At the J. Crew presentation, the crowd went mad when Beyonce, clad in a body-hugging gold-sequined mini dress, and her sister Solange Knowles arrived. Then the spotlight turned back to a women’s collection designed by Marissa Webb and menswear designed by Frank Muytjens, under the watchful eye of J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons.
At Vera Wang, after Beyonce did a quick costume change and slipped quietly into her front-row seat, the designer channeled Alice in Wonderland and 18th-century wallpaper (yes, you read that correctly) in a collection that seemed vaguely futuristic, slightly trippy and — in some instances — downright confusing. The designer is willing to experiment with texture, and certain looks — a mint ensemble that with a quilted vest and a chiffon skirt, for example — highlighted her skill in that arena.
Like Tory Burch before them, Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig hosted their first-ever runway show Tuesday, as well, featuring a spring collection inspired by an Ilya Repin painting of an underwater world. To parlay the ocean depths into a collection of formal gowns, the designers used illusion netting, scale-like embroidery and cascades of metallic and silk fringe.
While Chapman and Craig have mastered the art of folding, pleating, tucking and manipulating fabric into forms either frothy or sculptural, a turn toward the sleek and sensual imbued the collection with a sense of change. Of course, there was tulle — and lots of it — along with lace and feathers, and plenty of Hollywood-ready gowns that we’ll no doubt see on a red carpet very soon. But the real chill-inducing pieces were those bedecked with swinging chiffon tendrils and cascading gold fringe, designed to mimic the elegant tentacles of a jellyfish. Among the front-row fans: Emma Roberts, Mandy Moore, Rachel Zoe, Michelle Monaghan, Kelly Osborne and reality-TV alums Olivia Palermo and Louise Roe.