F/W 11.12 Buyers Reports - the Fashion Spot
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F/W 11.12 Buyers Reports
all from wwd, starting with new york:

Retailers Praise New York Glamour

The news from the New York collections is Glamour, with a capital G. And retailers are lapping it up.

It seems as if everybody got the memo about ladylike and polished looks for fall, from established pillars such as Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, to emerging talents like Joseph Altuzarra.

Standout collections included Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Theyskens’ Theory, Rodarte, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Thakoon, Chado Ralph Rucci and Phillip Lim.

“Bring back the glamour,” said Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s. “When glamour is back, it usually is good news for retail.”

“I saw beautiful, wearable clothes and I saw dollar signs,” said Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom Inc., referring to Jason Wu. “He got all the elements right this season.”

Even contemporary designers featured dressed-up clothes, albeit at lower prices. “The contemporary market has always been casual, with sportswear and anoraks,” Solomon said. “This time, we saw luxurious fabrics, beadwork, real and fake fur and leather.”

Here is what retailers had to say about New York Fashion Week:

Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue
Standout collections:
Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Jason Wu, Theyskens’ Theory and Calvin Klein.

Key trends — keepers: High-impact outerwear such as parkas, anoraks, puffers, peacoats, capes and vests, often with hoods and dramatic fur collars; new takes on shearling; culottes; tuxedo-inspired looks in blouses, jackets and pants; feminine skirts and dresses pared back to chunky knitwear, and global-inspired prints.

Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s
Standout collections:
Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and the contemporary designers showing collections filled with references to Hollywood glamour.

Key trends — keepers: Trim or fur on vests or jackets; statement coats with leather sleeves or other interesting details; longer lengths such as pencil skirts, and ladylike blouses. It feels right to dress up again.

Key trends — losers: Very wide-leg, pleated palazzo pants won’t fly off the shelves this fall. 3503827

Linda Fargo, senior vice president for the fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman
Standout collections:
Adam, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Rodarte, Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, Naeem Khan, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Altuzarra, Derek Lam, Theyskens’ Theory and Chado Ralph Rucci.

Key trends — keepers: As a reaction to this winter, outerwear and fur were exceptionally strong and diverse. Longer lengths, clean tailoring, plaids, pleats and lace. Black, gray and inky colors with reds — bright color for winter has broken through and will be in demand.

Sarah Rutson, fashion director at Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
Standout collections:
There were very few. Alexander Wang for his reworking of tuxedo shapes; Rag & Bone; Proenza Schouler’s Santa Fe prints and macramé; The Row’s spot-on tailoring, and Marc Jacobs, who gave us something different from everyone else’s huge lack of diversity.

Key trends — keepers: Colored fur and Mongolian lamb; fantastic knitwear; wide-leg pants, and some very well-executed tailoring. Lush color in berry tones and a strong pop of sharp blue, orange or red.

Key trends — losers: Midcalf-length skirts and dresses don’t look good on any woman and look so frumpy and old that they’re very hard to pull off; kilts and plaids, and, after three seasons, parkas.

Averyl Oates, chief buying director, Harvey Nichols, London
Standout collections:
Rodarte’s exquisite long dresses; Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Forties and the Seventies looks with a modern vintage feel; Alice + Olivia’s flapper-era dresses; Donna Karan’s sophisticated urban clothes and Oscar-worthy gowns, and Theyskens Theory’s slouchy jackets, coats and knitwear. At Marc Jacobs, all of the trends came together, but his Seventies influence was more strict and severe. The clothes, although in some cases extreme, were ladylike and sexy.

Key trends — keepers: Outerwear, Forties silhouettes.

Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus
Standout collections:
Proenza Schouler’s multicultural references balanced with a ladylike point of view; Marc Jacobs’ knits and ruby red cigarette pants; Jason Wu’s ladylike elegance; Prabal Gurung’s outstanding show; Donna Karan’s clothes that will go from the runway straight to a woman’s wardrobe without a second thought; Alexander Wang’s return to the future; Altuzarra’s aggressive outerwear, and Thakoon’s electric blue and tomato red jackets.

Key trends — keepers: Colors such as cranberries and merlots mixed with magentas and shades of pink, and winter white — it’s becoming the new camel.

Key trends — losers: The whole idea of Seventies and boho was perfect for the spring season. My eye is laser-focused on the polish and elegance of ladylike dressing.

Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom
Standout collections:
Jason Wu; Theyskens’ Theory; Alexander Wang’s cool outerwear; Joseph Altuzurra’s fur-trimmed parkas, and Michael Kors’ glamour.

Key trends — keepers: Fur; a big move toward grunge, and lingering Seventies influence. Being of the generation that grew up on the Seventies, I never get tired of that decade.

Key trends — losers: There were a lot of long skirts and, while I always love a good long skirt, I’m not feeling them as much for fall.

Barbara Atkin, vice president, fashion direction at Holt Renfrew, Canada
Standout collections:
Marc Jacobs summed up the season — a return to elegance that was refined and polished. Marc by Marc Jacobs took that signature to an accessible price point. Also, Michael Kors’ easy man-tailored coats and perfect cigarette pants; Alexander Wang; Theyskens’ Theory’s sensibility, and Rodarte’s clothes, which were more accessible in their wearability. We’re on the lookout for new collections. We’re picking up Rachel Zoe and we’re buying Kelly Wearstler.

Key trends — keepers: Elongated hemlines; higher-waisted pants; rounded shoulders; knits, and a return to the suit.

Nicole Fischelis, group vice president and fashion director at Macy’s Inc.
Standout collections:
Doo.Ri, Jason Wu, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Chris Benz, Richard Chai, Eden, Suno, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chado Ralph Rucci, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs.

Key trends — keepers: Fur is very important, for example, parkas with fur trim; chubby jackets, natural or recolored fur coats or vests; knitwear with interesting textures, patterns and colorations; midlength skirts; cropped skinny pants and wide-leg pants; tuxedo looks; pant suits, and interesting new greens and reds and shades of blue.

Amanda Brooks, fashion director, Barneys New York
Standout collections:
Alexander Wang’s young and cool show was wearable for a diverse audience; Rodarte’s more realistic approach to wearing [the collection] in real life; Altuzarra’s great separates and inspiring coats; The Row’s beautifully made investment pieces; Prabal Gurung; Phillip Lim’s great clothes at a great price that all the cool girls will want to wear; Thakoon’s feminine silhouettes; Zero + Maria Cornejo; M. Patmos; Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam.

Key trends — keepers: Sporty parkas with fur, shearling bomber jackets and anoraks; unconventional hemlines; chunky knit sweaters, and high-waisted pants.

Key trends — losers: Sweaters over long skirts for day.

Ed Burstell, managing director, Liberty
Standout collections:
Alexander Wang for street-inspired luxe and glamour; Daryl K, a woman for a woman’s body; Joseph Altuzarra’s sensual and tough show with amazing outerwear; Theyskens’ affordable drama, and Marc by Marc Jacobs’ focused, cheeky and easy looks.

Open-to-buy: Our budgets are up 10 percent with additional money for new resources; we’re looking at four new brands.

Key trends — keepers: Vibrant color; winter white; street glam, and fashionable, functional outwear.

Key trends — losers: Colorblocking again; fake heritage; camel overload, and wearing everything plus the kitchen sink just to get your picture taken.

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Sixties Tone a Hit with Milan Buyers

MILAN — A Sixties spirit blew through Milan, but not the hippie, bell-bottom-wearing kind.

Ladylike elegance and polish were de rigueur as designers harked back to an era when women dressed up, and bright colors conveyed a message of optimism for fall.

“This season was very strong. The overall look was cleaner and more grown-up than what we saw in New York,” said Amanda Brooks, fashion director at Barneys New York.

“I am encouraged that designers have focused more recently on making clothes that women will wear for a long time, not just for a season,” she added.

Averyl Oates, chief buying director at Harvey Nichols, praised the luxurious textures, such as velvet, tweed and fur.

“The mood is definitely upbeat and there are plenty of colors to choose from. Red still reigns supreme, but there is also green as a predominant message,” she said.

Despite a delay of more than an hour, Prada won plaudits for its textured effects, which ranged from fake fur to plastic paillettes. Other standout shows included Marni, Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and a lesser-known Italian label — Aquilano.Rimondi — which scored a hit with a collection of elaborately embellished cocktail dresses and richly textured coats.

“A breathtaking show, and a glorious moment for them,” said Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus. “The collection possessed the kind of detail one expects from couture, with exceptional quality.”

Designers mainly stuck to tried-and-tested formulas, with retailers praising superior craftsmanship and a good balance between editorial and commercial looks.

“Some may see it as not taking enough risks, but, in my opinion, it isn’t what Milan is about anyway,” said Leonardo Girombelli, brand manager at TheCorner.com, owned by Italian e-tailer Yoox.

Here is what retailers had to say about Milan Fashion Week:

Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue
Standout collections: Prada; Gucci; Bottega Veneta; Emilio Pucci; Marni; Jil Sander; Fendi; Missoni; Aquilano.Rimondi.

Key trends — keepers: A beautiful and rich autumnal color palette, with deep hues of green, teal, rust and gold, often worked in unusual combinations; texture achieved through furs, leather, python, chunky knits, felted wools, nubby bouclé tweeds and longhaired mohairs; fake or “eco” fur options; elements of shine through Lurex, lamé, beading and paillettes.

Amanda Brooks, fashion director, Barneys New York
Standout collections: Marni; Jil Sander; Bottega Veneta; Fendi.

Key trends — keepers: Lots of glamour; rich colors; the highlights in terms of items were the trompe l’oeil boots at Prada, the multicolored lizard-adorned bags at Fendi, the ski sweaters at Jil Sander and the black lace and print cocktail pieces at Bottega Veneta.

Key trends — losers: My gripe is that many designers recently have been using fabrics that are too thick. While they hang beautifully on a hanger, those heavy, heavy fabrics just don’t sell.

Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman

Standout collections: A special mention for Aquilano.Rimondi for their exquisitely sophisticated collection in unexpected colors and soft Deco-esque geometries.

Key trends — keepers: Seventies-inspired polish and glamour, best exemplified at Gucci; tonal dressing and vivid gemstone colorations; innovative and novelty fur; luxe materials — lace, velvet and exotics; diversity in outerwear.

Sound off: We would like to see the show schedule consolidated, so that we had more adequate time to wrap up markets in New York and London.

Sarah Rutson, fashion director, Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
Standout collections: Marni is so back on track. Its cleaner, linear feel will really fly at retail. At Jil Sander, the Sixties cuts and couture sensibility mixed with knitwear, and the proportions, were beautiful.

Sound off: It sometimes felt there was an emotional disconnect to the collections designers were showing. I really feel that a lot of them have “China syndrome,” reaching out to the Chinese consumer with their eye on the prize, and showing what they believe the Chinese woman wants in terms of color and femininity and an almost “primness” to styling. Often I felt the runway looked more like costumes than clothes — where was she going to wear all of this?

Tiziana Cardini, fashion director, La Rinascente
Standout collections: Prada; Jil Sander; Marni; Bottega Veneta.

Key trends — keepers: Italian designers enhanced their craftsmanship, their sartorial skills and their work on fabrics and surfaces, and that made for great outerwear.

Leonardo Girombelli, brand manager, TheCorner.com
Standout collections: Jil Sander; Missoni; Antonio Marras; Trussardi 1911.

Key trends — keepers: Everyone is always after the perfect winter coat, and there were some strong examples this season, again at Jil Sander and Trussardi 1911, but also at Marni, where they came in sophisticated colors with chic three-quarter sleeves. Simple, minimalist shapes in dark or vibrant colors are versatile enough to become the great essentials that are the core of every woman’s wardrobe.

Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction, Bloomingdale’s
Standout collections: Gucci; Prada; Giorgio Armani — Armani’s collection was a tour de force, one of his best in years.

Key trends — keepers: Knee-length dresses and a narrow, lean silhouette; pencil skirts; slouchy men’s wear pants; fur, whether real or fake, on everything; the continuation of color, best illustrated at Blumarine, Gucci and D&G. This is a real indication that we’re going to have an optimistic fall.

Sound off: I love the concept of bringing luxurious fabrications to a young girl, as seen at Prada, because I think the timing is right for young girls to dress up and to feel glamorous.

Jennifer Wheeler, vice president of women’s designer apparel, Nordstrom
Standout collections: Marni; Missoni; Jil Sander; Prada.

Key trends — keepers: Chiffon, fur, python (hopefully there will be California-friendly options in the showroom); jet beading; the continuation of the blouse; great color from reds to purples, dark greens and wines to soft, nudey pinks.

Business outlook: We are feeling optimistic about business right now. The customer is responding to what we currently have in the stores, and fall is shaping up to have lots of new reasons for the customer to continue to shop.

Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Neiman Marcus
Standout collections: Gucci; Bottega Veneta; Aquilano.Rimondi; Versace; Marni.

Key trends — keepers: We’re happy that major messages like the abundance of color continued from New York through to Milan. We’ve been impressed too with the polished, polite, ladylike spirit on show that will appeal to our customers. We spotted many more Sixties references here in Milan, a couture attitude with fine detailing but with a futuristic attitude referencing designers such as Courrèges.

Sound off: As we come out of this exceptional global economic situation, our customers are looking for very special items of an artisanal level. It’s important designers speak to a woman of affluence, which is what we’ve seen in Milan.

Averyl Oates, chief buying director, Harvey Nichols
Standout collections:
Dolce & Gabbana; Jil Sander; Pucci; Marni.

Key trends — keepers: Ladyfied Sixties and Seventies vintage is high on the agenda; color including red, green and navy; fur; tweed; vintage glamour; sharp coats; knits; longer skirts.

Natalia Syunkova, brand manager, women’s fashion division, Podium, Moscow
Standout collections:
Missoni; DSquared2; Antonio Berardi, Pucci.

Key trends — keepers: Light fabrics; flower prints; bright colors; maxi lengths; wide pants; chunky sweaters; fur.

Barbara Atkin, vice president fashion direction, Holt Renfrew
Standout collections:
Gucci; Fendi; Marni; Etro; Jil Sander; Prada.

Key trends — keepers: Fur; leather; new silhouettes in coats; a return to great sporty classics; color impact; innovative decorative fabrics with surface interest and shine.

Business outlook: Our budgets are flexible in order to go after opportunities as we see them. Milan collections have provided opportunities to expand our outerwear, fur, leather and knitwear businesses.

Sound off: The long length of time between shows allowed us to see the numerous presentations and new, up-and-coming designers, and visit showrooms and new stores. Some of the new designers we are excited about are Carlo Contrada, Isabella Tonchi, Worth, Max Kibardin for footwear and an exciting project for Africa called Carmina Campus by Ilaria Fendi.

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Though Tumultuous, Paris Provides Winners

PARIS — In a week of intense drama off the catwalk, retailers found plenty to like about Fashion Week here, cutting through the chatter about who will replace John Galliano as Christian Dior’s couturier to focus on investment pieces with a polished edge.

“Our budgets are up as our designer business is better than ever, and Paris is filled with clothes that made us see dollar signs,” said Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom.

Collections by Haider Ackermann, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, Givenchy, Lanvin and Celine were widely cited among the season’s standouts.

Buyers praised the preponderance of fur and leather — emblematic of heightened luxury — and spied a range of saleable fashion items, including pencil skirts, flat-sole pumps, frame handbags and exceptional coats and capes.

“Working the showrooms this week has actually been a buyer’s dream. It has been very easy to work an exciting and desirable edit,” said Sarah Rutson, fashion director at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.

Barbara Atkin, vice president of fashion direction at Canada’s Holt Renfrew, said more sober presentations signaled “the end of a chapter of frivolous, artful fantasy and the start of a new decade of serious, more commercially viable clothes with retail credibility.”

The minimalist vibe that has gripped Paris for several seasons is now offering a glimpse of greater individualism, retailers noted.

“It feels as if our clients are challenging us to step outside of the safer, more comfortable zone we’ve occupied and to dazzle them,” said Ruth Runberg, buying director at Browns. “The sentiment is moving to be less about investing in a pared-down classic and more about investing in an heirloom made special by exquisite handwork, the perfect tailoring, the most remarkable of textiles or an unusual color combination.”

Ed Burstell, managing director of Liberty, cautioned, however, that the standout pieces could be a hard sell.

“One has to be careful. Editorial looks are expensive, often difficult to wear and deliver late. It really highlights the importance of pre-collections,” he noted.

Here is what retailers had to say about Paris Fashion Week:

Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Neiman Marcus
Standout collections: Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, Valentino, Celine and Alexander McQueen.
Key trends — keepers: Gorgeous jackets, strict pencil skirts, handheld handbags, pleated details, leather and fur. A single-sole, sexy pump looks wildly new to the eye. And I love the idea of a jade green dress.

Kelly Golden, owner, Neapolitan, Winnetka, Ill.
Top collections: Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Andrew Gn, Valentino and Loewe.
Key trends — keepers: The Sixties influence, the structured silhouette, leather, lace and fur. Pants are back in a big way, lots of outerwear. Handbags are still strong sellers for us, and this season [customers] will be investing in a more structured frame bag.
Sound off: I feel confident that Dior will continue to produce beautiful, over-the-top collections. It’s just frustrating to see yet another fashion genius end his career prematurely.

Barbara Atkin, vice president, fashion direction, Holt Renfrew
Top collections: Akris, Balenciaga, Celine, Lanvin, Haider Ackermann, Nina Ricci, Sharon Wauchob, Dries Van Noten and Stella McCartney. Off the runway, we loved Carven, Peter Pilotto, Christian Wijnants and Sacai.
Key trends — keepers: Beautiful, classic sportswear returned: luxurious coats, well-tailored suits, a variety of skirt and pant silhouettes, feminine day dresses, evening gowns, knitwear, beautiful blouses, fur, leather and lots of color and print.
Key trends — losers: Overly stiff, heavily bonded fabrics.

Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman
Standout collections: Haider Ackermann, Miu Miu, Junya Watanabe, Lanvin, Rick Owens, Celine, Alexander McQueen, Akris and Valentino.
Key trends — keepers: Color as a direction, tonal or in blocks — wine, emeralds, winter white and muted earth. We’re in the mood to be dressed up versus dressed down. Outerwear options are plentiful and will be the new wardrobe. Materials — mixed media, velvet, leather, python, lace, Lurex, fur.
Sound off: Applause to Dior for their dignity and grace under fire. Clearly the recent unsettling events have given us collective cause for industry introspection and concern for nurturing talent.

Holli Rogers, buying director, Net-a-porter
Standout collections: Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent, Junya Watanabe, Carven, Lanvin.
Key trends — keepers: Color blocking, eye-catching prints, palazzo pants to sweeping maxidresses and cocoon skirts, a mix of muted Seventies colors alongside richer jewel tones in plum, sapphire and emerald. The Seventies trend wide legged, flared and bell-bottom pants were still a key silhouette at the shows.

Cindy Ho, fashion director of Three Sixty Style, Kuwait
Standout collections: Celine, Haider Ackermann and Dries Van Noten.
Key trends — keepers: Accessories are still the strongest, the dress look in general.
Business outlook: Our business has been strong; we have increased 30 percent of the buy. We saw the pants look was very strong in [fall-winter 2010] but it will move to the skirt for next fall. Also, the consumer is looking for unique pieces though the price is comparatively high.

Seville Chow, vice president, merchandising, Joyce, Hong Kong
Top collections: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Haider Ackermann and Lanvin. As a new brand, we will launch Mugler.
Key trends — winners: Outerwear, fur, leather and textural fabric. The return of sophisticated dressing of a modern woman was expressed across a number of collections.
Sound off: We are excited about what we have seen over the past week. There is a great sense of balance in creativity, workmanship, luxurious fabrication and accessibility.
Outlook: Due to the expansion of the business, our first Beijing store opening this fall and as a consequence of a positive spring-summer season, we are looking at a double-digit growth in our budget.

Tiziana Cardini, fashion director, La Rinascente
Top collections: Balenciaga, Celine, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Comme des Garçons, Valentino.
Key trends — winners: Clean and essential lines and a focus on outerwear, texture and cuts. There was a lot of daywear to deliver a solid elegance for daily life. The play between masculine and feminine for a sophisticated androgyny.

Amanda Brooks, fashion director, Barneys New York
Standout collections: Haider Ackermann, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Carven and Alexander McQueen.
Key trends — keepers: More polished, ladylike looks at Lanvin, Rochas, Nina Ricci. Baseball-inspired jackets at Givenchy, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent. Novelty fur at Celine, Giambattista Valli. Longer, asymmetrical skirts at Haider Ackermann, Balenciaga. Loafers at Lanvin, Celine and YSL. And python everywhere. And the color burgundy everywhere. And capes everywhere.
Sound off: In general, I found the runway trends quite easy to wear this season, with the exception of the more Mod Sixties-inspired looks, which don’t translate as well to how most women want to dress today.

Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue
Standout collections: Christian Dior, Haider Ackermann, Chanel, Celine and Alexander McQueen.
Key trends — keepers: There are two clear looks coming from the Paris collections. One is about a richness of textures, achieved through a luxurious mix of materials and fabrications, combining fur, leather, suede, velvet, lace and tweeds. The other is sleek and chic, with streamlined, minimalist and graphic designs, where the focus is on the precise cut of a garment.
Sound off: Some of the weights of fabrications are getting a bit extreme, and will not fare well in warmer parts of the world. Clearly designers believe we will be having another long, cold winter.

Ruth Runberg, buying director, Browns
Standout collections: Ann Demeulemeester, Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Junya Watanabe, Celine, Chloé, Miharayasuhiro. In accessories, Olympia Le-Tan’s handbags and Marie-Hélène de Taillac’s new jewels.
Business outlook: We are confident in what we have seen from the fall runways in Paris. Commercially, Paris designers strike the perfect balance of elegance and newness for our clients. I certainly am hoping for another very cold winter, as we have seen and invested in beautiful, proper winter coats from almost every collection.
Sound off: The fashion industry is speeding up so dramatically and is so bottom-line focused that some of the joy in the process of finding and selling is lost. I think this is evidenced by the tragic losses of some of the most sensitive and brilliant minds in our industry over the last few years.

Ikram Goldman, owner, Ikram, Chicago
Standout collections: Chanel, Lanvin and Celine were three of my favorite collections this season.
Key trends — keepers: Again this season, I felt that the coats were really important, as in capes. Capes were unbelievable. I also saw a lot of lace and a lot of fur everywhere. A bag is always important, but I feel this season more so. Also, heavy knitwear — lots and lots of heavy sweaters.

Averyl Oates, chief buying director, Harvey Nichols

Standout collections:
Haider Ackermann, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Vionnet and Lanvin.
Business outlook: We are pushing budgets on our key performers within the international and contemporary sphere, but adopting a ruthless approach to non-performers. Our confidence is therefore polarized to reflect the current business pattern in our stores based on sales. Whilst we continue to have a strong demand for the identifiable and important pieces of the collections, we are also finding that our customers are seeking more accessible price points and clothes that have a more universal appeal.
Key trends — keepers: Seventies, elegant/ladylike, capes/outerwear. Maxiskirts were also a micro trend across the catwalks.

Polina Kitsenko, co-owner, Podium, Moscow
Standout collections:
Isabel Marant, Ann Demeulemeester, Nina Ricci, Chanel, Celine.
Key trends — keepers: Western, tribal, Seventies, but not of the flare variety, more midi, maxi lengths and wide and high-waisted pants; long skirts or long silk dresses with oversize sweaters; lots of oversize outerwear, like long parkas. Colors were not typical for winter, like pastels, beiges and milky colors. There were also lots of greens and dark navy, but black is still always there. Lots of rigid shaped bags and massive thick-heeled shoes.
Sound off: We would like fewer delays at shows.

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It's so interesting to see differing eyes of the global retailers.

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Thanks for posting Kimair. Always an interesting read.

Whilst there's a commercial logic in retailers dusting off their older customer base who may have been a little deserted for a few seasons, one does just wonder quite how far down the age scale the push toward ladylike is likely to travel.

In a sense the image of Kate Moss closing Louis Vuitton is a poignant one on this issue. 37, the archetypal milf rockchick, and still smoking: can we really imagine her in everyday life in, say, one of those Aquilano.Rimondi looks.

Will women in their 40s or 50s, 60s, 70s even, want to look quite as formal and stuffy as some of these ladylike propositions. I mean, who wants to look older. That's the thing.

I think there's quite a job on for editorials to make a fist of shifting the collective eye toward the ladylike. Although of course print editorial is nowhere near as influential as once was the case.

Which leads neatly into the final point being that, whilst many of these venerable old department stores do have a web business, they also have heavy bricks and mortar and staffing overhead and for sure the closer up toward the septugenarians you go the more likely the traditional retail experience to be that customer's only purchasing mode. In short, the biddies don't do so much e-commerce, they shop only in physical proximity.

So, to foster growth in the overhead heavy, bricks and mortar sector of your retail mix, said department store will do well to appeal to it's most loyal footfall. Buyers aren't dumb they know who's been in their stores but not purchasing hence the welcoming of the shift to ladylike.

But it's a sign, isn't it, when a business sector wishes to appeal to an older sector of a market. Hardly a prospect for long term sustainability when the customer you seek is dying out. Literally.

And I'm not sure if a woman of any age wants to look like a museum piece. I think the old brands and the old stores courting ya lady leaves several wide open spaces.

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I'm a little surprised at how few Ralph Lauren mentions there were. I suppose it makes sense- the bulk of the collection, and the best parts, were the eveningwear, and eveningwear doesn't move nearly as many numbers for obvious reasons- but I still think that it was the biggest stand out from New York.

I'm so glad that the maxi skirt is unanimously panned; Duggar-chic is like "fetch"- it's never gonna happen.

"I say, let's have happy clothes. You could reply that's frivolous in this troubled world, but do you really think dressing like an existential nun with suicidal thoughts is going to solve Bosnia?"

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Hahaha I loved your "fetch" reference!!!

Im so happy McQueen made most of the lists ... and the fact that everyone seems to appreciate Ackermann's collection as well ... it does seem that Paris was a bit "off" this season and surprise surprise, Milano sweeped!

Very very exciting season!

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