A melting pot is often a fusion of likable and disparate elements. One such melting plot which blended my Indian heritage with literary love, artistic traits with New York residency, was in fact found at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Alice + Olivia showcased a fantastic journey of east meets west with a glorious, colorful and cosmopolitan collection. It was inspired by Salman Rushdie‘s novel “The Enchantress of Florence”, drawing from the rich Mughal India settings and romanticism of Renaissance Florence, which is also one of my favorite destinations. Like last season, the looks were segmented by mood and theme. The theme blended the eras impeccably, speaking of a cultural melting pot that was a suggestive nod to the political climate, too. Like last season, the showcase was a blend of looks that were in the fantasy realm with gowns and embroidery and bedazzling sparkle, juxtaposed with pieces that were more cosmopolitan with biker jackets and boots.
Speaking of color was a multicolor mink fur coat with leather boots and a turtleneck, letting the art of technicolor do the visual talking. A similar treatment on the lining of a bomber jacket with oversized harem pants worked well to make the jacket a statement piece. The wild child embelished crew tee, metaphorical for many moods of the season and my own, was paired with an ella bird embelished maxi skirt and a fitted velvet blazer in a maroon merlot shade. The combination here was timeless and evocative.
With a penchant for pinks and reds, the deep pink and red hued brocade coat with matching cropped trousers and shirt, with suede boots. A must have for floral and monochromatic lovers, this one paired well with the model’s blonde fro. A cut out slip dress with a faux fur tote made a transition into erotic and almost lingerie style clothing. What worked better was keeping the fuchsia tie neck silk tunic top under an embroidered coat with a snake embossed dress, retaining the elegance of the brand and the craftsmanship of embroidery, which was wildly imaginative with florals aplenty. The pattern continued on an embelished shirt-dress with high boots, making for an easy and breezy weather transition look, upping the glamor quotient.
However the most hearty of all, literally, was a heart jacquard long sleeve top with matching sip shorts, “Love You” printed sunglasses and glittery boots. Totally the best sign for saying I Love You, in an undeniably sexy manner.
The ode to Stace face collection, as I called it, started with a distribution of Stace face chocolates by Mariebelle! Owing to my penchant for all things chocolate, these took moments, several of them, to savor and gobble.
The Stace Face blouse was paired with an embroidered velvet bomber jacket, a lace skirt, a Stace Face tote and heels with socks! The lace and socks and heels trend was one that I could foresee as catching on, virally. The more winter element was with the Stace Face fur coat with a tunic sweater and velvet over the knee boots.
As an ode to all things red, my favorite hue, were two matching looks: a ruby floral jacquard peplum top with an almost invisible mini black sip short, and an equivalent stiff material dress with pearl inserts. Both evoked a more Oriental feel owing to their fit and aesthetic, rendering them fit for elegant evenings. Continuing the red theme was a deep ruby velvet loose fit tuxedo blazer with a matching tee, a snake embossed mini skirt and velvet boots. Part grungy and part boyfriend looking, it was a solid hybrid of casual and street styles.
A navy sequin mini dress with zipper details was followed by a black crystal embelished chocker and bustier pleated jumpsuit, which played along the theme of looser fits, wide legs, and the continuation of all things sparkly and sequined. Perhaps it was the end of the skinny era after all! A black varsity bomber jacket with an all over sequined mini dress and knee high velvet boots was another intriguing juxtaposition of looks, making for a good transition weather look.
Playing with more traditional styles and motifs was a houndstooth mid length jacket with feminine pearl embelishments. Pearls played a major role in evoking grace in this outfit, a facet that continued with a cream wide sleeve turtleneck oversized sweater with an asymmetric ruffle skirt. As well as a paisley style printed brocade bell sleeve cropped shirt with matching pants. The matching phenomenon was one that evoked a sense of nostalgia, almost a vintage style that would hopefully make its way back into the season.
An embelished crop bustier and blazer with cargo pants evoked a bad-girl grungy vibe, while my favorite leopard print made its everlasting cameo on a fur long coat with a suede cut out studded dress. Combining my passion for sequins with animal print made this one of my favorite looks of the season!
My favorite section in the arena was one with a Rajasthani backdrop of palaces and palace ladies dancing. Trina Merry, an artist was painting the bodies of two models with matching motifs, with Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan‘s qawalli melodiously playing in the background to transport me to the palatial travels of India. This was the enchantress section, with three distinct looks. An enchantress printed gown was a beautiful hue of indigo, almost printed like a sari. The cloudy night maxi dress had a similar vibe, with the underrated blue hue making its transition into elegant evening wear. The sapphire top with a maxi skirt was the most fusion of the three, which had layered ruffles to unify their tribute to the inspiration.
Things got more erratic but randomly beautiful, like entropy, with a transition into monochromatic or even more oxymoronic combinations. A cream silk jumpsuit, validating this trend, was placed next to a satin floral burnout ruffle dress with enough floral and butterfly motifs to render it fit for Alice in Wonderland. However what I like most was a sequin metallic lace dress with a patch drenched crop jacket and knee high boots, a look which combined the loose fits with the glimmer of the brand and the street style nature of modern mindsets. A ribbon style vertical striped oversized blouse with a mid length skirt was paired next to the same treatment in a flare dress, adding grace to the collection. Roman styled and printed silk skirts with high waists were paired with Renaissance style bell sleeved and off shoulder lace shirts, evoking a bohemian and relaxed vibe.
However the centerpiece was a heavily embelished multicolor dark hued gown with an Aladdin style carpet as a backdrop. With impeccable floral and rose motifs and heavy embroidery and sequins, it reminded me of the traditional styles of Punjab, paying a true homage to the luscious inspiration. It was, after all, Rushdie’s princess of the Mughul Empire.
A camo parka with patches was in direct contrast with a turtleneck sweater and embelished mini skirt, making it the epitome of styling success with the use of contrasting palettes, fabrics, colors and styles.
The brand evidently enjoyed playing with sequins, and pairing them with other pieces that would offset the sparkle. A suede cut out studded dress was a stellar look for evening wear, while a matching crop bustier and wide leg pant was paired with a leather embroidered jacket for a more bohemian and almost macho look, that was nonetheless effortlessly feminine. A sequined blazer with wide neck pants and an informative tee with the words“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” by Gandhi summed up the nod to the political climate, a theme amongst fashion shows, as well as ended the showcase with a highlight of my second favorite color gold.
I myself had adorned myself in a golden leopard blazer for the occasion, marrying my two loves of looks, and was apparently well clad for onlookers and the epic inspiration of what ended up being my favorite, visually stunning and inspirationally gifted show of NYFW.