New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Lost In Mexico With Christian Cota; Good vs. Evil At Christian Siriano; Monique Lhuillier Goes From White Wedding To S&M


Imagine being lost in Mexico City. Perhaps an uneasiness notion to some, but for designer Christian Cota it’s a kaleidoscope world full of alluring mystic, and romance. So naturally we went along for the ride.

The 30-year-old designer took us on quite an adventure on a bitter cold Saturday morning through his autumnal presentation at the Standard Hotel, full of rich textures, embroidered prints, and indigenous graphics that the Mexican designer knows all too well.

Little did we know we’d soon be encountering our most tempting vices later in the day.

In his presentation, Cota tells the story of an American girl swept away in a “mirage of swirling sands and vibrant desert hues” making her way through the bustling streets of Mexico City to a chaotic, yet inviting, market filled with artisans and vendors. Sounds like a nice dream, but was he able make this enchanting folktale a reality?

As we entered the showroom, it was as if we were hit with a warm breeze (and no, it wasn’t just the heater on blast) and our eyes met with the most striking colors and luxurious array of texture we’ve ever seen.

From a leather/fur vest, to skinny pants, and cocktail dresses, each exquisite piece of clothing had the most beautiful Mexican prints and embroidery. Amen!

Up next was former “Project Runway” winner, and may we add, the most successful by far of all contestants, the very precious Christian Siriano.

The flamboyant designer has made a load of money on ventures with Payless, and his eponymous clothing line that he launched soon after becoming the youngest winner on the reality show in 2008, has been herald as a “fresh of breath air” by the likes of Victoria Beckham. So we’re fans of his over-the-top, glamorous gowns, to say the least, but what innovative designs would he present next?

As a stunning Mena Suvari looked on from the front row, the first couple of pieces were white satin and sheath, demure, dresses, quite the opposite of over-the-top. But each model sported black lipstick, which means one thing…the bad girl lurked inside.

And we soon witnessed the transformation of the woman Siriano calls a ’30s film “Vampire Bat,” his inspiration for this collection.

“These flying demons of the night intrigue me with their creepy, dark, and dramatic presence. I find beauty in the wings of a bat.”

Indeed, these dresses had wings, too! From office attire to a night at the opera, a Siriano woman can do it all. Good vs. evil prevailed equally, shining with elegance though always in a very dramatic fashion, which is what Siriano does best.

At Monique Lhuillier, a designer who’s known for her ornate bridal wear and dressing A-listers on the red carpet, we sat front and center (we were quite surprised, not going to lie) at her runway presentation inside the largest tent at Lincoln Center, which made for an even more spectacular show.

“It is the year of the Dragon,” Lhuillier stated about her dark collection that gave prominence to black and red.

Models walked down a black shiny runway, in black patent-heeled Manolo Blahniks and leather gloves with fiery pieces that came in both knee-length dresses, and long gowns. We especially liked the red leather sleeveless cocktail dress, the wool jumpsuit with leather definition, and the lace full-gowns.

Lhuillier’s usual realm is normally very refined and graceful, but this collection had so much passion and sexiness that it made us blush. Executing beautifully tailored suits, fur coats, and shimmery dresses. The designer obviously wanted to break free from what is expected of her. Cheers to that.