NYFW s/s 2011: recap

With New York Fashion Week s/s 2011 behind us, it’s time for a ‘little’ recap of some of my favorite looks that were presented. I picked 4 looks from each designer, which was sometimes really hard if the collection just simply blew my mind or on the other hand, if the looks were just so-so. Some designers didn’t even make it because their collections were kind of a disappointment. Or maybe my expectations were just too high? Anyway, be prepared for some serious mouth-watering eyecandy after the jump!

Lela Rose paid homage to the vibrant culture and colorful handicrafts of Lima. The collection is very colorful and girly, in other words, perfect for summer! The looks were hard to choose from, so I picked a mix of stone and bright dresses. To me this is definitely a great collection and a designer to watch!

BCBG Max Azria continued the exercise in funtional minimalism they began last Fall. Even though I’m not much of a minimalism girl, I kind of like these airy silk dresses. It feels like you’re wearing almost nothing, even though you’re covered, which is perfect for a warm day. And who needs all those embellishments when it’s hot outside?
Ports 1961 got their inspiration from a trip to the sahara of southern Tunesia. “The sky was so blue and the sand was so gold,” Cibani said. “I wanted to create an urban interpretation of someone who’s dreaming of the desert.” Well, I sure wouldn’t mind to be in the desert if I had these outfits. Pure elegance. Wants it!
Derek Lam headed further in the direction of his last urban sportswear collection, which again resulted in a collection that is mostly minimal, but with a softer palette. The overall collection was a bit retro, but he still managed to make the dresses more modern.
ADAM‘s inspiration is women. Real women with all kinds of bodies, who want to look pretty, and sexy, and a little edgy, and also elegant, and very now, but always like themselves, and not like fashion victims. Well, ladies, these clothes are pretty, and sexy, edgy, elegant and also very now. The embellished cocktaildress is my absolute favorite.

3.1 Phillip Lim explained his puzzle-piece concept (first look): backless, side-less and bottomless garments all somehow came together to form a full look.

Anna Sui cited Days of Heaven, the Terrence Malick movie from 1978 that is one of her favorites. From it, she extrapolated a dusty, sun-faded world of pioneer women, which led her on to Joni Mitchell and the girls of Laurel Canyon in late-sixties L.A. Anna Sui again stayed true to her dreamy vision.

Nicholas K‘s collection has a ‘military meets nomad feel’ and is perfect when you’re in for something different than all the girly looks we’ve seen before.

Richard Chai‘s collection can be described as urban nomad chic. It’s funny, but it kind of made me think of Arabic nights, and especially Jasmine (from Disney’s Aladdin), if you look at the harempants and the pointy shoes. I love how Richard kept the color palette super-neutral. The transparent pants doesn’t do it for me though.

Ruffian took Susan Travers, an obscure diplomat, and the only woman to serve officially with the French Foreign Legion, as a muse for Spring. This translated into a military collection where the masculine is mixed with the feminine. But with so much tailoring on the runways lately, it was the straight-up-sexy dresses draped to a twist at the waist that really stood out.

Christian Siriano is one of the designers that created a collection where I just couldn’t choose only 4 looks that I liked best. The designs might not be ‘fresh’, but they’re definitely something I would want to wear! He explained his Spring inspiration as a mélange of various cultures from places he hasn’t been; “A bit of African, a bit of Asian, a bit of Mediterranean-Greek.”
Bensoni got their inspiration, like many designers, from the 70’s, but they managed to add a little futuristic elements in it as well. The designers said they’d been encouraged to take risks this season, well it surely paid off.
Vivienne Tam‘s imaginary muse took a trip down the Silk Road, from China across India to Persia. She was a crafty kind of vagabond, a girl who’d turn her fisherman’s pants into an embroidered pair of shorts and pair them with a deconstructed cheongsam.The beautifully patched-together cotton lace dresses—with crochet work inspired by Asian temple facades and Middle Eastern frescoes- were my absolute favorites.
DKNY created simple looks in neutral tones that are sure to sell anywhere. Donna Karan knows how to  make you look classy wearing a scarf, without making you look like a flight attendant.

Rebecca Minkoff obviously knows what twenty-somethings (like me) want. The right amount of coolness mixed with some girly elements. The perfect mix to look great without trying to. No wonder even topmodel Agyness Deyn is a fan!

At the Diane von Furstenberg show, everyone was very curious how the appearance of Yvan Mispelaere as the designer’s new wingman would change the look of the collection. They sure did a great job! I’m a huge sucker for draping. Check out the gorgeous flowing white caftan slung loosely with a thin gold belt, and the sleeveless hooded jumpsuits that wouldn’t make bad cover-ups on a sailing trip through the Greek Islands.

TRIAS‘ collection is an exploration of air’s effect on the clothes we wear. Trías’ goal was to trap a pleat in mid-ripple and to create the volume a puff of wind might make when coursing through the back of a dress. It’s too bad we can’t see that effect in these pics, but the front looks great: a simple dress that emphasizes the waist with a thin belt is just timeless elegance to me.
Tommy Hilfiger chose the ‘Twisted Country Club’ as theme for his spring collection. With this preppy vision, Tommy showed us the boundaries of the Hilfiger code, but it’s still true to the Tommy Hilfiger spirit, which is always very classic and colorful.
Jenny Packham got her inspiration from watercolor memories of moonlit balls and debutante decadence. This is another designer from whom I had trouble choosing only 4 looks. She designed some great outfits that seem to come straight out of a Gossip Girl episode and some gorgeous red carpet gowns.
Carolina Herrera‘s Spring collection was inspired by two things: the traditional clothes of Korea and botanical plates collected in the eighteenth century. Even though I think some bows (like the one in the first look) are superfluous, I like the feminine silhouettes and color palette Carolina used.

Carlos Miele again did what he does best, making gorgeous and super-feminine figure-hugging dresses, which are sure to be seen on the red carpet.

Tracy Reese‘s muse was a traveler of both time and space: She channeled the 1970’s, an era when globe-trotting women put more of an effort into what they packed. The pieces are girly with a funky ’70s flair.

Donna Karan dubbed her Spring collection Raw Romance, and sent the models down a runway coated with a fine layer of sand. I love the floaty look of the dresses that makes the models look like desert princesses.


Monique Lhuillier got her inspiration from cheery cherry blossoms from an idealized Garden of Eden of red apples, shimmery snakes, and oceanic hues. She created some gorgeous evening dresses and Cinderella gowns that seem to come straight out of a fairy tale.

Elie Tahari wanted to celebrate the classic ’70s American sportswear in his Spring collection. The result is pretty, easy-to-put-together sportswear in shades of khaki, gray, white, and gold.

Stay tuned for more NYFW looks!

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