Dolls' Eye View: New York Summer '18 Trends

The world is in a turmoil. And even if this doesn't seem to be related to fashion, it does appear to make an impact on the creative world. Politics and badly behaving human beings is on everybody's mind and the center of conversations everywhere. This distraction seems to have seeped into the pores of designers. What role does fashion play today...really? Who controls it? Who influences it? Who wears it? My girls have been all through my closets where they've learned about good design, quality clothing. So, quite naturally, they know what they like. But what we're seeing today is, well....challenging. The fashions appearing on most catwalks are all over the place. There has been a lot of eye rolling among my girls. But amidst the chaos, the circus costumes, the faux vintage looks, and "les artistes," they managed to find a few treasures. So hop on board...it's fashion month and New York is the first stop!

Brighton Beach Beauties

It's not often we see bathing suits on the catwalk, so the girls were thrilled to have a few new choices of things to wear to the beach. At the top of the list: these 2-piece swimwear as well as the classic bra top with shorts or button up wrap-around skirts.
Okay, so it's really not for the beach, but it's edgy and it's hot and that's all that matters to Radiah!

Urban Vibe

Streetwear based on simple elements: a T-shirt is cut, twisted and tilted over a basic tube mini. Or a bra with over-sized pants caught with a belt at the waist. It is simple. It is easy. And when kept in the monochromatic palette of black and white...it works effortlessly.

Graphic Language
Black and white, a seasonal favorite...takes its cue from key looks originating from the 60's, 80's and the 2000's. Silhouettes are simple and prints are eye popping black and white abstracts.
Here we had a little fun with Billie's dress. The checks we had on hand were not the right scale, so made a simple shift dress of white cotton and painted on our own checks. You can make your own magic with fabric paint or fabric markers from your local crafts store.
A black jersey top with a steep asymmetrical hemline worn over a pencil skirt of white rayon jersey is the easiest way to give dolly a chic, Madison Avenue look.

The Many Faces of Jeans
Jeans are now considered classic garments to be worn at any time of the day or night. Here we noted that in addition to the classic skirtwaist tunic worn over a lacy skirt or ripped jeans with a tailored jacket, jeans are also worn under a taffeta evening dress!

South of the Border
Here, designers celebrate the sass, the spice, the sheer femininity of our neighbors to the south. A look that began last season, be on the look-out for lots of ruffles that bounce from the hips, bell-bottoms dancing about the calves, dresses made from lace trimmed hankies and calypso dresses with miles of flounces!

As cool as a summer's day...Akure's outfit is as easy to make as it is stunning. We simply took a rectangle of cotton and wrapped it in the middle with a ribbon that ties at the back of the neck. This bra is worn over the classic circle skirt that opens down the front. And it's all in cool, white cotton!

For evening, Shakira chose this sexy look. It's a simple wrap skirt with flounces spilling down the side. On the top, she wears a "barely there" T-shirt made from a single layer of silver tulle. We added a few adhesive pearls over "strategic" areas, then layered ropes of pearls around her neck.

The Long and Short of Things
Though we think knee length is the newest, most stylish way to go today, there are no rules when it comes to hemlines. All lengths co-exist to bring some of the coolest looks for summer. Most noteworthy--a long tunic spills from under a hip length blazer worn over short, pencil thin pants; a waist length, square shoulder. Again, cotton lace is big. And everyone is showing lots of shoulder!

Fringe Benefits
On the move, a skirt, a dress or maybe even a simple belt sports lots of motion to the total look. We especially love the unexpected combination of a cashmere sweater worn over a sarong skirt with a hem chocked with lots of spaghetti fringe. But you can easily take an existing garment and make it swing with the simple addition of a fringed belt.

Little Black Dress 2.0
The little black dress is alive and strong on class and style. The summer 2018 version adds little details that make it anything but boring. Think one shoulder, no shoulders, belted or halter neck. Again, consider making your dolly's dress in the sophisticated under-the-knee length. Add a bubble skirt at the bottom or a rim of bouncy ruffles for a distinct feminine edge.
We started out with a basic strapless sheath out of stretch velvet for Marpessa's dress. We added a row of ruffled satin across the top of the dress which blend in perfectly with the removal sleeves. The sleeves, by the way, are small tubes with ruffles stitched into the center seam. (The photo at the top of this post shows how this dress looks from the front view.)

Dinner at 21
The five looks featured here are classics in the world of New York high fashion. There's nothing revolutionary here. Just basic shapes in beautiful fabric: silk, satin, sequins, lace appliqued onto tulle.

Botanical Garden
This is a very pretty group that starts with flat, floral printed silk and extends to appliques and tiny silk flowers suspended into tulle. A very pretty way to dress dolly up for formal summer parties!

Raspberry Pineapple Sorbet
The garments are all very simple: a basic sheath, a classic jacket, wide legged pants. Perhaps even a kimono coat. It's the color that tells the story here.

Summer Cocktails
Look for tulle to be big next summer. The girls were particularly drawn to these dresses which resemble iced, sweet, summer cocktails. And yes....there is a tutorial on tulle on the horizon!!!
In the meantime...I decided to mix my own drink....a Bellini (peach nectar and champagne), inspired by the swirl of tulle of the Oscar de la Renta dresses.

Stormy Weather
The concept is pretty much the same as Summer Cocktails except...in place of color, these dresses start light and descend into a swirl of black.
Veronique's dress started out with a sheer foundation of sheer white organdy. We draped a medium gray sparkle tulle around the body, asymmetrically, then added a pouf of black tulle to finish.

Okay, we're just getting started. Pack your bags. The girls are headed to London next!!!


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