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New York Fashion Week: Rebecca Taylor Fall 2011

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Pictured: Three looks from the Rebecca Taylor Runway show. (photo courtesy of Rebecca Taylor. Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz.)
Just when I wish the winter chill would disappear, New Zealand designer Rebecca Taylor presents a very warm, cozy collection at New York Fashion Week in her Fall 2011 RTW show. According to Ms. Taylor's design notes, the collection provides "cocooning from the cold " so the wearer will be "ready to set forth on adventures in the city." I didn't really know what to expect, based on the sketches her office sent over earlier in the week from this collection. The sketches reminded me a little bit of 80's vintage styles showing a floral dress and a short fur jacket.  Fortunately, Rebecca Taylor's Fall 2011 was more much varied than floral prints and retro fur jackets.  One thing I'm always struck by when I see Rebecca Taylor on the runway is her striking color palettes.  Ms. Taylor always shows the most amazing cool blues, azures and deep lavenders.   She showed these colors last year in her Fall 2010 collection.  This year, she added rich burgundy, icy pearl greys and deep reds, topped off with basic black. The styles were classic with very feminine details like tiers of ruffles on skirts,  plus a bit of shimmer and sparkle added to sweaters and dresses.
Pictured: A rich red dress with a bit of shimmer at Rebecca Taylor Fall 2011 (photo: M. Hall)
The collection also featured some delicate looking florals. One of my favorite floral dress prints in the collection had a cut out neckline that reminded me of the type of dresses Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell used to do so well. The style was very vintage, with the puffed princess typed sleeves and a flowing skirt, gently swaying down the runway.  I didn't see the Paris influence that the designer noted in her collection notes, but rather a distinctly English touch. There were several very English looking  styled floral dresses in the collection that looked like they stepped right off of 1960s Carnaby Street.
Pictured: Rebecca Taylor Fall Floral Print Dress Reminded me of Ossie Clark & Celia Birtwell. (photo: M. Hall)
Other distinctive touches from the collection included lace appliqués on silk tees and beaded appliqués on silk blouses and dresses in stunning colors. One example is the exquisite fuschia sheer silk dress, pictured below, with beaded designs and swirling silver leaves on the bodice and a matching camisole underneath.  The detailing on this one is really incredible.
Pictured:  Up close detail on an embellished dress top from the Rebecca Taylor Runway Fall 2011 show. (photo courtesy of Rebecca Taylor.  Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)
Pictured: The full view of the fuschia dress. (photo courtesy of Rebecca Taylor. Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz.)
Overall,  I thought this was a very special, well-done and well-executed collection. Even the belts on the dresses and jackets were unique, with little bows at the buckle.  Sure, there were things I didn't care for that I would call fashion "missteps."  There was a boho chic patchwork tunic shown with taupe, spotted pants that seemed really out of place.  There were several fur jackets that I hope were faux fur.  There was a jacket that had a fur panel down the side of the sleeve for an accent. I'm not sure about fur down the side of the sleeve.   However, it is  interesting to use fur as an accent not just on the collar or neckline, but actually on the sleeve itself. I just wasn't sure if that was a look I would wear and pay an expensive price for.  But the few things I didn't care for did not detract from Ms. Taylor's otherwise beautiful work.  I'm putting this collection on my watch list. I  look forward to seeing it in stores like Saks, Bloomingdale's and RebeccaTaylor.com.  I'll be watching for price reductions and sales of course. :) There are usually some great sales on the designer's website -- you just have to watch for them.