POPSUGAR Fashion

Ride the Curves Down Zac Posen's Memory Lane

Oct 24 2014 - 6:36am

He's had every model from Naomi Campbell [1] to Coco Rocha walk the runway in his curve-conscious designs, but let's be honest: the real star of a Zac Posen [2] show is always the gowns.

The master of architecture is equally adept with corsets and infrastructure as he is with delicate draping — and Posen never met a ruffle he didn't love. Though his work is that of an old pro, the designer is in truth still in the early years of his career (he's only 33, after all!). Staging his first show at 21 in 2002, Posen's always been an overachiever; how else could you explain the deeply sultry collections he's managed to create season after season? Despite a brief departure to Paris, this SoHo-raised Parsons graduate is New York through and through. See the runway looks that make us proud to call this designer one of our own and help us wish him a very happy birthday!

Fall 2014

This collection was inspired by Charles James. And, while there were impressive day dresses in luxe fabrics that echoed the '50s and were styled with gloves and cat-eye sunglasses, the line was, as to be expected, all about the gowns.

Fall 2014

The final looks, full-skirted gowns with architectural necklines and lavish fabrics, were awe-inspiring.

Fall 2014

Like James is oft remembered for his capes, this offering might well be remembered for the same: namely a navy cape-back gown and this lush copper-brown duchesse satin ensemble.

Zac Posen Spring 2014

Another Posen signature, ruffles, made a powerful presence on the Spring 2014 runway — no more so than when piled on to excess on a pastel cocktail dress.

Zac Posen Spring 2014

Employed as an accent, airy ruffles made a strong showing throughout the collection.

Zac Posen Spring 2014

A more sculptural variation of the architectural element ensured you knew these gowns were Posen, through and through.

Zac Posen Fall 2013

Though there was a decrease in volume, there was certainly no less to covet when a pretty lavender came down the Fall 2013 runway.

Zac Posen Fall 2013

Suiting also made an appearance, and rich styles earned a rightful place among the eveningwear.

Zac Posen Fall 2013

But what Posen does best are glamorous gowns, and this look was proof of that.

Zac Posen Spring 2013

The cast of The Face walked Posen's Spring 2013 collection, which meant the chance to see Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha, and Naomi Campbell [3] work their magic.

Zac Posen Spring 2013

Naomi Campbell [4]'s bustier dress was at once ladylike and entirely womanly.

Zac Posen Spring 2013

But no dress could outdo the showstopping entrance of Coco Rocha's dream wedding [5] gown.

Zac Posen Fall 2012

Next stop, Tokyo. The designer looked to a new source, Asia, for his Fall 2012 collection.

Zac Posen Fall 2012

He kept in the same spirit while bringing in trademark elements like fur accents.

Zac Posen Fall 2012

Even when there weren't floral prints, the inspiration was still there with exotic hues.

Zac Posen Spring 2012

Jewel tones took center stage once again in the case of this sculpted gown.

Zac Posen Spring 2012

Posen proved his daywear prowess with a suit that had all the markings of his red carpet dresses.

Zac Posen Spring 2012

A sweet swingy dress would be equally suited for day but was still Posen through and through.

Zac Posen Fall 2011

Instead of simply referencing Paris for his Fall 2011 show, Posen literally took his show there by staging it at the Palais de Tokyo.

Zac Posen Fall 2011

Burgundy silk made a return to the Fall 2011 runway.

Zac Posen Fall 2011

A hint of emerald peered out from under a dramatic black cape.

Zac Posen Spring 2011

Oh la la! Another Parisian chic collection featured sheer panels and lace.

Zac Posen Spring 2011

What's a trip to France without boudoir-inspired pink feathers?

Zac Posen Spring 2011

When paired with black plumes, the designs really took flight.

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Those rich tones got even more opulent when paired with velvet.

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Silk felt equally luxe when sculpted in a chocolate hue.

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Not to be outdone, fur had its runway moment.

Zac Posen Spring 2010

The designer found a creative play on contouring with graphic latticework.

Zac Posen Spring 2010

Those grids got sexier than before with leather and cutouts.

Zac Posen Spring 2010

Taking inspiration from the '70s, ruched off-the-shoulder designs benefited from rich jewel tones.

Zac Posen Fall 2009

Pastels have never looked so sultry as on the Fall 2009 runway.

Zac Posen Fall 2009

Ruffles and florals got a dramatic feel too from romantic high necklines and cutouts.

Zac Posen Fall 2009

Of course, if we're talking romance and drama, nothing can outdo bronze lamé.

Zac Posen Fall 2008

Next stop, Paris! The designer's Fall 2008 show pulled from a Parisian influence.

Zac Posen Fall 2008

Boudoir inspiration included garter and frills.

Zac Posen Fall 2008

Karen Elson may have slipped in this dress, but she didn't let the designer down!

Zac Posen Spring 2008

Looking to a similar source but in a much bolder color palette, Posen went bright for Spring.

Zac Posen Spring 2008

Though all of his dresses weren't vibrant, the designs were mostly colorful . . .

Zac Posen Spring 2008

. . . and even when they weren't, the gowns still managed to catch your eye.

Zac Posen Fall 2007

Even Posen's outerwear is sophisticated and refined.

Zac Posen Fall 2007

Posen balanced a sexy neckline with a sweet babydoll dress.

Zac Posen Fall 2007

What would soon become one of his most famous designs once Gwyneth Paltrow [6] wore it to the 2007 Oscars [7], this ruched blush gown is truly a Posen signature.

Zac Posen Spring 2007

Zac Posen [8]'s swinging fringe dress demonstrated the designer's eye for structure with a braided belt and contoured bodice.

Zac Posen Spring 2007

Scarlett O'Hara, eat your heart out!

Zac Posen Spring 2007

An early example of Posen's fetes in ballgown design, this floral number was a fashion tour de force.


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