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NYFW proves ready-to-wear is ready to sell

By Kristopher Fraser

Sept 18, 2015


Ready-to-wear is a term that might seem like sophisticated fashion jargon to some, but it's as simple as what it sounds like. The idea behind ready-to-wear, or pret-a-porter as the French call it, is that it's clothing meant to require little alteration as most standard sizes fit people. It is something you could pull right off the rack and wear immediately.

In high fashion, designers often come under scrutiny for creating looks that are unwearable or not functional, but this New York Fashion Week, it was all about the wearable and functional glamour.

Acclaimed evening wear designer Carmen Marc Valvo proved that he had many more tricks up his sleeve aside from a dress for an upscale dinner party or red carpet event. The designer presented a collection of elegantly patterned cocktail dresses and resort style looks that proved that even though evening wear is his area of expertise he can design for anyone.

Tory Burch kept it preppy of course, with her always functional and stylish collection for that uptown girl. Caftans and skirts in grey perforated leather were some of the signature highlights of this collection, proving that fashion done with the proper details and less common ready-to-wear pieces like caftans are functional, it's just all about knowing how to wear them.

NYFW proves luxury fashion can also be functional

Diesel Black Gold Creative Director Andreas Melbostad drew inspiration for the brand's spring/summer 2016 collection from something incredibly functional: an image of a girl wearing her boyfriend's button down shirt as a dress. Of course, despite the inspiration from a shirt as a dress, Melbostad had all the classic Diesel staples like leather biker jackets and denim, two pieces that are signatures in the average American wardrobe (everyone knows they secretly want a leather biker jacket.) The approach to the construction of the collection was to take scarf-like squares of cotton-shirting like fabric and attach it to slip dresses and skirts. While everything wasn't wear right out of your house easy, there were many pieces that were certainly streetwear ready, especially for the unconventional streets of New York City.

Stacey Bendet of Alice and Olivia, drew her inspiration from the desert. While the concept may sound absolutely ludicrous at first, it was a collection that was very boho chic, and the boho look is virtually always functional. There's no easier way to make luxury fashion comfortable than the boho look.

The collection included hand-embroidered skirts, off the shoulder tops and gowns, and chiffons and ruffles which added detail to Bendet's "goddess gowns." While the collection was very high fashion with the eccentric patterns inspired by contemporary artist Francesco Clemente's work of desert flowers and butterflies. Bendel also made sure to include plenty of black and white, the most functional of all colors, because that's what her customers are always in demand for.

High fashion doesn't always have to mean it can't function. It's all about constructing that wearability into your clothes, which many designers this season managed to perfectly balance that foothold between the elaborate construction of luxury wear and making sure that clothes can still work for many occasions or be easily wearable. Wild creative vision does sometimes have to succumb to making sure a garment can sell, but those pieces that are made to sell are made well.

Alice andOlivia
Carmen Marc Valvo
Diesel Black Gold