New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine — Now that the dust has settled on New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week—and the action has moved across the pond—we’re taking a look back at the best of the best. Here are our top picks from the spring 2011 showings.
A master of minimalism since his early days of design, Narciso Rodriguez returned to his roots for spring 2011 with a pretty, pared-down collection full of impeccably tailored dresses, suiting with clean lines and a subdued black-, white- and red-centric color palette. Daring slits and sheer panels injected elegant looks with a subtle sex appeal.
While Michael Kors showcased plenty of next season’s requisite white, his spring 2011 collection provided a welcome antidote to the absence of color in the form of sunny yellow tank dresses, grass-green skirts and violet maillots that were strictly for sunbathing. The overall effect was fresh and easy, right down to accessories that were made for play: Think bucket hats and low-slung messenger bags.
Another icon of American design, Donna Karan delivered a decidedly romantic spring collection that was equal parts rumpled and refined. Restricting the color palette almost entirely to soft neutrals like cream, khaki and soft gold, Karan’s seductive slipdresses, crinkled jackets and flowing gowns had a wonderfully undone feel.
Badgley Mischka’s spring showing had a sexy ‘70s undercurrent, in the form of floppy sun hats, high-waisted hot pants and wide-leg trousers. Though they’re best known for turning out red carpet wear, this season the design duo combined their signature couture and ready-to-wear collections with pieces from their contemporary Mark & James line. The resulting fashion mashup was ultra-glamorous, of course, but also suprisingly wearable.
Michelle Obama’s right-hand man, Jason Wu, showed strong again for spring with a deliciously feminine collection. Sheer blouses were topped with oversized bows, while more boyish tweed blazers were accented with flirty floral embellishments. Punchy shades like hot pink, purple and yellow were the perfect foil to more restrained fare like high-waisted trousers and belted khaki shorts.
Oscar de la Renta has long been the last word in ladylike dressing, and his spring 2011 showing did not disappoint. Tailored tweeds, tea-length dresses, and skirt suits and sheaths nipped in at the waist with skinny belts all nodded to the 1950s while maintaining a fresh, modern quality. A finale of gorgeous gowns wrought in tulle and organza provided fans with the ultimate fashion fantasy.
Season after season, Rodarte presents evocative, dream-like collections with references as unlikely and far-reaching as anime and Frankenstein. For spring, the sisters Mulleavy found inspiration a little closer to home, crafting structured looks in shades of brown and wood-grain patterns, designed to resemble the redwoods of their childhood in Northern California. Shots of shimmering metallics and delicate blue-and-white floral prints may have made the collection slightly less cohesive, but certainly no less stunning.
For her third spring showing at New York Fashion Week, French import and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Sophie Théallet delivered an easy, feminine collection with plenty of that special Parisian je ne sais quoi. Drawing inspiration from Mexican art and architecture, Théallet deftly combined relaxed peasant blouses, tiered skirts and lots of lace to create looks that women everywhere will actually want to wear.
Proenza Schouler’s spring collection ran the gamut from perfectly polished tweed separates to sheer, ruffled slipdresses in neon hues—yet somehow, it all came together effortlessly. Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez gave uptown looks a cool, downtown spin, rendering a Chanel-esque skirt suit in electric lime and allowing a matching bralette to peek out in one look, and adding blousy sleeves and a slouchy shape to a classic jacket in another.
Longer hemlines and belted waists prevailed in Rachel Roy’s chic spring showing, where the look was pulled-together and decidedly grown-up. Roy presented plenty of gorgeous options for day dressing, from jewel-toned full skirts to printed knee-length dresses that quietly alluded to 1940s-era elegance. For evening, a sequined sheath and bustier promise to add drama to cocktail hour.