There have been so many great collections during the Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear shows that I’m already dizzy, and we’re still in New York. I’m going to have to buy a chastity belt for my wallet when this stuff hits stores come fall. I am already screwed.

For most of my life, I’d only given a passing glance at New York and the safe American Ralph Laurens and Tommy Hilfigers of the day, patiently waiting for the exotic and inventive collections of Comme Des Garcons and Balenciaga over in Europe. New York was the opening act, and not a very good one at that.

But now, New York has captured my undivided attention.  Two of my favorites, Preen and Helmut Lang show here.  Upstarts Ohne Titel and A Detacher show here.  Young stars Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim show here.  And new Barney’s staples Altuzarra and Yigal Azrouel show here. New York feels new.

Although I always gravitate to the lesser-known and avant-garde designers, my two favorite collections came from household names:  Marc Jacobs and J. Crew.

Marc Jacobs Fall 2012. Illustration by Paula.

Marc Jacobs was all about pimp lids and pilgrim shoes and over-sized everything, including those humongous hats that seemed to eat the heads of models, big buckles that bit down on the feet, and the giant weaves of his knits held together by super-sized safety pins .  Even the colors and prints were big and bold and just fun to see. And although J. Crew is a mall-brand, Jenna Lyons turned it into something special. Over the past few years their perfect-fitting shirts have become my staples and ways to ground my leather pants and fur jackets.

J. Crew Fall 2012. Illustration by Paula.

The Fall 2012 J.Crew collection reminded me of a poor-man’s Chanel in a good way:  Fifties-inspired lady-like tweeds with perfect tailoring, and that effortless-yet-hard-to-pull-off mix of dressy and messy: sweaters topping satin skirts and sweatshirts paired with silk trousers.

So as New York Fashion Week comes to a close, I’ll go back and study the collections and use them as inspiration for pairing items I own with other items I own in new and big ways, and consider buying a bigger wallet come September.

Leave a Reply