Factory girls sporting white tanks, Carhartt overalls, and “soil”-smudged faces were draped in Love’s latest, inspired by the Industrial Revolution and Art Deco architecture. Triangle motifs got heavy play on cuffs, breastplates, and statement earrings, as did two earthy gemstones. “In the Art Deco period, turquoise and coral were used very heavily,” Love explained. “So we used a lot of turquoise and a lot of jasper, jasper to mimic the effects of coral without being inhumane, and then turquoise obviously is my favorite thing in the entire world.” Love also added a new technique to her repertoire this season: “We started working a lot more with articulated pieces, a lot of links that are welded together, which is something we don’t normally do.”
Deep in the bowels of newly-opened Flatiron restaurant Alison 18, Parkinson confessed to “blowing this season’s budget” on rich fabrics like foil-printed velvet, lurex-embroidered wool, and fur knitted with vintage lace appliques. Extravagant as that may sound, comfort was still very much a priority during the design process: “There’s so much black tie and really over-the-top clothing on the runway that isn’t realistic or relevant for a lot of people. But I think people want to dress up. It’s something I feel strongly about. [The collection represents] the way I want to dress — casual and comfortable with a bit of glamour.”
After visiting Spain a couple of years ago and revisiting Pedro Almodovar’s Matador more recently, Zmarlak tapped in to her inner bullfighter. Varied shades of red, braided piping on jackets, and seams shaped to mimic the curve of a bull’s horns all alluded to the “Matadora” theme, as did a hand-painted print—a swipe of scarlet running up the front and down the back of a white dress. “It was all about when matador is done fighting and he has the blood residue from the bull,” the designer noted. “We wanted to make sure it didn’t look like blood spatter but had more a painterly feeling.”
Twin designers Daphne and Vera Correll mounted their first fashion show, thanks to a recent infusion of cash from the 2012 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund awards. Fall focused on a theme of opposites and complementary contrasts, explained Vera: “We used blues and reds, have circles and squares, structure versus texture, opaque versus transparent . . . we were trying to create a balance between opposing factors within each garment.” The label’s signature knits came in lurex yarn patchworks, mixed wool with chiffon, and incorporated shredded fabrics.