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NYFW Reviews: Lisa Franks’s Vomit After a Late-Night Coke Bender

The Betsey Johnson brand is Versace for mallrats who love scrunchies and polka dots and the only event more over-the-top than a bankruptcy filing is a Betsey Johnson fashion show.

by VICE Staff
Feb 14 2014, 5:00pm

Fashion Week has hit New York City again, and big, fancy designers are showing their latest collections for fall/winter 2014. So we went to a few shows to figure out what all the Tumblr goofballs, twinks, and trust-funders will be wearing in autumn. Keep checking back frequently throughout the week for our reviews of the shows at MADE Fashion Week, Lincoln Center, and more.

BETSEY JOHNSON

Last year, Betsey Johnson filed for bankruptcy. This surprised many of her fans—the Betsey Johnson brand is Versace for mallrats who love scrunchies and polka dots—but I thought the news was fitting. After all, the only event more over-the-top than a bankruptcy filing is a Betsey Johnson fashion show. And if this season's show proved anything, it was that Betsey's decadent problems haven't stopped her decadent production.

One model wore a faux-fur pink coat over a blue and pink ensemble, and another wore a white pimp coat I assume Betsey stole from Cruella de Vil. The only similarity between any of the looks was that all the models' faces reminded me of Justin Jedlica—the man who had plastic surgery to look like a Ken doll. Besides a few gorgeous bright red and gold gowns, most of the outfits looked like Lisa Franks's vomit after a late-night coke bender at a Lisa Frank coloring-book factory. But I forgot about all the neon puke I saw immediately when a model in a red dress threw her arms in the air, fog went everywhere, and two sexy, half-naked firefighters emerged as Betsey and two little girls walked down the stage. Watching this, I thought about two security guards' conversation I overheard as I waited for the show to start. One guard asked who Betsey was. "She's the [designer] who does the flips and stuff," the other guard said. "Oh. That's why it's so crowded!"

—By Mitchell Sunderland

MARIA KE FISHERMAN

When I heard María Lemus and Victor Alonso, the design duo behind Maria ke Fisherman, would be showing at MADE Fashion week this season, I couldn't wait to see their collection in person. My love for the brand started after I saw bad-ass rapper Brooke Candy rocking their sexy cyberpunk pieces, but my affinity for them only grew after I wrote a piece on them last April for VICE. This show was the first time the Spanish designers were exhibiting their collection in New York, and I knew they would kill it.

Staying true to the their previous collections, the designers channeled the 90s, from their music to their models. A fluffy, colorful MkF-branded crop top, a tight denim spaghetti-strap dress, and a plaid miniskirt and bra were just some of the throwback-inspired looks. Many of the girls, in high ponytails and tattoo choker necklaces, clunked down the runway in white platform sneakers that would make the Spice Girls proud. The whole collection reminded me of adult versions of the clothing I used to love buying at Limited Too in elementary school.

The designers told me previously that they are most inspired during their morning hangovers, so they must have sipped on something real good the night before they came up with this collection. I really need to find out where they party.

—By Erica Euse

JEREMY SCOTT

Another season, another collection, and another year of smileys for Jeremy Scott. Jeremy is the only designer who can make an outfit out of what looks like a deconstructed basketball and not hear some shit talking on our end. There was something about this athletics-themed collection that really got our imaginations going. The plastic chokers, belts, and thigh-highs made from sports guards were surprisingly sexy. He even made tube socks seem more erotic than usual. And I have to say that finding a hot babe like Gigi Hadid inside a tubesock is a hell of a lot better than what you're normally going to find in there.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

PATRIK ERVELL

Patrik Ervell's shows are often a slow burn for me, partly because many of the qualities that make his garments so sought after lie in their subtle details. He's not on a mission to put men into anything fussy or belabored or trendy—he operates completely outside the hype machine. And his growth as designer has been along a gradual trajectory. Nothing blows up in your face, but nothing comes crashing down either. He returns back to the same staples again and again, adding little innovations and improvements—whether it's the club collar he made popular or his silk-lined unstructured blazers, which I covet.

Once again, it was the little things that made this collection really dope for me. He introduced a new pentagon-shaped logo, which looks awesome and adorns a lot of his new outwear. And he experimented with a new faux fur that was originally used on high-end German teddy bears. He's treated the fur in all kinds of different colors and fitted it onto familiar silhouettes, like a classic varsity. But the piece I'd like to take home, however, is his black leather bomber, which he executed in a perfect minimal design. With this collection, Patrik continues to stand out by just being himself and perfecting his vision instead of bending to whims based on what everyone else is doing.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

CUTECIRCUIT

The problem with avant-garde fashion is that it's amazing to look at but terrible to wear. I love editorial layouts that include LED lights and masks, but I would never wear a glow-in-the-dark suit to a party—I don't want to look like Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. Walking into the show for CuteCircuit, the brand behind Katy Perry's tour dress, I knew I would have to fight the urge to roll my eyes. When two models in blond wigs walked into the Hudson Hotel at the start of the show, I started to laugh at the Matrix-style clothes, but then the models pulled out iPhones and started typing on them, and I realized I was wrong—silver pants and white gowns decorated in LED lights are both beautiful and wearable.

—By Mitchell Sunderland

DIESEL

This season, VICE didn't send someone on acid to the Diesel Black Gold presentation. Instead, I decided to cover the show free of gimmicks and was actually impressed by what I saw. Some of these sexy fembot/astronaut looks were done in the 60s by designers like Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin, but Diesel gave them a strong modern twist. Many of the garments looked like they could have easily come straight out of PJ Harvey's closet in the early 90s or been designed by Hedi Slimane. I loved the collection, and I would claw a bitch's eyes out just to get my hands on some of that silver leather. The presentation was so epic, I almost wish I had been on acid just for the hell of it.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

MARK McNAIRY

I was almost convinced that I had walked into a time portal and been transported back to last fashion week, due to the serious déjà vu I experienced during the Mark McNairy New Amsterdam show. The Heinekein beers, the camo prints, the token old guy—they all looked so familiar. The male models sported Mark's signature pieces with long overcoats and printed trousers. The women, including Mark's daughter Daisy, were clad in oversized sweaters, baggy khakis, and thermal leggings. One ensemble paid tribute to GQ creative director Jim Moore with a T-shirt stating, "Jim Fucking Moore." After seeing that, I thought about finding Jim and asking him tips for making friends with Mark, since I could barely get him to talk to me when I interviewed him last year, let alone print my name on anything.

But let's be honest—most people weren't there to be surprised. Mark has a great thing going, so why change it? The most exciting part of his shows is seeing who will close out the presentation. Last season it was Pusha T; before that it was Danny Brown. After the last look—a long camo fur coat draped over a charcoal pinstripe suit—went down the runway, everyone waited in anticipation to see which celebrity it would be. Then from behind the wall came Cam'ron in a fur-lined cape, with his fiancée, JuJu. As the couple strolled down the runway hand-in-hand, bringing the show to an end, the glorious sound of "Hey Ma" blasted through the speakers.

—By Erica Euse

TELFAR

Telfar... Telfar, Telfar, Telfar... Telfar. Telfar? Telfar? Telfar. Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar! Telfar. Telfar?! Telfar. Telfar... Telfar... Telfar. Telfar. Telfar. Telfar... Telfar? Telfar; Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar! Telfar. Telfar?! Telfar. Telfar. Telfar... Telfar, Telfar, Telfar... Telfar. Telfar? Telfar? Telfar. Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar! Telfar. Telfar?! Telfar. Telfar... Telfar... Telfar. Telfar. Telfar. Telfar... Telf ar? Telfar; Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar—Telfar, Telfar, Telfar. Telfar? Telfar! Telfar. Telfar?! Telfar.

Telfar.

Telfar?!

TELFAR!

—By Telfar!

TIM COPPENS

It's hard to find the perfect balance between classic casual menswear and the kind of clothing you just want to wear as you chill around your house and veg out. But Tim Coppens's weekend runway show somehow managed to strike the nail on the head. His mountain-climber-inspired collection featured nicely tailored, polar fleece flannels, clean-cut button-down shirts, white sneakers, and... wait for it... SWEATPANTS! I think we finally have a collection that Mr. Rogers himself would be content with. The designs are so epic that you can wear them out on the street during the day without looking like a bum. And they are so comfortable that you don't need to change your clothes the second you walk through your door. And any kind of clothing that can be worn outdoors as well as around the house is exactly what we like to get down with. Comfort first!

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

KOONHOR

When I saw the bad-ass military-inspired work wear come down the runway at the beginning of Koonhor's show, I knew this collection was meant for a strong, independent woman you don't want to fuck with. All the pieces put a modern twist on garments from a past era. The first wave of models looked like they were leaving for battle in their army jacket dresses and pleated military pants. These tough looks were in contrast to the end of the show, which featured beautiful lace dresses in lighter hues. This show was a reminder that women can now take on both roles: masculine and feminine.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

PYER MOSS

The fall/winter Pyer Moss collection is basically a combination of every stylish James Dean–obsessed gay boy I know who went to RISD for graphic design and wears thick framed glasses, even though he has 20/20 vision. This is the kinds of shy-yet-adorable wallflower you meet standing in the corner at a Brooklyn loft party, drinking whiskey on the rocks while trying to talk your ear off about a 1980s transgression film and what's new at MoMA PS.1. You'll become friends with him and attend fancy dinner parties at Marina Abramovic's house and go to glamorous art openings in Chelsea, until one day he finally finds a boy to fall in love with and suddenly no longer needs a pretty girl to accompany him to events. But every now and then you'll see him in line at a busy downtown party that no one can get into because they're not on the list. He'll lock eyes with you from the doorway, tap the bouncer on the shoulder, and even though you haven't spoken to each other in years, he'll cooly whisper into the bouncer's ear that "she's with me." Then he'll wink at you as he disappears into a sea of fashion assholes who just flew in from Paris or some bullshit...

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

QUARTER WATER

I had a few vodka cranberries, some white Russians, and a bowl of Halal-style lamb and rice at Quarter Water's presentation last Friday. The grub was cool, but it kind of sucked that Quarter Water didn't actually serve any quarter waters. The theme of the collection was "Bodega Dreams." All of the imagery on their gear was ripped from AriZona Iced Teas and Zebra cakes and whatnot—but they didn't serve any bodega treats, either! Nevertheless, there was a lot of shirtless dudes in ski masks...

—By Nick Sethi

HIGHLAND

It probably wasn't Highland's intention to create a Bill Murray–inspired collection. Unfortunately for them, it totally made me think of The Life Aquatic. Bill Murray's name popped into my head while I stood at Milk's MADE Fashion Week listening to whale calls as Highland models loitered around in puffy coats and stoic poses. In that moment, I probably was the happiest I'd been all week. Their Arctic-explorer-themed fall line is the kind of attire one could only hope to find onself in when stranded in the middle of nowhere. I'm not one for cold climates, but if there is a chance that I could look half as good as their models did decked out in snowy active wear while I freeze my ass off in Antarctica, defending myself against a bunch of polar bears and former cohorts who have lost their fucking minds and are trying to kill/eat me, then sign me up for the next expedition.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

ZANA BAYNE

This was Zana's first runway show at New York Fashion Week, and she definitely came out with a bang. It was by far the most beautiful one I've seen this week. As the models walked up and down the runway, I heard the sounds of "ooh" and "ah" echo around room. Softer than her previous seasons, this collection incorporated more lingerie and intricate designs.

By using belt straps as bras, sheer gloves and tool skirts, leather leg wraps, and face tassels, this was leather bondage at its absolute best. There were leather skirts in impossible shapes that I never knew could be made. This show was very special for me, since I've known the designer since before she started playing with leather. I'm so proud and ecstatically excited for Zana. She started this trend of leather in high fashion a few years back and will continue to rise with success. Get it girl!

—By Miyako Bellizzi

CUSHNIE ET OCHS

"The perfect party outfit for the basic bitch who wants to feel cool on a night out"—this should be the tagline for the latest collection by Cushnie et Ochs. It sums up everything I saw at their show at MADE Fashion Week, starting with the basic bitches who attended it and ending with Kelly Rowland doing an interview at the close of the show. Basic bitchness aside, I enjoyed a few of the dresses that came down the runway. I was even down with the collection's Western aesthetic, though I have no idea why anyone would wear a cocktail dress with a cowboy hat. Some pieces were cute in "their own way" and would make the perfect bridesmaid dresses in an LA wedding. I'm not sure why diarrhea green was the accent color of choice in this show, but maybe it would work with the right skin tone? This collection was definitely better than last season's, but I think the brand will need to refine its designs more before I can fuck with it... or not.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

ROCHAMBEAU

This time around at MADE Fashion Week at Milk, Rochambeau put on a presentation that appeared to have a racing theme. The showcase boasted big scraps of a real car and two race queens waving checkered flags. Even though designers Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler toned down their otherworldly aesthetic with this collection, I loved the fact that I could see these clothes being worn by cool guys on the street. And the styling didn't just make the models look fresh; they also looked pretty sexy. Who doesn't love a tall dude in some expertly tailored outwear, layered sweats, and untucked button-down shirts? There was also something really alluring about the rich red hues used in the collection that made the whole presentation extra-hot. Even the creepy model with the face mask, who seemed like he came straight out of The Silence of the Lambs, could have taken me home. But my favorite look was actually worn by the prop race queens. I'm dying to get into one of Rochambeau's black leather catsuits.

—By Erica Euse

ECKHAUS LATTA

Eckhaus Latta's show took place at the Standard Hotel in a wood-paneled room that looked like a bar mitzvah reception area. The show kicked off with the soothing sound of a woman's voice played from a laptop that was operated by Chez Deep's Colin Self. The woman said, "Relax, you are worthy, you have worth...," among other things. Then a busy piano began to stream from the speakers.

Of all the shows I've been to this season, Eckhaus Latta has been the only one so far that has been confident enough to never drop the beat—literally or metaphorically. Their clothes and concepts were so strong that I feel forced to describe them with obnoxious terms like "chic," because there just isn't a better way to put it. The collection was tightly wound, ethereal, and equally reassuring to the audience. And it served as a bright spot in the middle of the CFDA minefield that has become New York Fashion Week. The brand pulled off this great feat with a large helping of quirk and humor: Chunky mouthpieces were worn by shiny, smiling farmer's-daughter types. Then they flipped that whole situation by following it with a dark-haired scowling young lady, who showcased the look in a different light. When the models made it to the end of the runway, they all struck fanciful poses. These kind of theatrics made it clear how crucial the casting of the show was. Among the show's eclectic and eccentric mix of models was a green Cole Mohr and New York luminaries like rapper Le1f, cyborg princess Juliana Huxtable, and artist Stewart Uoo. I'm not sure what's next for this RISD-trained duo, but I don't care; I want to see it anyway.

—By Jesse Miller-Gordon

HOOD BY AIR

I spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about Hood by Air and the boundaries the brand pushes while I was working on my feature concerning black masculinity for VICE's latest fashion issue. The more I thought about the role race and gender play in the way that we dress ourselves and how we are perceived, the more questions I had. It was a tough piece to write, because there's not one way of looking at the intersection of race, gender, and fashion. But I'm proud of it because it has managed to create a dialog that is still happening via Twitter and VICE's comments section, well after the ink on the print edition dried. One thing I became certain of while writing that piece, no matter how you look at it, is that Hood by Air is forging some kind of new space in menswear that challenges gender and racial conventions to a greater extent and in a more explicit way than we've seen before.

At this point in my career, I've seen dozens of stellar fashion shows—but I've never experienced something as jarring and staggering as what Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver presented on Sunday at MADE Fashion Week, at Milk. The music was a blistering and pummeling mash-up of hard electronica and hip-hop beats that was reminiscent of the most abrasive moments of Kanye West's Yeezus, or of the mixes played at the famed Ghe20 Goth1k parties Shayne occasionally DJs. The strobe lighting and smoke created a euphoric effect I can only compare to the title sequence in Enter the Void. And like previous collections, but to a greater extent this time around, the looks juxtaposed strapping young men with revealing and androgynous clothing. Many of the models—both men and women—wore make up and peculiar headpieces that had long plumes of blond and umber hair. The show started to reach a climax when the music became even more intense and the loop of woman's voice saying, "10,000 screaming faggots!" repeated over and over again. Then the lights went out completely. When they came back on, there was a row of shirtless black dudes in blond wigs doing a frenetic version of voguing that looked like a scene from Paris Is Burning after someone had pressed fast-forward. The whole ordeal was disorienting, exhausting, and exhilarating. I've never seen anything with that much energy or sweeping vision at fashion week before, and I don't count on seeing it again anytime soon.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

N. HOOLYWOOD

When planning the perfect heist, details, no matter how menial or inconsequential, can ever be spared. Luckily, Daisuke Obana, the mastermind behind N. Hoolywood, is notoriously deliberate. So when I found myself in the frigid basement of the old J.P. Morgan bank at 8 PM, I knew he had something up his sleeve.

Like any good crook, Daisuke is also committed. Last season, the Japanese designer's very literal Western-themed collection sent everything but the horse down the runway. Enamored with Americana once again, his latest collection draws heavy inspiration from the gangster aesthetic of the 20s and 30s.

In a figure-eight formation, average looking men donned period styles that were refined to work straight off the rack—three-piece suits were tailored with breathing room, navy leather and black wool tied together a pre-Soprano look, and monogrammed leather box duffels (ideal for those in the "cash business") exchanged hands.

When the tense jazzy instrumental let out, the jig was up. Daisuke and his cohorts had robbed fashion week blind.

—By Bobby Viteri

PUBLIC SCHOOL

My girl bought me a pair of black Public School jeans for my birthday last year, six months before Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award. Since then, I've blown out the crotch on the jeans like three times. I hear that crotches rip more than other parts of pants because the bacteria in your nether regions eats away at the denim. I've never washed my Public School jeans, so I imagine they're infested with some of those nasty little microscopic monsters. My jeans are pretty disgusting, but I won't do anything about it, partly because I'm a dirtbag and partly because I feel like it might be bad luck for Dao-Yi and Maxwell. Because I'm crazy, I see my gross jeans the same way an old New York Giants fan sees his funky Eli Manning jersey. Washing my jeans might make bad juju for my fashion heroes, and all I want is for Public School to keep climbing to the next level.

Their debut runway show at MADE Fashion Week definitely made it seem like they can make the jump from being a downtown New York favorite to becoming an aspirational brand for cool dudes all over the world. Even famous folks like Anna Wintour and Swizz Beatz were in attendance at the show, which featured the designers' first female garments and a lot of dope and dark-hued menswear. I loved their big-ass Amish-looking hats. They styled their top hats with scarves, which came off like a classy, new take on the do-rag/fitted-hat combo hip-hop kids wore in the late 2000s. The patterns were bold, and the materials, such as tweed and leather, looked tough and luxurious. Seeing this collection makes me excited for what the brand will come up with in another six months—I just have to make sure not to jinx them by washing my nasty-ass jeans.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

ALEXANDRE HERCHCOVITCH

I don't want to harp on music, but the tracks playing at Alexandre Herchovitch's show at MADE Fashion Week gave me a whirlwind of emotion. String arrangements kicked off the show, sounding like a soundtrack for a weepy movie about Ireland. But the pace quickened over the course of the show, until I felt like I was at a hoedown. In terms of the clothes, Alexandre presented doily-oriented prostitute attire for the first section, followed by sturdy-looking hot-pink flannel dresses (which were good), before looping back around to charcoal flannel pieces that were adorned with prints and reused the fringe from the doily wear (these were terrible). The models sported a glossy sheen that made them look like RealDolls, and I feel terrible about myself because I actually liked it. The hair was aces; every model had a great frizzy, post-farmhouse-sex look. But don't mistake this for a positive review: The sleeves and buttons on the charcoal coats look stupid, to put it bluntly. There were also bell sleeves, which have never been cool. Some of the layering from the old-timey Lolita section was reaching for something, but it never really took hold. Overall, the shit looked goofy.

—By Jesse Miller-Gordon

TESS GIBERSON

Sometimes you can like a designer but hate the crowd he or she attracts to the shows. That was the case with Tess Giberson's latest. Everyone seemed to have a massive stick rammed up the ass. I came to the show in a leather jacket, T-shirt, ripped jeans, and platform boots and felt like I had walked into a room full of mothers with disapproving looks. The old ladies were staring me down like I had the black plague. I'm used to being an odd ball, so whatever, fuck them. I came for the clothes, which were pretty great.

There were some missteps, which we should get out of the way first: The shawls and slouchy hats looked like the shit that rich, young house moms wear in TriBeCa. What I loved about the show, however, were the basics and layering pieces. There was a simplicity to them that made the whole collection for me. I really liked the way she paired long sheer over leather pants and a beautiful black-and-white knit top. It makes total sense why her knitwear was on point and looked super luxurious, considering Tess was the design director at TSE for three years, between closing and relaunching her eponymous brand. Overall, another season well done—minus those corny-ass shawls.Tess, burn those things in the fiery pits of fashion hell.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

NATIVEDANGER

NativeDanger might have been this fashion week's best-kept secret. Designer Skyler Javier didn't have a traditional presentation for his latest collection. Instead he did something more unconventional and low key: He opened the doors to the video shoot for his fall/winter 2014 lookbook and invited a small cadre of dope menswear bloggers and artists, including the likes of Jian DeLeon of GQ. The scene was very trippy—dry ice oozed fog into the air, florescent lights were used like lightsabers, and Purity Ring's Corin Roddick was the main model and muse for the collection. Each of Skyler's garments were carefully constructed, incorporating an innovative take on men's clothing. The jacket worn by Corin (on the far right) had a compartment in the chest for colored reusable warming packs. Another model wore a baseball hat with a detachable neoprene facemask that was very Sub-Zero-esque: He looked like he could shoot me with a blob of ice at any moment. I really have no idea how Skyler comes up with this stuff, but I can't wait to see what he does next.

—By Erica Euse

ROBERT GELLER

The influences behind Robert Geller's collections are always super fascinating. The press releases for his shows are like rabbit holes that have you crawling through obscure Wikipedia pages and loading up your Amazon shopping cart with very rare goodies. This time around, however, the genesis for Robert's fall 2014 looks lie with a rock star we're all pretty familiar with: David Bowie. It's not super surprising that Robert would find a muse in the Thin White Duke. David has long been a bastion of style (just check out the feature we did this month on Kansai Yamamoto, the designer behind many of David's iconic looks). Not to mention, David's a master at walking the thin line between being tough and elegant, just like Robert's eponymous brand. Surprisingly, Robert opted to mine one of David's lesser-known personae. Instead of aping low-hanging fruit like Ziggy Stardust, Robert looked to the big and boxy suits David wore in The Man Who Fell to Earth as a springboard for his collection. Robert's models took to the runway in everything from neoprene overcoats and tall military caps to Chelsea boots and elongated tops. In the context of his previous work, it wasn't revelatory. Everything from the warm hues of purple to the layered silhouettes was well within his wheelhouse and felt very familiar to me. Even so, it was refined to the point that his looks are becoming so pure and distinctive they're bordering on the iconic.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

MARA HOFFMAN

The jungle-drum music and the "exotic" prints on the clothes made it apparent that Mara Hoffman was channeling the Dark Continent with her latest collection, which is weird because she's never even been there before. Though I'm usually very suspicious of cultural reappropriation by old white people, I was at least pleased to see that Mara had the Rainbow Coalition do her casting. Models of all different races and complexions were clad in flowy dresses that were decorated in vibrantly colored sequins and patterns. There were definitely some great looks, and the styling of dark-skinned models in white was especially striking. But at the end of the day, this stuff is what a WASP-y mom would wear to an Invisible Children fundraising event.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

OSTWALD HELGASON

The kind of audience a brand attracts is a perfect indicator of what its show will be like. Because Ostwald Helgason's show ran a solid half hour late, I was able to take my time and really reflect on the dweebs who were attending the London-based brand's show. One Soho goober in particular stood out to me. He was 30-going-on-40, wearing dress shoes and a Thrasher snapback hooked around his belt loop. Not to mention, he had a worn-out skateboard in his hands. It was clear that in honor of fashion week, he opted to sport his "skater look."

Ostwald Helgason's designs this season had the same laborious poser vibe as that guy, but instead of overpriced skating gear, it was high(er)-end concert attire. These clothes were meant to be worn on dinner dates by tepid, boring women. Halfway through the show, they changed the music from quirky and coy to the glitchy stuff that frat dudes OD to at EDM festivals. All of a sudden, even the models looked lost, wearing failed outfits varying from cherry-blossom polo dresses to peel-away banana graphic creations. It was an incongruent collection that felt aggressively mediocre. Middle-of-the-road designs like this don't warrant a runway show.

—By Jesse Miller-Gordon

CALLA

Placed alongside three other presentations at MADE Fashion Week, Calla brought a fun, casual energy. While some other rooms had sweaty, uncomfortable models, Calla's girls were situated in a PE roll-call formation with college-coffee-shop favorites like Dolly Parton and Blood Orange playing in the background. The looks were playful, ranging from a comfy sweat suit worn with a furry coat that boasted the plaid of a Chinatown tote bag to an embroidered she-suit the color of a 50s champagne Cadillac. Elsewhere, there were the kinds of bold patterns and pleated skirts that make me fall in love with girls and expect unreasonable things. No new ground was broken, but that wasn't really the point, was it?

—By Jesse Miller-Gordon

DEGEN

It should be a rule next fashion week that all designers be prohibited from boring the hell out of us with their awkward early-morning presentations—unless that designer is Lindsay Degen. Lindsay has held a special place in our hearts ever since she knit a pair of boobs on a sweater and some pubic hair on a pair of underwear in one of her previous collections. She's a genuine weirdo who thinks outside the box and could care less about what everyone else thinks is cool, because whatever she thinks is cool is COOL andeveryone else can go die.

She even has a sneaky way of making you like things you thought were the worst. Take Crocs, for example: There aren't enough explicitly horrible words to describe how they make me feel. The mere glimpse of a nasty foot in Crocs causes my eyeballs to vibrate inside their sockets, and I suddenly get the urge to projectile-vomit onto every surface around me. Nevertheless, when I saw the stomach-churning footwear as rainbow-colored LED platform shoes in her new collection, I had to take a step back and close my eyes. I stood in the middle of the room like a freak for a good minute, clenching my fists in my pocket until the feeling finally passed. The neon lights, the cropped sweaters, the colorful shorts and hoodies, and the strange tribal drumming in the room resonated inside my chest. I stood there not sure if I was about to have a panic attack. I'd never been at a rave that early in the morning, but I think I could get used to it. MATCH POINT: DEGEN!

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

PETER SOM

If you're the type of fashionable "it" girl who buys 60s French-pop vinyl (à la France Gall) or you have some unhealthy obsession with Edie Sedgwick (i.e., you have unresolved daddy issues), then Peter Som is for you. This season, Peter did what a lot of designers do at some point in their careers, which is rip off styles from the 60s and 70s and try to sell them to a new audience. I consider this to be a total cop-out because, most of the time, they're basically carbon copies of $5 bin finds that I can score secondhand (and that's mainly because the idiots who price them think Paco Rabanne is a Latino celebrity who designed a collection sold at Kmart). There isn't anything too exciting or new about Peter's autumn line, which consists of A-line skirts, leopard-print jackets, and dresses in various bright warm tones. But if you buy any of these pieces, at least you wont have to worry about contracting some fucked-up, skin-eating thrift-store disease. That's something, right?

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

DION LEE

When I was a little preteen, one of life's rarefied moments was getting inside of a girl's bedroom—not to do anything physical in particular; just making it out of the family room and up the damn stairs was prize enough. This kind of thing only happened during a secret rendezvous under the cover of night or when a girl's parents were out of town and she had caught a wild streak. Because getting into a girl's bedroom was such a rare occurrence, the bedroom of a woman took on a kind of mythical quality in my mind. When I was crushing on a girl, I'd daydream endlessly about what her room would look like. There is still something awe-inspiring to me about femininity expressed in such a personal space, where everything is super-ornate and vibrantly colored and all the little pieces have their own place. Dion Lee's latest collection looked like something straight out of the walk-in closet in one of the imagined bedrooms of a long-lost boyhood crush of mine. There were soft pinks and creams and bold blues. Everything felt effortlessly flowy and sexy in a reserved sort of way. Sure, I caught a few glimpses of some nice model nips and butt cracks, but it wasn't a smack-you-in-the-face-withsex kind of affair. Instead, it felt elegant and got my imagination running away again, high off the power and mystery of beautiful women and their fancy things.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

ØDD

ØDD was the first show I attended at NYFW, so I was hoping for some freaky shit to pop off to get my fashion week started on the right foot. The invitation talked a lot about juxtapositions and sound technology, so I was ready to have my mind blown. After entering the room and being bummed out that it was just another catwalk and not some trippy experiential environment, I noticed a man shadily standing in the corner of the room. Or was he a lady? When he took a seat in front of me, I realized it was Elliott Sailors, the woman who now models as a man. I saw that her right hand was glowing blue thanks to a large ring she was wearing. When she stood up and marched down the runway, she moved her hand in front of her body like a sorcerer, which I guess was controlling the music and the projections and maybe my mind. I was entranced. But not every model was lucky enough to have a piece of mind-melting jewelry, so I was able to leave my trance long enough to see the actual clothing of the collection, which was very dark and futuristic and awesome.

—By Erica Euse

GENERAL IDEA

Being John Malkovich is an old Spike Jonze movie in which John Cusack has the power to enter actor John Malkovich's mind for 15 minutes at a time. Whenever I see a collection by designer Bumsuk Choi, I wonder whether he's doing that to me—entering my brain through a portal on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a Korean office building and taking all the fashion shit that I like and desperately want and incorporating it into his awesome line. I could be totally content wearing only General Idea's latest collection for the rest of 2014, with its black-heavy color scheme, tight tough-guy leather pants, tops with zippers in lots of strange places, and man skirts. Bumsuk, if you are inside my head right now, hook a brother up with some runway samples for free-.99, my guy.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

TIMO WEILAND

Timo Weiland is one of the few young designers who can successfully create a full and solid assortment of looks for both men and women. Instead of referencing past decades for his menswear line, this season he decided to create a collection inspired by the now—the outfits he sees on the streets of New York every single day. So for fall, he basically re-created all the classic staples you have in your closet but made every piece a million times better, to the point that you now hate everything you own. In fact, you're so annoyed that haphazardly tossing a still-lit cigarette butt into a trash bin that "accidentally" starts a fire and destroys all of your shitty, outdated wardrobe—so you have to go out and buy all of Timo's new gear with the insurance check—doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

CHROMAT

I praise individualism, and this show was jam-packed with eclectic weirdos. (My favorite was the guy sitting across from me in an all-gold, metallic striped suit with rainbow-colored balls glued to his hat.) Once the typical electronic tunes started echoing in the Standard's presentation hall, the first few girls stepped out wearing the usual Chromat looks—cutout dresses, lingerie, and pentagram designs—which is always appealing. But it wasn't until a model sporting a full-metal bustier walked out that I knew this collection was different. I even found myself drooling over the shiny metal baby-doll dress that came after (even though it probably weighed more than the girl who was wearing it). And when the lights dimmed to reveal an ethereal leather mask and harness complete with blue LEDs, I knew I was in heaven.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

KATIE GALLAGHER

Katie Gallagher is my kind of gal. Season after season, her dark, edgy designs never fail to get my adrenaline pumping. I don't know her personally. But I'd like to think she's the sort of girl I held séances with when I went through my shitty rebellious "I hate everything!" phase. You know, the teenage years when you only wore black, watched The Craft once a week, bought dog collars from Hot Topic, and found your parents leaving "How to Talk to Your Teen" pamphlets throughout the house because they didn't know how to deal with your crazy-ass mood swings. While it would be unfair to simply label Katie's newest collection as an homage to some 90s cult chick flick, we have to say that if this was the inspiration behind her latest designs, she did a really good job at breathing new life into a concept that several designers have failed to capture.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

VFILES

ASSK (far left)

After teetering on the edge of obscurity with last season's clumsy showcase, VFiles was in a tough spot—how do you appeal to blasé internet kids without ostracizing the people who take fashion kind of seriously? And vice versa? It's the burning question, and after a 45-minute delay, things weren't looking good. Luckily, the two Aussie expats behind Paris-based ASSK quelled the non-believers. The looks—urban knitwear, quilted bombers, lush coats that doubled up as sleeping bags, Realtree print garments sprinkled with SIM cards and Rx bottles—were so on point that they'd be filed right in the G-spot of a form-meets-function Venn diagram.

—By Bobby Viteri

MELITTA BAUMEISTER (middle)

The minute Melitta Baumeister's first look strolled down the runway, I immediately knew she was German. No other country's inhabitants can ever cut the hell out of a sweater and send it frayed down a runway quite like the Germans can. The Parson's graduate showcased a series of designs inspired by our cultural obsession with digital technology. It was a clean collection, minus all the pieces that were purposely made to look unfinished. In many ways it was reminiscent of old Martin Margiela and Raf Simons designs, with weird bananas attached to some of the model's chests. I'm not sure how those pieces really supported her whole "digital" concept, because all they did was make me think of Donkey Kong—if he were forced to live on an interstellar space station inhabited by some jacked up dystopian society. Scratch that. Living out the rest of my days in eternal sadness while wearing whatever this "stuff" is supposed to be seems pretty cool to me right now.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

HYEIN SEO (far right)

One of the biggest pet peeves is the use of typeface on clothing. Any word that's supposed to evoke some sort of emotion from you—especially the word fear—is just stupid. So Hyein Seo's decision to display it prominently on every garment just annoyed me. Don't get me wrong: I love a good punk look when it's executed properly, but this was a far cry from punk. It was as far from punk as punk could be. You might as well have used the word "punk" instead. It's really sad because the structural design of each individual piece was great. Had she just second-guessed the deal-breaker, the collection would have been a hit. Sorry, Hyein; tripping at the finish line is the worst look of all.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

WILDFOX

At the risk of sounding like a total asshole, I've got to say that the Wildfox show was very "LA." We like Wildfox and Kimberley Gordon's girly designs, but there was something about the show that we couldn't shake. The scent of self-tanner and Clinique Happy clung to the air in such a way that I couldn't help having acid flashbacks to my awkward days in high school. I was reminded of the way the school common room smelled when the popular crew rolled through the hallways post–Central Park smoke break. As the models began strolling down the runway in a collection that was inspired by Pride and Prejudice, I began to feel nostalgic. The rosy-cheeked, beanie-wearing, slouchy boho-chic models reminded me of the kind of young girl I secretly admired, even though she tortured the hell out of me—the carefree, "I woke up like this" perfect 10 who had a cool boyfriend, could wear all of his clothing, not brush her hair, and still warrant boners from all of the guys after PE. A warmth came over me, one I'd never experienced before; it was if I had finally gotten some kind of closure I'd always needed.

But in an instant my newfound inner peace was shattered into a million pieces as the soft baby-like words I frequently hear in my nightmares began to play: "My heart will never feel / Will never see / Will never know...." It was Grimes, the same annoying track that has been plaguing fashion weeks all around the world for the last two years. Ugh. Coincidentally, a sweatshirt displaying the phrase "I Need a Drink" came down the catwalk as the haunting song faded into obscurity. At least at that very moment I could finally relate to my surroundings, and I was no longer afraid.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

ORLEY

Orley's fall/winter 2014 collection is basically what I imagine Holden Caulfield's boarding-school cohorts would have worn in The Catcher in the Rye on their weekends at home in New York City. It's the perfect collection for any Godard-obsessed intro-to-film twit—you know, the same guy who subscribes to the Paris Review and walks around carrying a pretentious book under his arm, along with a rolled-up newspaper with the New York Times label facing out so everyone can see just how well-read he is. This guy also doesn't own a single pair of white socks, still wears Dior's Eau Sauvage, and carries a monogrammed cigarette case full of pencil-thin perfectly hand-rolled cigs in his shirt breast pocket. This guy is the absolute worst. And not because of his deep connection to a period in time 20 years prior to his birth, but because of his unfailing commitment. Also, your girlfriend is probably going to leave you for him, and for very good reason.

—By Annette Lamothe-Ramos

KYE

After feeling pretty terrible all day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a sweltering room with DJs blasting Outkast remixes for 30 minutes, while jerks obnoxiously snapped runway photos with their massive iPads. But once the models came out wearing a face full of baby oil, I felt a lot better, because at least there were others who knew how I felt—sweaty and ready to die.

Like most shows this season, androgynous looks were a central theme. KYE has a unique ability to create versatile pieces that both sexes can wear. By using expensive leathers, mesh, and this weird Astro-fur material, they really upped the loungewear game. All the looks seemed like they came straight out of a 90s Missy Elliot music video. I was especially feeling the XL chain-cable motif that was embroidered on most of the garments. It's like KYE designed my ideal collection: comfy, non-descript fits that come in black, white, and red. Ideal for eating, sleeping, sweating, fucking, and dying.

—By Miyako Bellizzi