James Murphy was one of the first working Mandy Coon‘s crowd as they were seated, appearing as a proud, nervous dad-to-be while the rest of us were zenning out to his intro music, which sounded like an undulating, futuristic heartbeat, building to its apex just as the show started. Coon’s androgynous pal Jamie Bochert opened the show in striking cobalt paired with a pleated leather/chiffon skirt to Murphy’s song, “Dance With Us”. Of course, the DFA DJ/producer is married to Mandy Coon, so his being there and providing the soundtrack makes sense.

The ten-minute track worked wonders for the catwalk, making the leather bondage bras and cut work skirts with names like “Breaking Glass” pop even more against the stark whites, onyx and electric hues. Tiny faced, cold stare models, (a favorite was the bald and stunning Paris @ Muse), worked the dark future-done-perfect separates and strict dresses in a way that was made for slinking on the moon.

Later that afternoon, we jumped a few decades back to a time championing the Summer of Love at Billy Reid, watching lasses and lads with the longest free-flowing hair (some guys donning beards and/or headbands) stroll down a twig and muslim-lined path.

Some slouchy linen looks nodded to the effortless boho chic of mixed eras, as if the Bloomsbury Group had time-traveled to 60s Laurel Canyon, or the quintessential prep schooler had grown into a haute hippie, featuring patchwork skirts and shorts, short-jacketed suits, hand-crafted shoes and flowing gauzy gowns.

Reid’s always known for his exquisite tailoring. This time, he’s softened up the look with unexpected twists on the classics.

Down Milk’s hallway at Antonio Azzuolo‘s sun-drenched menswear presentation, baby-faced dandies sported an array of youthful modern-meets-highbrow spring 2012 dual purpose looks, from crop cardigans and dropped crotch pants, to skinny tuxes with white bow-ties, classic jackets worn with unexpected harem pants, and anoraks topping white yachting shorts.

It was a paparazzi moment when Anna Wintour stopped by to smile and chat very publicly with Azzuolo, a finalist up for the CFDA/Vogue Fund Award, amidst the late afternoon, press-heavy crowd.

On an overcast Sunday afternoon at Gavin Brown Enterprises, the audience sipped healthy elixirs from Kambucha Brooklyn. Perhaps it was the odd light filtering into the bleached walls of the gallery, but we all looked like we could use some detoxifying energy to gear up for Daryl K‘s dazzling twentieth-anniversary show, backed by the live bombastic drumming of Gang Gang Dance’s Lizzi Bougatsos and more, their music as vibrant as the collection itself.

Abstract watercolor prints, created in conjunction with artist Spencer Sweeney (who also chipped in with drumming), splashed a fresh edge onto many of Daryl K’s tried and true sexy asymmetrical shapes. What better way to celebrate two decades going strong in the biz? Slouchy, wide brimmed hats paired with delicate silk dresses, poppy red, zip-front shoes, and her perfect skinny leather leggings were among the show stoppers, as was model Umi Akiyoshi, who livened up the runway with some kicking, modern dance moves when she had the space.

Cut25, designer Yigal Azrouël‘s diffusion line, conveyed a modern aesthetic with a different spin, mixing technicolor, electric brights and neutrals with forms and fabrics giving a shout out to 80s surf culture. Models walking the board game grid resembled futuristic athletes, donning odd, long-brimmed, tinted visors. Some looks were minimal, based on crisp, yet girly frocks or sporty separates in techno knits, lambskin or ponte.

One standout piece was the washed silk maxi dress in a color appropriately deemed “caution”. The designer paired with Frye to create the lambskin lace-up boots in pop art shades, among them, grape, hot pink and marigold. Cut25, with a store opening in Soho this spring, will be a mecca for the daring, sporty downtowner.

Photo courtesy of Elle.com

That evening, at Lincoln Center, Timo Weiland‘s men’s and women’s energetic collection was a match for its slick mash-up of runway tunes, a mix of 80s and 90s indie classics from the likes of Bow Wow Wow, Iggy Pop and Echo and the Bunnymen. Vacation-themed optimism was in the air in the design duo’s flirty digital and bandana-print dresses with sheer inlays and layered skirts and pops of unexpected color and texture. Both ladies’ slick corsets and men’s board shorts also had unexpected details, and “coastal floral” print shirts and zip-front jackets were very Hamptons-meets-Ludlow. (Apparently they even collaborated with the Strokes’ bassist Nikolai Fraiture on a few pieces, such as their striped chambray baseball jacket). The Ramones’ “Rockaway Beach”, ringing in the finale, crystallized the collection’s beach lover/city dweller vibe. And though I was sad to have missed him in all his charming feyness, skater Johnny Weir was apparently sitting pretty in the front row.

On the hot Monday afternoon, we gathered in the lobby of the IAC Building by the Hudson River for Preen‘s lady-like show, shown against a glossy, ever-changing wall in pastel checkerboard that echoed the collections’ patterns and its cotton candy colors.

Photo courtesy of Z Fashion Blog

British designers Justin and Thea Bregazzi have a knack for creating unique digital prints. The pastel squares as a base for bold black and white floral illustrations spoke of sophisticated, old world cool in blouses, dresses and skirts. Confectionary hues also played into the slim pants suits, some with cropped jackets, looking very “ladies who lunch”, yet with a tell-tale edge. As the designers revealed, they were inspired by flowers, glass houses and Virginia Woolf, which all makes sense, given the delicate formality of much of these spring/summer pieces.

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  2. Beautiful pics and insightful commentary. This site always has the best articles during fashion week, it features the designers who are actually interesting and relevant.


  3. Johnny Weir!!! missed him.. love him.. great pics! and colorful descriptions of the shows..