{iStyle} NYFW SS ’11: Day 01, Day 02 and the Weekend Round-Up

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Sheer. Neutral. Silky.

Those are the trends we’re seeing for Spring 2011 alongside the return of chunky heels, and bootie, open-toed (or even gladiator-inspired) stilettos.

A few highlights below…

  • BCBG Max Azria

Better start working on your beach bods now, because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to rock these looks in 2011.

Minimalism, simplicity and a love for all things airy silk with a hint of femininity rules this collection. We love the tiered overlays, spurts of colour and lace prints. But, we think the collection was a bit on the boring side.

However, it would have been nice to see a few items with more shape. While, we love the drapery flows, the ready-to-wear collection isn’t feasible to anyone above a size 6, and that would be pushing it.

  • Bensoni

Benjamin Channing Clyburn and Sonia Yoon channeled the 1970s for this collection. In a contemporary nod to the past, the results were positively good acid.

We loved that they also utilized their immense skill for silk and digital printing in this collection because it brings in just the right amount of colour.

Long and loose, but delicate with bits of risk, the mashup definitely fell into their favour. It’s positively intergalactic.

  • Christian Siriano

So fierce.

Then again, what would you expect from the Project Runway winner who reminds us ever so much of vintage frocks, Marc Jacobs, Parisian glamour and haute couture with each turn.

Described by Siriano to Style.com as, “a mélange of various cultures from places he hasn’t been,” the colour, textures, lines and shapes make that undoubtedly clear.

The use of giant sunglasses were very Hepburn — Audrey, not Katherine — and there an ample use of leather and white intermixed with earth tones throughout the clothing and makeup. Siriano’s consistency with obi-inspired and corset-like belts, gave many looks sophistication and glamour.

“A bit of African, a bit of Asian, a bit of Mediterranean-Greek,” Siriano had said backstage.

While, Christian’s concoctions can often border the ridiculous with the extraordinary, there is something about him that oozes art. Thus, making, his often, asymmetrical ruffles, swallowed by a draping fabrics a pleasure to watch.

  • Costello Tagliapietra

Casual meets chic perfection is the easiest way to describe this collection from Costello Tagliapietra. With tapered lines, cleverly encased by flowing material, excess was gone, and elegant modernity took shape.

We love.

  • Cushnie et Ochs

Definitely dark, resembling a beautiful Gothic, yet acidly romantic burst is the only way we can describe Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs collection for Spring 2011.

Between the black leather, spikes and clean shapes, the collection left us slightly confused. The bare, touting torsos were unattractive alongside the sharp lines and sheer materials.

The hard-edged, almost headless looking, makeup — we could live without. No thank you.

Otherwise, the collection was solid, and we think you should expect to see these pieces showing up in soap operas, Neiman’s, Saks and a few other places come the Spring.

  • Doo.Ri

Known for her mostly monochromatic collections, Doo-Ri Chung did not disappoint.

With a neutral colour palette, lots of jersey, icy blues, pleated chiffon and suede bustiers, the collection screams minimal, but functional.

  • Frank Tell

FIRST THOUGHT: Vintage Paris meets its contemporary counterpart in a rush of contrast.

Inspired by the Musée du quai Branly, the clothes were a hand-knitted, raw, yet refined, expression of Tell’s lust with contained grass, papyrus and bamboo.

We love the contrast of the divinely lush and light, paired with the maddeningly silk tweeds and other elegant bits of cool, confident modernity.

The jewelry was styled by Pamela Love and shoes by Raphael Young.

  • Gregory Parkinson

Vibrant colour and simple silhouettes make this collection absolutely kaleidoscopic.

Very different from the sheer, neutrals, lean and long lines we’ve seen throughout the rest of this season, Parkinson certainly stands out.

Whether that’s a good thing or not is a matter of opinion.

It’s all so East Village Boho, makes us wonder why Anthropologie hasn’t considered doing a collection with Parkinson…

  • Jason Wu

Inspired by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes, the SS ’11 J. Wu collection oozed with chic sex appeal. The show, exhibiting for the first time, the designer’s official full range of accessories—shoes, bags, optical— was amplified by strong colour and mixed prints.

Our favourite item is the black anorak, which incidentally looks like satin. In actuality it’s techno twill (think 2009’s Nicole Miller Techno Twill Plum Dress.)

Certainly a strong collection, by an exceptionally retail savvy designer.

We can smell the success because this is by far one of our favourite collections this season.

  • Jen Kao

We’re told the models strutted down a sandy runway to Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game” for this one. Interesting.

Definitely beachy, definitely modern, definitely billowy and most certainly sheer.

Our favourite piece as to be a earthy gown in neutral sandstone tones, rocking a full bustier, leading into a gorgeous silk shirt.

  • Julian Louie


But at this point, we’d expect nothing less as we’re expecting people to walk around half-nekkid in 2011.

The collection was uniquely inspired by a book of photographs by the South African lensman Pieter Hugo called, The Hyena & Other Men. The book documents the lives of Nigerian street entertainers and their entourage consisting of three hyenas, two pythons, and four monkeys.

The collection reminded us a bit of  Alexander McQueen in the sense that it is an assemblage of parts rather than full looks. This is something Marc Jacobs is also known for producing.

From the asymmetric silk satin skirt with tassels looking to garnish a pair damask curtains to the crepe de chine shirtdress, the entire collection was a presentation of sharp diagonal lines, suede and contrastingly bright tribal prints.

Certainly playful, this was Louie’s second collaboration with Aldo.

  • Mandy Coon

Inspired by jellyfish, Mandy Coon’s asymmetric shapes, vivid colours and unfinished hems resembled a tennis tournament of texture and drapery.

The collection seems to lack a sartorial theme, but certainly maintained an air of raw personality to say the least.

We think it could have been better as much of the collection just looked sloppy, with the exception of a few pieces, as opposed to artistic.

  • Michael Angel

As the bearer of opinionated bad news, Angel’s collection is just too much.

Too much of the 1990s, too many prints, too much sheer and the predominant silhouettes called out “over the top” to us, rather than minimalist sexy.

While consistent, there was a lack of options between pieces (many of which seemed redundant) and the shoes were too masculine for our tastes.

  • Nicholas K

While, inspired by Edward Abbey’s novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, we can taste 18090-1900s newsboy throughout the entire collection and we love it.

New York City bohemian, intermixed with the contemporary American west, alongside hints of the rustic are pretty much the feeling we got from designer Nicholas Kunz.

We love the urbane Army parka, nomadic olive hues and ruched sleeves. As for the hoodies — they are epic.

Honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of his pieces showing up on the Hollywood silver screen in Summer 2011.

  • Nicole Miller

Exceptionally sheer, exceptionally chic. Lots of black, icy tones and neutrals.

Nothing stands out, but we wouldn’t expect anything different from Nicole Miller who is known for femininity and pure elegance. It would have been nice to see a tinge of colour, however.

But overall, it’s a solid collection that we think the buyers will most certainly be picking up.

  • Peter Som

We saw so many tweets on Twitter about this collection, we are shocked it wasn’t a trending topic.

Vivid colours, lots of dresses, preppy encounters, giant sunglasses, classic tailoring and an evocative description of spring through fabric is the only way we can describe this amazing collection by Peter Som. Actually, it reminds us a lot of Barbie — which is a very good thing!

It screams mimosas, flamingos, sunshine and giddy lights. The collection is a stand out from the rest of the this season’s pieces for it’s variety of textures and colours, from tweed to mixed prints.

“I was thinking about bringing joy to clothing,” he said to Style.com. “To me, that’s what fashion is all about.”

We agree.

  • Ports 1961

This is another collection where the tweets were endless about the jewel tones, textures and absolutely flawlessness of the brand. Again, we were shocked this one didn’t become a trending topic either from the sheer amount of ‘love’ we were reading while it was live.

There is nothing we didn’t love about this collection. It’s probably our second favourite, right behind Jason Wu.

Fiona Cibani, after the departure of her sister Tia earlier this year, has out done herself. The gorgeous daywear and cocktail pieces were inspired by a trip to southern Tunisia to explore the Sahara and we love that it looks like a desert dream.

The tawny golds, icy iridescent hues and rich ivory contrasts give the entire collection an ethereal, elemental feel.

Exceptionally elegant and extraordinarily feminine, the draped silhouettes and vibrant jewel tones were enough to make this, not only a memorable collection, but one that should be highly sought after.

Another stand out for us, is the hair and makeup: neutral meets chic. We love the bold use of earth tones, unhinged by striking cheekbones laced with golden bronzing and classically refined hair.

Love. 🙂

  • Rag & Bone

With their signature tailored pantsuits given a nod, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright Spring 2011 did not disappoint.

From the boudoir-esque, sheer pieces, to the galactic, military-grade fabrics — the collection looked good, but seemed to be too much at some points.

Regardless, the brand still illustrates how their version of a “cool girl” wants to look on her best day.

  • Band of Outsiders

Scott Sternberghas gets it.  His twisted, pretty take on dressing men and women, coupled with prints and bright colours is an undeniable force of urban goodness.

There is a sporty, yet Grecian feel to his collection, where boys are juxtaposed in edgy with a hint of delicacy, while the women have a touch of boyishness laced with sleekly structured lines.

  • Charlotte Ronson

It’s like Nirvana, My So-Called Life and Amy Heckerling circa 1994 had a baby.

According to Ronson, Angela Chase, Claire Danes’ character in the 1990s television show was her inspiration in an ode to the decade.

Grunge meets goddess.

Twill and jersey in a cocktail of hoodies, scrunchy socks and wispy separates make for an interesting mix. And like everything else for this season, save a rare few — sheer, sheer, sheer.

Smells like contemporary teen spirit, we-thinks…

  • Cynthia Rowley

How very mod.

Bubbly peek-a-boos offering a glimpse of skin here and some savvy seduction there. In an interview backstage with Style.com, Rowley noted that the inspiration for her collection came from the New York City Ballet productions of Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.

Definitely more sweet than sexy, we like the simplicity. The mix of embellishments versus colour is healthy, where one does not overpower the other.

  • Edun

As one of the most socially conscious high-end lines around, founded by Ali Hewson and U2 frontman, Bono, Edun was a bit urban, a bit grit and quite chic.

Fifteen perfect of the collection was made in Africa under the watchful eye of Sharon Wauchob, who made her debut for the line this season. Familiar colours and textures we’ve seen before reared their faces: natural fabrics, earthy hues and long lines.

At some points I felt like I was looking at an alternative version of The Gap.

True to form, there was tiny details that stood out: eye-catching wooden sequins embroidered on a sargon, knot embroidery on a white poplin shirtdress and perforated khaki leather to name a few.

  • Jill Stuart

For as classic and quintessential Jill Stuart as this solid collection was, the hair and makeup was a horrid fright. If the goal was to juxtapose the elegant with the dirty, Stuart fell short. The contrast was more Tim Burton meeting a contemporary Jane Austen gone wrong.

The collection itself was sleek and modern with very structured looks adorning the runway in a rainbow of neutral tones like champagne, ivory, blush, crisp white and striking ebony.

  • Lacoste

In a beautiful ode to the legacy of founder, René Lacoste, Christophe Lemaire did his last show for Lacoste incorporating everything that made the brand famous as well as some of Lemaire’s own signature looks.

Lemaire, who is moving on to take up shop at Hermès, said that he was inspired by modernist architecture.

White shirts paired with baggy, pleated pants ribbed at the ankle are very René Lacoste and exceptionally traditional tennis.

…think lemonade scones, poached salmon and possibly some Pimm’s.

We loved the use of colour with hues in  ochre, tarnished orange, golden browns and luscious pinks. Most of all, we hope that when Felipe Oliveira Baptista takes the reins, he does it very well as the highest of expectations are on him. Something we certainly do not envy.

  • Philosophy

Even if you knew nothing about Philosophy, just seeing the first few pieces from the Spring collection by Alberta Ferretti told you a story. If they didn’t, then the Gauguin-like chinoiserie print on the floor might have been an obvious give away: classic, vibrantly colourful, girlie and Pan-Asian.

We weren’t the biggest fan of the sleepwear resembling shorts, but we loved the platform shoes.

Between the extremely colourful frocks, digital prints, absolutely gorgeous silks, dragon embroideries and the belted trench — the collection was exactly what you would expect from the brand calling of the Far East.

  • Prabal Gurung

Colour is an understatement and Prabal’s Spring 2011 collection will make you take notice.

He so very obviously pays attention to details — something noticeable in a flesh-colored zipper on a relatively sheer evening dress or to better keep its shape the the hand-sewing of  the interfacing within the lining of a peplum motorcycle jacket.

The entire collection seems mod to us, with boldface colours thrown into cocktail dresses made of silk crepe. While, we love his creativity, we’re not entirely sure we’d agree with the execution this time around because the entire set seemed to lack a clear direction.

  • Vivienne Tam

It’s very difficult not to like Vivienne Tam as she never disappoints.

With a keen focus on the intricate and delicate, much like Prabal Gurung’s style of work, Tam’s pieces are crafty and unique.

Inspired by the Chinese Silk Road (across India into Persia), her collection was delightful from its embroidery, to its patchwork, to its use of colour and creative stitching.

We certainly enjoyed the crochet-work inspired by Asian temple facades and Middle Eastern frescoes. And like many other, we agree that the tribal meets global mix just felt right.

  • Victoria Beckham

Oh, Mrs. David Beckman, how we love thee and your husband more, let us count the ways…

Big surprise with this collection, that is certainly *gasp* worthy, are the draping fabrics, tightly stitched into curvy lines. It is a far cry from the corsets and cinched waists that Posh is known for.

Many of the dresses were in pure Victoria-fashion channeling the 1960s and Jackie Kennedy. Interestingly enough, or lack thereof,  the new Victoria Beckham handbags are classically-ladylike in shape and highly resemble everything Birkin.

But, that cannot be a surprise.

The rosy pink shoes were designed by Brian Atwood.

  • Rebecca Minkoff

Goodness me, how we love this. It’s just gorg!

From the hard-hitting, but feminine handbags, to the smalls studs, necklaces and chains, it’s just so BoHo chic. There is delicate balance between bad-girl/good-girl that Minkoff played on and did it, oh, so well…

Obviously, she understands her customers and unlike a lot of other designers out there, her ready-to-wear line, is just that, exceptionally ready-to-wear and exceptionally on target.

A highlight for us were the mid-heel, ankle booties encasing some pilot pants of rip-stop nylon.

  • DKNY

I’m convinced that Donna Karen, true to form, channeled her inner New Yorker for this collection.

Cabs. Boroughs. Apple Reds. — nods to the four seasons the Big City has etc. It was all just so tourista!

The showed opened with a gorgeous khaki trench, cropped black pants and was topped off with an exquisite looking scarf, looped silkily around the models teeny neck. It’s the DKNY Heritage scarf, in case you are interested in gettin gone.

The pieces were suitable, sensible and delectable for the pretty, preppy girl in us all.

A highlight for us — the simplicity and chic elegance of it all.

  • Derek Lam

We are not quite sure what it is, but something about the Derek Lam collection screams ‘post-modern’ at us. We aren’t sure if its the long lines, military-inspired buttons, denim or overall sleek shapes sweeping across our pupils — but its

Lela Rose

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*** Images from Style.com ***


Sasha Muradali runs the Little Pink Book. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the Little Pink Book delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009-2010 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.