x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New York Fashion Week: Red alert on the catwalks

Robert Cordero continues his reports from New York Fashion Week, looking at Victoria Beckham and Max Azria among others.

Textured fabrics broke up the otherwise earthy palettes at Lela Rose.
Textured fabrics broke up the otherwise earthy palettes at Lela Rose.

For many people, bright red clothing isn't exactly a wardrobe essential; indeed, it's often treated as a piece for "special" days. Today, however, the bloggers were in full crimson glory, with BryanBoy wearing rose-coloured trousers, Susie Bubble in a scarlet get-up - and plenty of designers, too, are on board with the idea, including Victoria Beckham, whose fifth presentation was shown in an Upper East Side townhouse.

Beckham inhabits a rarefied universe few can ever experience and for the past few seasons, she has only shown glimpses of this life in her presentations. The fashion press isn't exactly enthusiastic about celebrity designers (and she is one of the most famous women in the world) so no wonder she has been so patient and cautious until now, although from her first live show, the critics have been onside. This season, however, a more confident, comfortable and candid Beckham even showcased that British sarcasm. "I designed the collection before I was pregnant so that's the only dress I can fit into," said Beckham, describing an oversize cashmere dress, which drew chuckles from the attendees. With the unveiling of a shoe collaboration with Christian Louboutin and an expanded line of irresistibly chic bags, Beckham's glamorous planet is inviting indeed.

As for the clothes themselves, there were vintage undertones and silhouettes of the glamorous old Hollywood variety, but their minimal silhouette, bold colours and clever details kept them current. There was a fuchsia dress that came with a hood, a black wool coat with a series of beautiful pleats that was a technical feat to achieve, and sleek silk wool pencil skirts paired with unstructured cashmere tops. But one of the most striking, perhaps symbolic numbers, was a beautiful scarlet coat, which she said was perfect for winter.

In contrast, DKNY's show, which was titled Give me Something New York, was about clean, graphic separates for everyday wear. There were a cream and black geometric coat, colour-blocked capes that had a whiff of Celine about them, and easy-to-wear winter staples, such as red, oversized cardigans. The strong hue also served as punctuation to many camel, copper and fuchsia sweaters.

With a similar "real women" customer to DKNY, Max Azria presented slightly edgier separates in dusty brown tones, charcoal and black, in the form of oversized turtleneck knits, leather pencil skirts and long shirtdresses. The blood-orange silk blouse and textured dress broke up the otherwise earthy palette - an effect also to be found at Lela Rose, particularly in a one-shouldered dress.

The power women that Diane Von Furstenberg celebrated were outfitted in mostly black, but the touches of gold gave the collection a hint of decadence. The smattering of red seen in silk tunics, deep V-neck blouse, pencil skirts, slinky tops and a disco-era sequinned dress were added a seductive authority. At Y-3, there was a western theme threading the collection together, but a strong, extreme sportswear trend was seen in padded leather track trousers and oversized cocoon coats in nylon. That ruby hue peppered the whole collection and a series of three full-on looks in red energised the otherwise moody palette.