I, for one, am a little confused about the announcements about the new iPhone 5c and 5s yesterday. The 5s is going to be stronger, thinner and faster and will come in subdued gold, silver or gray with super luxurious leather covers for this model because the geniuses at Apple have finally realized that they have been missing out on the hugely lucrative market of iPhone covers. The 5c, on the other hand, incorporates a glossy new plastic case available in five bright colors and a matte rubber case in a bunch of other bright colors (sold separately, of course) so that you can make that thing as colorful as you possibly can. From the launch video, it appears that the iPhone 5c is also heavily focused on social media applications, FaceTime capabilities and picture taking so I’m led to believe that college age users are the target market, aside from Scott’s mom, who would kick a door in for anything brightly colored. So, did I totally miss something about Apple’s new directions or what? Are iPhones supposed to be for town car-ferried executives or Klub Kids? Could someone fucking clue me in?
Luckily, I’m getting a much clearer picture of design as it relates to what’s been coming out of New York Fashion Week for next spring. The word for the season so far is “sport” and anything that isn’t pretty damn sporty sticks out like a nun in a whorehouse. Most of the shows have had a casual feeling, extending even to the more successful evening looks. Though the shows technically began on Wednesday, Tadashi Shoji really kicked it off on Thursday with great spring tartans in pale greens, blues and a black and white that recalled Dior’s spring 2012 couture. The fits were easy and the trend toward transparency was best exemplified by the white lace t-shirt over black lace shorts, even if the shiny pastel evening looks came off a bit tacky. Friday’s Jason Wu show also focused on sheer ease with an emphasis on safari and cargo details. The shimmering gold appliqué on bias cut dresses and tanks added a fresh touch and the black looks toward the end could easily take sport into evening. The closing gowns were again pretty ugly and that made me wonder if true glamour for evening might be rare in such a sporty season.
Alexander Wang‘s Saturday show took the sportiness to a nearly athletic level with loose shapes and short lengths in cotton and even sweatshirt and shirting fabrics. His logo was used as a fun repeating cutout motif in many of the looks but he never veered far from the street influence. Altuzarra also used shirts to great effect, in ticking stripes and unbuttoned down to there and tucked into unfinished-looking skirts and fun, relaxed trousers. Even the evening looks of molten gold or silver could work well with a pair of jeans. Opening Ceremony‘s first ever runway show on Sunday may have been the highlight of the week for me with those big, crazy shapes and small scale florals paired with black or bright orange. The models starting the show by climbing out of sports cars was a little gimmicky but those tunics over straight skirts and pairing jackets inspired by traditional Korean garments over sporty t-shirts and shorts helped these designers live up to their super-cool reputation.
Monday was a packed day that included Carolina Herrera‘s geometric graphics on flowing, sheer everything which failed to live up to fall’s gorgeous 1940s flavored collection. Tommy Hilfiger presented his love letter to Southern California with surfers and skaters in brightly colored neoprene and pastel polo dresses. The waistlines made to resemble unzipped wetsuits made me a little uncomfortable but will make big fans of waxing specialists everywhere. Later, The Row‘s long, lean, casual layering came with a beautiful nomadic bent. Primarily in white and ivory, cinnabar and black, I saw lots of covetable pieces. Kaufmanfranco‘s collection went along similar color lines but in clean draping and bandaging that were sexy and timeless examples of modern sportswear.
A few collections went far outside the sporty parameters of the New York spring shows with varying results. Thom Browne‘s wild, exquisite Edwardian dreams (or nightmares) were anything but sporty even if he did show them with high top sneakers and socks. I’m not sure who besides Gaga will be rocking these looks as shown but I give him a hand for craftsmanship and, with the very memorable insane asylum styling, for showmanship. On the other side of the coin, Zac Posen‘s Belle Epoque fantasy was an epic Sarah Bernhardt fail. Amongst the freshness of these New York shows, the dresses were claustrophobic and overworked and the flowered coiffures were tragically on-the-nose. I still haven’t totally made up my mind about Rodarte‘s ugly ode to the trashy side of Los Angeles because there might be something brilliant in there but I’m pretty sure I hate it.
Well, that’s all I got from New York. Let’s see what London has to offer.