Pulling up the Collar

Pulling up the Collar


(Views from the Tribeca Grand Hotel and the ginormous sun roof in the car taken on the Samsung Galaxy Note)

I have a fat tears rolling down my face.  They could well be down to the death of Whitney but more likely, they're caused by the the combination of excessive travelling, lack of sleep and irregular eating patterns.  I kind of guessed there'd be moments of light melancholia in New York.  Watching the film Shame a few weeks ago, shed a harsh light on New York as a place where you can feel really isolated and lost.  Therefore pulling up the collars, wrapping up and ensuring clothing can act as armour feels all the more appropriate. 

See?  The downer opening lines of this post DID have a fashion-related point.  I promise you it's not at all tenuous.  Not to downpour on the New York Fashion Week shows but thus far, what has stuck out for me is the abundance of comfort-finding, protection-giving and warmth-inducing clothes.  The sort that could transplant off the runway straight on to body in this weather.  That isn't really news for for autumn winter seasons.  It's colder and therefore you need protection from the elements.  It's a mind numbingly obvious sentiment.  Still, is is interesting to note the obscuration of the face, the covering up of the body that has pervaded a lot of the shows.  Whilst it's too early to carve out core trends for the season, I'm better off picking at the pieces that cover up, bulk and pad out with the best of intentions.

Tim Hamilton's Redux line takes a slightly grungier and more casual feel to his mainline and the girls in the lineup came with black baseball caps, perfect for pulling down tightly over the head when you're feeling like you want to hide away from the world.  


There was a new sleek sheen at Peter Som and even his once-girlish prints had now been crystallised into a sculptural bonded jacket and dress that stood out in the show…


…as well as a giant piece of "fun" fur that was actually seriously decadent with its sheer amount of fur.  The use of colour could definitely take New Yorkers out of their animal-looking fur comfort zone.  I seem to see more of the stuff out in the cold than I do when I'm in London.  Not sure if it's just my skewed vision though. 


The leather harness has been done to death in so many guises by so many different strands of fashion designers.  Tess Giberson's version stood out in nude leather, made simple with the uncomplicated shape, the thinness of the straps and the clean white shirt underneath. 


I basically wanted to live in these Doo.Ri sweaters that looked so pleasingly chunky.  I say don't fear the tum tum knit pauch.  These look like knits to stay in for days on end until they start pilling. 



Rag & Bone's A/W 12-3 collection was pretty much entirely based on wintry layerings, reinforced by leather accents and mixed up in textures so that no layer emulated the one under/over it.  There wasn't a bare arm in sight as polo necks, blanket coats and waistcoats layered over coats ensure that there will be rich pickings come next winter. 






I still need to perfect the shawl/scarf cocoon that partly obscures the face as seen at Helmut Lang that cuts a pretty dramatic silhouette when you turn to the side.



Suno was, as always, a de-LIGHT (more about that later) and whilst most of the collection consisted of airy pieces that could belong to both seasons, they did get a bit of tweed and wool into the mix, which worked particularly well with the retro paper man chain print that you see on the sleeve here.  Remember making those chains and then realising you cut in the wrong places so that none of the little men joined together?  Ok, just me then…


Lacoste's Felipe Oliveira Baptista made some clever incisions into the sleeves so that they swung in a cape like motion.  I was quite enamoured with the simplicity of Baptista's take on apres ski-in-the-city so I'll be delving further into that collection. 



There was more sleeve-cutting action at Prabal Gurung's packed show.  By packed, I meant there was a lot going on and the sleeker portions of the show seemed to stand out more for me, as seen in this iridescent gleaning coat, where the slits at the wrist reveal more of the leather gloves underneath.


This felt like a really full and complete Band of Outsiders show, probably because the Band (the menswear), Boy (formal womenswear) and Girl (girly womenswear) collections were all presented together.  Once again, it was flush with cinematic reference, this time to spaghetti Westerns and films like Holy Mountain.  Camel and cream suddenly looked lushly appealing again.  Notice the red tinges of make-up on the girls faces to look like they have been in the cold for a while.  Yup, I'd like to be wind whipped exactly like this. 



I really liked Wang.  That sounds like an odd statement.  I'm going to just put it out there.  I know it's probably blindingly obvious to gush all over him because everyone does.  I've always been slightly reserved in my Wang-loving.  This collection though had serious ooomph.  Gone are the downtown NY vibes that I think Wang desperately wants to shed and instead, he ushered in a really focused collection that was quite literally, slick.  I'm sort of smacked by whoever came up with the idea for having extra long polo necks in thin jersey and fishnet knit, that can pull right up over the face, as they will probably make quite an impact next winter when they're storming out of the stores.




Tibet, Morocco, Mongolia – it was a trip at Altuzarra.  It was also the noisiest collection what with all the jingle jangle of the coin embroidery.  For the purpose of this post though, this abstracted Ikat printed coat is one to commit to memory and adds to Altuzarra's track record of stellar outerwear (those parkas from A/W 11 are still fresh in mind). 




Leave a comment
  1. Serdane

    2012-02-12 at 2:57 PM

    Dreamlike Silhouettes ! I’m not very convinced by the fur coat but why not !

  2. Loz

    2012-02-12 at 3:26 PM

    Looking like you have been travelling in the far-east collecting and piling on the embroidered coats seems to be ‘in’

  3. Haidee

    2012-02-12 at 4:20 PM

    Wow I love the range of colours incredible 🙂

  4. Irene's closet

    2012-02-12 at 4:30 PM

    Love the multicolour fur!! 🙂

  5. vicky

    2012-02-12 at 4:39 PM

    nice post! I also liked a lot Charlotte Ronson’s girly dresses and Band of Outsiders’ totally ’70s collection.
    looking forward to read your overall impressions on new york fashion week….

  6. Sarah

    2012-02-12 at 5:46 PM

    Absolutely beautiful!

  7. SJP

    2012-02-12 at 8:10 PM

    Aww, chin up Susie – not long before you’ll be home for LFW x

  8. Shai Wallach

    2012-02-12 at 8:24 PM

    I love the chin warmers and sleek jackets in the Wang collection and Baptista’s sleeve cuts are a really interesting concept.

  9. Miss Red Socks

    2012-02-13 at 2:15 AM

    I love all these collection and the colourful fur from Peter Som fascinated me. Alexander Wang of course, put on a great show. Also loved Rag & Bone.

  10. Yuka

    2012-02-13 at 4:55 AM

    Cant’t wait for the next autumn & winter! haha

  11. Laura Kay

    2012-02-13 at 6:34 AM

    love the black caps so chic and playful!

  12. Raphaëlle Lavielle

    2012-02-13 at 8:54 AM

    Prabal Gurung’s sleeve cut pieces are just awesome.

  13. beckybackstage

    2012-02-13 at 1:14 PM

    I think you cant help feeling gloomy with the color pallet so quickly moved on from the fresh sorbets of spring.. it feels a little old fashioned all this maroon and dark teal. I’m not ready to give up on lemony yellow and lavender yet! fashion moves fast… 😉

  14. Kate

    2012-02-13 at 4:30 PM

    I’m on board with you. Fashion Week is really starting to take it’s toll. But fashion waits for no one 🙂

  15. patty and lo

    2012-02-14 at 2:07 AM

    These all look so amazing! I love the leather accents in the Rag & Bone collection.

  16. Chandra Mohan M

    2012-02-14 at 4:37 PM

    Absolutely flawless design for a blog. I am giving my first comment here though
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  17. Tiffany

    2012-02-19 at 1:30 PM

    Wow, ‘love them all!!

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