Here we are in the midst of summer and there is New York in the cold looking at the autumn ranges for later this year…!

New York Fashion Week continues to dazzle with the expected and unexpected fashion collections.  Each one offering some amazing new looks that we can look forward to seeing in the stores at the end of the year stateside and then not here in Australia for another 6 months after that.

Black really has been the dominant in so many of the shows for the upcoming season and you know how much I love black so I have been keen to see the structure, tailoring and creations that have evolved on a black palette for the designers who have used this for the majority of their collections.

There are exceptions of course and for every predominantly black collection there have been the whimsy and colour such as Jeremy Scott’s Dolly themed Autumn collection.

So here are three more that I loved seeing on the catwalk in New York:

Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez’s Autumn collection was largely inspired by Maharaja but without hearing it from the designer himself you might never have twigged that this was where the inspiration came from. When you think of the Maharaja you think of extravagance and abundance, particularly extreme decoration, two qualities that are not normally associated with Rodriguez’s unadorned, streamlined collections. Yet it was a delight to see his expert interpretation of the ornate  traditions of Indian royalty — bold colour, embroidery and noble shapes — into new ideas that completely belonged to his aesthetic.

The show began with a regal start: a gorgeous black sleeveless coat with contrasting ivory lining over a clingy sheer jersey top and an A-line ivory skirt. Rodriguez introduced his new elongated, sinuous look in his usual colours before layering in more unusual hues in mind blowing combinations. Blush paired with black led to orange and pink. He highlighted one element at a time, using a stretch, body-stocking nude jersey top to show off the graceful cut of a pair of high-waisted crepe pants.

Rodriguez closed the show with a majestic, modern proposition for evening: a white single-shoulder bonded-silk top, bias cut and draped around the body over black silk pants. It was rich and simple. A real triumph and a delight to behold.

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Donna Karan

For this collection we had Donna the New Yorker, Donna the sophisticate,  Donna the colourist,  Donna the pragmatist, Donna the artist, and Donna the amazingly savvy designer who 30 years ago began with a wardrobe for busy women who crave chic and style that works, and who has inspired many of the designers who followed her into the industry.

This collection was all about Donna the brilliant designer and from the very first look to the last this was a stunning collection.

The set was the first thing that you noticed when you entered : the New York skyline,  the myriad windows aglow to support the notion of a city that never sleeps. The opening look set the scene perfectly.  The black and gold of the metallic coat referenced Karan’s start, yet did so without  any retro feel, not in mood, cut or styling, it was a pure delight to see  the combination of  padded coat with sleek pin-striped bustier and trousers.

Karan seemed to have hit the refresh button with her tailoring. So much was impressive: the way in which she went back and forth between pure urbanity and a more artful take on style. There was a sleek brocade jacket over poplin shirt and flannel-and-chiffon skirt, a belted  scarf intensifying the men’s wear reference. And then there was the strapless bustier of incongruous fabric layers over trousers.

There were so many high points with this show and not a single low point. I loved spectacular outerwear, from the rich metallic and embroideries to cocooning shearlings; dresses and blouses with volume, and  graceful lantern sleeves; and the layers all worked and the  two black strapless evening gowns that were beautiful and exciting in their design and execution.

This was a triumphant return to Donna Karan as the finest designer in New York this season. She has reclaimed the crown and presented a simply magnificent collection!

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Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott was all about dolls this season. Not barbie dolls but well loved and well played with dolls and this was his inspiration for the looks that were sent down the catwalk.

On his runway, Scott channelled dolly looks via baby-doll mini dresses with Empire waists, Peter Pan collars, bib details and ruffled sleeves in bright colourful hues and patterns. There was a  psychedelic “nursery rhyme”-inspired print That was seen throughout, with a mixed cast of rabbits, teddy bears, rattles, hippos, mushrooms, elephants and hearts. All the models wore low-heeled mary janes with colourful tights and bright eyes and doll like cut hair. Patent-leather cropped tops and skirt sets had a playful sexy appeal, while outerwear came in colourful patchwork leather. For men, the designer continued his sporty yet baby like aesthetic with mixed-pattern button-downs, quilted overall shorts,  and a two-faced teddy-bear blue knit.

This was a fun, frivolous collection filled with great colours that will find a home in lots of young style fashionistas who love to push the button on fun!

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Three more very different designers who have each turned in great Autumn collections for 2015!