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New York Fashion Week: Overview A/W 2013

“The show must go on” was certainly the motto of New York Fashion Week A/W ’13. Storm Nemo forced Marc Jacobs to reschedule his show due to missing pieces caused by flight delays, also meaning coveted front row seats went up for grabs. However, despite New York’s turbulent conditions, the week continued mostly uninterrupted and we were introduced to the tough androgynous, minimalist New Yorker of A/W ‘13.

Before I hear you sigh at the mere mention of military for autumn/winter, from someone who tires of it every season, I was truly delighted this time round. Prabal Gurung did it best, taking a more elementary approach rather than sending out fully fledged model-soldiers. The opening look was flawless; a military green hourglass figure was created with a delicate peplum, the leather body harness and aviator gloves toughened the look up, while the fur collar kept it feminine. New York’s darling, Alexander Wang also dished up bomber jackets and rather bizarre balaclavas, recalling that of a fighter pilot while American design legend Michael Kors took a more humorous approach with the trend with full-on GI Joe camouflage. Designers spoke of empowering women, a concept that will undoubtedly prove popular.

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We saw a focus on the shoulders only this season, less 80s, more urban warrior. Jason Wu contrasted tough-girl biker gilets with huge fur epaulettes, cinching girls in at the waist creating an austere yet ultra-feminine silhouette. Statement shoulders found a more girly outlet through Vera Wang who wrapped up models in giant fur stoles while widened arm holes created massive volume. Sequins and satin sleeved gloves touched on this trend’s potential appeal for the ‘prettier’ dresser and brought this trend into the realm of evening wear.

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The stand out coat for the season was at first glance, mannish and boxy. Yet each had their own distinctions – Theysken’s Theory made it a statement piece in itself by leaving little else underneath, bare skin peeking through boyish blazers adding major sex appeal teamed with knee high leather boots. 3.1 Phillip Lim made great use of colour blocking, casting a more youthful spin on the obvious androgyny of the look while Reed Krakoff’s version was more Matrix, rarely steering far from long and black, though occasionally surprising us with exotic skins. Kors gave us a fantastic mustard over-sized pea coat set against black and teamed with ski goggles, a lively and energetic approach for strutting around the streets of Manhattan.

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The grunge trend left its traces through New York’s accessories: beanies at BCBG Max Azria and DKNY, as well as creeper-style heels at Rodarte meant we’ll still be revelling in the 90s for a while. And next season’s key pieces according to New York? Killer knee high leather boots, fur elements (a plethora of faux pieces available on the high street until we can splurge on that blue Oscar de la Renta fur gilet), leather gloves, and a crisp buttoned up shirt (as seen at The Row, Tommy Hilfiger). New York: this season was a showcase of careful tailoring and effortless cool defined by a pure minimalism we’ll all be dying to master as soon as the new chill of the next A/W comes our way.

Amrit Santos

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