NYFW diary: Heavy lightness at Prabal Gurung, boxy restriction at Alexander Wang, a brush with Bill Cunningham, and Calla’s New York debut!

Three differing looks from Prabal Gurung's Fall 2012 collection shot by Peter Stigter
Three differing looks from Prabal Gurung

Day two of the shows began with another early rise, this time for Lacoste’s Fall show at Lincoln Center. The intrinsically sporty brand took an edgy spin for Fall, with designer Christophe Lemaire turning up the zip-age on the collection from the first look—a quilted high-necked vest over a long and oh-so smooth black leather jacket and colour-blocked leggings—to the last—a black leather mini with sleeves that zipped off above to give the appearance of a jacket worn just on the shoulders.

Next was Jill Stuart with a gussied up Nikki Reed and Olivia Palermo in the front row. The designer’s penchant for vintage girliness extended to a ‘60s soundtrack dubbed over models who showed off gold-threaded embroidery on turtleneck dresses, slim trousers, and pleated skirts. Continuing on the blowout spring trend, a peplum showed up mid-show to amp up the au courant.

And then to Prabal Gurung, where the Shakespearean phrase “O heavy lightness” came to mind (I’m deep like that). It was really dark to start, with models donning fetishistic firm caps over selectively sliced sheer dresses and PVC-meets-fur jackets. The spectrum was widened with pops of shimmering insect-y hues and bright cobalt on Tisci-esque emblem sweaters, Mulleavy-esque patched button-downs, and McQueen-esque swirling digi prints (hey, deriving greatness isn’t always a bad thing). Then to finish, with the soundtrack intensifying to match, the collection’s third act revealed Sistine ceiling–worthy whites and golds on red-carpet ready gowns, sure to suit a one Miss Zoe Saldana in the front row.

After a quick brush with Bill Cunningham’s camera (not freaking out here or anything), it was off to the Lincoln Center once again for the horse-whipped Hervé Léger collection, which blended bondage and bandage (Amy Verner’s phrasing) for its latest outing. This return to restriction naturally made me feel like returning to girly town, at which point I hopped in a cab and pronounced, “Take me to Tiffany’s, sir!” (I might have also just said, “Can I go to 57th and 5th?” but that sounds much less dramatic.) In under 15 minutes flat, I purchased this ring featured in our Valentine’s Day gift guide. Shopping and working at the same time, y’all!

Then, to Alexander Wang for yet another play on bondage, a trend that seems to be picking up steam for Fall 2012. But before the show could begin, a trio of little girls walked right up to the Queen herself for a photo-op. Then, all three sat on Anna Wintour’s lap. And then I died. ANYWAY! Yes, restriction, lacquered-looking boxy coats, tasseled fringe hanging from strict button-downs, knits worn over models’ mouths á la Vuitton‘s Richard Prince collection. Then a finale. Then it was out again, with Gisele, Shalom, and Joan—to name a few—strutting amidst the mirrored set and stopping for an extra-long pose to peer at their own reflections. Not sure what it meant, but I was happy to get an extra-long stare at Shalom under my belt.

Before fellow cool kid Joseph Altuzarra’s show, it was off to Milk Studios to check out Calla Haynes’ New York debut. A prettily set up presentation fit for the dolls showcased her latest venture into femininity. Bravo, and brava, and a have you seen this video?

And then finally onto Altuzarra, where the designer explored his venture to Morocco so loudly that you could hear it as the models walked by. What must have been a million little coin medallions swung from gypsy dresses, knit skirts, and sweaters as a Hanna-esque soundtrack beat loudly to give it that deliciously far-away feel.

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