée, Monika Chiang is the hot downtown nightlife denizen (really—she used to be a nightclub manager). And thus her line has things that sexy young women want to wear: leather leggings, body-conscious dresses, sheer tops. There's a definite tough vibe that runs throughout; the woman who wears these clothes may bring a man home from the club, but she might not let him stay the night. Be forewarned, Mr. Burch—you're not on Park Avenue anymore.
I always joke every season about Nicole Miller's program notes, which are often kind of a haiku. For fall, she cited menswear with a twist, a woman borrowing her boyfriend's clothes and softening them up. And while there was a lot of tailoring, with much of the collection in bad-girl black, I got a strong grunge vibe with a series of floral-jacquard, fur, leather, and burnout velvet, which puts Miller right in line with the trends emerging thus far this season. A lot of the pieces were very body-concious—think snug dresses and fantastic-looking skinny pants—while others were fluid and diaphanous, but the best looks in the show mixed both of those elements, which I guess was the "softening it up & mixing it up" that Miller alluded to. See, sometimes those crazy manifestos really do make sense!
Noon by Noor, Nautica, and Monika Chiang photos by Mina Kim.