New York Fashion Week - Marc Jacobs, Altuzarra, Antonio Azzuolo & Alexander Wang

Just like that, over Labor Day weekend, the air snapped from the sticky, soupy mess of August into a crisp, clear autumnal breeze. For all the editors and buyers and street-style desperados circling around Lincoln Center and Milk Studios for New York Fashion Week, there’s hope that the cool air will ease their blistered, swollen feet. Although, really, no impending tornado can stop street-style subjects from posing like arrogant, insecure flamingos dressed like peacocks, but no matter! It’s Fashion Week! Marc Jacobs showed a deliriously fast-paced, Edie Sedgwick-inspired, bacchanalia of stripes. That will surely cleanse the palate of all the polka dots that raced through in the wake of Yayoi Kusama’s retrospective at the Whitney. Strange timing, though, considering how many Louis Vuitton dot-festooned bags are still cluttering the flagship. Out with the current, in with the new, I suppose. 20120911-130233.jpg As part of the wave of separates coming back in, the length of the skirts were almost demurely to the knee, but their waists were of McQueen bumster territory, which made for a completely new take on the office erotica look. Breasts be damned! We’ll see if the midriff returns for good next year. Was Marc thinking about Britney’s new role on ‘X Factor’? Wishful thinking.

Other shows of note from the first half of NYFW:

- Altuzarra keeps trying his hardest to impress me, and certainly, his runway shows have all the buzz that gets retailers salivating. I loved the creativity and strong identity of many of his early shows, though the last few before this fell just a little flat for me. Maybe it was because, seeing the pieces in stores, I was surprised by how damaged the anoraks were on the racks and I came away less-than-impressed with the production quality. This season, I thoroughly liked many pieces on the runway. He slyly took on the separates trend with trompe l’oeil one-pieces that featured blue pinstriped banker’s shirts up top and printed canvas pencil skirts on bottom. Joseph himself said that he loves the ease of a one-piece, so maybe this is the best of both worlds for him. We’ll see how they stand up on the hanger. On their feet, models wore gladiator boots that looked a little reminiscent of Balenciaga’s famous version from the floral show five years ago. Don’t fall into the Prabal Gurung Jonah Lehrer trap, Jospeh, you’re far too capable for that! 20120911-130247.jpg

- Antonio Azzuolo is the guy I can’t stop rooting for. Ever since I saw him on ‘The Fashion Fund’, I’ve been a fan of his serious approach to the details of a perfect fit, now mixed with a seriously irreverent take on menswear formality. All the looks were shown with black Nikes with Powerade-blue soles, de-emphasizing the formality of it all. My favorite look was a loosely tailored double-breasted navy jacket over a long, white, vest (reminiscent of the Tae Kwon Do robe I got free with my one-month trial run and promptly wore for Halloween) with fluorescent-laced jacquard shorts, cropped halfway up the thigh. As-is, it’s a ridiculous proposition for the street (and I’m just daring street-style cygnets to try now), but there were plenty of beautifully tailored pieces that looked ripe for merchants like Barneys. I’d be surprised if some large European fashion house didn’t try and scoop him up soon for a creative director role. He’s just that talented. 20120911-130422.jpg

- Alexander Wang always feels like the official start to fashion week. It’s the moment where all the eyes really perk up and pay attention. This season, his casting stunts did not include Gisele, but Liberty Ross did make a surprising turn on the runway in a white anorak and scalpelled-and-sutured skirt, a look in a show that was slick enough that I hardly noticed who was wearing what. The entire show was black, white, grey and silver, with a flash of taupe. Dresses and skirts looked cut-up, spread apart, and reconnected with fishing line. At the end, the room went dark and the clothes glowed under the black lights like a neon Tron army. It was very graphic and geometric and cool, though I hardly have a clue as to what anybody will be wearing from it next spring outside of the great jackets, vests and anoraks. I’ll leave that to the Nordstrom buyers to figure out. 20120911-130358.jpg
Coming soon, Rodarte and the rest of the New York shows!

All photos from