Jennifer Lopez took the final bow at New York Fashion Week after debuting a collection that hit on some of the trends to look for next fall — metallics, embellishment, high waists and loose shapes.
The line, Sweetface, was previewed Friday night on a crystal-covered runway and mimicked Lopez’s own wardrobe, right down to her floppy hats.
The audience seemed pleasantly surprised that several styles were youthful, sexy and still wearable. Expectations were fairly low among many fashion editors and retailers, who predicted more flash than fashion as they finished up eight days of runway shows at Olympus Fashion Week.
Vogue’s editor at large Andre Leon Talley and Carson Kressley of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” were among the fans.
“I loved it. It was fabulous,” Talley said from his front row seat. “Everything was relevant because it looked like her.”
Some of the key looks from Lopez were babydoll dresses, fur capes and a striking champagne-colored silk chiffon jumpsuit with crystal trim.
Still, Lopez’s line didn’t come close the elegance of Ralph Lauren’s collection and it wasn’t as inventive as Donna Karan’s. But some of the Sweetface styles were in line with the soft shapes and retro prints spotted on other runways. Lopez wasn’t the only one showing cropped pants, no matter how impractical and unflattering they are for the masses.
Some looks, though, would only be useful to a superstar — how many other women could wear mink shorts?
The beauty of Ralph Lauren’s collection, however, was in its simplicity. There was nothing contrived about his hooded gray cashmere dress, the cashmere houndstooth check shirtdress or even the pale gray silk georgette beaded dress.
These looks, along with tailored wool flannel suits, highlighted Lauren’s emphasis on fine fabrics and sculptural silhouettes.
In his notes, Lauren said he was influenced by his own collection of vintage racing cars. The structured seams on a strapless wool cocktail dress mimic the lines of the designer’s Atlantic Coupe.
He described the collection as “sleek, glamorous and pure luxury with a racy modern edge.”
“He (Lauren) knows who his customer is and he designs for her,” said Suze Yalof Schwartz, Glamour magazine’s executive fashion editor at large. “They’re women who live in Bedford, (N.Y.), the Hamptons or the Upper East Side. They go to fund-raisers, operas and ballets, and she has a look of elegance and chic.”
“You look at these women and say, ‘I wish I was one of them,” she added.
Lauren avoided the voluminous shapes that were touted by designers as diverse as Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole.
Donna Karan added her own touch, with pleated and tucked full skirts paired with a military-style jacket and a silk chiffon blouse. A sheer cashmere and rayon knit cardigan looked comfortable and sexy, and worked well with the proportion of the skirt.
Karan also offered a violet silk coat adorned with a puffy origami flower that somehow didn’t overwhelm the look. Another outstanding coat was made of black wool felt with a giant wing collar.
Her finale was a teal silk taffeta corset-style evening dress with strips of elastic bands, picking up on another important trend for fall.