Oh, New York Fashion Week! How cruelly you dance your beauties – your silk frocks, your tweed boleros, your tropical print trousers – just within our grasping fingers, and then whisk them out of reach (mostly because movie stars have already begun requesting gowns; also, they’re expensive). But no matter: if I had only the Internet to use for admiring Zac Posen’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection, I’d have no complaints. This week’s Accessory Apiary is inspired by the designer’s jaw-dropping NYFW collection. (And I do not claim to have Mr. Posen’s hand/eye for styling/accessorizing; this week’s picks are simply what I liked, inspired by what I saw.)
Piece #1: Earrings As Subverted Expectations
I have no doubt that a beautiful starlet – Carey Mulligan, possibly, or Jennifer Lawrence – will have donned this gown before we see Memorial Day 2014. The tightly constructed bodice doesn’t so much fit-and-flare as it blooms wildly into dramatic creases. If you look closely, the skirt is scattered with subtle, silvery flowers. In other words: I’m demure, but I know how to make an entrance. Which is why I say don’t aim for the obvious and pick, say, silver-tone jewelry, or pearls, with this exquisitely delicate gown. Defy expectation and go with these black and green tassel shoulder duster earrings from Kenneth Jay Lane.
The mod details – the pop of the jade green beads, the swish of the black tassels – will add to the knockout power of this outfit.
- Materials: gold-plated metal, resin
- Length: Approximately 5.5”
- Width: 0.5”
Buy online at maxandchloe.com
Piece #2: Attitude Included
Oof, who ordered the side order of sass? This luscious cocktail-length dress is rightly proud of its inverted pleats and attention-grabbing color. But the semi-sweetheart neck and the burgundy shadows of the pleats add extra oomph. The accessory, then, needs to be simple: nothing overly complicated, gold in tone, and colors which will set off the deep crimson. I suggest this Norwood metal collar necklace from Designsix.
Its brash rock ‘n roll spikes and gold buttons will give the outfit edge, and the blue-black jewel stones are the only suitable complement to a lady in red. Conquer the evening, ladies, for it rests at your feet.
- Faceted jewel stones and spike-embellished trim
- Set on beaded necklace wit adjustable length
- Lobster clasp fastening
- Gold-tone finish
Buy online at asos.com
Piece #3: Curves+Straight Lines=Contrast. Contrast=Good
If you are fortunate enough to purchase and fill out this pale tangerine gown, send pictures or it didn’t happen. I’m particularly struck by the draping, which is simple at the center of the bust, but sweeps up to create a shoulder on the right. The same swath of fabric has a scallop cutout on the left. And the color: not quite peach, not quite pink, but certainly inviting. Since the dress emphasizes curves, I recommend adding a little contrast at the ears, with the Bermuda Triangle earrings from BCBGeneration.
The bronzed beads are a nod to the dress’ color palette, and the iridescent petal crystals will make you glimmer like a beacon.
- Size: 1.25” drop, 1.5” width
- Post back
Buy online at nordstrom.com
Piece #4: Frocks for Frolics
It’s difficult to emphasize the importance of a well-made, well-cut, gently bright springtime frock. Mr. Posen has provided such a dress: this pale goldenrod dress flares almost shyly, but the two dominant pleats down its front tell us this dress has a backbone. Plus, the ruffled square collar and sprigs of pale purple blossoms add equal parts sex appeal and grace. Once more, since Mr. Posen has done the heavy lifting, I’m opting for the park floral chandelier earrings from Kate Spade.
The elegant cascade of clustered faux pearls and epoxy stones (all tinted in twinkly gold) definitely puts the outfit in formal attire territory, but since when is that a bad thing?
- Materials: 12-karat gold plated metal, translucent epoxy stone, faux pearls
- Clutch closure
- Length: 2.2”
Buy online at katespade.com
Piece #5: And for the Showstopper
Every collection has a pièce de résistance. A construction so stunning, so beautiful, that we’re blind to the intensity of its workmanship. While it has never been on my list of dress materials which will elicit pin-drop silence, brocade, used here in a bold pattern of silver and lavender, projects only shining confidence and elegance. The plumage created by the dress adds requisite drama, and the bold flaring of the fabric at waist-level works almost like a haughty unfinished peplum. This is a dress so remarkable that, for the first time in the history of Accessory Apiary (all of two months), I have nothing to add. This gown comes with everything you might need: finesse, glamour, artistry and opulence. Do you really want to add some earbobs?
About Nandini Balial: I grew up in India, with an arty theatrical hippie mum who used to make her own jewelry, and vibrant patterns and materials – always on display at any relative’s wedding – quickly caught my attention. Once I moved to Texas, I had to reconcile the ornate silks, mirrored scarves and silver hoops with glittery Coco Chanel earrings and Ralph Lauren polos. I’m still most comfortable in a vegetable/fruit-dye print cotton shirt and jeans, but my accessories will always vary. I proudly maintain that clothes are expensive and can’t always be mixed n’matched, but accessories are (on average) a bit cheaper, and can always move across your wardrobe (with/without irony). If you ever run across a fun accessory find, e-mail me with the details (and a photo, if possible), and I’ll try to include it in a future column.