Throughout the week, buyers from Bergdorf Goodman, Bird, Intermix, and Jeffrey New York will tell us which runway looks they plan to snatch up for fall. Jennifer Mankins, owner of Brooklyn boutique Bird, files her picks. She loves the Reyes's colors, 3.1 Phillip Lim's eveningwear, Generra's cashmere slouch hat, and Vena Cava's wicker prints.
Jose Ramon Reyes reimagines Elle Macpherson and the sporty look of the eighties for the modern woman. Many of the shapes were boxy but sleek, and there were all the details of the season: exposed zippers, drawstring waists, bow-front blouses. The colors were mostly dark, gray, navy, and black with pops of color. I loved the touches of patent leather that trimmed coats and dresses. My favorites were the midnight-blue velvet sack dress with a patent-leather electric-blue-and-yellow belt, the scribble-print belted shirtdress with just a touch of neon pink, and the more classic needle-stripe funnel-neck blouse.
Watch a slideshow of the Reyes collection.
3.1 Phillip Lim
I just cannot get enough of this collection. Phillip is one of the strongest designers in the contemporary market and is a top seller in the shop. The scope and strength of the collection is remarkable considering that it’s only his second runway presentation. With Edie Bouvier Beale from Grey Gardens as an inspiration for his "pedigree minus prudence" collection, there was refinement in every look, but it was rough around the edges so as not to be too serious. The cropped, reverse-pleat trousers were fresh and very cool, and his versions of fall's must-have necktie blouses were young and not so stiff. There were also great tailored vests and strong double-breasted cardigans. For evening, the draped, strapless knot-dress was simple and elegant in garnet or alternately tough and chic in bright turquoise when paired with an ivory dinner jacket. The most difficult part of this collection will be deciding what not to order.
Browse the Phillip Lim collection.
Generra by Pina Ferlisi
This is a great contemporary collection that has just soared since Pina took the top design post last season. She just knows what cool, young women want to wear. Dark black and charcoal were shown with lighter earth tones of oatmeal and bottle green. There was also a strong blue, ikat-print silk dress. She hit all the emerging trends with great lantern-sleeve ruffle blouses, shawl-collar vests, and sumptuous cable-knit cardigans. The gray wool-flannel button-back dress with sash belt is perfect for work or parties, and the cashmere slouch hat in plum and gray will complete any outfit.
View the Generra collection.
It is appropriate that the name Vena Cava relates to the heart, because I love this collection! Showing on the runway for the first time this season, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock continue to refine their unique urban-bohemian aesthetic, citing Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson as their inspiration for fall. Silk pueblo prints were reminiscent of a desert sunset with broad swaths of navy, plum, and caramel. One of my favorite looks was the mustard-colored, wicker-print "Hendrix" blouse paired with cream high-waisted canvas pants, casually cuffed over flat leather boots. Another variation on the wicker print, this time in navy, was the stunning floor-length crêpe de chine "Zanzibar" gown, perfect for any modern-day renaissance woman. I also loved the tucked-front "Max" pant. Shown in beautiful shades of grapefruit and mustard linen, I think the gray wool version is probably better suited for the New York winter.
Watch a slideshow of the Vena Cava collection.