Colgate Couture: The Last Walk At the Park

Colgate Couture: The Last Walk At the Park

Emily Johnson

Like a brief preview of spring sunshine, New York Fashion Week has already come and gone ever so quickly. Since last Thursday, designers have been showcasing their Fall/Winter 2010 collections in Manhattan. Not only does the close of this week begin the travel of fashion fever over to Europe, but it also marks the end of Fashion Week’s home at Bryant Park.

Since 1993, industry insiders have enjoyed viewing the upcoming season’s collections under the tents at Bryant Park. The centralized location is conveniently situated within walking distance of major train stations (for travelers) and the city’s garment district, where many designers still have their studios.

Next fall, however, the shows will move to their new home at Lincoln Center. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has been searching for over two years for a new space. This move was caused by both the growth in the number of runway shows and the ongoing dispute with park management over treatment of the grounds. Although Bryant Park will forever be synonymous with Fashion Week, designers remain positive that the new and larger space will lead to greater growth in the industry.

Despite this end of an era, the Fall/Winter collections failed to disappoint. Familiar faces such as Coco Rochas, Chanel Iman and Natalia Vodianova all took their last walks down the Bryant Park runways. The collections were to die for. Personal favorites included Thakoon’s stunningly elegant use of fur, Mulberry’s eye-opening jewel tones and leopard printed pieces and lastly, Narciso Rodriguez’s slew of short sheath dresses paired with mid-calf booties.

Editors, buyers and other industry insiders all braved this weekend’s snowstorm and successfully filled those desirable front row seats. By the look of their fashionable footwear, you would never know six inches covered the sidewalks outside. One after another, they all placed their best foot forward by sporting spring’s latest trends in shoes. Initially, I was hesitant about the choices these editors seemed to be drooling over, but after a few laps around the shoe salon at Barney’s, I’ve begun to warm up to the idea of these quirky comebacks.

First are the platform clogs that dominated Chanel’s 2010 Spring/Summer runway show. When I think clogs, my mind immediately goes back fifteen years to my childhood Swedish clog collection filled with bright stripes, polka dots and flower prints. However, Karl Lagerfeld has proved his genius once again by pairing the studded wooden shoes with delicate pastel tweed suits. Off the runway, they’ve been spotted with knee high socks and mini dresses and also with classic leather leggings. I think this spring I’ll revisit my childhood with an updated pair for new memories!

The next spring shoe trend that was again hard for me to love at first is the kitten heel. When it comes to my shoe obsession, the bigger the heel, the better. That’s why I was genuinely surprised to see several of my favorite designers favor their new styles that are anything but skyscraping. Christian Louboutin, Chloe and Lanvin are just three of the big names to introduce this trend. When paired with slouchy cargo pants or silky pastel rompers, I can appreciate their elegance. But when it comes to heading out for the night, I think I’ll stick with the four-inch platforms.

The last and most wearable spring shoe is the sandal bootie. This marriage of classic ankle boot and exposed strappy sandal is the perfect transition piece throughout the seasons. Take Miu Miu’s amazing caged platform sandals, for example. Pair them with tights and sweaters dresses for now, but when the weather heats up, they’re fair game with floral dresses, white denim and patterned shorts.

So as we say goodbye to Fashion Week’s last season at the Bryant Park tents, we also welcome many new beginnings. Spring is on its way, and with it comes an array of fresh pieces that are sure to brighten your winter wardrobe rut!