Eric Wilson’s Front Row Diary: Our Fashion TV Guide to the Fall Collections Thus Far

Eric Wilson is InStyle’s Fashion News Director. Sit front row at Fashion Week with him by following him on Twitter (@EricWilsonSays) and Instagram.

As we have already noted, Milan Fashion Week got off to a serious start this week with cerebral collections from Fendi, Gucci, and Prada. But not everything has to make you think. Sometimes the collections are just fun to watch, like reality television shows in which fashion is the star. Designers here are in the midst of transforming the reputation of their city back into a world-class capital, and that is happening thanks to a growing roster of new and adventurous labels combined with a sense of revitalized energy at the established ones.

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Marco de Vincenzo is one of the new guard, and his work is as fascinating and mature as even the grown up designers like Donatella Versace, who, by the way, had a powerful show that set a new look for the house while mining its glamorous heyday. But more on that in moment.

The looks have been coming fast and furious this Fashion Week, so scattered and independent of one another that watching the shows almost feels like flipping through the channels on television. If there has been one common denominator, it’s Wes Anderson, whose Royal Tenenbaums has been a stylistic reference for the collections of Bally, Etro, and Gucci, not to mention the Lacoste show back in New York. Something’s just in the air. So get out your tennis headbands and granny’s fur coats and take a tour through our fashion TV guide to the fall collections, thus far:

Versace (pictured, above): On Cinemax After Dark tonight, there was more than a hint of Richard Avedon’s groundbreaking 1990s advertising campaigns for Versace in Donatella Versace’s latest collection that featured sequined dresses embroidered with large letters spelling out the Versace name in a mixed-up logo mania, as if she hit the reset button on a classic this season. Bold green and yellow chubby furs, wild mini-dresses, and thigh-high red patent boots – what else would you expect from Versace than the Red Shoe Diaries?

Moschino (pictured, above left): On the Cartoon Network, it’s a Looney Tunes marathon, in which Sylvester, Daffy Duck, and Bugs Bunny go to to a hip-hop rave party. Worth watching for the soundtrack alone, but the clothes were pretty amusing, too.

PHOTOS: Runway Looks We Love: Moschino

Marco de Vincenzo (pictured, above middle): On today’s after-school special, an up-and-coming designer who made his name with precisely pleated rainbow-lurex skirts and fabulously textured coats takes a walk on the wild side, showing a tougher edged girl in hiking boots trimmed with velvet braids. She looks dangerous in a laser-cut camel suit woven with ribbons that dangle darkly from her skirt. “I love decoration,” says de Vincenzo. “But also balance. It’s easy to do too much.”

Giamba (pictured, above right): A double-header on a similar track – Giambattista Valli creates sweet, sweet dresses in micro floral prints and acid-light colors for his newest, younger-skewing collection, only to cover them with leather harnesses. Is his customer naughty or nice? Or is she going to wind up on 16 and Pregnant?

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini (pictured, above left): On the History Channel, Serafini, Philosophy’s new designer, making his ready-to-wear debut, opting for prairie dresses and knit capes with an old-timey feel. Particularly charming are his separates with tomboy-appeal, like high-waisted tweed trousers worn with a delicately ruffled blue shirt.

Bally (pictured, above middle):  On Showtime on Demand, it’s a Wes Anderson marathon, featuring great new ready-to-wear with a 1960s vibe, including, rather unbelievably, a pair of crocodile pants. More probable for daywear were the Tenenbaum inspired looks, including some delightful tennis headbands à la Richie Tenenbaum, worn with a practical yellow blazer and white tunic over brown trousers.

Max Mara (pictured, above left): On the Biography Channel, the designers at Max Mara have uncovered a trove of early pictures of Marilyn Monroe, channeling the actress in her most vulnerable period through the form of outerwear. That’s right, multiple variations of deliciously cozy cocoon coats, which the models wrapped around themselves as cover-ups, as if they had just dashed out of the frigid ocean from a skinny dip. Gigi Hadid, the reality TV star turned model-du-moment, made a convincing Norma Jean, with her mouth posed in a wide-open pout as she made her way down the runway.

Stay tuned for what happens next.

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Runway Looks We Love: Gucci

Designer: Gucci

Season: Fall/winter 2015

Location: Milan

Notable guests: Salma Hayek

What was it like: It was a completely different look for Gucci, with creative director Allesandro Michele now at the helm. The usual runway scenario took a different turn, with the audience in the center of the room on risers, while models walked the outskirts–the exact opposite of the habitual fashion show runway scenario.

Why we love this collection: As InStyle‘s Fashion News Director Eric Wilson notes, the collection was a “flash of excitement and energy that has long been missing in the city.” This took form in washed silk dresses with tiers of ruffles to oddly creased floral-print suits which lead us to believe the following is true: the Contemporary is indeed the Untimely at Gucci these days.

PHOTOS: Runway Looks We Love: Gucci

Why Opt for One Oscars Dress When You Can Wear Two? These Stars Are Pros at the Quick Change

Moments after the cams stopped rolling, the throng of A-listers at the 2015 Oscars flocked to the various after parties scattered around Hollywood, but not without a quick outfit change. While some remained consistent with their designer choice or their red carpet aesthetic, others threw caution to the wind and went for a completely different look. Either way, the result was stunning. We spotlighted 15 stylish stars who turnt up in amazing down-to-party attire.

1. Jennifer Lopez (above)

J.Lo had a real-life Cinderella moment when she swept onto the Oscars red carpet in a billowing Elie Saab Haute Couture creation. But for the after-party, she reverted back to her signature aesthetic with a sheer skin-tight navel-plunging crystal-embroidered Zuhair Murad Couture number.

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2. Lupita Nyong’o

Nyong’o caused a stir on the red carpet when she stepped out in a jewelry masterpiece of a dress by Calvin Klein Collection that took months and more than 6,000 pearls to create. After the ceremony, she wore Calvin Klein Collection again but instead, chose a strapless gilded column.

3. Emma Stone

The actress traded in her beaded chartreuse Elie Saab Haute Couture gown for a plunging lace burgundy Altuzarra number off the fall 2015 runway.

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4. Margot Robbie

Robbie struck the same pose twice, but in strikingly different looks. The first, in a plunging long-sleeve draped Saint Laurent number, and the second, in a strapless striped ankle-grazing frock.

5. Rita Ora

Ora aimed for the same dramatic mermaid silhouette—a grand gold-embroidered Marchesa piece on the red carpet and a scandalous one-shoulder sheer-back Donna Karan Atelier gown.

6. Solange Knowles

Fashion risk-taker Knowles went for a paprika Christian Siriano crepe top and wide-leg pants at the Oscars. For the after-party, she stuck to the high-neck theme and selected a white crystal beaded Naeem Khan gown.

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7. Chrissy Teigen

Teigen dialed up the drama on the red carpet in a plunging icy blue Zuhair Murad Couture dress with a dangerously high slit. She later switched into a playful orange-and-violet color-block cut-out Emilio Pucci column.

8. Marion Cotillard

The Parisian beauty was a vision in a white textural Dior Haute Couture creation—and again later on in the night in playful embellished tiered frock.

9. Lady Gaga

Leave it to Gaga to bring the drama twice. She wore a custom voluminous Azzedine Alaia piece (with red gloves, no less) at the Oscars and a vampy curve-clinging black number at the after-party.

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10. Zoe Saldana

New mom Saldana showed off her amazing post-baby physique in a blush Atelier Versace draped number on the red carpet and again in a stunning black-and-white Prabal Gurung piece later that night.

11. Keira Knightley

Expectant mom Knightley dressed her baby bump in a breathtaking Valentino Couture replete with whimsical embroidery. She stuck to the same designer for her after-party look, but left the whimsy aside and went for a classic dark ground-grazing number.

12. Felicity Jones

Jones tapped her inner Victorian both on and off the red carpet. She started her night with a high-neck pale gray embroidered Alexander McQueen ball gown and then changed into an embellished high-neck black column.

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13. Naomi Watts

Watts shimmed on the red carpet in a silver scaly Armani Prive creation with black beaded embroidery. Later, she took the menswear route and suited up in a sleek white pantsuit with black accessories.

14. Faith Hill

The singer defined elegance in a plunging draped J. Mendel design (fresh off the fall 2015 runway) at the Oscars. For the after-party, she stuck with the same silhouette, but added a playful edge, courtesy of Armani Prive’s polka dots and ruffled tiers.

15. Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Dewan-Tatum struck a stark contrast with her gowns—a plunging white Zuhair Murad Couture gown for day and a smoldering black lace racer-back Zuhair Murad Couture gown for night.

PHOTOS: See All the Oscars 2015 Red Carpet Arrivals

Why Oprah Joined Selma: It Wasn’t For The Role…

Oprah Winfrey is a good friend– she’s willing to lend her star power to friends. Such as when David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in the lauded film Selma, asked her to join the film to lift its profile, she told InStyle on the red carpet at the Film Independent Spirit Awards tonight (Feb. 21).

“I really just wanted to be behind the scenes helping him,” Oprah, who was presenting at the awards show, said. “He showed me this tape of himself as MLK, and I thought ‘Eh…it’s good…you need a little work. I know everyone else is going to tell you how amazing it is. But I can see him in you.’”

Surely, having Oprah on board has helped catapult Selma to the fore. She explained simply: “I came aboard to do what friends do when they can to try to lift the movie, where at least people would be able to see it.”

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Runway Looks We Love: Ralph Lauren

Designer: Ralph Lauren

Notable Guests: Kanye West

Location: 550 Washington St.

What was it like: A frenzy of flashbulbs ensued as Kanye West entered the swanky chandelier-lit studio space (his first time attending the designer’s show), but as soon as the show began, the entire room instantaneously shifted their focus to a myriad of Western-inspired looks, holding true to Lauren’s sophisticated and timeless style. This time it came in the form of cashmere everything (from turtlenecks to skirts to dresses) in tonal shades, to cozy shearling patchwork coats and vests, to a gorgeous glittering bronze beaded dress complete with a snuggly chic topper and matching gloves.

Why we love this collection: Last season, we were wooed by an inspirational luxury safari theme that had us planning an exotic vacay, but this season, after a seemingly endless winter that just won’t let up, Lauren’s cozy chic collection comprised of layers of cashmere, shearling, and platform boots was exactly what the fashion doctor ordered.

PHOTOS: Runway Looks We Love: Ralph Lauren

Runway Looks We Love: Vera Wang

Designer: Vera Wang

Location: 545 W. 22nd Street

What was it like: From the moody music to the grey-toned studio space, everything about Vera’s fall 2015 show was inherently sexy (including an appearance by fashion week all-star Kendall Jenner, who pranced down the runway in a cool babydoll-esque LBD).

Why we love this collection: Sure, Vera Wang’s 2015 collection was seeded heavily in black, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t feel the warmth of the collection from start to finish. From oversized fisherman cable pullovers that looked as cozy as they did understatedly sexy, to sultry crepe bustier tops with lace-up detailing that we’d eagerly slip on for a night on the town, the seasoned designer knocked it out of the park once again.

PHOTOS: Runway Looks We Love: Vera Wang

Rebecca Minkoff Is Essie’s Global Color Designer! Get the Nail Art From Her #NYFW Show

Rebecca Minkoff is about to redesign your manicure wardrobe! Just before showing her fall 2015 collection at New York Fashion Week, Essie announced Minkoff’s new role as the Global Color Designer, and will be launching her first collaboration with the brand next month for spring. “It’s so exciting! Rebecca is so passionate about color, so I wasn’t surprised when the announcement was made,” says Michelle Saunders, lead manicurist at Minkoff’s show. “As soon as I heard, I said, ‘You know what? You do the nails! You pick the colors out.’” To determine exactly which colors to incorporate into the runway show, Minkoff drew inspiration from both the clothing and accessories. “When we did the test, Rebecca had her model hold a handbag after we painted the design,” Saunders adds. “Her handbags are really vibrant, so we had to make sure the colors would still show up against that.”

RELATED: All The #NYFW News You Need to Know!

While the crisp lines may look intimidating for nail art novices, the effect is one of the easiest to master–it’s all in how you angle the brush. “The width of the stripe is the width of the brush, so the brush does all of the work for you,” says Saunders. After a layer of Essie’s Mademoiselle ($ 8.50; essie.com), Saunders picked up the Berry Naughty hue ($ 8.50; essie.com) and directed the brush upward toward the tip in a V shape. She then took the deep navy Midnight Cami shade ($ 8.50; essie.com) and followed the same motions just above the red portion. “You’re basically drawing a little X at the top of your nails,” she adds. “What you’d want to do is paint all ten nails in Mademoiselle, then do the criss-cross on all ten with Berry Naughty. Once you get around to adding the blue, the rest of the pattern is dry and ready for the next step.” To finish, Saunders added a layer of the Good to Go Top Coat ($ 8.50; essie.com) to seal in the design.

Click through our gallery to see even more of the best manicures from #NYFW!

PHOTOS: The Best #NYFW Manicures–So Far!

Meet InStyle’s March Man of Style, Ansel Elgort

There’s a lot you might not know about the 20-year-old actor Ansel Elgort, like his side projects as a house-music DJ. But after his swoony turns in last year’s The Fault in Our Stars and the upcoming Insurgent, you’ll want to get to know him a lot better.

And we’ve got your primer on the young Marlon Brando lookalike. Watch the video above to learn how he feels about fashion and what he thinks is the most romantic thing you could do for someone. For even more on Elgort, pick up the March issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.

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My Life in Ten Seconds: Designers John Targon and Scott Studenberg of Baja East

Meet Scott Studenberg and John Targon, the charismatic boys behind the next “It” label Baja East. The lifestyle brand embodies a cool global aesthetic that bridges inspiration from the Far East with the laid back ease from the West Coast and New York’s street sensibility (Gwen Stefani counts herself as a fan). And with New York Fashion Week fall/winter 2015 shows rapidly approaching, we got up close and personal with both designers, and had them answer a quick survey of questions that delve into their new collection (no spoilers, promise) and their personal lives—that takes all of 10 seconds to read.

What word describes your fall/winter 2015 collection?

Scott: Oasis.

John: Sun-bleached.

What are you listening to right now?

Scott: ’90s angst, like Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, Alanis Morissette, Foo Fighters, The Cranberries, Cheryl Crow.

John: K. Michelle.

Where did you go in preparation for your fall/winter 2015 collection?

Scott: I was inspired by my previous travels. We created a textile and knit inspired by this rug I bought in Marrakech that we bartered for 100 bucks.

John: The Rothko exhibit.

The last drink I had was…

Scott: “I Am Cozy” from Cafe Gratitude in LA

John: “Killer X” from Liquiteria

What job would you be doing if you weren’t a fashion designer?

Scott: A yoga instructor on a deserted island in Thailand.

John: Tae Kwon Do instructor.

Where would you go first in NYC if you were a tourist?

Scott: Sex and the City bus tour.

John: West Village.

What is your favorite work of art?

Scott: Ross Bleckner’s Hummingbirds in 2002.

John: “Frontier Fronting” by Delia Brown.

Who’s your favorite superhero?

Scott: Storm from X-Men. She can fly, control the weather, and has major hair and a major outfit. And she has great skin.

John: Batman.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Scott: In New York, I immediately make coffee and gluten-free oatmeal and try not to speak to anybody before then. In LA, I go to the gym and read my emails on the elliptical or StairMaster.

John: Give my boyfriend a good morning kiss.

Who did you design your first piece for?

Scott: For us. We had these handwoven one-of-a-kind ceremonial skirts we sourced from Bali that we constructed into sleeveless Bajas.

John: For myself.

What’s your favorite quote of all time?

Scott: (Created with actual receipts) “Show me the receipts.” — Whitney Houston

John: “Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages.”

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My Power Outfit: Emelyn Northway & Dorie Golkin Smith, Co-Founders of Of Mercer

This story originally appeared on Levo.com. For more stories like this, subscribe to Levo’s “My Power Outfit” newsletter.

Name:

Dorie Golkin Smith

Emelyn Northway

Title/Company:
Co-Founders, Of Mercer

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What are you wearing?

Dorie: I’m wearing Of Mercer’s Ludlow Dress in Bordeaux–a new color for fall–a Zara knitted poncho, Pour La Victoire booties, and a black Bottega Venetta hobo.

Emelyn: I’m wearing Of Mercer’s Bryant Dress, Stuart Weitzman pumps, and an Alexander McQueen tote.

Why does it make you feel powerful?

Dorie: I love that the Ludlow Dress has a feminine A-line pleated silhouette, but incorporates the more masculine and edgy leather details. I’m all about color, so I love pairing our fall season’s Bordeaux with other pops of color and patterns. I feel powerful knowing I can tackle anything the day throws at me in this dress–from meetings to interviews to social activities!

Emelyn: The Bryant Dress stands on its own, so I can throw it on and feel completely pulled together in no time. I love that the pattern is bold and different, but the silhouette is classic and office-appropriate, so it makes a statement in just the right way. There’s something very confidence-inducing and powerful about wearing a dress you love that’s designed to stand out, not blend in.

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How can fashion boost your confidence?

Emelyn: Fashion is the visual way we express ourselves every day. It’s the first thing people notice when they see you, so it’s important that it’s authentic to who you are and how you operate. If there’s a disconnect between what you’re wearing and your personal style, you’ll appear uncomfortable (point in case: me wearing an oversized, menswear-style black pantsuit my first year of investment banking). Knowing what makes you feel comfortable is the first step to confidence.

Any advice for starting a company with a friend?

Dorie: Any entrepreneur will tell you it’s nearly impossible to “turn it off” when it comes to work. It’s especially difficult when your best friend is your co-founder, so rather than separating work and life, we embrace that in our case they’re completely intertwined. If in the middle of the day we need to look at apartment listing for Emelyn, that’s okay. And if we need to leave our friends at 11 p.m. to have a call with our mill in Italy, that’s okay, too. It’s important to embrace both the personal and professional side of your relationship–do what needs to get done, which sometimes involves a bottle of wine.

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