Susie’s Diary: New York Fashion Week S/S ’12

In her second guest blog for us, Susie Lau keeps a diary of New York Fashion Week spring/summer ’12…

Day 0

Landed in after a delayed flight to greet a very RAINY NEW YORK, 2 hour immigration queue and a hellish yellow cab line.  I got into a random minicab service, going against better judgement but it did get me into the comfort of my hotel quicker.

Rachel Comey

Rachel Comey cheered me up as my kick off to NYFW,  even if it is quite hard to get hold of this Brooklyn cult label.  Loved the cable knit prints and as always covetable shoes.

Day 1

Vogue Nippon woke me up to do an impromptu photo shoot in my hotel room where they artfully arranged my clothes.

Show wise, Richard Chai started my day off with his zany way of layering that included a trouser/skirt combination that some are terming the ‘scant’ (cross between skirt and pants…), flashing back to some 90s relics of combat trousers that came with a bit of a flap.  Cushnie et Ochs was where Barbie met Stepford Wives in one sexy outing of white and pink dresses with ‘Don’t mess with me heels’.  I’m still not a spindly heel person but I like the ‘fresh’ sentiment.

I inhaled pork tacos at Dos Toros Taqueria to get my somewhat decent Mexican fix.

Fashion’s Night Out became Fashion meets Traffic as I struggled to get between up and down town.  I’m opting for Fashion’s Night In instead…

Richard Chai

Chushnie et Ochs

Day 2

Day 2

My summer packing (because BBC weather told me it would be 28 degrees every day) finally pays off as it got scorching and suddenly neon lace and a few seasons-old Rochas shirt suddenly didn’t look so mad.

Jason Wu was my first PROPER show as in PROPER fash-on attendance with everyone looking serious and eager to start dissecting what’s to come for S/S 12.  Wu got sporty with parkas and trailing skirts with t-shirts, a remnant of Jil Sander’s S/S 11 collection no doubt but still I thought it was his best yet.

I enjoyed chatting to Tavi (of Style Rookie) about her new site at Mandy Coon, where sharp cuts met soft satin.  I got my first show tingle at Rag & Bone where my camera at one point started making a moaning noise from all the strain of my snapping.  The surf theme in S/S collections is nothing new but here it was articulated with a layered freshness.  The day got better with Suno‘s amazing array of prints that mixed Prairie with 50s housewives and a bit of disco red metallic lamé thrown for good measure.  Clothes for having fun in is what Suno says to me.  My cheap eats theme continues with a slice of pizza near my hotel.

Jason Wu

Rag and Bone

Suno

Day 3

Day 3

I’m always reacting poorly to the weather and on another sizzling hot day, I chose to load my back up with black nylon tulle courtesy of a statement piece by young designer Maarten van der Horst.  No regrets though, as I got to spread the word by spelling his name at least 50 times during the day.

Lacoste was slickened up by new designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista with an underlying message that the label shouldn’t be restricted to tennis clubs and can be worn in daily life.  I’ll happily take the very un-Lacoste shoes into my life Mr Baptista, ta very much.  Prabal Gurung went mad for purple and had the shade running in ink-blot type prints, tripping lamé, gradiated gowns with fluttery sleeves.  A change-up for the young gun that had Nicky Minaj wanting to check him out.  I tend to try to see as many smaller shows as possible in New York and was pleasantly surprised by Hexa by Kuho and their immaculate tailoring and unusual use of Russian nationalist badges.

The show of the day was inevitably Alexander Wang, who added BMX biking to the host of sports that the NYFW shows have been riffing off.  There was then a far more peaceful respite at Band of Outsiders where girls wore delicate toile de jouy prints and preppy separates with thin braces.

Altuzarra ended the day with his tech tropical collection.  I say it was more than a bit Ghesquière-inspired but still, anything tropical gets my vote.


Lacoste shoes

Prabal Gurung

Hexa by Kuho

Day 4

I made the mistake of watching the rolling coverage of the memorial of 9/11 in New York.  It made it even stranger to then go to Victoria Beckham‘s presentation where buzzy chat was abruptly stopped for a minute’s silence at two instances.  Then the noise resumed and we all hurrahed over the new slick collection filled with sportswear inspired detailing and beautiful fabrics.

DKNY was all about the big floppy sun hats as I could only see models’ heads bobbing up and down the catwalk.   Y-3 could legitimately go down the sporty route that everyone else has been on, but instead it felt like Yamamoto was injecting more of himself into it with bustles, beautiful volumes and nomadic layering.

I got high on incense and luxuriated in the Plaza Hotel’s lush settings as Thakoon went to India and the Wild West with his brilliant paisley filled collection.  It’s one of those that you’d either hate or love and I was definitely the latter.  Then it was back to Milk studios for a round of smaller presentations by one of my favourite lingerie labels The Lake & Stars and rising star Katie GallagherPatrik Ervell also presented his first womenswear collection which included an amazing pair of brogues with perspex wedges.  Tommy Ton of Jak and Jil then introduced me to the wonders of burger chain Five Guys.  I think I was determined not to eat anything that cost over $10 in New York….

Thakoon

Thakoon

The Lake and Stars

Patrick Ervell

Day 5

It’s always good to see Brits doing so well in New York and Preen turned out a brilliant collection that fused pretty florals with pixels.  There was something so accomplished about the collection.  Tea on the roof of Soho House made me want to pinch myself for ever complaining about the ‘stress’ of going to shows.

Donna Karan was topical with her Haiti-inspired collection that never referenced her sources in an obvious way.  The longest presentation award goes to Thom Browne, but it was well worth seeing his mise-en-scène of vaguely 1920s flappers trussed up in Browne’s bonkers mode of layering.  It was like watching a film play out before your eyes and left me wanting to see if wearing three jackets and having hunched shoulders would make life more interesting.  I had to stop by Ippudo for a bowl of their famed ramen just to try to squeeze in as many of my favourite NY eats as possible.  Then I was off to the final show of the day.  It felt weird seeing Marc by Marc Jacobs at night but the tingly anticipation was still there for his secondary line that was cleaned up, pared down yet still as fun and bright as it should be.

Preen

Donna Karan

Thom Browne

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Day 6

I had to pack up my whirlwind mess of a hotel room as I was to leave later on that day for a short trip to Paris, cutting my NYFW short.  I sobbed in my head over missing Proenza Schouler, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs but still, my day ended with a high as I saw a good friend of mine, Michael Angel, do an intimate presentation with his Egypt-inspired collection.  This wasn’t ‘Carry on Cleo’ though, as Angel’s mother is from Egypt and so he took the textures of Egyptian papyrus and old photographs to create interesting textures and prints. Rodarte took me on a wildly different journey, traversing across Van Gogh’s sunflowers and starry nights  to an old Disney favourite, Sleeping Beauty.  It was an odd set of references that I’m still undecided about but I can firmly say that Rodarte’s return to their ‘pretty’ origins will probably be welcomed by a lot of dreamer girls out there.  Weirdly, Diesel Black Gold was my last show and actually felt very directional as the mix of metallics and preppy oxford shirts made for a potent combo.

There was one final pitstop at Xian’s Famous Foods for dishes like liang pi cold noodles that just doesn’t exist in London.

With several memory cards full, a heaving belly of good eats and an inkling of how the S/S 12 season would be shaping up, I flew on to Paris and then London for London Fashion Week.

Michael Angel

Rodarte

Rodarte

Diesel Black Gold

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