x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

At New York Fashion Week, reworked sportswear and big, bold colour

From brilliant hues to of-the-moment sportswear, the catwalk vibrated with spring fashion.

A model wearing Lacoste during the spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
A model wearing Lacoste during the spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.

On Sunday morning at Lincoln Center outside of the tents, a petite fashion editor stepped out of a car and set off a flurry of flashbulbs. It wasn't because she was anyone of particular note. It was her none-too-shy, neon orange mini-dress that the cameras were lusting over, worn with a striking, oversize necklace.

The brilliantly hued outfit set a vivid precedent for the day that saw a parade of electric hues on and off the runways. In the same vicinity, there was a woman sporting a bright pink Christopher Kane dress, a couple of men wearing yellow trainers and countless fashionistas toting neon Kate Spade bags that have quickly become ubiquitous this season.

Inside at the Lacoste show, Felipe Oliveira Baptista debuted his first collection as the French brand's new artistic director with a focus on women, and featured winning sportswear reworked into items that felt very of the moment. The iconic polo shirt was given a new twist as a wide-striped mini-skirt with panels of flamboyant colours, a heather sweatshirt was converted into a coat dress belted at the waist, and long-flowing dresses were buttoned down the back. Silk blouses in neon yellow and electric blue cropped tops made dramatic statements.

Jill Stuart must have also received the memo that bright colours were the way to go. Her show opened with a vibrating shade of orange, which set the tone for the next five exits. She was also enamoured of the stunning shades of citron in a jacquard coat and easy chiffon dresses.

The zesty hue was also seen at Christian Siriano's outing in floor-length evening skirts, shoes and belts, as well as dramatic gowns. While Siriano made a concerted effort to steer clear of the superfluous embellishments that typically characterise his work, British designer Mark Fast for his Faster line amped up the raciness of his collections with body-hugging mesh and spandex dresses in energetic shades of mint, fuchsia, melon and tangerine - colours that somehow found their way into the models' hair. Next door to Fast at Milk studios, Erin by Erin Fetherston's presentation didn't stray too far from the label's girlie ethos, replete with a sequinned eye-catching shift in mandarin.

At Prabal Gurung, who for the past two seasons has been into sartorial graphic effects, fuchsia was a dominant force seen in swingy silk skirts, as an ombre in a rubber coat and used in a painterly way on stovepipe trousers. Bryanboy, the Manila-based superstar blogger who was in attendance, was in keeping with Gurung's jovial spring/summer wares by sporting a multicoloured, floral printed top from his most recent resort collection.

Monique Lhuillier, a compatriot of the blogger, made her usually uber glamorous wares decidedly more subdued. Instead of sequins, she opted for colour-blocking techniques that created slimming effects on the body and used eye-popping yellow and pink as backdrops to panels of black lace. In the end, however, with a series of floor-sweeping gowns that closed her show, Lhuillier was sure to communicate her role as a purveyor of photo-friendly frocks required for high-wattage Hollywood evenings.