Another day in New York and even more collections on the catwalk.  There were some hits and some misses and some that were in the middle in terms of their success with appeal and vision for the coming season.  Two of the collections that grabbed me were those from Vera Wang www.verawang.com  and Carolina Herrera www.carolinaherrera.com .  Both had very different stories to tell and both succeeded with their vision and style with these collections.

Vera Wang produced a collection that featured her take on  dark romance, and it was delivered via a lineup of fabulous clothes.  This was a moody Vera Wang collection that was pulled off to beautiful effect. And oh so savvy, as this collection was the most obviously practical one, packed with smart, wearable pieces filtered through the artful lens that always shines through her collections.

To that end, all was subdued and often plaid and dark with lots of grey and black in the palette,  and it was a success that shone through the entire collection. Dark romance was fused with a sensuality here that worked well all the way.

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Dark, romantic and whimsy combine for Vera Wang!

The collection opened  with the plaid, a large-scale tartan that turned more sober in the collection’s dominant colours – grey, charcoal and black. The pattern showed up on many of the pieces with other items layer-upon-layer, texture-upon-texture, mannish tailoring  and sometimes accessories with a big, sparkling bug brooch that really stood out on the models as they strutted down the catwalk. Combinations ranged from the simple — big argyle sweater over plaid skirt — to more whimsical darker pilings such as a tweed coat over a sheer tartan robe and satin pyjama pants. The transparency and movement created an aura of wonder while the underlying functionality of the pieces will transition easily to the more mundane task of dressing for everyday life.

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Who could you see wearing any of the above on the red carpet at the Oscars?

The evening wear section proved more of a complex showing. Gowns with tulle, lace and fringed adornments built on layers of transparency that added a naughty peekaboo with the body. These were really only catwalk outfits as it is hard to see anyone but the bravest wearing these on the red carpet, but add a slip and they could deliver a dose of glorious darkly romantic glamour come Oscar night.

Carolina Herrera on the other hand presented a collection that was by her standards more subdued by day and bolder by night with the vision of trying to be more trend setting and looking to the future than previous collections from this designer.

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Fresh, lux and luscious from Carolina Herrera!

Herrera’s bid for a new day wear portion which featured volume with rounded shoulders on top, over slim skirts and pant,  yielded strong results. A grey mélange cashmere turtleneck, cut with extra breathing room and shown with a flannel skirt, felt youthful and fresh. The rich but relatively quiet palette of brown, navy and royal blue gave a moneyed timelessness to the swing jackets and straight skirts with luxe accents, like the silver fox collar on a navy coat and reminded that this is a label for those with serious dollars.

More niche in this collection were Herrera’s  prints, here in almost 70’s geometric patterns and rusty shades of blue, bronze and orange — colours experiencing a surge in popularity this season.  The glamorous gowns offered in solids, such as a the navy-and-brass silk halter had classic, if not futuristic, appeal.

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Glamour and beauty combine to shine on the catwalk!

Both designers offered something different and were each testing out a new direction in terms of vision, style and trend setting and both succeeded in their own way.