Inventive Posen turns heads with Thurman front row
The New York designer, who launched his eponymous collection in 2001 aged just 21 and stars in "Project Runway," proved his talent in spades with brocade and a modern-take on the crinoline look with structured, barely-there gauze gowns with beautiful embellishment.
The cheers and applause erupted in the packed Soho loft even before the show reached the customary final walk through, and turned deafening when Posen finally strode out.
The delight was in the craftsmanship that gave the models structured, yet transparent skirts without a single crinoline that made them look as though they were floating down the runway.
Eschewing the ubiquitous sky-high heels, Posen's models instead wore flat gladiator sandals, the leather matching the colors of their ensembles, but with vermillion red soles.
"I'm interested in women with mobility so for a fashion show with such feminine, pretty clothing -- keep the balance and find the right kind of edge," Posen explained backstage to AFP.
"Obviously the collection can always be elevated in a heel but I think it adds a balance to the sophistication and feminity."
He reimagined the leather jacket in bonded cotton, sent down colorful jacquard micro-shorts, pants and skirts in delicate yellows and blues, as well as bold pinks, orange and purple, feminine floral prints.
His cocktail and evening dresses were a vision -- almost transparent nude or white underlay decorated with mesh embroidery and glass beads.
"My life-long pursuit has been structure and craftsmanship and so each season it's become a different evolution of that so all the shapes and form are held through the steaming and fabrication," he said.
Backstage he was embraced by a beaming Thurman, who joined the throng of friends and well wishers congratulating him. Thurman, along with Michelle Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow are some of the stars he dresses.
"She's one of my best friends so it's quite wonderful to have her here," he said of Thurman.
Here are the other day five New York Fashion Week highlights:
Jeremy Scott, the pop art bad boy of US fashion, unveiled an erotic collection for spring, featuring bondage gear and flying saucer skirts.
The Los Angeles-based designer, who is also creative director of Italy's Moschino, found inspiration in the Big Apple, sending out the first model with "New York" written in hot pink on a black sweater and dubbing the collection "Slime City" -- the 1988 comedy-horror flick.
Beloved by his Moschino-wearing followers for his bold, colorful and witty designs, it was a packed house with Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Ali Raisman and actress Teyonah Parris in the front row.
There were bra tops, a key trend of the season, his with zips dangling suggestively from each cup, and one model wore black with a dog-collar style necklace, the metal lead hanging down to her waist.
"Rated X" was printed onto a black T-shirt paired with a black leather mini-skirt that had three zips up the front, one down the middle and two at an angle drawing the eye towards the crotch.
Phillip Lim delved into nostalgia in reaction to what was "happening today," he said, by researching Victorian bathing suits and seeking inspiration in the Nashville music scene of the 1950-60s.
"To me it's how do you maintain a certain type of dignity," he told AFP. "But also remind people that the basic essentials are love and human emotions and being grateful and having dignity and respect."
Shanghai-based designer Wang Tao showed off a stunning collection of elegant banker chic for the independent, clever woman.
It was a meditation on classic masculine-inspired office wear, made luxurious in the use of gorgeous fabrics and feminine with lace detailing: a look after the heart of many a Park Avenue businesswoman.
"We have a lot of career women working in New York and so maybe that's why this market is becoming very attractive to us," she told AFP.
While she showcased some Eastern-style high collars, the secret Chinese ingredient to her clothes is the patterned silk linings -- not outwardly visible but which feel beautiful on the skin.
"It's not just a look, it's a feel. So I think maybe I care more about how do you feel when you're wearing the clothes," she said.
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