Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 Review

Nicole Miller Fall 2011 RTW

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Cynthia Rowley

THEME: Fragile luxury

ACCESSORIES: Scarves with clipped rabbit fur and bicolor satin ribbons, a downtown version of an Oxbridge scarf

HAIR: Rita Marmor for Redken

MAKEUP: Charlotte Willer for Maybelline New York

FRONT ROW: Lauren Bush, Julia Stiles, Greta Gerwig (in a jumpsuit), Alan Cumming

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Envious art student moonlighting as James Spader’s secretary

Cynthia Rowley said she was inspired by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s title role in the 2002 film Secretary, whipping up long-sleeve, patterned silk blouses. Hems dropped to just below the knee or longer. (To remind you of what’s going on beneath those low hemlines, girls in bra-and-tap-pants sets crossed the back of the stage before every runway entrance.)

With cubist motifs, glittery intarsia sweaters, and various shades of jealous green, the collection also conjured up cool-girl art students. Flowing, long silk crepe dresses were called “walking dresses” or “dancing dresses” but they’d be ideal for stalking a rival’s gallery opening. Wafting updos, spiky lashes, and pale cheeks and lips conveyed long hours in a studio.

A few items, like an alpaca coat, had angular seams or geometric piecing, which gave them a substantial swing on the body. A couple of baggy jumpsuits might be good for action painting but would take every ounce of coolness to pull off.

Some of the best looks sprang from shaved velveteens and “disintegrated” velvets in deep emerald and blue-gray. Velvet dresses were delicately scraped down to sheer panels at the shoulder blades, collarbone, or hemline. The effect was both worn-in and graceful.