By: Southern Femme Director of Special Events, Matthew Yarborough
The Spring/Summer ’15 shows mark my first official NYFW, and I could not have been more excited or grateful to be attending. If you know me, you know that for the most part, I internalize my excitement. I try to play it cool no matter how much I may be freaking out on the inside; I’d like to think that I’ve mastered my poker face, which is the stoic expression I kept on my face most of the time at Lincoln Center. This was necessary, otherwise I would have been that person fanning out and trying to snap selfies with editors and minor celebrities. Not that Kimora Lee Simmons is a minor celebrity, but I digress.
To the clothes…
I was fortunate enough to attend several shows during my time in New York, but my three favorite were Taoray Wang, Luis Antonio, and Charlotte Ronson. I have selected these shows for several reasons: they were the most cohesive collections I saw, they make the most sense for the Southern woman, and they all speak to a customer that appreciates elegant and fun clothing.
Taoray Wang has already made an impressive mark on the Asian market, and is slowly making her presence known in the US. Wang’s SS15 collection delighted the minimalist in me, while interesting fabrics and intriguing details gave it the edge that it needed. The designer cited Black Swan as inspiration for her collection – a bit of a dated reference if you ask me, but that did not read in the collection. There were aviary elements – fringing and origami folds that resembled feathers, structured skirts that could potentially recall a ballerina’s tutu, and embroidered eagles (or maybe phoenixes?) – however, the collection as a whole didn’t seem to have the darkness of the movie. Then again, it didn’t quite have a lightness either. The collection offered some strong pieces: an embroidered bomber jacket, white pantsuit, and the fringed finale gown were highlights for me. Nothing was particularly innovative, or stirred me enough to use the word exciting, but it was pleasant and I left with the feeling that the Taoray Wang appreciates quality clothing and modern classics. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Luis Antonio’s first showing at Lincoln Center was certainly a strong one. This Puerto Rican designer excited the crowd with feminine silhouettes in a variety of maritime (the SS/15 collection is entitled “Maritime”) motifs. Similarly to Taoray Wang, there wasn’t anything new or innovative in the way of silhouettes or fabrics, but the clothes were pleasing to the eye. Antonio should be happy as no doubt buyers are scrambling for the collection, which featured lovely jumpsuits and dresses in varying lengths to please any woman. Hopefully this collection makes it way down to the South, because the Southern woman would absolutely love Luis Antonio. Ps – sitting directly behind Kelly Killoren Bensimon of Real Housewives fame wasn’t too bad either!
Charlotte Ronson always delivers. The flipside to that double-sided coin is that one always knows what to expect from Charlotte Ronson. Ronson’s collections always have a kind of cool LA vibe to them, while always being completely on trend. A boxier, more relaxed silhouette has been trending for a while now, and this was the predominant shape of Ronson’s SS 15 offering. Sheer and athletic where two other trends that Ronson offered up to her loyal customer for next season. An interesting twist was the choice of footwear – all the models sported Teva sandals in black, navy, or my favorite, glitter silver. I have never been a fan of Tevas, but I think Ronson may have converted me.