There's plenty of great clothing coming down the runways right now, but Fashion Week is also the place where some of the coolest, most inventive, and certain most trendsetting manicures first appear. Over the past few days, a ton of new nail shades have graced models' digits, but only a few of them will have the impact to arrive on drugstore shelves come September. From what I've seen so far, here are my picks for the five manicures most likely to become style bywords next season.
For eco-friendly line Edun's fall 2011 collection, designers Ali Hewson — Bono's wife — and Sharon Wauchob, inspired by a recent trip to Kenya, branched out from their usual neutral palette and incorporated vivid blue, green, and mustard hues. Silky landscape-print dresses were juxtaposed by signature thick knits to create decidedly wearable ensembles with an effortless day-to-night air. To get a glimpse of all the looks featured, watch our runway coverage now!
Cynthia Rowley showed her Fall 2011 to a crowd of fans last night which included Julia Stiles (donning an awesome cobalt dress), Lauren Bush, and Alan Cumming. Star studded indeed, and her collection was just as shiny as models walked down the runway wearing glittery sweaters, sequined jackets, Asian-inspired floral prints, and graphic patterns. There was something for every personality: polished intarsia knit dresses for ladies who lunch, along with funkier pieces — our faves of the night — comprised of shearling blazers, loose graphic gowns, and even a slick velvet suit.
- Trends: Shimmery sweaters, velvet suiting, Asian-inspired prints, graphic patterns, intarsia knits.
- Colors: Mustard yellow, steel gray, olive, kelly green, deep blue, emerald.
- Key Look: A quilted black patent leather jacket paired with an emerald green damask ball gown skirt.
- Accessories: Velvet calf boots, rabbit fur scarves, Kool-Aid colored prism pumps, velvet slippers, and d'Orsay pumps.
- Who Would Wear It: Neoclassical types ranging from Michelle Obama to Olivia Palermo.
While Lo Bosworth wore a black jumpsuit to the PETA event at New York Fashion Week, Taraji P. Henson opted for a hot halter top and wide-leg trousers. Now, halter styles have been around for ages, but I had totally forgotten about their appeal until I saw this look.
I love the way her top hugs her neck and curves to reveal her gorgeous shoulders. It reminds me of the time Leighton Meester used a halter dress to create a sexy illusion of curves. If you're feeling this chic halter look, shop some Fab-approved picks below.
>> For the second Fall season in a row, the Rag & Bone boys have created a lot of want in the ten some-odd minutes it takes for their run of show. The futuristic bent that was introduced in their Spring 2011 collection stayed, but this time worked its way into a number of the Rag & Bone staples — cropped fitted jackets, kilts, knee socks, and cape coats. This was mashed together with a newfound fascination with texture: cow hides, nubby knits, neoprenes, shearlings, wools, and fringes were all represented.
As Marcus Wainwright noted backstage, "It started with Inuit people — the indigenous people of the Arctic circle — and on the other side of it, there was a French skiier called Jean-Claude Killy — so '70s ski — and it just went from there." As for the brilliant blue that was used so liberally in the second half of the show — where did that come from? "In looking at all of these pictures of the Arctic and the snow and the sky bounced against it," Wainwright explained, "that unbelievable blue — Klein Blue — that kind of blue of the sky, was just amazing against the ivory and the grey of the beginning [of the show]. It's a fun color."
The cool Rag & Bone girl was well-accounted-for as usual, both front row (Erin Wasson, Jessica Stam, and Alexa Chung), and on the catwalk (Bette Franke, making a runway return after taking a season off, Arizona Muse, Joan Smalls, Fei Fei Sun, Saskia de Brauw, and Britt Maren). Boots tended to be thigh-high and low-heeled. As for the clutches, which were strapped to the models' hands by glove-like contraptions, leaving their fingers free — would those be put into production? "It may well do if people like them," Wainwright answered. "I don't know. We just did it just for the show, we always do those things ourselves, but yeah, probably." He and Neville had both cracked open Peroni beers immediately post-show, while their children ran around backstage. So what's the plan now that the show is finished? "I have had one beer," Wainwright replied. "I'm going to have a few more. I feel pretty good about it. I was excited about the music [done by Thom Yorke], and it's good."
>> We caught up with streetstyle favorite Caroline Issa of Tank magazine before Rag & Bone's runway show for a quick chat:
Which New York shows are you most looking forward to?
What items in your closet are you wearing most right now?
My Givenchy jacket (shown left), because it's really cold outside, Equipment blouses, and a bunch of Phillip Lim stuff, actually.
What are you hoping to buy next?
I want to get a suit, a full tailored suit with big flared trousers.
And any Fashion Week vices?
I think probably just too much shopping during Fashion Week, that's definitely bad. And a lot of pasta in Milan — but that's not a vice, it's more of a pleasure.
Photo: Greg Kessler
>> Doo-Ri Chung switched things up for her Fall 2011 collection by injecting an edgy tailored touch to her signature draping skills. The look was described by Chung as "linear structure" and inspired by artist Beverly Semmes. Jersey gowns — Chung's bread and butter — were of course present, this time remixed with thigh-high slits and intricate cord macrame detailing. There, too, were more tailored pieces like felted wool coats, nylon jackets, trousers, and silk blazers. Meanwhile, fur jackets, cozy dolman sweaters, leather insets, and mohair embroidered tops added an overall textural quality to the collection. Stylist Beat Bolliger furthered the modern-vibed collection with a selection of chunky woven booties and racy lace-up thigh-high boots. No doubt, Chung has made a definite departure from her draping heavy collections in the past, and it's looking good.
>> Karlie Kloss, Jason Wu's usual runway opener, was at his show as usual . . . but this time, she walked second to last — Daphne Groeneveld opened, and Kloss's best friend Jourdan Dunn closed. But that wasn't the only big change Wu made for this season — though known for his use of color, Wu's Fall 2011 collection — "baroque American sportswear," as he called it — is primarily black and white.
Gold was also on the designer's mind, thanks to his inspiration — the restoration of Versailles. He had the models walk on a slippery runway of gilded antique mirrors, some with gold paint in their hair, in gold-dipped stiletto heels. Lace, too, played a major role — a number of models wore structured lace Maison Michel masks, and Wu incorporated more than 15 different types of lace, specially woven in France, into the collection.
>> "It was truly about things my friends wanted to wear," Peter Som explained of his Fall 2011 collection's starting point. "Everyday but heightened and with a touch of quirk." Translated to the runway, Som's friends wear their hair in mussed poufs and like their suiting in vivid reds and oranges. They don't mind having an odd tuft of fur on their jacket sleeve or over their coat pockets. And their shoes of choice — produced for Som once again by Charlotte Olympia — involve dual tone ladylike low heels in bright colors, instead of the teetering heels Som and Charlotte Olympia designer Charlotte Dellal usually make together. Another Som collaborator, Tommy Hilfiger (whose signature line Som consults on), and wife Dee Ocleppo made the front row.
Alana Zimmer's long sleeve jersey dress earned many a fan, and Som's closing look — a floor-length blue sequin gown with short sleeves — is sure to find its way onto a red carpet somewhere.