Cushnie et Ochs Spring 2017 RTW

Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie know their customer, and while subtlety may not be her strong suit, having fun sure is. For Spring, the pair sent out a collection that relied heavily on the slashed and split sexy-at-all-costs clinging silhouettes that party girls and paparazzi-bait alike have come to rely on them for—this time, in color-block pastels inspired by Miami, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s character from Brian De Palma’s Scarface. “We’re women designing clothes for women, and we’ve been doing it for eight years now, and it’s working,” said Ochs.

The slinky, sexy looks certainly seemed to resonate with the front row, which included at least two former CW stars and one former pageant queen, all of whom looked like they may have at any given point been photographed out on the town with the ever-growing groups surrounding the Hadids or younger Kardashian/Jenners.

And there was plenty here for that particular cohort to covet, from a cocktail frock that bared both flank and haunch to the flowing monochromatic jumpsuit that opened the show. For those with board meetings in their future, there was even some suiting, demurely slit at the shoulders. The disco-era Miami influence was most keenly felt in the sparkly Lurex cocktail frock and cutout jumpsuits, though one could make the argument for the final group of geometrically beaded gowns with pleated accents coming from that city’s architecture (Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion, maybe?). After all, as Pfeiffer’s character so famously said, “Nothing exceeds like excess.”

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Marissa Webb RTW Spring 2017

Marissa Webb doesn’t seek deep sources of inspiration when it comes to her collections. Webb dresses what she knows—and that is the women around her, specifically the “modern New York woman,” as she stated backstage, after a show whose pieces had a metropolitan polish. Remember the Glastonbury look that was popular during the 2000s—a worn-in, oversize army jacket thrown over a tired-looking baby-doll dress? (Kate Moss wore that muddied festival ensemble time after time). Here there was a city-appropriate incarnation of the field jacket, now elevated by way of a hip-length crop and sculpted, rounded sleeves, styled over a print dress that was pertly buttoned at the neck.

Ruffles played a clever role. Sure, predictably, in some instances they were feminine, like on an amber charmeuse blouse that had ruffles scaling the arms. But when added to a blazer, the wide ruffles went as far as to add a clever structure; they stuck up high, coursing down the sleeves, giving off an air of broad executive power.

Webb also played with waist heights. Low-slung cream trousers in silk became an instant closet staple that could seamlessly go from the boardroom to cocktail hour. The high-waisted leather cropped pants are something to look out for: The ankles had sets of grommets fastened by laces, and a fastened belt caused the extra fabric to bloom upward and gather unevenly past the waist, perfectly flattering the silhouette. It’s not just New York women who’ll love that.

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Yeezy Season 4 a.k.a Torture Continued

From the heavily social media-teased Life Of Pablo album release to the buzzed-about global merch pop-ups that were staged in August, 2016 has proven to be a year of not-so-entirely-surprising Kanye West surprises. And the latest of these predictably unpredictable moves came on Wednesday, when the hip-hop artist and “fashion designer” decided to withhold the location of his Yeezy Season 4 show until three hours before its start time–at which point it was announced to be held at Four Freedoms Park on the tip of Roosevelt Island.

The Siberia of the New York Fashion Week circuit, the often-overlooked sliver of land smack dab in the middle of the East River was accessible by a Kanye-sponsored shuttle (that departed two hours in advance of showtime), the F train or the old-school tram. No matter the option, getting there was a journey for members of the fashion industry and also part of what made the experience feel like a fun wild-goose chase. Until suddenly it wasn’t.

3 p.m. turned into 3:30 and then into 4, and as guests continued waiting in the heat, excitement gave way to restlessness, which ultimately gave way to frustration. Security guards who didn’t know how to handle the timing demanded that the crowd “get back” and “make a line” and then “get back” again. The irony, as one woman pointed out, was that the event wasn’t supposed to feel like West’s Madison Square Garden concert the night before. “We’re not crazed fans,” she exclaimed. “We’re here to see a fashion show!”

And the show, which was once again a collaboration with performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, was an extension of these tensions. Rows of models wearing an assortment of nude body suits — some with cut-outs across the stomach, most with cut-outs across the butt — had to wait in the brutal heat until a second cast of models appeared on the runway. During the wait time, their militaristic formation lost its intensity as some models sat down on the grass, with one woman eventually fainting while a massive set of sub-woofers rumbled.yeezy season 4

But all the while, onlookers couldn’t help but wonder if the scenario playing out before them was part of some bigger artistic statement West was making. The more they waited, the more they questioned: Were the helicopters circling above the paparazzi or police or planted by West as a form of social commentary? Was the lone pair of pants with Adidas stripes on it a statement on his partnership with the brand or a last minute toss-in? Was the fainting and sitting down representative of disillusionment? Did the fact that the island once housed an insane asylum and prison actually mean something?

You could add as many layers to the show as you wanted, but West, who ran down the runway with a smile at the end of it all, was the only one with the answers.

For a far more scathing review, read Jezebel’s thoughts on the show.

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