7 posts tagged style.com
There were tourists lined up on the steps of the Plaza tonight. It’s not clear if they were waiting for a glimpse of Katharine McPhee, who sat front row in the hotel’s Terrace Room for Zac Posen’s show, or for the designer himself. Now that he’s on Project Runway, Posen’s becoming a celebrity in his own right. To capitalize on it, he’s launched a new contemporary brand priced between Z Spoke and his signature collection that incorporates his name, Zac Zac Posen, not unlike Michael Michael Kors.
No confusing his Fall show with a diffusion line. Posen focused less on evening gowns with his famous anatomical seaming than he usually does on the runway, favoring evening separates and a surprising number of pants, but the clothes were nonetheless loaded up with detail: soutache embroidery, origami draping and folds. Some of the familiar complaints lobbed in Posen’s direction applied: Here and there the cuts looked stuffy and old. But he also had some good ideas, in particular a fitted peplum top in rust-colored duchesse satin that zipped in the back, taking the place of a jacket, and other versions of the same thing in stretch felt or velvet.
Posen has been enjoying an uptick in red carpet credits lately. It’s too soon to say if it’s related toProject Runway, but there were a handful of showstopping gowns here—a strapless bustier number in lapis, bias-cut orchid-colored chiffon, and most of all, a citrine stretch duchesse style with gold soutache embroidery—that won’t do anything to slow down his winning streak.
style.com review of zac posen fall 2013 show by nicole phelps
“Maria Callas going to Argentina” is the précis Zac Posen gave his pre-fall collection. He’s never been one to shy away from drama, and the dresses and gowns in this lineup delivered on his reputation. Whether he cut them in duchesse satin or silk faille ottoman jacquard, they were intricately constructed. The best of them—we’re thinking specifically about a strapless aubergine style with a bow detail at the bust—did wondrous things for the models’ forms: instant hourglass. Posen used the words anatomicaland architectural to describe the season. He approaches his designs almost like an architect would, adding fiber optics to organza and tulle, for example, so that the lightweight fabrics hold their extravagant volumes.
But every night isn’t a night at the opera. Clingy knit dresses delivered some of the same va-va-voom in a more approachable, everyday material, and he used black leather for the first time for a skirtsuit. It didn’t look quite as utilitarian as he indicated, but it did have an edge that felt new for him.
zac posen pre-fall 2013 review by nicole phelps for style.com
Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova. They all walked in Zac Posen’s show this evening, and the supermodels weren’t the only things vintage. The music was popular standards like “Moonlight Serenade” and “Sunday Kind of Love,” and the pacing was practically glacial. The weather cooperated, and it was a beautiful night on the terrace of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall; but the designer wasn’t doing himself any favors on the production front. It’s too bad if people went away cranky, because he put together a lovely collection.
The clothes also had a retro patina, but if some of the skirtsuits looked stuck in the 1940s, other numbers were pleasingly old-school. The sweetheart-neck, patchwork floral day dresses that Lindsey Wixson and Marihenny Rivera Pasible modeled would be an easy sell with the street style set—why haven’t those peacocks discovered Posen yet? After dark, a silk crepe evening jumpsuit and a tulle bustier worn with flared wide-leg satin pants moved the proceedings forward a few decades to the Studio 54 era. Most of the designer’s attention, though, was focused on gowns, and one thing he’s learned over the years is that timeless plays on the red carpet. So does color—the color story here was gorgeous. You could picture either Gwyneth Paltrow or Grace Kelly nabbing the best-dressed prize in Posen’s jade green duchesse satin and tulle strapless ball gown.
style.com review of zac posen spring 2013 by nicole phelps
style.com review of z spoke spring 2013 by brittany adams
Zac Posen brings a touch of theatricality to all of his creations—even his lower-priced ones. His Fall collection for Z Spoke put a modern spin on the golden days of MGM Studios. At the Spring lookbook shoot, the designer pointed to model and longtime friend Coco Rocha, who was bringing the clothes to life with acrobatic poses, and said, “The theme is Coco goes to Hollywood.” Indeed, many of the Technicolor gowns did have an old-school glamour (ditto the pony-hair clutch bags decked out with dramatic fringed tassels). When Rocha slipped into a lemon-yellow number cut from stretch charmeuse satin that featured distinctly Posen details like a sweetheart neckline and vector pleating in back, one member of the team commented, “She’s like a Snow White pinup.” Despite all those showstoppers, though, from the start Z Spoke has been about offering affordable sportswear that doesn’t compromise on quality of construction. Tailored jacquard skirt suits ideal for the office would quickly justify their price-per-wear ratio, while you could imagine wearing a flirty white frock with floating seams and a built-in vest to a movie date. Speaking of cinema, Posen and Rocha might be the next fashion stars you see up on the big screen. At one point during the shoot, the animated duo broke into an impromptu rendition of Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York”—chorus line kicks and all—and we must declare they’ve got talent.
The big scoop at Z Spoke by Zac Posen is a new Signature capsule of 25 eveningwear looks that are priced to sell at around $1,000 a pop, give or take. “I wanted my girl to get the man and not go broke on the way there,” Posen said at a Resort appointment this morning. These after-dark numbers are far more affordable than those found in the designer’s namesake line, but definitely aren’t cheap in terms of construction. Posen starts by scouring the market for materials like stretch duchesse satin and bondage lace, which keeps costs relatively low, and elevates them with signature details like precise seams and flattering corsetry.
For daywear, he offered tailored tropical wool suiting separates, including an asymmetric zip jacket with a removable cowl neck, as well as a tufted tweed coat with an away-from-the-body silhouette. “We wanted to get that outerwear trend in stores as soon as possible,” he said. “Canine couture” accessories are another recently developed category. Posen is constantly looking for stylish solutions for carrying around his own three pups (his mini poodle Tina Turner makes an appearance in the lookbook alongside model Tao Okamoto) and noticed his customer wants the same. She’ll go for the perforated leather totes and leashes here.
brittany adams for style.com
tao okamoto photographed by dan king for z spoke resort 2013
click on the images to see the full collection
There’s plenty to marvel at during a Zac Posen preview: the acres of bordeaux tulle on a halter gown, the obsessive attention to detail in the curving pleats on a pencil skirt (how many hours did a seamstress toil over those?), model Anna Cleveland’s old school sashay. But what’s most remarkable is the fit. Posen’s hourglass-enhancing dresses can turn even the most angular of mannequins into sex bombs. His lookbook shoot with the androgynous Erin O’Connor is proof positive of that.
Since returning to the New York scene from Paris a year ago, Posen has zeroed in on eveningwear. He says it’s paying off at retail, where sell-throughs have been “unbelievable.” But dressy skirtsuits and other separates also got their fair share of play in his new Resort collection. A pintucked chiffon and washed organza blouse and pleated high-waisted pants had a smart, retro-modern look.
Posen built options into a long-sleeved black day sheath. Its cowled neckline could be worn pulled down, exposing the shoulders, or up for a more demure look. A pretty violet gown with one manipulable sleeve had the same kind of versatility. Ultimately, it’s the drama of these frocks that makes them desirable, but that kind of considered practicality has its appeal, too.
by nicole phelps for style.com
click on the images for a look at the whole collection.