Kimberly Goldson began designing her new collection right after she learned that Saks had picked up her eponymous clothing line. After nearly a decade in business, her dream had come true. So, as she told The Daily Beast last week, her fall collection “reflects where [the brand] has been—hidden in plain sight, but people are finally getting to know who we are. We feel seen, but we’re still moving incognito.”
That, along with the calls to “support Black designers” in the wake of the death of George Floyd last summer inspired Goldson to create her “Stealth Print.” She hid her gilded “KG” logo into bold, geometric prints to symbolize how the brand had “hid in plain sight” before activists found them. It’s not logomania, exactly—you won’t notice the letters unless you look very, very closely. Ultimately, the expertly-tailored pieces stand on their own. It’s a great mix of pandemic-friendly pieces like joggers and loose-fitting day dresses that ooze a comfortable glamour. Alaina Demopoulos
Najla and Cynthia Burt, the mother/daughter duo behind Dur Doux, have never been drama-adverse in their designs. The brand is known for looks that are pure drama: layers of shocking neon tulle and sweeping trains are as natural to them as a little black dress. That’s all very fun and still apparent in the fall collection, though Dur Doux has added a touch of realism—just a touch—that serves them well.
The collection, shot in DC’s Perry Belmont House, features an extremely glamorous lineup of more wearable pieces, like knit bike shorts, a pleated chocolate faux-leather skirt, and canary yellow, bird-printed jacquard pants this writer would choose to live in if given the opportunity. Prediction: one of the more editorial looks, like the lattice cut-out body suit or wrap tulle bodysuit, will be featured in a music video by the time this year is up. Stylists, I dare you! AD
Longtime master of fur Dennis Basso typically goes big at New York Fashion Week, always has: gorgeous setting, Upper East Side ladies, and Real Housewives front row. But the pandemic has scaled operations back; the Basso video was shot in his New York City studio, where he notes proudly, everything was designed and made.
Two model pose in the studio’s stairwell to model the 20-plus looks; yes, the color and drama are still there in the sequence of zchuched-up hooded coats and belted trenches. It just feels pandemic-muted. Instead of glitz, there is accessible wearability and polite splashes of color.
Focused on the heritage of the brand, this particular line, the show notes say, “is composed of primarily outerwear and fur in addition to a capsule collection of evening and occasion daywear. Luxurious cashmere, plaids, and velvets are artfully combined with sheared mink, fisher, fox, chinchilla, broadtail and sable.” Like so many designers, Basso is determined to carry on, but watching him on video makes you also hope for the return of bigger stages, brighter lights, and delirious buzz ASAP. Tim Teeman
Stacy Bendet’s Alice+Olivia has been known for its maximalist presentations during fashion week, long eschewing the traditional runway show for a more immersive experience. Her online presentation on Tuesday stayed true to form via a boisterous modern Marie Antoinette daydream, which like her former IRL presentations, showcased not just the line’s fashion, but its full aesthetic.
Bendet’s models gallivanted around the streets of NYC dressed in a speculator array of 1990s grunge meets, French-court-romantic ensembles complete with tons of tartan, pleated mini skirts, houndstooth jackets, lace, reptile skin and dreamy jacquard dresses and shimmering pleated lamé silks. To complete the full Marie Antoinette vibe, models wore choker necklaces and tiaras while they tossed themselves on antique sofas and rejected petit fours. Bendet has always done maximalism like nobody’s business, and her collection and presentation this year was a lovely escape into an exuberant world of prettiness. Sarah Shears
Like many of us, Sandy Liang has been thinking about her past during quarantine. Specifically, she’s going back to her childhood as the daughter of Chinese immigrants living in Bayside, Queens. “I think about what my mom wore when I was growing up, and I couldn’t understand why she always went back to her staples: shearling lined mules, unflattering corduroy pants, and her puffer vests,” Liang wrote in show notes. “When I look at my closet today, I have to admit I often go back to the same things.”
There were plenty of childish silhouettes in the fall lineup that evoke the kind of ’90s nostalgia so often produced by kids who grew up, but were not adults, during that era. Think: longline black pleather Matrix jackets, fleeces paired with schoolgirl skirts, and plenty of pleats. It was if Reality Bites had been remade on TikTok. One exceptional, why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-that-yet? piece was a dress that is fleece on top, black prairie skirt on the bottom. Comfort-obsessed cool kids will not be able to resist. AD