Beauty in the eye of the non-former. New York Fashion Week has been sending sports inspired collections out left right and centre, pieces that are almost weightless in fabric yet heavy on form. By form I mean uniform-like; great silhouettes that fall away from the body. Gone are the tight fitting bandeau dresses of the Versace and Herve Leger eras and in its place, a pared-back elegance and crisp new direction. Even Victoria Beckham appears to have found her own footing following her years as Posh Spice and then those as a successful wag.
Her reinvention in fact, has been nothing short of miraculous. Sure, money helps a great deal (no one has ever made it into (or out of) a Conde Nast event wearing polyester) but you really have to give credit where credit is due - she's managed to keep celebrities out of her FROW in favour of salon style presentations - and why? To prove herself as a serious designer. To talk through each and every piece in her collection on a one on one basis with some of the world's leading fashion editors. You'll have to admit it. She knows what she's doing. This season, she showcased dropped hems and a cropped, mannish style trouser. If last season was all about androgyny, than this season, she states "is very much girl meets boy".
Victoria Beckham isn't the only one in the mood for a new look. It seems the fashion industry of New York has taken one big sleeping pill. One would certainly be forgiven for thinking so with the SS14 collections inspired by more of a serene, relaxed...easy feel - (with the exception of the high-octane eveningwear and dazzling dresses of Reem Acra).
Even the models are less bounce and more glide on those catwalks this time around.
If it all seems like the excitement of the New York fashion and street scene has lost its way, look again. The best collections so far have been clever in construction yet as above, fall away from the body to form a weightlessness that's fresh, real, and modern. There's less focus on showmanship and styling and more on mastering today's techniques of dressmaking. Even I'm loving the clean, simple lines of the new, and that's coming from a dedicated lover of design houses who inject a sense of humour into their pieces; I'm talking about the Vivienne Westwood's, John Galliano's and Dan and Dean Caten's of this world.
Philosophy, A Detacher, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui and Osklen were amongst the designers showing a looser, breezier aesthetic while staying true to the creative direction of their respective house styles. Designers challenged the chic subtlety seen in the Autumn/Winter collections and took it further with graphic lines and clean finishes - not always easy to obtain with the light looks of Spring/Summer.
One fashion capital down and three to go. Let's see what London brings when the London Fashion Week circus rolls in today.