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New York Fashion Week FW13 - Ones to watch

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Synonymous with luxe, modernity and no mess, no fuss appeal wrapped up in neat coats, slinky shifts and sporty jackets, NYFW represents all that is ‘now’. Few manage to break through the chiffon ceiling and enter the exclusive domain of Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein but every now and again a few newbies make waves…

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Noon by Noor

The brainchild of cousins Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa, Noon by Noor takes inspiration from the pair’s native Bahrain and blends this with classic silhouettes to create something fresh with a hint of old world exoticism. The label launched in Los Angeles in 2011, with the likes of Kim Kardashian in attendance, FW12 saw the cousins hold a brand event as part NYFW and in SS13 a full collection was shown after they received the coveted invitation. Feminine, sophisticated, easy and edgy - bold biker jackets in coral, peach and metallic amber were paired with soft blouses, jeans, wide leg pants in delicate Eastern prints and shimmering maxis. Sage and silver satin ensembles in oversized florals were more ladylike but high slits and short hemlines quickly reminded us that this is a brand for contemporary kind of girl. Expect to see further plays on Middle Eastern meets Manhattan, with soft prints and hard separates.


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Monika Chiang

Monika Chiang launched her eponymous label in Fall 2011, the culmination of a childhood spent globetrotting with her artist mother and inspirations from her own signature style. ‘Fierce’ is one way to describe the collection that encompasses bags, shoes, apparel and jewellery, in structured shapes, tough leather and bondage-style accents. After her NYFW premiere in Fall ‘12, a full presentation in SS13 included block colour bikers, parkas, mini’s, maxi’s and track pants in orange, cobalt, teal and powder blue. The feel was sporty and sophisticated, with oversized bowling bags, baseball caps and studded belts sitting comfortably alongside polished box clutches, satin blouses and pencil skirts. Spirited hues and strong shapes contradicted each other in the most natural way, creating an identity that is neither fiercely traditional nor completely rebellious.


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Nina Skarra

This Oslo-based Norwegian designer remains true to her roots with collections that tow the Scandinavian line as far as wholesome use of detail and purity of design are concerned. A career as an illustrator was shelved for textiles and apparel in 2008 and although the line is new to NYFW, she has provided many a socialite with a red carpet-ready look, not least of all the Crown Princess of Norway. SS13 was light and airy, dominated by white, cream, rosy pinks and pale blues. Texture and transparency added intrigue to simple knits and stark dresses in black and navy were broken up with graphic prints, plunging necklines and chiffon panels. Flowing gowns with sharp pleats and cocktail dresses piled high with rectangular ruffles were proof of her pedigree, showing us why a modern royal would make this choice. Not forgetting the sustainability factor, a major part of her design agenda – the silks, bamboos, cotton and wools used have to be 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly. Cute just doesn’t cut it.

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David Tlale

The South African native is not one to shy away from pomp, pageantry or prestige. In the nine years since he launched his eponymous collection, he has been awarded Fashion Designer of the Year at the Arise Africa Fashion Awards, presented one of the longest shows in Johannesburg Fashion Week history and staged a theatrical outdoor extravaganza on the Nelson Mandela Bridge near Joburg’s inner city. He is now the first South African designer to show at NYFW and with one show already under his belt, he will undoubtedly bring more drama to the Big Apple with his unique brand of OTT. SS13 saw graphic florals in fading degradé effects on peachy pant suits, kaftans and gowns, accented with beading and jewel encrusted necklines. Stark black dresses were textured with ribbon, lace, beading and chiffon panels that left little to the imagination, while simple accessories like linked chains and tribal cuffs played second fiddle to exaggerated head wraps in satin and tulle. Sunsetty, desert hues were nod to his homeland, in modern city-slicker shapes with clever detailing, reminding us that this is a collection from Africa, with a distinctly global outlook. 

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