For once, fashion’s ravenous appetite for the new was satisfied this year, as a bevy of talented names advanced into New York’s fashion ranks. Any lingering remnants of West Coast casual—the right jean, the coolest tee—have been swept away in favor of classic tailoring, elegant construction, and a sense of dressing up. Here, three notable debuts from the spring 2005 shows—plus one (Lam) who’s on the brink of the big time. Each designer appears with three looks from his or her spring 2005 collection.
This RISD grad with a flair for things both lovely and bohemian showed just thirteen dresses at her spring debut, each more delicate and sophisticated than the last. Gueron drapes like a young Madame Gres, and she can douse a dress with gold lace and still keep it from looking twee.
Suddenly, New York has another real, polished, grown-up designer. Lam’s business is still tiny, but his talent is big league. He’s shown only three collections, but he’s got a background (many years at Michael Kors), and it shows. His spring show was filled with the kind of sophisticated, beautiful, and thoughtfully sexy clothes women want.
Chung, who earned her stripes in the atelier of Geoffrey Beene), honored her mentor by embarking on her own exploration of his favorite themes: shape, cut, and limits. The designer has a sense of draping that’s architectural, and an eye for bright but sophisticated color.
A former editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Panichgul showed perfectly modernized minimalism in an earthy palette and a precise, elegant silhouette. Not since Calvin Klein have so many shades of beige looked so good: He’s also refreshingly unafraid to experiment with adornment—of the most restrained kind.