Front row sprint: First-ever Net-A-Porter runway show features statement piecesfor fall
A few years ago I discovered an online source that made high fashion accessible. Featuring sartorial essentials often photographed by Scott Schuman or Tommy Ton, Net-A-Porter offers pieces that often never find their way to local retailers obtainable by the click of a button. Hooked to Net-A-Porter’s weekly editorial guide of such runway pieces in real-life interpretation, it was a dream come true when I learned the luxe retailer planned to debut its first-ever runway show in Houston.
Curious how the online retailer would narrow down its wide array of luxe levels into a cohesive show, I sprinted to the front row at Fashion Houston last week. Executing a perfect entrance, a model in Christian Louboutin’s sky-high thigh boots. Michael Kors cape and La Cerise sur Le Chapeau fedora flounced down the runway to Nina Simone’s “Sinner Man."
Offering nearly every fall trend all in one show, Net-A-Porter’s impeccably assembled pieces glistened in movement before potential Houstonian customers, taking the site’s easy online shopping to the next level — "on-live" shopping.
Every ensemble was regionally appropriate in function and style. Practical outerwear was delivered through lightweight coats and cropped furs, such as Matthew Williamson’s gilet accessorizing Alberta Ferretti’s ribbon embellished wool skirt. From Philip Lim’s rabbit lined cotton blend trench paired with Versace gladiator sandals to Alexander Mc Queen’s cinched kimono cape, the outerwear perfectly captured the autumn breeze.
At front row eye-level, shoes stole the show — particularly Yves Saint Laurent’s Palais Mohawk suede pumps. The goat hair fringed trim pumps accessorized several ensembles, including a Tory Burch leopard rabbit jacket.
While other runway shows give a glimpse into the future with their spring 2011 collections, Net-A-Porter breathed current air into fashion week with trends from fall’s high-end collections. Among the fall trends: Antonio Berardi’s dress adorned with a vibrant Yves Saint Laurent muse tote channeled sophisticated minimalism. Oscar de la Renta’s wool-crepe dress and Less Angel necklace addressed the red-hot glamour trend. A few Balmain pieces brought edgy decadence to the show. Balmain’s jaquard straight leg pants paired with a double breasted wool blazer adapted rock star decadence for real-world wear.
Closing the sartorially balanced show was Donna Karan’s exclusive top and skirt, Temperley London veil, and Louis Mariette hair band from the site’s online wedding boutique.
As an overall tutorial of how to apply cutting edge pieces into cohesive everyday ensembles, the Net-A-Porter show left Houston’s fashion elite lusting to shop right now. Meeting Houston’s fashion demands, Net-A-Porter showed off statement pieces that meet the conservative edge of the city we adore.
Annina Stefanelli writes a fashion blog, Cinched at the Waist.