The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Olympus fashion week’ features new looks

Courtney Wilson | Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Twice a year, the city of New York brings together the world’s leading fashion designers for seven days of full-on fashion festivities. Think of fashion week as the “Super Bowl” of American fashion. It’s an opportunity for designers to unveil their creations before the arrival of each fall and spring season. Olympus Fashion Week, named for its sponsor, is held each time in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Enormous white tents fill the lawn of Bryant Park, which is conveniently located near Vogue’s Times Square headquarters.

Access to every show is exclusive and comes by invitation only. Invitees generally include journalist and buyers or celebrities and socialites. Fortunately for non-A-list fashionistas, previews of the collections are posted via magazine websites such as style.com and elle.com. While some designers have begun to take the non-traditional route of showroom displays, most still prefer the excitement of runway shows.

Most fashion enthusiasts will find Marc Jacobs to be one of the most impressive and original runways. Not only was his catwalk constructed to look something like that of a freshly mowed spring lawn, but his clothes were the embodiment of spring – playful and lively. Although the use of pastel polka dots and stripes is typical, his eye for layering makes it look far from traditional. Fans of the designer should preview his larger collection over the smaller “Marc by Marc” collection. While Jacobs’ feature collection is substantially pricier, it is considerably more innovative.

Vera Wang’s show proved to be another exceptional display. Attempting layers in a different way, she constructed eye-catching ensembles with translucent layers and original shapes. The unity of delicate fabrics and richly romantic colors was the epitome of elegance.

This year’s Spring 2007 collections featured a general aura of female independence and youthful elegance. Modest yet distinctly feminine clothing left much to the imagination as nothing was particularly form fitting. Liberation for the average woman came at last, as designers constructed organic, non-restrictive pieces flattering to most shapes and sizes. Romantic details paired with structured basics and a punk-like edge modernized previous runaway looks.

Some aspects of spring came with little novelty, as – surprise, surprise – whites pervaded the looks for 2007. Keeping things clean cut, black and white was an obvious combination choice for designers such as Vena Cava and Luella. There also appeared to be a collective use of white with metallic shades of gold and platinum. The most noticeable examples of this look was presented in the Ralph Lauren show. Metallic brocade skirts and slim cropped pants could easily translate from early day to evening.

Other color palettes included muted tones of creams and grey or soft pastels like the soft canary yellow used throughout Alice Roi’s collection. Shorts as well remained an obvious spring staple, but “hot pant” opponents could rejoice over the variety of lengths and sizes. Taken long or short, designers frequently implemented cuffs to create the impression of maturity.

Other commonly used details included the use of worldly prints and ruffles. Necklines were generally scooped as opposed to collared, and waistlines were generally tied as opposed to belted. Pants moved from pencil thin to wide-leg linen, while high-waisted trousers were styled with silk blouses.

Jumpers, rompers and frocks translated from fall, while knee-length pleats created a new look for spring. Tent dresses were paired with lanky cardigans, and volume remains critical as bubble skirts stuck around for one more season. Finally, feminine ensembles created a dancer-like elegance, and layering remained the mark of fashion know-how.

The excitement from fashion week is far from over. Beginning next month, magazines will move away from fall fashions to showcase spring collections and trends. Winter has yet to arrive, but with last week’s fashion festivities, who can help but look forward to the upcoming spring?