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NEW YORK’S MASSIVE FASHION EXPOSITION for Fall 2009 was wonderful!  It was womanly, refined, sophisticated, and dramatic.  In many ways it was serious, yet there was enough lightheartedness to offset any gloom. It was very black, but a sizzling black, a WOW! black. And there was color, here and there; pops of brights, too, even neon.  It was classic, and yet very 2009.  Overall, it was a show that underwrote the fact that New York – or shall we say, America – is second to no one (and often first) in fashion.


There were myriad stories at this exposition, enough for just about any taste. There was Bostonian snotty and guttersnipe sexy, some Gothic, plenty of tribal, 80s color-blocking, 20s fringe, and futuristic, metallic flash and shine. The blacks were often red hot, the whites often icy cold.  Fur was a major standout.  It was almost always spectacular, showy, exquisitely designed, but sadly unapologetic for the innocent lives it takes.


                                             Standout Accessories


ACCESSORIES WERE QUIETER than usual, but nonetheless standouts.  Hats were terribly important, big, unique.  Caps and fedoras were holdovers from former seasons, still looking fresh and fun.  Kerchiefs were more like material works of art, sometimes starched and standing out like old Gallic French styles.  Headbands and headpieces dotted the runways with fascinating originality.




  • Wholesale fedora with innovative design.  In herringbone with black under brim.







                                                Little Belts


HANDBAGS WERE BIG, sometimes huge, and small.  Clutches were hot.  Totes remain in.  Jewelry was special, pieces that looked one-of-a-kind.  Chokers were very important. Belts were everywhere, mostly thin little leather belts with simple buckles, but … don’t stop there!  Big, boisterous belts with big boisterous buckles are still around!


Leather was – and is — the material for 2009.  Shiny materials were extremely important.  Fabric emphasis gave everything a different look.  Patterns upon patterns sizzled. Layering ruled the outfit mystique:  blouses with vests with sweaters with jackets with coats…on and on!


And, despite the global economic doldrums, New York offered up little that was restrained. If anything, there was a something of everything, sometimes a little overwhelming.

    — But…let’s get on the fast fashion track for a quickie look at many of the Show’s highlights:


Oscar de la Renta presented an extravagant fall collection strong on black and ladylike accessories, from long black leather gloves to medium sized quiet leather handle bags.  Adding richness:  a gorgeous fur necklet.  The designer also showed a classic checkered coat, riveting purple-red slacks, and numerous outfits in fabulous light gray.  Here and there, a skinny gold belt flashed through.  




  • Crocheted sequin purse in vibrant multicolors or solid against black.






  • Sequin shoulder purse.  This is a gorgeous knit bag embellished with rows of large sequins so terribly popular this year. Dynamite!




                                            Lime Green


MICHAEL KORS OFFERED a lovely suit with a thin silver belt, accessorized further with fingerless wool gloves and a handsome little clutch bag.  He also showed a fuzzy lime green coat with color-matched under dress. The texture was new, but the color has been trendy for a while, giving the outfit a familiar look. Still, look for this color.  It’s very hot right now!


Calvin Klein was also big on lime green, showing a summery dress with uneven hemline in the popular color.  Of course, black was the big color for Klein, and understandably so.  Who does black better?  This master craftsman was also big on structured, tailored, refined looks, all with an architectural feel.  Sleek.


Vera Wang followed Klein in the black mode, with a long black dress over a black jacket, with black choker and multiple black hanging pendants.  She also showed big black beaded earrings with the outfit.


Narcisco Rodriguiez showed a handsome, very tailored gray slacks suit with long coat.  A stunner!


Marchess was big on ruffles, with frilly dress-up outfits, including a feathered short dress with big ribbon bow.


J. Mendel showed a great looking white fur vest.


                                          Skinny Black Tights


MAX AZRIA BROUGHT a casual outfit with black skinny tights and a draped yellow-green over-blouse to the runways. Those skinny black tights were basic to his collection, which was heavy in Gothic, black, well done.


Like Marchess, Philip Lim was deeply into ruffles. He showed fluttery dresses and tuxedo jackets, among other styles.


Diane von Furstenberg’s collection was nothing short of spectacular.  She used layering extensively, and plenty of high textured materials like thick woolens and plush velvets.  The designer also played with scattered traces of metallic spots on materials, along with lots of handsome graphics. She showed lots of mini skirts, hot leggings, color-blocked handbags, and high, strapped shoes.  A standout in her collection was a big pompom hat in varying shades of purple, gray and black.  Wow!  Another show stopper from this designer:  A flashy big cat suit in meow colors black and orange yellow.


                                       More Black


DKNY was traditional and exquisite with a brown gray sheath dress with black belt, black long gloves, and a big black fur necklet.







This was a show replete with texture, pattern, and textile effects. Sequins were everywhere.  Black offered major drama.  Pleats were like ruffles and draping:  important!


Marc by Marc Jacobs was a trip back to the Eighties.  The designer showed bright colors here and there, and was big on color-blocking.  These were very grown up looks!


Alberta Ferretti joined the ’09 designer parade toward fur, fur, fur! 


Isaac Mizrahi was entertaining with a handbag hat that was totally absurd but fun.  The designer was also into bright colors, especially oranges.  Stripes were almost a passion.  Overall, his looks were well tailored, very polished.



To Be Continued….

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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