NYFW: NANETTE LEPORE S/S/2014

From the very beginning, let me state without equivocation that Nanette Lepore‘s spring/summer 2014 collection is beautiful, 100% wearable, and one that should be very appealing for women across North America and especially in the Midwest. Ms. Lepore’s reputation as a leading contemporary designer is well in tact and her Ohio roots are clearly evident in the clothes she presents.

That being said, I am sad to say that I really can’t get excited about this collection. I was starting to yawn just ten pieces into the runway show, and it wasn’t because I was short on caffeine. Again, for the record, let me state that the clothes are beautiful. For women who can wear really, really bright reds well, you are going to want to jump all over the red ensembles in this collection, probably starting with the first blouse that came down the catwalk.

However, what I found in those collections was an ensemble of seasonal cliches. There was the mandatory floral print, all bright and colorful. There were bright, breezy, air skirts (how many times have I typed that phrase this week?). There was the racing T back. There was sheer mesh, gathered jackets, and swimwear with cropped shirts and jackets tossed over them, as well as men’s style coats. Angled peplum? Please, no more! Just how many times have I seen all these elements this week?

Too many. What makes it worse is that Lepore doesn’t do these styles any better than anyone else we’ve seen. Whether one chooses this line over any other likely depends on which print one prefers, not the actually styling of the garments. While this does a lot to increase one’s shopping choices, it actually reduces one’s stylistic options and adds to the feeling that, at the end of the day, it all looks alike.

Of course, there was one unique element in the midst of all this sameness. A turquoise/teal top with sheer stripe panels was an exciting and daring departure. Initially shown as a blouse paired with (erg) khaki shorts, she brings the material back again as a knee-length dress. Chances are this look would probably be illegal in most states, so Ms. Lepore was careful to pair it with a plain white slip, which inevitably detracted from the visual appeal. I like where she was going with that look, though, and would have applauded greatly had more of the line show this kind of daring.

You’re going to like Nanette Lepore. Check other sources and I’m sure you’ll see them gushing over how wonderful it all is. However, if you’re looking for something exciting and different you’re not going to find it here.

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