By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore and Maryanne Salvat
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 took over Lincoln Center for seven days of runway shows and presentations. Dozens of top names in fashion presented a variety of looks that, despite having been created for “spring” would be considered “year-round” fashion in sunny Miami. As expected, resort wear ruled the runways- floral and artsy prints, pastels and patterns prevailed, as did sleek, structured pieces. Most designers celebrated the bare midriff, showcasing at least a few, if not several, crop tops. Black and white and monochromatic looks dominated Jill Stuart, Ralph Lauren, Cynthia Rowley, Rag & Bone, Victoria Beckham, and Altuzarra’s shows, to name a few.
The shows were presented with fun and flair this season. Diane von Furstenberg’s show seemed like an all-out 1970s-inspired dance party; Cynthia Rowley presented in a 19th century Gothic landmark, adorned with colorful, whimsical decorations; Prabal Gurung filled the room with the scent of roses for his show and Opening Ceremony took over the Super Pier to showcase clothes from models in luxury cars. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite shows this season.
“Simplicity and sexiness, that’s what people want- at a price that’s not outrageous,” Diane von Furstenberg told Vogue in 1976, following her Newsweek cover story. At the time, she was described as “the most marketable female in fashion since Coco Chanel.” Nearly 40 years later, this remains the case and was plainly evident during the designer’s Spring 2014 runway show. Von Furstenberg, well known for designing clothes in which you can work and (most of all) have a good time, transformed the packed Theater at Lincoln Center into a summer Disco party, the perfect vibe to parallel her beautiful and wearable collection, entitled “Oasis.”
The energy in the room could be felt immediately upon entry, with the crowd excitedly filling the seats, piling onto the rafters or squeezing into standing room. If we could read Diane’s mind, we suspect she was thinking “It’s my party and I’ll dance if I want to.” To put it simply, this show was fun! Seventies-summer-disco party fun!
Guests danced in their seats as the “song of the summer,” “Blurred Lines” blared from the speakers, perfectly mashed-up with Daft Punk’s collaboration with 70s icon, Nile Rogers “Get Lucky.” These songs, along with bits of other 70s rifts provided the soundtrack for the entire show, which included top models such as: Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Karen Elson, and Karlie Kloss, donning fit-and-flared DVF wrap dresses in varying lengths, some showing off sun-kissed skin in seventies-inspired halters and mini tunics; sundresses, long skirts and structured pieces printed in cork- to match the invitation to the show. The fabrics varied from bold and colorful to animal prints. Looks also included crop tops paired with skirts and pants and a midriff bearing, long-sleeved dress with slits was a crowd pleaser.
Speaking of the crowd- it went absolutely wild when the show’s final model took to the catwalk: none other than Naomi Campbell- decked out in a black and gold sequined halter mini-dress. Campbell was all-smiles as she strutted the runway then led the finale before Diane took over, wearing a colorful silk mini-dress printed with an African landscape. The ebullient designer danced throughout her finale victory lap- arms outstretched above her head, spinning and working the entire runway- stopping to give her husband a kiss, hug his seat-neighbor, Barbara Walters, and shake hands with many of her excited fans in the front row, including: Allison Williams, Rachel Zoe, Jessica Alba, Andy Cohen, and Bella Thorne to name a few. Like her collection, Diane looked gorgeous and brilliant- the embodiment of style, grace and fun.
Rag & Bone
The creators of Rag & Bone, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, hit the mark once again with their Spring 2014 minimalist collection. The looks were simple and chic yet edgy, embracing spring in true form with A-line pleated skirts, loose-fitting pant suits, chiffon slip-dresses, and oversized sweaters in classic black and white along with neutral hues. Rag & Bone’s front row included: Jessica Seinfeld, Lake Bell with hubby Scott Campbell, and Laure Heriard Dubreuil.
Inspired by Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto, Carolina Herrera’s 2014 Spring Collection is all about kinetic energy. With gorgeous textures and transparent organza Herrera’s elegant style and grace lined the runway. Celebrities spotted: Daisy Fuentes, Brittany Snow, Christina Hendricks, Michelle Dockery, Christina Ricci, Nicole Trunfio, and Tinsley Mortimer.
Francisco Costa’s love of art and architecture was clearly the inspiration for his Spring 2014 collection. Hand-crafted designs graced the runway. Neutrals in woven fabrics gave the appearance of unfinished hems while geometrical shapes were created out of snakeskin patches. Celebrating his 10th year at the helm, of Calvin Klein, Costa’s fresh and progressive vision left his audience anxious for more. Celebrities spotted front row included: Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Alexander Skarsgard, Naomi Harris, and Rachel Zoe.
Naeem Khan’s beautiful creations paid homage to Spanish and Mexican cultures. Braided models, embroidered floral designs, and draping lace graced the runway for his Spring 2014 collection. Staying true to signature silhouettes, Naeem Khan’s elegance and glamour shined throughout.
Rebecca Minkoff’s “cool girl” chic style set the stage for a fun-filled Spring 2014 runway show. Janelle Monáe and her band kicked-off the event as models graced the runway in bright floral embroidery, multi-colored tassels, and long flowing dresses inspired by strong Latin-American women such as legendary Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Zosia Mamet, Olivia Palmero, Kelly Osbourne, and Nicky Hilton were spotted in the front row.
Cynthia Rowley’s presentation at the Highline Hotel, built in 1895, which was once a dormitory for a monastery, (think Downton Abby meets Hogwarts) was quite the sight to be seen. A crowd of a thousand anxiously gathered in the beautiful grounds of the cloister waiting to enter the impressive ballroom, which had been decorated in cheerful colors for the presentation. Once inside, guests sipped champagne as they inched toward the front of the enormous room to peruse the row of stunning models dressed in the designer’s signature flirty, festive dresses and colorful separates in bold colors with decorative appliqués and striking details. Rowley mentioned that her team decorated the site, complete with streamers, balloons, and beautiful trimmings, to create a “child-like happy feeling.” Her designs coordinated with the atmosphere including whimsical details, scuba pants, and abstract prints. Rowley, dressed casually in a fitted t-shirt and capri pants warmly greeted her guests, posting for photo ops and describing her designs in her usual, friendly manner. Rowley’s husband and adorable children were in attendance, along with other notables such as: Alan Cummings, Tiffani Thiessen, Mickey Boardman, and New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler.