In the hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week, it’s easy to get caught up watching street style stars preening outside and practically forget what’s going on inside the tents—but sometimes that’s not a bad thing. The Mark and Estel Spring 2015 runway was the perfect example of a show that was better missed, at least by those who can appreciate fashion. The collection was a black and white mess of looks that seem like they were stolen from street style stars or Rihanna’s unmentionables drawer. When the looks were bad they were very bad, and when (on rare occasion) they were good, they were very good. Sure, personally, I would shop a few pieces from this collection, but isn’t the point of NYFW to bring a little more to the table than last season’s crop tops and skater skirts?
The designers Mark and Estel are a music and fashion duo, clearly bringing their rock ‘n’ roll roots into the collection. The dramatic angles, dark washes of color and heavy layering are all reflective of a couple that knows how to bring a little edge to their style—so why does this collection seem so flat? For a rocker/fashion duo perhaps we’re expecting them to push the envelope, but instead we get overworked looks that, quite frankly, could be found in any mall across America. Granted their fans include Mary-Kate Olsen, Kendall Jenner, Kelly Osbourne, Heidi Klum and Lady Gaga, but we doubt they’re wearing anything from this collection. Besides, it’s pretty clear those itty-bitty lace bralettes and hot pants were made with Miley Cyrus in mind.
But looking past the misses in the collection, there are a few pieces that stand out as possible must-haves. While their tailoring looks look ill-fitting and somewhat unflattering, their unstructured pieces are well done. Long dresses, flowing coats and draped frocks are beautiful, move well and seem like they’re actually effortless, which can be hard to achieve. For a spring collection in the city (or those who aren’t spending every moment of the summer months sipping piña coladas in the sand) it seems easy to wear, easy to style and easy to integrate into any wardrobe. I may not be a fan of the thigh-highs, but I would for sure rock one of those black and white twin sets.
Bringing their rock element to the stage, quite literally, the designers came out at the end of their show and put on a self-indulgent performance where they sang an off-key rendition of their runway music while models awkwardly walked the final looks around them. As they wrapped up, Estel, screamed to the audience “Everything you’ve seen on this runway was made out of jeans, t-shirts and sweatpants!!!” Before Mark chimed in “What if the ocean, was a woman?! That is our girl for this collection!” Then proceeded to whoo and scream about the things they love (fashion, New York, etc.) before taking their bow. Final scores? Collection = 6.5 Performance = 3.8 Energy = 10. Congrats, guys.