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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Designers Show Off Fall and Winter Collections for 2010 Fashion Week

As the tents went up one last time in Bryant Park, there was a sense of nostalgia in the air as designers sent out the fall and winter 2010 collections. The death of noted fashion designer Alexander McQueen hung over the celebrations, but did not prevent designers from showing off their latest looks. Here’s a rundown of some of the collections.

3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim’s fall collection portrayed a much different tone than his spring and resort wear. It was filled with intricate lace blouses and clean khakis, and the color palette was a perfect way to enter fall: lavenders, mustard yellows (a big this season), along with deep rich purples, blacks, and a few outstanding camel coats. While most of his collection seemed aimed  only to those whose days are filled with leisurely banquets and dining out, a few separates—notably a gunmetal sequined top worn with tailored pants—hit the right note for everyday wear. Pair the top with black skinny jeans and patent leather oxfords and a solid look is born.

Academy of Art University

The students at this university had the luxury of showing their collections in the tents Feb. 13. While not every look was memorable, there were some uniquely designed pieces in the bunch – in a good and bad way. While I would never throw on any of the chunky black knits with sequins that one student used as a theme through her presentation, I did think that structured, almost architectural knits were the winner here. A grey wool knee-length that looked like oversized loopy paper, paired with a sleek white button down would be appropriate in a law office and art gallery. I look forward to what next season’s graduates have to offer.

Alexander Wang

New York’s fashion darling, who’s won the hearts of Vogue Paris editors and L.A. teenagers alike, took a drastically different turn this season, taking inspiration from the Wall Street bankers of the city.. Though the theme was apparent, the collection screamed too much velvet, pinstripes and skin to seem even remotely appealing. Topped with thigh-high legwarmers – a look that’s starting to creep back into the spotlight like last year’s boyfriend jeans – the outfits lacked the simplicity of his previous collections, and didn’t portray enough of his “model off duty” look that he’s famous for.

Boy by Band of Outsiders

If college kids from California transplanted to Manhattan for a semester, they would be wearing Scott Sternberg’s latest collection for Boy. One particularly unfortunate piece was the burnt orange sweater with orange plaid pants look. The collection screamed fall fashion in its most practical sense: a crisp grey double-breasted blazer, a clean white dress with chunky platform heels, streamlined sweaters, and a completely fun, black, polka dot skirt, intercepted with yellow, red and white stripes. For a little experimentation, Sternberg showed off some fur-trimmed coats, mittens, and – my favorite – an impractical, over-the-top, but fabulous rainbow fur vest. I can imagine a college law intern picking it up for a weekend jaunt to Prune or Brown in New York City.

Chris Benz

Benz, who took inspiration from “the bad girls from high school,” showed his collection last week at TK. Benz – a wunderkind that stayed relatively under the radar because of his unique niche in the clothing market – expressed the high school rebel through some unfortunate fur mittens that looked like bear hands (minus the claws, and in varying shades from yellow to brown) and bright purple and yellow blazers and coats. Though Benz was trying to produce a collection where “every piece was special,” I think his strength is in slightly more wearable separates and dresses. One lovely gold dress with just the right amount of draping sticks out in my mind, as does a persimmon skirt that hit perfectly at the mid-calf. It’s a hard look to pull off, but exhibits a fabulous sense of refinement when someone can.

Jenni Kayne

Kayne did well. In the 15 looks that she sent out, every single one seemed to call to her inspirations for the collection: country clothing made for the city. Let me be quick to remind you there were not jeans, plaid, peasant tops, or the like, but rather (another!) mustard yellow separate, this time in the form of perfect slim fit pants, paired with a carbon colored silk top. I fell equally in love with a pair of city shorts, long and loose that hit right at the knee, and a wonderfully fun fur collar scarf. Those looking for the classic little black dress can stop their search. Kayne’s exhibited the perfect balance of proportion and detail.

Derek Lam

For all the ladies who lunch, there will be a perfect coat for you this Fall. Just hunt for Derek Lam’s many, many, beautiful coats that he presented this season. Lam, whose ultra-luxe, ultra-chic women’s wear is found on anyone from a Midtown lawyer to TK celebrity, emphasized outerwear this season. And a smart move indeed. In this economy, if there’s one clothing item women will spend their money on, it’s a good coat. And Lam’s coats, from the caramel moleskin coat with black leather sleeves to the shearling bomber with dark brown leather edging, it’s hip to be sporting one of these to the office. Just stay away from any PETA members—most of these coats are bound to attract some tomato juice and eggs.

Jason Wu

It’s been one solid year since Wu radically rose to the top of the fashion empire – not surprisingly because of his steady following, which includes Michelle Obama. Rather than continuing to divert from his original aesthetic that made him so popular with fashion insiders in the first place – long gowns, dreamy fabrics and intricate appliqués – Wu took an interesting approach this season. The collection, which almost seemed to be split in two (the first half a concrete effort at creating durable, pretty fall clothes for the women of the Upper East Side and DC.,Wash. the second half portraying what he is best known for: evening gowns), was held together by his inspiration of Irving Penn paintings, seen in the splatter painted dresses and tops. While the collection got mixed reviews across the board, it’s safe to say that Wu is learning—after all, the spotlight is a lot of pressure—just ask Michelle Obama.

The Row

As if Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn’t need another skill to add to their resume, they might as well add “can fix the fashion woes of teenagers and their mothers alike.” Their latest collection, almost completely black, navy blue, and white, makes me want to rip every colored item out of my wardrobe and replace it with their white, partially see-through dresses, black collarless wrap coats, and super long leather gloves, which nearly every model sported. I couldn’t help but drool over the shoes: chic black sandals that would be the perfect transition into fall during the early weeks of September. While the Olsens didn’t explicitly state their inspirations or description of the collection, they didn’t need to: the pieces hit the heart of casual luxury. Just nab them quickly—the collection is bound to sell out as soon as it hits stores.

Tommy Hilfiger

Hilfiger had the luxury of being the last collection to present at Bryant Park, and while the show didn’t produce too many Oscar-ready numbers, it was perhaps the most appropriate collection to end a decades long tradition of showing wearable, chic pieces for the general public to fashion magazine editors, buyers, and party-crashers. This was Hilfiger’s first collection with Peter Som as a consultant, and while it’s not clear exactly what role Som played in the collection, the end result was beautiful. East-coast chic with a touch of “sass,” duck boots, skirts with paillettes, and classic pieces – the trench, the pencil – were all present. I’ll be looking forward to seeing everyone from Vogue editors to high street girls buying pieces from this.


If there is one collection this season that I could own almost every piece from (until Isabel Marant, of course), this would be it. The perfect balance of sensible and chic, Wu made fall fashion as effortless as putting on your favorite cardigan. Perhaps more playful – and more practical –Wu’s collaboration with TSE produced some whimsical and covetable pieces. Loopy wool dresses, chiffon skirts that would look perfect under chunky knits, and attractive tweed and cashmere coats in somewhat boxy – yet body conscious – shapes. The total effect? Sweater dresses worth swooning over, and color combinations that were simple yet memorable. Another congratulatory note must be given to this 27-year-old. He pulled off the luxuriousness of fur through plush scarves and a large cocoon-like coat—without killing a single animal.

Rachel Roy

If you’re looking for a collection that can take you from the workplace to the after-party in one fell swoop, start researching Rachel Roy. Her collections have only continued to improve, and the fall season may be her best one yet. Similar to her pre-fall collection, ethnic influences tied in with structured details reminiscent of military trends from a few seasons back were evident in her looks. Long knits, gold jacquard dresses, and draped marbled dresses were only appetizers compared to her purple jumpsuit that evoked sophistication and playfulness (Purple? What a color!), tulle tops, and a long floral jacquard skirt that looked like the perfect fit for a night at the ballet, or a night on the red carpet.

Richard Chai Love

I really wanted to love – no pun intended – Chai’s latest collection for his lower-priced line. I kept presuing the looks, hoping to find a glimpse of pieces that I could envision on the streets. Alas, with the exception of a pair  of blue silk jodhpur pants – which, paired with a white button up, could look equestrian and expensive all at the same time – there was nothing to hold on to. The prints were too juvenile, and the sweaters – we’ve seen them before, even styled in the same way. The color palette was not particularly inspiring, but fear not, Chai has made a name for himself in this industry for a reason. Let’s hope next season he’ll give us something to swoon over.


To understand what people mean when they describe fashion as art, look at the Mulleavy sisters’ creation for their label, Rodarte. This season, in a complete 180 from their last collection, the sisters took a lighter look at clothing, keeping their color palette in pastel shades of pink and purple, with accents evoking their Mexican heritage. Lots of patchwork designs with floral chiffons, lace, and velvet made the entire collection seem whimsical and youthful. Yet the details in the dresses, the shoes, kept the collection interesting. While I don’t imagine anyone to actually wear Rodarte on the streets, I think the sisters are making a point to show the effort it can take to create a piece of wearable art. Kudos to finding the spotlight again this season.

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