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Kate Spade, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, KitchenAid, Tara Babylon and Melke

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Translated by

Marguerite Capelle

Published on

15 Feb 2023

We have rarely seen so much animation in New York, with a plethora of small parades and presentations. FashionNetwork.com tracked five, spread across lower Manhattan this weekend: Kate Spade, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, KitchenAid, Tara Babylon and Melke.

news-figcaption">Kate Spade AW23 – FNW

Kate Spade: une mode Color Field

The first event on the New York Fashion Week calendar, technically, was the Kate Spade presentation at the Whitney Museum, an impressive and clever start.

The house’s current design team, made up of Tom Mora and Jennifer Lyu, chose bright colors and peppy patterns to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary.

The 20 models in the cast posed for the big picture, wearing patent leather skirts in the color of an English post office box, mid-calf polka dot skirts, or superb duchess satin blazers, quite masculine – nothing but inspired monochrome looks by the artistic movement of Color Field Painting.

Chic with sequins, too: from cobalt blue trouser suits to cocktail dresses worthy of De Stijl, or parakeet green evening outfits… all accessorized with striped faux fur scarves, and a very punchy new series of pouches and handbags.

“To move forward, we felt we had to look back. And see how far this special brand has come, that so many people love. A current label, for women who love colors, and who dress to play with fashion”explained Tom Mora.

With a flautist as a background sound, Charles Gross, the influencer of Tik Tok, strolled and was filmed by an entire film crew, overplaying the emotion as if he was doing a live report on TV.

“It’s a story of atmosphere, a return to the city after summer: when you strategize about where to dine and where to go out, what music to listen to, what show or exhibition to see”, added Jennifer Lyu.

news-figcaption">Alexandra Alonso Rojas – FNW

Alejandra Alonso Rojas: Casino royale

There’s a mystery in the New York fashion world: how come there aren’t more successful Hispanic designers?

Apart from the exceptions of course represented by Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, very few have left their mark. This could change, with the rise in force of Alejandra Alonso Rojas, who unveiled a collection as succinct as it is stylish on Sunday afternoon.

The latter was presented in front of 150 people at the Casino, an Italian Riviera-style hipster restaurant on the Lower East Side. Models weaved between tables, where guests were sipping prosecco or barbera.

Alejandra Alonso Rojas is a high-flying knitwear designer, and unveiled a rich selection of bodycon knit dresses, and a series of cable knit sweaters with discontinuous patterns. But her first looks were centered on Spanish tobacco-colored leather, expertly declined in cocktail dresses, and panels of hand-crocheted Japanese silk thread, on black and gold lamé.

Backless evening dresses in wool mesh, superb traditional crochets or anthracite satins: everything was very flattering on the models, wearing updos and adorned with magnificent jewels created by Jennifer Fisher.

V-neck sweaters in cashmere mohair, tinted with ice cubes in an abstract expressionist way, and lace evening dresses exuded an allure as classy as promised to commercial success.

“This season highlights self-affirmation, from concept to creation, to the manufacturer and to the wearer: it’s a shield, it’s a super power”, explained the program of Alejandra Alonso Rojas , who walked around the restaurant for a long time, to loud applause, accompanied by her daughter.

news-figcaption">KitchenAid AW23 – FNW

KitchenAid: Hibiscus Day

Fashion Week sees all kinds of unlikely pairings spring up, and that was especially true with this fifth KitchenAid Color of the Year: hibiscus.

To celebrate this choice, the brand of household appliances called on the energetic stylist Marta del Rio to select a small group of young avant-garde New York designers, who had to imagine a unique look inspired by the robot pastry chef Artisan and the KitchenAid K400 blender. A recipe that could have given rise to some nonsense, but whose result turned out to be eccentric, but clever. With the added bonus of some delicious hibiscus margaritas, served in the brand’s boutique on 23rd Street.

Marta del Rio’s design gang included Jackson Wiederhoeft, Tara Babylon, Tia Adeola, Bach Mai, and Man Made Skins. And the palm of the most exciting look goes to Tara Babylon, which we are likely to hear a lot about in the future.

news-figcaption">Tara Babylon – FNW

ara Babylon: luxe funky sur Ludlow Street

If the late great Vivienne Westwood had had a daughter, rather than two sons, she might have looked like designer Tara Babylon.

Tara’s clothes mix genres in an unbridled way, and that’s good. His goal: to transform old rock band t-shirts into luxury pieces. She achieves this by merging elastic weaving, safety pins and upholstery nails, to nourish a grunge version of Christmas magic.

In the collection, t-shirts from Bob Marley, Nirvana, The Clash, Prince, Metallica and Kiss mingle with squares of tartan, fiery embroidery, beads and African chains forming great tops for rebels, legendary bombers rock and outrageous crinolines.

All topped off with flower-encrusted pirate hats, and completed with fishnet tights and stiletto heels. Sensitive souls abstain, but girls with the necessary confidence will break hearts in Tara Babylon.

“I baptized this collection Babylone in winter, that’s why my pole dance artists wear my ball gowns indoors”, enthused the designer, who presented this spirited collection in a gallery of Ludlow Street art.

The Sheffield-born designer studied at Saint Martin’s and Parsons, New York, and took her first steps as a young graduate as an intern with Gareth Pugh. She now lives on 147th Street in Harlem and seems destined to write some memorable chapters in fashion history.

news-figcaption">Milke – FNW

Melke: fishnet in shambles

Quirkiness is a quality traditionally associated with English designers, but it also has its followers in the United States.

This is particularly the case with Melke, whose designer Emma Gage was inspired by the classic by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peachand the animated film adapted by Tim Burton in 1996.

Another parade that references decay this season, presented by an inclusive cast on the seventh-floor mezzanine of Spring Studios, in front of a bevy of cheering fans.

Unfortunately, the fashion on offer was far from living up to its muses.

Funny fishnet tops with bits of wool dangling from them, jackets with patchwork checks, downright absurd crochet bras that looked like oranges. A series of rather groovy duster coats, with pops of contrasting fabric, upped the ante, but didn’t save the show.

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