5 Fashion Week Thoughts I’m Still Mulling Over
02.13.18

I love to unpack when I arrive at my vacation destination; I’m filled joy the moment I unzip my suitcase and get myself all neat and settled. Even if I’m only staying somewhere for two days I’m like, My shoes go here and my shampoo library here, and my socks over there. The adventure is beginning! Ugh, but to unpack when I’m back and I’m tired and I’m a little deflated from the snap back to reality, it’s a slow and cruel chore. Unfortunately for me, I feel antsy and unsettled until I do it.

Yesterday’s shows left me with a similar feeling. Each one took me on a different kind of vacation, and I’m still ruminating and unprepared, emotionally, to take my thoughts out of my mental suitcase. So what we have below is the equivalent of unpacking my carry-on first — a compromise, if you will. Until I’m really ready, they’ll get the job done. Here’s what you need to know from Day Five of New York Fashion Week.

1. Ralph Lauren Refused to Acknowledge an East Coast Winter and I Wasn’t Mad About It

Imagine my delight when, inside the confines of a show venue on a cold February day that promised 12 p.m. rain, Ralph Lauren went full weather-anarchist and showed barefoot models in warm-weather clothes. (Though some wore shoes and heels, and there were also a few pairs of rain boots.)  The whole thing was nautical themed: burgee flags decorated tops and slickers, models wore shorts made of raincoat material paired with turtlenecks, reminiscent of my favorite Ralph (the man himself) outfits ever, and there were stripes all over the place.

This is his see-now-buy-now collection, so it’s actually Spring 2018, Vanessa Friedman reminded me — via Twitter, impersonally, unfortunately. She also, luckily, captured Hilary Swank’s reaction.

2. Derek Lam Really Choked Me Up By Making a National Velvet Reference, AND He Fed Us Appetizers

Derek Lam sure does know the way to my heart: food (mini lobster rolls and teacups of hot chocolate, not necessarily served together but I didn’t see anyone judging), horses, Elizabeth Taylor in her earliest career-defining moment (as a young female jockey in National Velvet, who Lam quoted in the show notes: “I want it all quickly ‘cause I don’t want God to stop and think and wonder if I’m getting more than my share” — way more on this later, by the way, but remember, still unpacking), impeccable tailoring, tall riding boots that lean more Western than English and the kind of wardrobe I imagine when I think about who I might want to be when I grow up.

Speaking of those boots: wear them with everything from Bermuda shorts to ball gowns.

3. Phillip Lim Went in a Whole Different Direction Than Expected!

I am actually not sure how I’d describe Phillip Lim’s style, but often, when I think of him, I think of cool cropped jackets, great pants and leather boots — that look of 2011 cool, you know? But today he went pastel prairie and manifested this woman who I imagine used to live in New York City then one day decided she was sick of social media, cab horns and the chest-pressure that comes from living in such a frenetic environment so she packed up and moved to a ranch in Montana…but didn’t forget her style!!!!!

IDK, you can let me know if you think I should pitch that book to the same people who published Eat, Pray, Love or something.

4. Oscar de la Renta Was Just Gorgeous (And Also Had a Horse Motif, Kinda)

Unicorns and other fantastical creatures leapt off some medieval tapestry and onto the skirts of this collection, which was formalwear for the woman who wears ballgowns to lunch (which is to say casually, naturally, and when there’s a real occasion, imagine how all-out she goes). If I were a dad, I’d tell you it was a real sight for sore eyes. It’s clear Oscar’s fairly new-ish design duo Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia (also of Monse) have settled into their groove, into the house, and into their vision for the house.

5. Finally, at Carolina Herrera, a Changing of the Guards

Today marks day one of Carolina Herrera in her new role as global brand ambassador and day one of Wes Gordon as the brand’s creative director. But “don’t call it a retirement,” the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman cautions.

“She chose her new title,” writes Friedman. “She is going to proselytize at store events worldwide. She is going to leverage her living legend status — what Emilie Rubinfeld, the president of the brand, calls ‘the Carolina effect’ — to the benefit of her company. She is going to spend more time at home with her husband, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.”

She’s just not going to be so “in the weeds,” as they say. And if you’re worried, don’t be: Last night’s collection was as much a tribute to Mrs. Herrera’s 37 years building her eponymous brand as it was a colorful extension of her cheerful waves, the ones that seem to say hello, see you later and don’t worry about it, all at the same time.

Photos via Vogue Runway. 

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