Fashion Week

From a Current CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Candidate to a Former—Rodarte—with Jeffrey Kalinsky

As one of the select few judges on the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund panel, Nordstrom fashion director Jeffrey Kalinsky will do his best to get to each of the finalists’ NYFW presentations. When I arrive at Jeffrey New York, his Chelsea neighborhood flagship, to meet up before the Rodarte show, I find him consulting with his assistant about the day’s schedule and making a last-minute adjustment.

unknownAll posed images from the Rodarte show by Olivia Locher

Before we see the spring collection from 2006’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runners-up (that was the year Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy were in the thick of it with Phillip Lim and the guys from rag & bone, just to name a few), we’ll stop to see Stampd. L.A.’s Chris Stamp started the line seven years ago with a feel for streetwear basics that could be beautifully crafted with impeccable materials.

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As Jeffrey (above, left) spoke with the designer, I grabbed a few quick pictures of the girls he styled in his easy, urban collection before Jeffrey and I walked the three or four blocks down to the Rodarte show.

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As we made our way, Jeffrey and I discussed the emerging designer playing field (easy consensus: London is really ruling the game right now), and we wondered aloud what it would really take to rise to the surface as a newcomer in this industry right now. Obviously so much of the game happens on our phone screens, but at the same time, just in the space of these first six NYFW days, we’ve seen a turn toward small, specialized presentations with a limited and curated guest list. The machine of fashion seems to want new and bold, but the industry wants to scale back some of the madness of it all. And consumers? You still want clothes you can feel good living your lives in.

There wasn’t near enough time to solve all these riddles, of course. Instead we found our seats at the show amid set director Alexandre De Betak‘s industrial floral runway installation.

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We’re pleased to share a few front row snaps with you (above) alongside collaborator Olivia Locher’s gorgeously quiet backstage moments (below). Watch for our favorite elements: the decorative safety pins, black detailing on gossamer white tulle, and the allusion of honeycombs. The Mulleavys were inspired by the film The Spirit of the Beehive, and this collection stems from the gentle nature of Earth’s tiniest worker bees.

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EXPLORE: current season Rodarte | all designer collections

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—Laura Cassidy