NYFW SS11: Alex Loves’ Top 12 Picks

I don’t have the time nor patience to write in-depth reviews of every show this season, so I’ve decided to cut it down to favourite looks per city. This may sound like fun, but in practice, it was like choosing a favourite amongst your own children – impossible. This feature was meant to be a Top 10 of NYFW looks, but in the end I just couldn’t and made it a catchy-sounding Top 12.

I spent ages cutting out the catwalk images, then discovered the Extract feature on Photoshop, which has now made my life exponentially easier. After all that work, I uploaded the picture and was saddened to see it was so small you could barely see the looks. So, I decided to change the layout of my blog slightly, allowing me to use bigger pictures from now on. This means that all previous posts might now be a little messy-looking, something I will attend to, one by one. It will take me a lot of time, but I want to focus more on pictures anyway, so evolution is good in the long run. If you have any issues viewing the site or with the new-ish layout, please do let me know, so I can sort it out! Anyway, back to business!

1. Michael Kors Look 21

If there’s one designer who embodies the term “American Casualwear”, it has to be Michael Kors. The show was quite muted, both in colours and shapes; loose trousers, draped skirts and dresses, all in mostly beige, khaki and whites. Kors definitely knows what he does best, so he sticks to his guns – the whole thing is just an edgy uptown girl’s wardrobe for her holiday in the Hamptons. The occasional flashes of colour brightened the whole thing up. The grass-green knickers with the blue tailored shirt tucked in is how I would like to envision myself arriving at some fancy beach party next summer. The oversized bag is big enough to put the BBQ and about 3 children in. Perfect.
Full collection here.

2. Alexandre Herchcovitch Look 10

There’s nothing I didn’t like about
Alexandre Herchcovitch‘s show (try saying that out loud). It was a celebration of colour the way it should be done: loud, plenty, mixed up and head-to-toe, including accessories. It’s impossible not to be cheered up looking at the entire collection. The hardest bit was actually choosing a favourite look from this show. I chose the pixellated print dress as it really caught my eye: it’s as if a 4-colour dégradé has been enlarged to the point of pixellation. The shapes are kept simple, simple, so the focus stays on the colour and prints. The bright shoes and sunglasses make it all complete. Love, love, love!
Full collection here.

3. Peter Som Look 17

Continuing in the colourful theme was Peter Som. Although he’s been around for quite some time, this is the first time he’s properly registered on my radar. It was happy, bright and preppy – right up my alley. At times it reminded me a bit of Proenza Schouler, which is really not a bad thing at all. Imagine Malibu Barbie getting a designer makeover and you’ve got Som’s SS11 collection. I loved the mix of textures and prints, the layering of preppy shirts under dresses, the bright colourpops of accessories in the more neutral looks, the slight Sixties vibe. Most of all, I need those sunglasses.
Full collection here.

4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Look 48

For the first time in what seems like… forever, I didn’t like the mainline Marc Jacobs SS11 show. For me, Marc Jacobs is the God of Young Women’s Style, and his ode to the Seventies was a little too grown up for my liking. Thank goodness there was the Marc by Marc Jacobs show to correct the situation. Lots of stripey dresses to wear to the beach, an abundance of full skirts and girly blouses and shorts worn with sweaters. Sure, the MBMJ girl seems to have grown up a little too, but she’s still a little naughty too: bloomer shorts, bra-and-skirt-combos and again, lots of knickers. I chose the striped knickers (I refuse to call these hotpants) with the belted cashmere sweater and matching beachbag as my favourite MBMJ look as it embodies the naughty-but-nice vibe of this collection for me.
Full collection here.

5. Ohne Titel Look 12.

It seems that Ohne Titel has picked up where Alexander Wang left off last season. Where I was left a little disappointed by Wang’s new direction, Ohne Titel seem to capture the Edgy Sportswear trend perfectly. The whole collection was chock-a-block full of neoprene bodysuits with zippers worn underneath finely tailored pieces. The look I chose is a perfect example, I believe: a beautiful pleated skirt worn with a neoprene cropped top and cigarette trousers underneath. The overload of exposed stomachs is sending me straight to the gym. It may be called sportswear, but rest assured, no one will be doing any sports in these clothes.
Full collection here.

6. BCBG Max Azria Look 27

It’s as if Max & Lubov Azria wanted to step as far away from the Hervé Léger line with their efforts for BCBG Max Azria: there was not a tight, bright bondage dress in sight. In fact, this was the complete opposite – light, airy, floaty sheer dresses and jumpsuits in a predominantly white and beige collection. It’s really a symptom of my current obsession with colourpops that I managed to choose one of the few ‘coloured’ pieces in the collection. I absolutely love this simple, loose, silk shift with the orange drapery, kept minimal at the front but gathered at the back. I also loved the little sheer additions to the bottom of the dresses, which created the illusion of slightly longer lengths without actually doing so.
Full collection here.

7. Marchesa Look 7

It wouldn’t be a real top 12 without choosing a Red Carpet look, and there’s really no other brand that does red carpet as amazing as Marchesa, so my pick was easy. Most of them look as they have literally stepped out of a dream: big, pouffy, wedding cake style, usually so wrong, but somehow only Marchesa can pull it off. For the first time it seemed as if they were headed in the daywear direction with a few trousers, but at second glance, these were the most delicate, lacy jumpsuits – definitely not to be worn to work or on a bus. The dress I chose is perhaps not the biggest or pouffiest (yes, that’s a word) out there, but it charmed me with its intricate beading on the top. The matching purse and shoes are also simply to die for. Forget long trains – if I were to get married, this would be the dress to do it in.
Full collection here.

8. Proenza Schouler Look 2

Sadly I wasn’t really a big fan of most of Proenza Schouler‘s SS11 collection – which is radically different to the look I chose here. So I’m choosing to ignore the bits I don’t like and focus on what I do. This look is really what PS do best and I believe they should keep doing: preppy, young-girl-pretending-to-be-grown-up. This Chanel-esque tweed skirt suit should feel much more ladylike, but the details, the cut, the styling with the poloshirt underneath is really how I dream to step into the office one day. If I had an office, that is.
Full collection here.

9. Calvin Klein Collection Look 17

In my opinion only 2 brands can pull off minimalism perfectly: Jil Sander and Calvin Klein. Under the direction of Francisco Costa, Calvin Klein has been churning out some of my favourite, understated collections of recent years. They never really radically change the direction of fashion, but they quietly sneak up on you and are copied by so many high street stores like COS and Zara. This look I chose is a perfect example of why I love it so much: at first glance it’s really a simple shift dress, but the magic is in the detailing around the shoulders, the fabric, the simplicity. No blabla, just beautiful.
Full collection here.

10. 3.1 Phillip Lim Look 9

Perforated blue leather shorts, sheer beige shirt under a simple round neck beige sweater: nothing life-changing yet very effective. Phillip Lim kept it fairly simple this season, with a major focus on tailoring. The look I chose is perhaps not the most eye-catching one of the collection, but it’s something I could imagine myself wearing. And that’s really the charm of 3.1 Phillip Lim: wearability. Whereas most designers focus mostly on showpieces, there’s a charm in seeing a collection that could transfer straight into a wardrobe without any editing.
Full collection here.
11. Rodarte Look 31

The Mulleavy sisters took their label Rodarte into a whole new direction for SS11, and I liked it. From their typical loose-knitted, mash-up creations which are beautiful to look at, but impossible to wear (or buy $$$), they seem to have headed down a slightly more commercial path, but in their own specific way. There were still so many different materials mixed together it seemed like they had raided the fabric store, but they were put together in a clever, more accessible way than ever before. The dress I chose was one of the simpler pieces of the collection, at least at first glance. I love the beige, perforated leather with a gold metallic gold dress underneath. But then when you look closer, the detailing of the piece is so incredible, it just brings the dress to a whole new level. I just had to post it a detail shot to prove my point.
Full collection here.

12. Derek Lam Look 33

Derek Lam is truly establishing himself as a really “American designer”, a title bestowed on those happy few who can pull of that certain brand of casual wear. This collection was full everyday wear with some military, safari and tribal inspirations. I chose this maxi summer dress as I feel it serves 2 purposes. When dressed up it could be beautiful evening gown, with a gladiator sandal and floppy summer hat it makes the perfect boho beach look. 2 for the price of 1 – a bargain, really.
Full collection here.

All images via Style.com.

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