NY Fashion Week: Rodarte, Vera Wang, Vivienne Tam

The Vera Wang Fall 2016 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Vera Wang Fall 2016 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runway designs to the celebrity-filled front rows. Here are some recent highlights:



When Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte dream up an idea for a collection, they don’t, as some designers do, make picture boards and map out exactly how they’re going to reference the idea in each garment.

“It’s not specific references, really just a feeling,” says Kate Mulleavy. “We tend to be fairly abstract.”

For their new collection, which they showed Tuesday, Feb. 16, in a Chelsea gallery space, the designing sisters said they were inspired while visiting San Francisco to do a season based loosely on “The Godfather” movies.

“We were in this cafe that we used to go to and we remembered hearing that (Francis Ford) Coppola had written some of ‘The Godfather’ in the cafe. And we just had this idea that it would be interesting to do a collection inspired by that film, and at the same time about my experience of San Francisco, references like art nouveau, old posters from film noir, things like that.”

As is often with the Mulleavys, the garments were heavy on lace, hugely intricate embroidery, and lots of mixing of fabrics. Colors were mostly black, white, and red (perhaps for blood?) There was a bride in all white with a delicate veil, too. That, Kate Mulleavy acknowledged, was indeed a specific “Godfather” reference.

Rodarte collections often touch heavily on themes of nature, and that was present here also. Long fur jackets, with horizontal stripes of bold color — one of them combined white, brown, red and yellow — were meant to echo moth wings, Mulleavy said.

“You know when you look at moths you’re like, ‘How can they come in so many amazing different colors?'” she said. “So we kind of just played with that.” A number of the embroideries were based on birds and butterflies, as well, and jewelry focused heavily on flowers.

Among the front-row guests was actress Kirsten Dunst, who is working with the Mulleavys on an upcoming dramatic film written and directed by the sisters, called “Woodshock.”

—Jocelyn Noveck



In color and long, lithe structure, Vera Wang went for equal parts all-business armor and a 1920s dream, though armor might be too strong a word.

While looking to encourage a woman’s strength, she said in a backstage interview it was the chest protection of fencers that she had on her mind in creating some of her tough new coats, jackets and long skirts. The soothing colors of Modigliani paintings moved her as well, in mustard, olive and plum, among other shades, as did the elongated shapes in the sculpture of Alberto Giacometti.

“It sort of started actually with fencing,” she said. “I always loved the discipline and I loved the precision and the elegance and the line and the silhouette of fencers.”

Wang was after such proportions in looks like a nude tulle column gown with a bib neck and panels of metallic sequins and crystals. And she was hoping to evoke a dream state looking back to the ’20s and ’30s in a backless camisole in a plum floral print and maxi robes of olive floral silk.

She carried the olives, soft gray and chartreuse into fur jackets with a patchwork effect.

“I really want to convey sort of otherworldly feeling, but the very gutsy, very strong woman,” she said. “They are striding. They’re cool. They’re young. They’re hip. They’re not hiding themselves.”

Hiding in plain sight on Wang’s front row was a pink-haired Kylie Jenner, huge sunglasses in place.

—Leanne Italie and Nicole Evatt



Vivienne Tam brought her dreams to life Tuesday with her fall 2016 collection.

“A couple of months ago I had this dream I went to Central Asia, Russia and Turkey,” Tam said in a backstage interview before her show. “I was so amazed by all of the beautiful art, craftsmanship, embroideries and tapestries. I put them together as cultural collages.”

Those cultural collages resulted in ornately constructed pieces made using jacquard ranging from bohemian dresses with flower appliques, to oversized knit sweaters, loose-fitted skirts and leather jackets.

Tam’s inspiration for fall wasn’t just the world. She was also inspired by the woman who is on the go. Tam wants her customer to be able to go to the board room or out to dinner with friends without having to change clothes.

A mainstay for her has always been attention to detail with the fabrics, which Tam also designs. Gold and silver threads glistened on the models under the runway lights. Red, purple and green are mainstays on the flowing pieces.

If color isn’t your thing, not to worry.

“I want a cultured woman wearing it so I added black color,” Tam said. “My silhouettes are very relaxed.”

—Alicia Quarles
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