NEW YORK CITY — For this season’s Spring 2016 collection, Josie Natori wasn’t backstage prepping the models for her show. The Fil-Am designer was seen relaxing with the crowd, mingling with spectators and friends as her models stood around a U-shaped runway September 10 at Skylight Clarkson Square, the new home of New York Fashion Week.
There she was, on hand to answer questions from press and guests while obliging selfies.
Inspired by her Asian roots, Natori’s eveningwear collection did not disappoint. “Asian painting and calligraphy throughout history became my link between the right traditions of the past with the strength and vitality of the present,” she said.
It felt like going to an art show as Natori succeeded in her interpretation and execution of Asian paintings come to life. “Bold brushstrokes invigorate. Canny, contrasting colors capture energy. Beloved plum blossoms signal spring,” she noted.
The presentation featured mostly Asian models wearing sexy silhouettes, modern ao dais, reinvented obi belts and kimono vests. The deep V-neck basket weave gown with lacquered brushstroke struck a chord—it reminded me of an old banig (mat) that I slept on as a child in the Philippines.
Lhuiller and contemporary art
Meanwhile, Hollywood designer Monique Lhuillier held her own at the Moynihan Station September 12 in Manhattan, the other official venue of NYFW.
Lhuillier drew her Spring 2016 inspiration from the contemporary art and bold colors used by Ellsworth Kelly. Balancing whimsical elements with sculptured lines conveys femininity and sophisticated edge, she said.
Her choice of colors—fuchsia, strawberry red, lipstick pink, spring green, cobalt and geranium—speaks modern tunic. The Cebu-born designer modernized the shift and A-line silhouettes with artistic plums. The result is whimsical.
Lhuillier also managed to balance the separates, consisting of silk satin organza pleated skirts and contrasting trims, with structured short and tea-length dresses.
Models strut the runway for Lhuillier’s spring 2016 preview.
Floral jacquard was seen throughout the collection in cigarette pants and color-block shifts with open back for dramatic allure.
“Guipure lace cropped tops and dresses in bold hues are layered over open-back shirting to add a confident edge. A modern take on tulip and column dresses adds an unexpected twist, and silk shift shapes are enriched with metallic floral degrade necklines and fringe collars,” Lhuillier said.
Sheath silhouettes were enhanced by asymmetrically placed orange and lipstick pink embroidery.
For eveningwear, an abstract “scribble” print on lace that featured Lhuillier’s signature gave an edge to trumpet skirts and gowns. A splatter print in two colors and unconventional fabric mix-ups likewise adorned feminine separates.
Backstage a few minutes before the show, Lhuillier asked her models to take a walk after putting on their assigned dresses, making sure no mishaps would happen. It was quite a thrill.