Fashion's top brass seems to like the military look for next autumn. Three days into the seasonal previews at New York Fashion Week on Saturday, sharp-shouldered styles for the urban brigade have emerged as a trend.
Prabal Gurung, one of Michelle Obama's favourite designers, opened his show with a sharp black cape — with a black patent-leather tank peeking out — and black neoprene moulded trousers. The outfit oozed strength but it wasn't overly tough, either. Alexander Wang had top model Gisele Bundchen (right) in a military-inspired trenchcoat.
Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger described his new men's collection as "an academy look that is sophisticated, modern, a touch rebellious but buttoned up". In the notes from Friday's show he called the line "a personalised take on military precision".
Gisele Bundchen wore a military-inspired trenchcoat as part of an impressive group of top models on Alexander Wang's runway, along with Shalom Harlow and Karolina Kurkova.
The clothes including wool sweaters and tweed jackets were more straightforward than Wang's recent cool-girl downtown vibe. The slick, glossy fall collection also featured looks in leather and chiffon, with colours like black, ox blood red and an optic white he called "peroxide".
Prabal Gurung offered sharp, edgy black outfits with strong silhouettes, slashed sleeves and high-gloss patent leather and ended with Oscars-worthy white gowns with feathers and gold lame. Somewhere in between, he fit in blouses and dresses in a recurring print of a steer's skull that sounds scary but was subtle and truly lovely.
Gurung created hourglass shapes with sheer panels on models who sometimes looked like beanpoles. Some garments were moulded to define silhouettes without making them clingy.
Trousers were narrow but with boot-leg bottoms. Chic coats were also long and lean.
He experimented with mixed textures, offering a patent leather coat embroidered with sheared mink loops, fox fur and tiers of goat hair, and on the other end of the spectrum, a white cocktail dress with a panel of gold tinsel and another of lame.
Rachel Zoe has that old-school, rock-star girlfriend thing down. Zoe, best known as a celebrity stylist, flaunted the signature look that made her famous with a parade of faux fur coats, skinny-style tuxedos, maxi dresses and thigh-high boots that you imagine the young jet-set wearing as they shuttle from London to Los Angeles — perhaps with a stop in New York. They're for the type of woman who can pull off gaucho pants, which were indeed part of the line-up.
She said in her notes she drew inspiration "from the rock n' roll glamour of London in the late '60s and such fashion icons as Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger".