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New York Fashion Week Last Looks: Yesterday’s Runways at Jason Wu, Tanya Taylor, Kate Spade and Rihanna x PUMA

Notorious for flouncy dresses doused in microprints, Jason Wu surprised on Friday by kicking off New York’s Fall Fashion Week with a casually moody collection.Jason_Wu_149_fw16Photos: InDigital

Among the designs we’ve come to expect from Wu, overly long sweater sleeves, curve-hugging knit midi dresses and simplified blown-up prints are not first on the list. Consider yesterday’s collection as the grunge-inspired counterpart to his fall 2015 collection, a sexier and slouchier departure from last season’s luxurious furs and slinky gowns.

Not to say Wu’s signature feminine frill didn’t make an appearance in the form of individually placed plumes loaded on flowing dresses and oversized coats alike. The additional layered lace minis, bleeding floral prints and strappy backless dresses helped balance the masculine trouser and knit combos, ’60s-inspired miniskirt suits and dilated windowpane prints. Standout pieces include a lone brown leather trench (expectedly two sizes too big in design), detachable fur capelets and, of course, his seasonally sought-after bag—this time a shoulder saddle sack in pretty much any material from acid-toned snakeskin and white fur front to foolproof black. 

Shop: current season Jason Wu

Tanya Taylor took her audience into the woods Friday with her ’70s revival presentation.12568731_946550252094866_102920556_nStripped trees and branches scattered the white scope of SoHo’s Swiss Institute, a bare-bones setting out of which Tanya Taylor’s luxe woodland collection sprouted. Romantic hand-painted micro florals adorned free-flowing, bohemian silk peasant dresses, a few with modern cutouts and impractically long hemlines, all decidedly more well-draped than their ’70s counterparts. Mammoth burnt orange and navy flannel prints engulfed the chicest of wide-leg pants and cocooned coats while the same earthy tones mingled with moody burgundies and pops of fuchsia. 

Save for a vintage-orange-hued silk slip and its lace-paneled prairie dress partner, every look was embellished with some sort of floral. Pop art-inspired blooms stood out on the oversized leather bomber and ’60s-style minidress, simultaneously falling into the pleats of maxis and morphing into embroidery that cascaded from cardigan shoulders and pencil skirt waists. Simpler, color-blocked foliage prints made their way onto tights, scarves and just about everything in between, while fringed sweaters, fur stoles and a Burberry-inspired shearling jacket added that tough and textural edge.

Shop: current season Tanya Taylor

Though nothing out of the ordinary Kate Spade aesthetic, Chief Creative Officer Deborah Lloyd managed to set the fall collection apart from its fellow NYFW presentations, veering away from the season’s ubiquitous dark and saturated tones in lieu of something far more whimsical and romantic.

The quintessential Kate Spade frill and fluff didn’t disappoint die-hards yesterday, with plenty of vintage-inspired pieces designed with the divas and creative sirens of the spotlight in mind (a point driven home with the brand’s campaign crooner Alice Smith on the jazz melodies). The collection, presented atop the Rockefeller in the fitting Rainbow Room, delivered well-executed Kate Spade staples: feminine shapes, jeweled detailing, a warm palette and the ever-present, ever-cheeky Kate Spade bag.

The standout element? Lloyd’s choice of springy hues that phased from warm pastels into more pigmented pinks, reds and oranges as the collection went from pleated silks layered atop turtlenecks, new-age lace frocks and a brocade skirt suit to knit jackets adorned with fur collars and that signature sparkle. Blacks and whites were reserved for a polka dot jumpsuit here and a basic trouser and button-up combo there. The fun to be had was in the accessories: bags designed as old radios, jazz club fans and marquee signs played off the floral, fringe and sequin-tipped shoes.

Shop: current season Kate Spade

Cue the bad-gal streetwear phenomenon: Rihanna has officially debuted her Fenty x Puma collection and it’s everything we expected.
Of all the celebrities trying to break into fashion (ahem, Yeezy), the most seamless transition has arguably been at the hands of sartorial rule-breaker Rihanna. Not one to shy away from sexy sports gear as streetwear, a style she pretty much single-handedly spearheaded, the singer and creative director at Puma brought her personal flair to the runway on Friday with a barrage of celeb models to boot.Fenty_Puma_136_fw16The monochrome collection (kicked off by modeling’s own bad-gal Lexi Bowling) was every bit Rihanna, embracing the idea of oversized leisurewear that ironically shows plenty of skin. Fearless in her direction, the megastar combined her penchant for the female form and androgyny by taking the oversized trend to new levels and pairing it with corsets, open-sided track pants and transparent rain slicks.

Cut-at-the-knees sweatpants reattached with mini suspenders were as equally perplexing as Imaan Hammam’s fur backpack/hip-strung hand-warmer hybrid. Though the more practical of pieces were lost among the hot pants and under-bust crop-top combos, there was still an air of wearability to the whole line. Here’s to hoping the boxing glove lace-up-front dress gains more popularity than the heeled sneaks reminiscent of the early 2000s.

Shop: current season Puma

—Emma Ranniger