The Highs and Lows of New York Fashion Week

by Keith Christopher

New York Fashion Week in February certainly had it's moments of glamour and also several moments of disaster. After speaking to several friends, peers, and colleagues, reviews were mixed about how the season looked as a whole in New York. One moment you could be loving a Prabal Gurung gown and the next you could be avoiding Cynthia Rowley like the plague. In the end it's all opinion and taste, but I will be highlighting the best and worst moments of NYC and hitting on some of the big trends you will see this upcoming Fall.

What was most exciting for me about NYC Fashion Week was how much the designers really embraced American sportswear. Designers were thinking practically and in pieces without losing their own flare or cool factor.

Proenza Schouler, for example, took reference right from America's southwest. Breathtaking prints nodding at Native American culture mixed with divine evening dresses gives Americans a sort of pride that there is still beauty here in America. Designers don't have to look to abstract ideas or Europe for inspiration, there is beauty right here in our homes.

Rodarte did a sunset inspiration and styled the hair of the models in a whispy, prairie-like style. With so many folk elements, wheat prints and aprons, a real since of America was portrayed in a country, homeland fashion.

On the reverse of these home-on-the-range vibes, some designers decided to heavily push the idea of luxe and glamour for the Fall. Designers such as Vera Wang, Prabal Gurung, and Jason Wu emulated a sleek, sexy women for a night on the town. Vera Wang and Prabal Gurung, specifically, both had a vamp edge about them. Vera mainly used intense blacks while Prabal introduced a highly trending color this season, red. Red is popping up everywhere this season so be sure to stock your wardrobes for the upcoming fall with a few pieces of this chic, daring color.

Now that some of the hits have been covered, what about the misses? Word on the street was that Christian Siriano's latest left people feeling a little underwhelmed. Not surprising, seeing as how the designer is known for over-the-top fashion-forward designs and ended up showing a frumpy, and rather sloppy collection. The only time he used color was in old, muted colors that would make any woman look matronly. The entire rest of the collection was black with little detail or interest. Quite the miss for this young designer.

Another miss, Cynthia Rowley paired velvet, cubism print, and burnout to show a collection that looked as if it belonged in some futuristic/medieval mash-up. Many of the looks, especially the velvet ones, did nothing for the figures. If I were you I'd avoid velvet for the winter unless you really have the body to pull it off. If you must, wear it in moderation. An entire dress of such a textured fabric is very difficult to pull off.

The diagnosis? I think this Fall, fashionistas should feel comfortable with the skin they're in. Embrace glamour, embrace sportswear and stay away from things that try too hard. In the end you should wear the dress, not the other way around. Fashion should not be a battle between woman and fabric. Own up to it!

Use neutral shades for makeup. MAC Viva Glam just released a taupe-colored lipstick that sends all proceeds to help combat AIDS. Lighten up on the eye shadow and cut down on the hair product. This upcoming fall will be about being glamorous without drowning in sequins or velvet.

What do you think New York Fashion Week was all about? Agree? Disagree? Let us here at Fashion Wrap Up know and be sure to follow us on Twitter for your fashion fix.

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