New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013

5 collections that rose above, and 1 that fell into a rabbit hole

Ralph Rucci1Ralph Rucci

In reviewing the collections from this past week, I’ve come up with what I consider to be the top 5 houses, and one totally misguided effort.  This was a season that had no one direction – each designer that excelled had their own distinct vision.  The two prevalent ideas on the runway that I came away with were that dressing had a little more ease to it, and that bold colors were often combined in most unusual ways.  In the end, it all seemed to make sense.


Ralph Rucci


Ralph Rucci 2Rucci offers the ultimate in modern dressing.  It was chic, sexy, sophisticated, and the most wearable collection of the week.  For Rucci there are never any bells and whistles.  He makes bold statements with crisp shapes that are innovative and easy to wear.  The shoes were Ralph Rucci for Manolo Blahnik, and were incredible – especially the knee-high clear boots with satin tips.  For me, they were out of this world fabulous.  Here are 2 more looks I think are stunning.

Ralph Rucci 4Ralph Rucci 3Treat yourself to the entire Runway Collection


Carolina Herrera


Carolina Herrara1In this collection Herrera paid homage to 1940’s glamour – from the fur-trimmed pieces to the hooded sequined evening gown.  The collection left me feeling like I was watching Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and the rest of the ensemble cast from the 1939 Hollywood Classic ‘The Women’ stepping onto the runway.  It’s one of my favorite era’s in fashion, and Herrera nailed it.

Herera 2Herrara3…………………………

Prabal Gurung


Prabal Gurung1For this review I can only think of adjectives; utilitarian, functional, powerful and brave.  I would be scared to run into one of Gurung’s version of the modern-day Glamazon in a dark alley, and although I loved this collection, I feel Gurung is still trying to find his niche in the fashion community.  He is one of the brightest young stars on the scene – I’m hopeful that in his next collecton he’ll be able to connect the dots between his new work, and his work from previous seasons.

Prabal Gurung2Prabal Gurung 3…………………………

Michael Kors


Michael Kors1Kors consistently gives us the absolute NYC girl.  The collection is urban chic, with a nod to mod.  The bright-colored suits, coats, and dresses trimmed with black leather were in a word, fresh.  I loved the over sized knit cardigan trimmed with leather and shown with leggings.   It’s a perfect fall look.  The short sexy mini dress with the peplum over skirt were spot on for any night out on the town.  I see the trendy girl from downtown, and the classic upper east side lady working any of these looks seamlessly.

Michael Kors2Michael Kors3…………………………


Narciso Rodriguez


Narciso Rodriquez Rodriguez offered a collection with a new mixture of colors, with a looser silhouettes, and a  narrower sleeve – which were a departure from his past collections.  As always he excelled in his bias cut and trapeze dresses.  I loved this new Rodriguez collection.  Easy to wear, for the woman who knows who she is.  Cool, collected, classic.

Narcisco2Narciso Rodriquez1…………………………

And now for the severe miss of Fashion Week…

Thom Browne


Thom Brown1This collection was busier than Michele Bachmann’s husband at an all boys summer camp.

I felt like I was watching a wardrobe fitting for Effie Trinket from “The Hunger Games”, or The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (ala Helena Bonham Carter).

I understand Browne is still on a high from dressing the first lady for the inauguration, but he’s clearly getting ahead of himself.  I feel a designer needs to have a larger body of work under his or her belt before putting out such an un-wearable collection.  Frankly, I find this collection misogynistic.  If you’re angry at women, find a therapist instead of punishing the doyenne’s on Park Avenue.

Having said all of this I must commend him for having a strong creative vision, but honestly, I don’t see any woman wearing any of these pieces.

 Thom Brown 2Thom Brown3…………………………

Do you think I’ve been too harsh on Mr. Browne?  Is there something that I’m missing?  I’d love to hear it if you think I’m totally off base.


Written by Anthony Costa

All images courtesy



20 thoughts on “New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013”

  1. I could not disagree more re: Mr. Browne’s collection. fashion is theatre. it should inspire us to think differently. Mr. Browne has and continues to do this. if everything that went down the runway was “wearable” (uggh) i wouldn’t look twice. and good god – please tell me the senior ladies of park avenue are not in control. ARTISTS my friends – we tell them what to wear, what to put in their living rooms, what to hang on their walls. they follow…..

    Mr. Browne – your collection made me smile, laugh, think and people can’t stop talking about it. BRAVO!!!

    1. I’m going to chime in here Jim. What I most applaud about Mr. Browne’s work is that it starts a dialog (clear in the responses to this post). As someone who all too clearly understands the marketing strategy of advancing a ‘loss-leader’, whereby a designer or brand puts out fashion that is so outlandish that and unwearable that it sparks a firestorm of conversations both for and against, then follows with a watered-down version, he has succeeded.

      What disturbs me is that the differences between Mr. Browne 2013 and Vivienne Westwood 1992 are to say the least negligible. And as for the women of Park Avenue, they end up with the power in the end. Currency.

      1. aaaah – send me down that rabbit hole – we all wear our jackets tighter – our trousers a bit shorter – Mr. Browne has much to do with leading us in an interesting direction. art shouldn’t be about the bottom line – and this presentation was art in it’s purest sense. the value was in the ideas – not the price Bloomingdale’s price tag. i look at these shows differently i guess. might i propose – if you use one and only one lens to look at all things in a similar hue – some things will undoubtedly seem less bright than others. this presentation was about fantasy – fun. this show wasn’t about the value of a little black dress. the ideas presented have great value. and yes – the physical shapes, details and construction will be changed and altered before they hit the racks. and why will we buy this “watered-down” version? FUN – fashion should be just that.

        forgive me – real style and currency are rarely bedfellows without someone to point the way….. Mr. Browne is an artist that deserves a different lens…..

        1. Jim, so much can be said about Browne’s outlandish presentations but if it inspires then they are successful. to agree or disagree sometimes isn’t the sole purpose but to open up a discourse and share ideologies is where I get my kicks! Bravo to the insanity that art can foster.

        2. I appreciate you valued opinion Jim….as a artist I appreciate another artists vision….and clothes are wearable art… I was writing as if I were the customer ..and as a customer I didn’t see much that I would buy..I also agree with fashion being FUN, but it’s also a business….but again.. I love that I was able to bring all opinions onto a platform for discussion…I hope you keep on supporting my posts…:)

  2. Ralph Rucci overall was very well put together, but, the fit of some of the coats, on the back ,over the shoulders , the hump , left me
    missing the Balenciaga draping cut.

    Gurung’s collection was a nice treat.

    For Mr Browne , as a designer ,the pendulum swings both ways; from conservative to out of this world. We hope he can swing back to the middle.

  3. Great article Anthony. Believe it or not my favorite is Prabal Gurung. I’m learning so much from your column. And as for Brown, your comments are spot on!!! Terrible. Lady Gaga may wear some of this collection.

    1. Thanks Kelli…. I’m glad you enjoyed… My fav is Rucci… 🙂 I’m glad your learning… And I love your support… Stat warm today… Be careful driving in the snow missy…

  4. Another thought-provoking article, Anthony. My favorite is the black dress by Narciso Rodriguez. I like the simpler things! I also really like the colors used in Prabal Gurung’s collection. Not sure what to make of the roses…

    1. Rudy .. I’m jealous you can type … You have to reach Dennis
      Thanks Kate … I appreciate your comments and support

  5. A friend of my on Facebook commented on TB’s plaid jacket “it’s not every woman who can pull off wearing a tartan pop-tart.” It took me 10 minutes to stop laughing!

  6. The Duchess (MK) comes through as always and I love the fierce-fantasy of Prabal Gurung’s collection, but I have to agree on the Thom Browne front. All T, all shade, it’s all bad. We’ve seen better looks in the dumpster challenge on Drag Race. Sure, he had a vision, but it was clearly a nightmare.

  7. great job on the shows, I am also one for fashion, being creative and I actually kinda think one should not bash ones artistic expressions since they are subjective…. but seriously Mr Browne WTF? its not even fun to look at

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