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Highlights from New York Fashion Week 2012

Rag & Bone, Rodarte, Betsey Johnson and more

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Alexander Wang, marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Rag and Bone

Karlie Kloss in Rag and Bone, model in Marc Jacobs, a model in Rodarte, and a model in Alexander Wang during fashion shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.

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Costello Tagliapietra advanced their appreciation for organic palettes through an exploration of the AirDye technologies they've been pioneering for several seasons. Abstract blotches of color resembled Pointillist paintings on dresses with swooping necklines, while beiges and fire and ice hues dominated the other half of the collection. As always, au naturel reigned supreme. As always, handled with grace.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Mandy Coon

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Mandy Coon

As Mandy Coon has made clear to Rolling Stone, her collections are always music-inspired, with this season being inspired by music technology in particular. She converted the waveform of a MIDI file into an abstract zig-zag shape that appeared as a laser-cut motif in leather (on pants and slinky tops), while bondage harnesses and zippers accessorized other key looks. Meanwhile, special music from Miike Snow's Pontus Winnberg helped synchronize the show into one concise nightly vision.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Ohne Titel

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Ohne Titel

Ohne Titel are an especially art-minded duo, and their Spring 2013 show demonstrated how comfortable they've become in interpreting the avant-garde as elegant, aerodynamic, futuristic clothing. Inspired by the work of the Hairy Who print artist, Karl Wirsum, they featured bold geometric patterns and punctuated leather in streamlined shapes. The mood was electric, right down to the icy blues and hot oranges that predominated the palette and the models' makeup.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Marc Jacobs

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Marc Jacobs

Mod madness triumphed at Marc Jacobs' Spring 2013 show, which presented a loving tribute to Sixties' It-girls like Twiggy while exploring the possibilities of duotone op-art on the female form. Whatever Jacobs offers generally becomes a steadfast seasonal rule, so expect black and white and stripes all over to dominate red carpets, music videos and retail alike next Spring.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Thom Browne

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Thom Browne

Thom Browne's Fashion Week shows are like no other; This season, it felt like being in a horrifyingly beautiful 1930s funhouse. Tartan post-Edwardian dresses and jackets in both grey and extreme color made up the Spring 2013 collection, but the genius lay in their presentation: creepy Bauhaus period-styled ballerinas in perfect hoop skirts danced to the jarring compositions of Krzysztof Penderecki, while male models that resembled either Klaus Nomi or Karl Theodor Dreyer villains wound the models up, spinning them into orbit.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Rodarte

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Inspired by "fantasy hero dress," Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy showcased dazzling dresses for Spring 2013 that posited their women as future Medieval warriors. Wondrously advanced prints and draping techniques further developed the cult label creators' status as true artistes in their field.

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Rad by Rad Hourani

Rad Hourani's strict unisex dress code, usually in black, included a welcome bit of levity this season in a sterling show that celebrated his 5th anniversary at New York Fashion Week. There were supremely executed panels of pink, mathematically juxtaposed against Hourani's usual shadowy and sharp jackets, vests and skinny pants, so when the models marched down the runway in their final looks, they resembled a victorious Kryptonite army.

Betsey Johnson

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Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson's Cyndi Lauper-aided 70th birthday bash and runway show was also a celebration of all the wardrobe risks that have made Johnson famous: wild punk-ballerina looks, Minnie Mouse tributes, electrified bohemian dresses, bits of Western camp, teapot and gun prints. None of it was in good taste, but all of it was fun and everyone witnessing it was having a ball.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Anna Sui

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Anna Sui

Anna Sui's Spring 2013 show was all about combining her steampunk-youth roots with Victorian-age elegance. Brocade and embroidered tapestries have never looked so fierce or rebellious, particularly when juxtaposed against leather bondage pants and candy raver pink and blue wigs.

new york fashion week, NYFW, runway, catwalk, Proenza Schouler

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Proenza Schouler

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez cemented Proenza Schouler's status as New York's most capable futurists by reinvigorating the city's trademark sportswear with superbly luxurious and modern twists. They reformatted the denim vest prototype by constructing it in neon python and kept the subtle upgrades coming from there. Supposedly influenced by the random aesthetic discoveries Tumblr can lead to, the duo brought an ad-hoc artistic approach to every element of their Spring 2013 collection. Their busy collision of texturized and woven pieces took influence from modern art and home-spun techniques alike. Along with Rodarte, Proenza Schouler's work indicated that the true future of fashion – and perhaps, all modern creativity – involves rediscovering our roots through digital research and application.