Mercedez Benz New York Fashion Week: Carmen Marc Valvo Spring 2014

The opening looks that Carmen Marc Valvo sends down the runway were right out of 1960’s swinging London with geometrical patterns, miniskirts and Mary Quant hairstyles. At the same time when viewed in a contemporary context they were surprising sporty for a designer who is known for his eveningwear.

He switched up his usual elegant game to a sporty monochromatic vibe using athletic mesh, scuba materials and leathers. Playing with sheer panels, each piece was lovingly constructed with women’s issues in mind. The sheaths were flattering yet roomy, while the more body conscious pieces hugged each model properly without being constricting. Even the bathing suits were pleasing and made me think of actually going through the dreaded fitting room process involving bad lighting and funhouse mirrors to acquire a few.

Carmen Marc Valvo took sportswear uptown, using athletic mesh and scuba stripes for fitted cocktail dresses. He is known for red carpet and eveningwear, also availed himself of neoprene on a runway dominated by black and white at the Mercedes-Benz tents at Lincoln Center. Black dresses inspired by wetsuits fit snugly, with skin exposed through strategic slashes.

When he introduced a few swimwear pieces they were immediately reminiscent of the era and Ursula Andress climbing out of the ocean as Honey Rider in the iconic bikini scene from the James Bond film Dr. No. As the show progressed he incorporated more updated designs with a relaxed silhouette and longer hemlines.

He also moved into evening and cocktail dresses showing his stunning sense of design. We experienced a largely monochromatic palette with tribal influences many of which were created with beading. Valvo playfully experimented with elongated torsos with an illusion of nudity.

Carmen’s gowns were works of art. There’s so much to be said for a man who truly understands a woman’s body and how to display its assets while disguising its faults. One word, glamour.

Carmen Marc Valvo’s show never disappoints…he consistently creates lovely pieces that are accessible to everyone but still speak of elegance and glamour. For spring he was definitely more ‘out there’ with his vision than the other designers have been so far this week at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but hey, the dude knows how to dress a woman so I’m not complaining.

The music was upbeat, sweet and reminiscent of better days. The ‘Fashion Kids’, young and not so young, were clamoring to be in attendance and included such diverse NYC folks as resident newscaster Cheryl Wills from NY1, to Regis and Joy Philbin. Carmen received and deserved a standing ovation from this admiring crowd….backstage, he thanked EVERYONE for coming. Class act!

Credit: Zahra Kerry
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