Photos courtesy of Rachel Zoe. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York. Text by Baille Gelwicks.
Rachel Zoe’s FW13 collection came in three phases — equestrian, desert bohemian, and street chic. Using lambskin leather, instead of a lighter fabric such as gabardine or silk, was the perfect choice for adding structure to roomy cropped pants and tops, yet supple enough for ease of movement. Bulky knit sweaters paired nicely with this season-after-season fabric favorite and mixing structured leather with cozy knits kept the look well balanced. Riding pants were paired with chunky boots or monk strap shoes. Adding masculine deatils, like classic men’s shoes, has this great way of making everything look even more feminine.
The motorcycle jacket received a new look as a vest worn underneath a long chunky knit. White button up business shirts provide a sophisticated look when layered under these non-traditional styled suits in wool and suede – a very Victorian equestrian feel. Earthy tones of creme and taupe have a polished but casual appeal and overall these looks were kept from looking like a costume — by pairing one equestrian element with modern pieces. When taking this look from the runway to the real-way, choose one piece as the statement of your outfit — such as riding boots or riding pants, but never both at the same time.
Transitioning into desert bohemian, pattern and shine take their turn on the runway. Equestrian boots still play a role here along with chunky ankle boots that do a good job of grounding lighter weight fabrics. Vests of two kinds are layered over prints of an abstract nature making these outfits feel effortless, yet styled. That classic 70’s bohemian paisley print, toughens when paired with large amounts of black and wide brimmed hats give it that desert traveler feel. Take inspiration from the pairing of contrasting styles here and challenge yourself this season to create some unlikely matches of your own.
Sporty, street chic designs choose character over color as this section, in 50 shades of black and white, grabs your attention with a variety of shapes and styles. Leather pieces took inspiration from biker fashion for to-the-knee shorts, a hooded dress, mini skirts and fingerless gloves. Classic tweed was taken to the streets again with leather pants or elbow length gloves. Even tuxedo dressing gets reinvented in casual fabrics and new shapes like shift dresses and silk jumpers. Don’t forget the season defining fur jacket, the ultimate in rocker chic. This will give even the most basic of outfits that edge.