That time of year has come around again where the layer lovers and winter wonders come out in floods. Now that New York Fashion Week has closed its curtains it is now time to review MESS top 10 hottest finale shows of the season. There has been so many beautiful and amazing sets it was difficult to pin point just the top 10. These shows stood out in different ways and that is the MESS way: Creative Chaos. We love to celebrate diverse types of fashion.

 

Marchesa

The spectacular migration to NYFW isn’t referenced as “flock” to fashion week for nothing. Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman took this to another level in there latest colletion. Their sky inspired Spring collection was a little closer to earth in “a botanical menagerie of caged birds.” This was showcased by cloud-like feathered skirts, 3D embroideries of fauna and flora and vibrant décolleté accents poking out from the bodice of sleek corsets on red carpet worthy gowns.

Sheer boudoir-inspired evening looks in black and nude Chantilly lace provoked further rumination on the “caged bird” concept. The sweeping, ombré-dyed tiered tulle trains in shades of sorbet caused a riot of Instagram snaps among a front row section occupied by a gaggle of Disney Channel starlets, eager to scrum for their debut in the larger celebrity ecosystem.

Marchesa has proven, once again, to produce breath taking gowns of art that brings out our inner Disney princesses.

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Delpozo

While Marchesa explores our Princess elegance we then jump to Delpozo’s architectural genius.

Josep Font’s mind must be an interesting place to explore. There is an anachronistic quality to his brand of demi-couture that he has established in his three years at the Spanish heritage house. His pieces have a beautiful fairy tale femininity quality that blends seamlessly with his structural silhouettes.

This Spring Font’s women were a inspiration taken from Federico Garcia Lorca’s Gypsy Ballads and Emilie Floge, the muse to Gustav Klimt and a fashion designer herself who created proto-bohemian styles that were ahead of her time. Font focused on Floge’s passion for folklore and the earthly qualities that can be found in Lorca’s famous book. Font combined these two qualities into his compelling and vernacular ways.

A grouping of polka-dotted pieces early on and a long rounded skirt in graphic orange and blue scrollwork could surely have been cut from the collection, since their sharpness felt so at odds with the ethereal ideas Font proposed elsewhere. A blue and pink moire frock served as an especially vivid testament to Delpozo fantasia at its best, and contrasted nicely with the house’s first move into purses, a chicly boxy doctor’s bag.

 

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Boss

From Font’s structural demi couture to Boss’ relaxed couture.

Jason Wu’s fourth runway season focused on creating a bigger Boss universe; this meant he focused mostly on daywear of the breezy Spring variety.

To start he gave the Boss suit a makeover, elongating the jacket, hacking off the sleeves, and adding fringe to the lapels; full trousers were cropped above the ankle.

The tailoring was more clean cut that his previous work here and freer, even when the jackets had full sleeves.

The same quality is added to his dresses. Wu has taken Issey Miyake’s micro-pleats, which has emerged as a New York trend on the runways as well as streetstyle, and used them to a winning effect, cutting delicate sleeveless dresses in bright shades of flame red, cobalt, and lemon yellow organza. The split skirts and handkerchief hems swirled weightlessly as they came down the runway.

Wu has finally experimented with print; an etched, gray-tone floral to be precise.

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Bibhu Mohapatra

“I’m a very emotional designer” Mohapatra said before his Sping 2016 show. “Whether it’s a fabric or material or an artisan story, I hold on to them until it feels right”

This statement is evident due to his last season, when he was mourning the loss of his father, so he wanted this collection to be a celebration of life. His muse for this occasion was Annemarie Schwarzenbach, a woman who has long held his fascination and whom the designer felt embodied the joie de vivre of the collection. Schwarzenbach was a trailblazer—a glamorous and itinerant journalist and photographer who was known for her singular androgynous style in ’30s Europe. But she also died young, at the age of 34. “She had a short but very impactful life, and that’s something to be celebrated,” said Mohapatra.

Instead of riffing on Schwarzenbach’s menswear-influenced personal style—which would have strayed too far from the brand’s core aesthetic—Mohapatra instead opted to infuse his feminine and sophisticated silhouettes with elements of Bauhaus, the school of art that Schwarzenbach subscribed to. Mohapatra beautifully captured that modernist and geometric style in his prints, many of which were inspired by discarded Bauhaus drawings. Highlights included a warped circle print that repeated itself on tops and dresses, and an overblown multicolored design, iridescent with sequins, that appeared on dresses and pants.

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Naeem Khan

Khan’s Spring 2016 was initially inspirited in Mexisco, where the designer hosted his wife’s 60th birthday party. The theme of the three day event was focused on the influences of Friday Kahlo, and guests were encouraged to come dressed appropriately, flower headdresses a near requirement as they were Kahlo’s legacy.

That idea carried him on a trip to the Mediterranean, where his fascination with flowers blossomed. Dresses in bougainvillea pink, lilac, and marigold floated down the runway, and some of the most successful looks referenced that influence, including a gorgeous lemon floral-beaded caftan gown.ftrr

And Khan was inspired by icons such as Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren; echoes of styles worn by both could be seen in the wasp-waist, full-skirted ball gowns. A lilac gazar number with rolled bateau neckline particularly recalled Kelly—we’ll surely be seeing that one on the red carpet soon. Princess gowns have their place, as Kelly more than proved in her lifetime, but Khan would do well to curb his appetite for embellishment here. A dress with a bustier emblazoned with a large glittering heart, for instance, verged into Disney heroine territory.

That embellishment worked best when its design wasn’t so overt. Backstage, Khan said that 600 people worked on the collection; up close, each gown was clearly a masterpiece, so it was disappointing when the message became slightly muddled on the runway. The sky-high platform heels seemed another misstep, particularly as models struggled not to trip over the delicate skirts.

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Naricso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez is an engineer as much as he is a designer. He’s always had a thing for seams, and his clothes are constructed like intricate murals. After a Fall collection with elongated silhouettes perched on towering heels that took his preoccupations to extremes, Rodriguez was after something more sensual here. “It’s a bit undone,” he said beforehand. Outfit number one was a black sateen top as glossy as leather that wrapped asymmetrically around the waist above a pair of full white trousers. Not undone by a long shot, but it was definitely more relaxed than what he’s been up to the last couple of seasons. It was followed up with an extremely fitted side-buttoning jacket: As a rule, though, the clothes here floated on the body. Silk tees slouched off one shoulder, and dresses twisted around the legs to fall in asymmetrical hems.

The gentler silhouette was a welcome development. So too was Rodriguez’s use of fabrics with a keen sense of the hand: the sateen that looked like leather and the nubby linen he chose for dresses that arched over one knee, which, by the way, happened to be completely reversible to silk chiffon. Tech fabrics tend to have a flatness that leaves you cold. There wasn’t a chance of that here. Rodriguez explained that his starting point was photographs of the ocean floor, but the palette was warm: bright amber, lacquer red, and golden mineral rings that swooped across dresses and encircled others from front to back. The sea creature embroidery on a bias-cut white silk dress was as exquisite as anything we’ll see all season.

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Coach

High Lane; an aerial park, with its grasses, fig treas and tracks across the west side of Manhattan, is where the new Coach offices are underway. Adjacent to this location is where the company invited everyone to step along the old railway tracks to see the first big runway show Coach has staged for NYFW.

As it also happens, 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of Coach, “So,” said Vevers, “it felt like a good moment to show we have confidence.” The values of Coach have always been a company proud to fulfill everyday needs. Vevers is one of those contemporary designers who questions how, and whether, that ideal in fashion is reaching young people at attainable prices, and in ways that will excite them. His answer was to think about “a magpie girl who goes on road trips, picking up Western things, but also might steal from her granny’s closet on the Upper East Side.”

If so, granny was a bit of a ’70s bohemian, because this girl’s dresses were all made from micro-floral multicolored patchworks, and with an easily relatable pull-on-and-go attitude about them. Refreshingly, he’s a down-to-earth product designer who is good at thinking about such things as what a functional cut-down cowboy boot should look like for a customer’s money: i.e., comfortable, with a lot of collaged fun thrown into the bargain. “I don’t think I’ve ever put a heel on the runway at Coach,” he said, laughing. “I just want to make it feel light in spirit and bring some joy to it, and maybe a sense of the American outdoors.”

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Diesel black gold

According to Andreas Melbostad, the starting point for this season’s Diesel Black Gold collection was the image of a girl wearing her boyfriend’s button-down shirt as a dress. That’s one of those images that recur frequently in fashion, and whether the trope comes off shopworn or as a durable idea that can continually be renewed depends entirely on the inventiveness of its reinterpretation. Melbostad’s tack was to take scarf-like squares of cotton shirting-like fabric and pattern them into slip dresses and skirts with handkerchief hems. The look was repeated in white-and-black geometric broderie anglaise, and with studs, and in leather, and, most appealingly, in blue-striped cotton broadcloth that quoted directly from the original inspiration. The pieces each had a kicky charm, but Melbostad hammered the look home a few too many times, which dulled the collection’s impact.

Of course, Melbostad hadn’t forsworn the Diesel Black Gold staples: biker jackets and denim. The brand’s biker signature was worked into buckle details and sharp-looking dungarees and leather overall dresses. There were also relatively straight-up biker jackets emblazoned with hardware. The jeans, meanwhile, came off best here in versions dark, mannish, and low-slung, but the Diesel Black Gold girl will also like the pairs done in lace or lace-textured white denim. They’ll look pretty sexy matched with her boyfriend’s button-down shirt.

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Vivienne Tam

Vivienne Tam built her business on lavish evening gowns that fuse her Chinese heritage with modern technology, but today’s show threw a wrench in that formula. Spring was all about casual, streetwise clothes for both girls and guys; it was Tam’s first time casting male models in her show. “Traveling between New York, Hong Kong, and Paris, I noticed people on the streets were very androgynous,” Tam explained before the show. “Girls were wearing men’s clothes, and men were wearing more feminine things.” Sure, you could chalk it up to the impact Hari Nef, Andreja Pejic, and (most famously) Caitlyn Jenner have had on pop culture this year. But transgender isn’t a trend, and Tam included lots of additional context, too, like the oft-referenced Chinese Art Deco period, which saw women playing with masculine style for the first time.

The show opened with a relaxed, strapless gray striped ensemble that captured Tam’s new laid-back approach. It was closely followed by a few different takes on shirting, like a flouncy wrap dress and a men’s charcoal jumpsuit with a ruffle down the front. A lot of the best pieces, however, were the ones that could pass for unisex, like the satin souvenir jackets—already a big trend for fall—and tech-mesh bombers. For the red carpet, Tam showed playful mahjong-inspired dresses that were undeniably fun; the game was introduced in the U.S. during the Art Deco period. Intricate dresses with embroidered rows of tiles felt whimsical, but still a lot more restrained than the gilded, heavily embellished dresses Tam showed in the past.

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Carolina Herrera

The Frick Collection has never opened its doors for a fashion show. Over the years, many designers have asked, but the answer was always no. This season Carolina Herrera heard yes. The skylit atrium is a transporting place; its Beaux Arts grandeur might have tempted Herrera to look back in time for inspiration, but she’s a resolutely modern-minded designer. She has been quick to embrace high-tech materials and figure out ways to incorporate them into her tony, uptown aesthetic. This season, more than ever, she put them to work.

On a preshow tour through her backstage dressing area, the buzzword was pleats, but not old-fashioned pleats. Herrera’s are trompe l’oeil, narrow bands of tech fabric stitched onto transparent mesh of different densities. Sometimes the tulle disappeared on the skin—and sheer paneling has never looked more decorous or discreet. On other pieces, it was thicker, almost like athletic mesh, creating a sporty mien. The second talking point was pink. “I’m in my rose period,” Herrera said. From a flirty day dress (real pleats, not trompe l’oeil) in a delicate shade of blush to an embroidered shift in raspberry suede, there was no shortage of the shade, and it did a good job of warming up the somewhat clinical feel of the synthetic materials. For those not predisposed to pink, there were a few other frocks in black and white and a nice-looking, vaguely New Look suit in midnight blue flocked velvet. Herrera was eager to avoid prints because she’s done them so often in the past. Like we said, resolutely modern-minded. Still, that rose-print slip dress was awfully pretty.

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