Nubby, shiny material familiar to varsity athletes surprisingly made sense on a coat that was paired with a goatskin collar shawl, lace-inset blouse and stretch-wool seamed pants.
But Thakoon Panichgul put together a cohesive catwalk of seemingly unrelated modern neoprene, a space-age dandelion print, beaded dragonfly embroidery and wallpaper-inspired florals.
He hit on a few of the trends that seem to be emerging from these previews, including peplums and structured rounded shoulders, but his collection was not done with a heavy hand, leaving a pleasant trail of almost vintagelike looks.
Posen presented his smallest show in years, taking a breath from a whirlwind few months that included joining “Project Runway” as a judge.
For a designer who thrives on flashbulbs, cameras and frenzy, the change might seem odd, but he said his intimate show at the Plaza Hotel was the best way to sharpen his focus in a collection that was thoughtful and intellectual.
“My fantasies about glamour or about society, about travel, all took place here growing up in New York. When you drive by great historical backgrounds, this is where Halston did his first shows, where Oscar de la Renta used to show,” Posen said.
Part of Posen’s signature are red-carpet gowns, such as the strapless, draped bustier ballgown worn by Crystal Renn and the architectural peplum gown with cutouts and sharp shoulders worn by Coco Rocha.
The tireless 71-year-old designer, best known for punky prom dresses and a lot of pink, introduced her fall collection as a theatrical exercise video for the Style Network program “Betsey and Lulu,” which follows the lives of Johnson and her daughter.
It was a catwalk of energetic, giggly models in active wear chatting on cellphones as they waved to attendees, then an exercise routine led by the designer that included running in place, yoga and pull-ups. Rows of pink yoga mats were strewn on the runway, each accompanied by a pair of high-top sneakers, towels and wine bottles.
The collection, named “BJ Kicks A,” veered from the high school dance party looks that she has championed for decades, running toward a junior high school gym class with a lot of cheek. It was an explosion of neon pink and yellow, animal prints and plaids on mini dresses worn over leggings, a veritable visual feast piled over one another.
As a whole, branching out beyond prom dresses was a smart move for the brand, which filed for bankruptcy protection more than a year ago and is now owned by Steve Madden.