ELIE TAHARI AW15’16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

ELIE TAHARI AW15’16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

Survival. It’s a theme that might conjure up images of athletic wear or military-grade parkas, but Elie Tahari imagined it for the polished, upscale woman. “New York is an urban jungle, and a woman needs to know how to survive all the elements,” he said with a laugh. The designer doesn’t take his references too seriously; all in all, he’s out to make reliable clothes that will appeal to his huge customer base, from Susan Sarandon to the cast of The Real Housewives of New York, who were all in attendance.

While the survivalist mentality could be subtly detected in the clothes—lots of fur and leather in shades of olive, black, gray, and cobalt blue—Tahari’s presentation was playfully over-the-top. A spinning zebra in the front window garnered lots of attention from tourists on Fifth Avenue, and inside the models perched on a circular, mossy stage complete with rocks, trees, and ferns. Seated front and center was none other than Carmen Dell’Orefice, who looked spectacular in a pair of skinny leather pants. “She has more energy than all the younger girls!” Tahari said. Eighty-three and having a ball, she made any complaints about the exhausting week seem silly.

That kind of spirit is what Tahari gets excited about: He just wants women to feel good in his clothes. That wouldn’t be hard to do in the leather jacket with blue shearling lining peeking out, or the emerald green suede fringed skirt. On the other hand, a laser-cut pony-hair jacket felt a little overdesigned, as did the chocolate whipstitched dress. A few looks could have done without the extra layers, too. But for the most part these pieces were cozy, easy to wear, and understated.

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