Cruising New York Fashion Week

It’s been a flurry of activity here in New York. Bryant Park’s packed with tents, models have taken the town by storm and designers are praying to the sartorial gods for a good review. It can be a lot to digest, to be sure.

Luckily, our friend Piera Gelardi from Refinery29 has been keeping track of the last three days of happenings.

Dive into that there jump to see what she had to say about some of her favorite fashion week moments, including Band of Outsiders’ sea-faring show.

Yigal Azrouel:
High above the Hudson River in a vast, glass-encased photo studio, the crowd gathered for Yigal Azrouel’s anticipated spring/summer goods. Inspired by decadent ’70s summer Americana, the deft Azrouel injected a bit of rebellion and extreme sensuality into the traditional summer dresses and trousers. Goddess gowns felt sportier with racerback styles and loose, floor skimming shapes, gauzy T-shirts and knits took on a more glamorous vibe paired with chunky jeweled neckpieces and oversized bonnets. Jute-style pieces stood out in either relaxed cuts with raw edges or super sophisticated in an Alaia-style bandage skirt. For men, weekend-wear went a little bit dandy in the way of sports jackets paired with washed linen scarves and fantastic over-sized cardis accompanied by big overnight bags. Wherever Azrouel’s summering next year–we wanna go, too.

Gen Art

Gen Art, that yearly review of up-and-coming hits and misses, introduced six new fashion imprints to buyers, press and the public today. Debuts from Dagmar, Young Meager, Grace Sun, Whistle & Flute and Delphyne Guiraud were all met with eyes eager to see the promising upstarts. Standouts Mooka Kinney impressed a few with their whimsical doo-wop jumpers and A-line dresses, Bensoni. I snapped up new fans with flowing ruffled gowns and painted linen jackets and, perhaps most notably, men’s label A-Z took on the daunting task of fashioning raincoats for a debut collection.

Rag & Bone
Stepping away from the dark, almost brooding collection that propelled them to new fame last season, Britain’s Rag & Bone presented a softer, kinder line for summer. Of course, the team still managed to work in a sense of nervous energy (was it the Radiohead blasting over the runway or just the race-inspired piped tailoring?) This was a sportsman’s collection for sure with aviator’s trousers, high-ankled pants, desert colors, and a Swarovski-crystal-encrusted tube dress worthy of the best Bond girls. The women’s looks were knife-sharp but, as always, it was the men’s suits that stood out–particularly a pique waistcoat presented over a gauzy linen shirt. There was a new hint of prep in this collection, but, as ever Rag & Bone manages to look both dandy and dangerous.

The Cast
St. Mark’s Church, just a few blocks up from where Whiskey-stained Bowery music scene once flourished was a fine setting for a collection that balanced formal ware with the rail-thin pants and silk shawls of ‘70s arena rock. Rethought seersucker suits and sharp wool waistcoats gave the line a bit of class while more rough-and-tumble pieces, like a denim vest with cow-hide patches and a black lamb-leather jacket, added grit. Guitarists take note–THE CAST’s sleek gold-leather pants inspired more than a few catcalls.

An odd collision of favela life, Brazilian beach style, and breezy prep-school chic, Trovata’s display was notable both for its gentle women’s looks and its surprising presentation. Perry Farrell (dressed in a crisp blue Trovata vest with white jeans) and his Satellite Party supplied the music while a team of capoeira dancers demonstrated the durability of the line’s loose sweaters and light trousers. Almost obscured by the spectacle was a fine collection of delicate white dresses–a fluted a-line was a true standout–with quietly impressive details best viewed in sunnier, quieter surroundings.

Band of Outsiders

The Manhattan–the boat where Band of Outsiders held the presentation for their spring collection–whisked away partygoers and industry insiders from the warehouse-like behemoth of the Chelsea Pier to a yacht party in 1930s New England, where Salty Dogs reign supreme and Hemingway is the man of the hour. This marked not only designer Scott Sternberg debut of his newest men’s collection, which is under consideration for a CFDA Fashion Fund award, but also the debut of his women’s line, Boy, and his collection of “inside out” boat shoes for Sperry Top-Sider. As in his men’s collection, Sternberg kept to a muted palette of mostly black, navy, and beige (save for a pop of coral or canary yellow), and stuck with menswear staples for both sexes such as striped oxfords, cropped tuxedo jackets, and shrunken vests. The 16 dapper looks were paired with Prep School-mandated accessories like bowties and straw fedoras that gave the whole collection a collegiate air.