NYFW 2011: Trend Alert – Red Hot!


Red Hot

I first spied it at Wes Gordon’s presentation at the St. Regis hotel on Thursday afternoon. Sixty minutes later, it was standing on a podium at Mara Hoffman’s NYFW outing at The Box. Two hours after that, there it was again stalking the runway at Wayne’s show at Milk Studios. It made a brief appearance at the W Hotels Global Glam event at Lincoln Center later that evening, and reappeared yet again at Tess Giberson’s presentation (also at The Box) the following morning.

By the time it showed up on Costello Tagliapietra’s runway Friday afternoon — less than a full day after New York Fashion Week had officially begun — I knew we we’d gone beyond the “three’s a trend” rule and into bona fide fashion phenomenon territory.

The “it” of which I speak is, of course, the color red — make that RED! — an eye-popping, take-no-prisoners, crimson-meets-vermillion hue of the fire engine/“Addicted to Love” variety.

I’m not sure if it was in honor of Valentine’s Day (which fell during New York Fashion Week) or in tribute to the Heart Truth Red Dress event (which takes place the night before NYFW officially begins) or if this brutally cold winter had every designer in New York gravitating toward a shade that by its very nature signals “heat.” Whatever the reason, red is the color of the Fall 2011 season.

Not for the faint of heart, this bold and beautiful shade turned up on the runways of designers both emerging and established, including Tess Giberson, Chado Ralph Rucci, Mara Hoffman, Diane von Furstenberg, Milly, Altuzarra, Rodarte, Reed Krakoff, DKNY, Michael Kors, Derek Lam, Marchesa, Cynthia Rowley, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som, Carolina Herrera, BCBG, Giulietta, Victoria Beckham, Julian Louie, Tibi, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and… well, need I go on?

There were red skirts, red pants, red dresses, red gowns, red kimonos, red blouses, red vests, red sweaters, red jackets, red coats — even red furs (and a surprising number of them, from different designers). On the accessories front, red turned up on shoes, on boots, on jewelry, on handbags, on gloves, on scarves, on tights, on leggings, and on belts. At Elise Øverland’s Ice Capades extravaganza, one model wore a red plastic (read: cellophane) neckerchief to ward off the chill while Johnny Weir skated in circles around her. Isaac Mizrahi even sent a red cake down the runway (yes, you read that right: a cake).

And let’s not forget the glossy red lips, nails, and eyes (see: Thakoon), which were also in abundance on the New York runways this week. All of which makes me think it’s going to be unseasonably h-o-t come fall. Bring it on!

Lauren David Peden has been hired by Rue La La for her reporting at New York Fashion Week.

February 24, 2011