NEW YORK — Many of the designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week created hard-edged fall collections incorporating leather and camouflage patterns. But Lela Rose, Douglas Hannant and Barbara Tfank decided to go on a more magical path, with dreamy collections that touch on beauty in a classical form. Here's a look at their designs.
Since Dallas native Lela Rose often reads fairy tales to her children, she decided to create a fall collection inspired by the Brothers Grimm. "Their beloved tales, with their enchanted words of magic and unparalleled human emotion, fuel our fascination," she explained in her program notes.
Lela Rose vivid fuchsia kaleidoscope organza dress
Rose opened with autumn colors — dark browns, burnt oranges and forest greens — to evoke wooded fairy tale themes before moving into designs of delicate black lace, floating feather embroidery and moonlit silk to emulate the charm and dark humor of the Grimm stories.
Lela Rose embroidered ginger dot wool drop sleeve jacket, boucle seamed top and crochet pant
Lela Rose autumn plaid print dress
Lela Rose black enchanted fil coupe full skirt dress evokes the dark but playful nature of a fairy tale.
The collection expanded into bright jewel tones. Shown here: Lela Rose vivid fuchsia folded dress.
Lela Rose closed her show with a snow-threaded silk organza halter dress with delicate lace that reflects the happily-ever-after nature of a Grimm fairy tale.
Lela Rose waves to the audience after her show.
It seemed only fitting that opera great Renée Fleming was in the audience as Douglas Hannant created a concert-like setting for his fall 2013 collection in the wood-paneled Baryshnikov Arts Center. Pianist David Aladashvili played an intense classical sonata on a big baby grand as models walked by in jewel tone sheaths and suits and exquisitely draped evening gowns.
Douglas Hannant silver/black Lurex and silk draped dress
Hannant told style.com that he planned a collection "stripped of theatrics" so he could concentrate on craftmanship of the clothes. But there was still plenty of showmanship in the shiny Lurex fabric and such details as ruffled leather peplums, sheared mink collars and polka-dotted lace sleeves.
Douglas Hannant black knit dress with leather trim is a perfect for just about any occasion. Here Hannant dresses it up with a blue fur stole.
Also on the front row at the Hannant show was Carson Kressley, who lately made a splash as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. "I still have the bunions," he said ruefully.
But the show provided some unexpected dividends, he said. "The best part is you get to know pretty intimately a group of random people you would never get to know. When you're living in a trailer with David Arquette and Nancy Grace, you bond."
Kressley continues to take dance lessons at least once a week in New York, where he just finished appearing in an off-Broadway musical, Newsical. "I found the perfect exercise because you don't realize your exercising. It's a great no-workout workout."
For her fall collection, Barbara Tfank looked to the Matisse painting, "Odalisque," which features a young woman in Ottoman red trousers languishing on a chaise in a room filled with colorful textiles. Tfank's collection utilizes rich fabrics in vivid colors to convey "the sweetness of life," she said.
"All of these designers are doing military. I say enough. Let's enjoy the beautiful," she said.
Barbara Tfank peacock and black three-quarter sleeve slim silk taffeta shirt dress
Barbara Tfank persimmon eyelash brocade long-sleeve fitted dress: The designer, a favorite of first lady Michelle Obama, is known for her chic ladylike dresses.
For evening, Tfank created a midnight shimmery silk floral bouquet short sleeve long dress. She also designed a short dress in the same pattern.
Barbara Tfank shocking pink and black silk bouquest belted smoking jacket with pink-tipped Saga fur cuffs and black satin flared pant. Even though the collection is based on the Matisse painting of a woman in trousers, this is the only pair of slacks in the collection.
Barbara Tfank tangerine silk/cotton curved decollete A-line dress worn with black Saga fox stole. The scalloped neckline is inspired by the shape of an Ottoman window.