red carpet gowns

New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 RTW: Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham, when the British designer's name comes to mind I automatically think of Kate Middleton. For Spring 2014, Packham compiled an array of candy-colored looks adorned with delicate beading and crystals in the most exquisite way. It might be easier to pick out which looks the Duchess of Cambridge would least likely be able to wear. There would be very few.

Packham was inspired by the 1975 art film, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Australian film director, Peter Weir (which, by the way, I now want to watch after reading the plot lines on IMDb). The film was set in an Edwardian boarding school, and Packham skillfully fused the 1970's with austere Edwardian dressing creating a collection of easy elegant looks.

Billowy prairie like silhouettes floated down the runway with low-cut backs, pleated detailing and high necks.  The collection felt a bit more casual for Packham with the vintage inspired vibe that was reflected in the loose pants and drop-waisted dresses paired with pussy-bow blouses. Nonetheless, it was still just as glamorous with signature Packham design staples like crystal-embellished gowns cinched at the waist with ribbon detailing.

The color palette was mostly made up of pastels, including baby blue, spearmint, dove grey, soft pink and dusty peach. Packham managed add some boldness to the collection with the use of chartreuse and and royal blue.

The overall collection is perfect Packham, including glittering shift dresses, floor-sweeping red carpet gowns and sexy column dresses with sheer overlays.

Models' looks were styled with blown out, very curly hair that was widely teased, ornate jewelry and carried over-sized satin clutches.

The Wrap Up:

  • Trend Forecast: Pastels, Pleats, Plaid, Chartreuse.
  • Colors: Soft Pink, Dove Grey, Baby Blue, Royal Blue and Rust.
  • Must Have Piece: The sleeveless dove grey, column dress with gold embellished details screams Kate Middleton.
  • Front Row Access: Louise Roe and Christina Hendricks. 
  • Celebs I can see wearing this collection: Kate Middleton, Blake Lively, Julianne Hough, Kate Winslet, Vanessa Hudgens, Helen Mirren, Dita Von Teese, Taylor Swift and Minka Kelly.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Livingly Media

Collections to Covet: Katie Ermilio F/W 2013

Recently, as I was looking through my emails, I noticed a trunkshow alert for a designer by the name of Katie Ermilio. Why have I not heard of this young woman? Well obviously I've been living under a rock to have not noticed her designs, because they are breathtaking. Ermilio's F/W 2013 is filled with tailored mixed separates and stunning dresses made for red carpet moments. Intrigued by her designs, I then read her bio, and two interesting things popped out at me: 1. Katie's grandfather was the designer of the iconic green jacket awarded for winning The Masters Tournament. 2. Her grandfather was the personal clothier to Grace Kelly.

Ermilio has also created a capsule collection for Barneys and it's easy to see that the collection has a very elegant lady like feel with a youthful energy. The collection includes several evening looks in bright colors and fashion-forward silhouettes. My favorite pieces are the Two-Tone Mermaid Gown and the Peplum Hem Skirt.

I would love to see Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried and Keira Knightley wear any one of these looks from the F/W 2013 collection on the red carpet.

What do you think of Katie Ermilio's designs?

Visit Moda Operandi for the Katie Ermilio Trunkshow. Going on now through April 3, 2013 at 11 PM EDT.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 RTW: Zac Posen

Zac Posen’s A/W 2013 show can be summed up in the only word that can possibly used to describe this collection: genius. Posen stirs up romantic vibes of leaves changing and warm apple cider in front of a fireplace with his shades of pumpkin, navy blue, aubergine, olive, brick red and gold.

Zac Posen’s technical skill is something to be treasured. His dart manipulations not only contour his garments, but also lend a pleasing and aesthetic harmony. It takes a certain level of textile mad scientist status to reintroduce the cape and make us actually want to own one, or five. Posen also manages to maintain peplum in a tasteful manner throughout his collection in both evening wear and office ready looks.

It appears the Far East is creeping back on fashions radar. We have seen influences ranging from Russia, Mongolia, the Himalayan regions, and Posen throws in a sporadically placed and confusing top adorned with Chinese oriented embroidery. The pale faces, staunch expressions and exaggerated lips reminded me of a Geisha, albeit one fashionable Geisha!

The star of the show was a floor length red evening gown with a waterfall of velvet adding a luscious texture through the structure. No matter which way the model turns, the dress looks like a completely new piece. From the pleated train expanding the mermaid flair, to overly exaggerated shoulders making their mark on an open back, from every angle this dress is a stunner. I only wish the model would have had a bit more curves to fill in the front of the dress. I vote for this gown to be Sofia Vergera’s next choice!

View more photos from this collection on Fashion Wrap Up's NYC Fashion Week Fall 2013 Pinterest board.

~Jessica Abouelela @GirlVsCity

Jessica Abouelela is a writer, world traveler, photographer and fashion designer currently residing with her husband in Pune, India.  Jessica is the owner and founder of the Not for Profit organization, The Common Thread Collective. The Common Thread Collective is an initiative created to merge the skills of sewing with the need to find a way to continue education of impoverished pre-adolescents, teenagers and young women. Learn more about The Common Thread Collective here.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 RTW: Monique Lhuillier

It was a vision of red carpet worthy extravagance, and it was Monique Lhuillier. Treating us to rich jewel tones in Amethyst, Ruby, and Pantone’s color for 2013, Emerald, we wanted nothing more than an excuse to attend the Oscars or Grammy Awards to don one of these beauties.

While some people may have disagreed with Beyonce’s Osman jumpsuit at the Grammy’s, Lhullier shows us that this look is evening wear appropriate. The collection features quite a few pieces with either a high-low peek-a-boo to lace, straight leg pants, or an over exaggerated floor length peplum. 

A personal favorite was a form fitting, flesh tone gown paying homage to art deco with a one of a kind neckline. The black pattern and bead-work continues the theme and draws the eye with fluid movement over the dress.

Lhullier’s draping lends to fluid movement in all of her pieces that leaves you wanting more. Her technique works particularly well with a new take on ombré; she features a bright emerald side dipped into deep navy.

Lhuillier is another designer focusing on the elegance of the female figure with fitted gowns, long sleeves, and amazing, hand worked details that you have to work to draw your eye off of. While we want to pick a few favorites, in reality, this is one collection you must view from start to finish. 

View more photos from this collection on Fashion Wrap Up's NYC Fashion Week Fall 2013 Pinterest board.

~Jessica Abouelela @GirlVsCity

Jessica Abouelela is a writer, world traveler, photographer and fashion designer currently residing with her husband in Pune, India.  Jessica is the owner and founder of the Not for Profit organization, The Common Thread Collective. The Common Thread Collective is an initiative created to merge the skills of sewing with the need to find a way to continue education of impoverished pre-adolescents, teenagers and young women. Learn more about The Common Thread Collective here.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 RTW: Prabal Gurung

An army of fashionistas, including Anna Wintour herself, braved the snow and ice Saturday to get a peak at Prabal Gurung's Fall RTW 2013 collection. The designer described his tough but feminine collection as one of "empowerment," which was inspired by his mother, the most empowered person he knows. Gurung was noted as saying, "The whole idea means not just being forceful, but embracing your femininity and being a woman in a man's world and ruling it." 

The modern woman will have no problem embracing her inner warrior while wearing this impeccably tailored military wear. A color palette of navy dress blues and army greens dominated the collection with a striking fierceness.

Models wearing parka jackets and wool coats with fur lined hoods, leather harnesses and extreme peplum details marched down the runway with commanding authority.

Flirty hemlines, billowy sleeves, embroidered sashes on dresses and romantic floral prints added a softness to the mostly uniform collection.

Cocktail dresses with daring slits and seductive silk gowns with asymmetrical and cut-out details provided the perfect balance of sexy and confident.

Ensembles were styled with shiny stilettos and thigh-high gladiator boots adorned with rows of gold buckles designed by Cesare Casadei, dark sunglasses and leather driving gloves.

Gurung has been at the top of fashion world since debuting his collection in 2009. His designs are coveted by Hollywood A-listers, the Duchess of Cambridge and have been very popular with First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. There is no rest for the Nepalese designer, whose much anticipated lower-priced capsule collection for Target lauched today. Gurung will also be showing his ICB line in New York on Monday.

The Wrap Up

  • Trend Forecast: Military, leather, fur, peplum, brocade embellishments and cut-outs.
  • Colors: Black, army green, navy blue and ruby red.
  • Must Have Piece:  A hand-knit black cowl sweater with bare shoulders, worn belted over a red silk flared short skirt.
  • Front Row Access: Jaime King and Eve.
  • Celebs who I think will be wearing this collection: Sarah Jessica Parker, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Elizabeth Olsen and Amanda Seyfried.

View more photos from this collection on my NYC Fashion Week Fall 2013 Pinterest board.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Style.com

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 RTW: Jason Wu

A blustry snowstorm packed a punch in New York City on Friday, but so did Jason Wu's Fall 2013 RTW collection. It's clearly evident that the designer perfectly understands his clientele-- the elegant modern woman. This collection delivers exactly what she wants, power dressing with a touch of femininity. Wu himself said the collection was one of, "extreme femininity". Lovely lace on jackets and snake embossed mini-dresses proved that point almost exclusively.

Diving further into his collection for fall, the designs accentuated two parts of the woman's physique, shoulders and legs. Belted fur jackets featuring exaggerated shoulders along with soft sleeveless, halter silhouettes were nothing less than sharp and attention grabbing.

Sleek tailored pants and flouncy pleated skirts mixed with tough yet feminine biker jackets creating sexy fluid ensembles.

Wu also had a bit of fun with this collection using feather plumes, pepulm and polka dots on dresses and tops.

The one thing I could not help but wonder... was Wu inspired by Raf Simmons Dior collections? For the evening gown looks, the American designer showcased flowing sheer designs. One gown in particular was very reminiscent of the black Dior Haute Couture dress Charlize Theron wore to the London premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman last May. Another nod to the Parisian design house was the flowing silk georgette dresses paired with cigarette pants. These two designs left me with a few thoughts-- Has Wu has been bitten by the Haute Couture bug? If yes, is a collection on the horizon?

Ensembles were styled with leather gloves, lace up, open-toe booties, cut-out heels and box clutches. The bottom line is that this collection was completely in Wu's wheelhouse.  He created a strong glam collection where downtown cool meets uptown sophistication.

The Wrap Up:

  • Trend Forecast: Leather, fur, sheer details, peplum, polka dots and pleats.
  • Colors: Black, white, red and blue.
  • Must Have Piece: The gorgeous red belted coat with an asymmetrical zipper.
  • Front Row Access: Jaime King, Allison Williams and Stephanie Seymour. 
  • Celebs who I think will be wearing this collection: If the gowns are a little less sheer, I am sure Michelle Obama will pick one or two for important events. Diane Kruger, Kate Mara, Jessica Pare, Camilla Belle, Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana and Jessica Chastain. I'd love to see Lucy Hale, AnnaSophia Robb and Sarah Hyland try some of the youthful and fun looks.

View more photos from this collection on my NYC Fashion Week Fall 2013 Pinterest board.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Style.com

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 RTW: Tadashi Shoji

When I think of velvet, I think of my tea-length, forest green, 8th grade dance dress disaster. I do not think of high fashion or elegance, yet Tadashi Shoji’s Autumn Winter 2013 collection shown in New York City may change my views. The delicate and feminine draping of floor length gowns combined with meticulous burn out patterns was breathtaking.

Shoji tied the collection together through Baroque lace patterns, with a personal favorite consisting of a deep gold velvet with a down-to-there drop in the mini-cowl neckline. To stay demure, a panel of black lace accents to the collarbone reminiscent of an elegant boat neck. The gown was fresh and showed a trend towards less skin, more modesty. Paired with the rest of his new collection, we couldn’t help but feel like we were taking a trip on The Silk Road during a New England Fall. 

Shoji showed a modified fit and flare from last year’s silhouette of choice. Still featuring a fitted, dropped waist bodice, his elegant gowns were given either a more deliberate and full semi-circle skirt, or delicate and flowing layers of chiffon. Also consistent in his collection were high necklines and turtlenecks, as well as long sleeves. We are head over heels for his caped designs as well!

We know with the stunning textile collaborations, modest designs highlighting the mystery of a woman’s body and traditional, worldly elegance; we are going to be seeing this collection hit the red carpet with a force. Pick your favorite Shoji piece from A/W 2013, tell us who you want to see it on and why!

View more photos from this collection on Fashion Wrap Up's NYC Fashion Week Fall 2013 Pinterest board.

~Jessica Abouelela @GirlVsCity

Jessica Abouelela is a writer, world traveler, photographer and fashion designer currently residing with her husband in Pune, India.  Jessica is the owner and founder of the Not for Profit organization, The Common Thread Collective. The Common Thread Collective is an initiative created to merge the skills of sewing with the need to find a way to continue education of impoverished pre-adolescents, teenagers and young women. Learn more about The Common Thread Collective here.

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