Friday, September 14, 2012

Emerson Spring 2013

photos by Randy Brooke

We've moved on to London already? My god, Fashion Week is exhausting! I'll leave the play-by-play to the major media outlets, but I can't let Emerson's showing at Lincoln Center slide by with out some recognition.

This year marked the third New York Fashion Week appearance for Boston designer Jackie Fraser-Swan, who sent her Emerson Spring 2013 collection down the runway Sunday evening. Complimenting Fraser-Swan's designs was the minimalist jewelry of yet another local talent, Sophie Hughes. And the entire spectacle was certainly worthy of some hometown pride.

Emerson's quick climb up the fashion ladder was evident when I spotted Paula Abdul sitting front row, looking impeccable in head-to-toe red. So what if she's a B-list celebrity? It was a vast improvement over Emerson's first NYFW showing at which I somehow garnered a front-row seat. (I was bumped to the second row this year, and rightfully so!)

More importantly, though, the clothing showed an evolution in Fraser-Swan's creativity and confidence. Whereas a year ago, she sent entirely wearable it-girl ensembles down the runway, the Spring 2013 collection showed that she is now comfortable enough to take some chances with print and fabric.

A surprise storm of red confetti punctuated the finale. 
[source: via Emily on Pinterest]

Fraser-Swan drew inspiration this season from horror movies past and present, including The Amityville Horror and more recent Rob Zombie films. The most obvious reference, though, was to 1976's Carrie, with balloons placed around the room and varsity letter jackets on the runway that called to mind Stephen King's uber-creepy vision of high school.

The show began with black and white mixed prints as modeled strutted down the runway to the sound of Icona Pop's "I Don't Care," setting the high-energy mood of the show. Color worked its way onto the runway soon enough in electric blue peplums; an impressionistic, multi-colored pastel print; and printed silks in an oversize floral, a new and surprising choice for the designer.

Best of all, though, were the touches of red throughout in both a graphic print that calls to mind slash marks, and my favorite - a flocked red velvet tulle that turned gory inspiration into refined femininity. This has always been Fraser-Swan's trademark, combining contrasting elements to great effect.

Only one piece fell flat for me: a stiff-looking, three-tiered gown in electric blue that seemed out of place. Nevertheless, the designer took a chance on a softer aesthetic, and it almost always paid off, resulting in her most interesting and original collection to date.


  1. Loved your write-up Melissa. It was so interesting to read more about the designer's background and I love how you mentioned the evolution of her collections. I thought the black/white with the slashes of red, as you said, was a great way to interpret her inspiration.

    So glad we were able to meet and chat a bit before and after the show and do let me know the next time you're in NYC!

  2. I hardly ever read everyone else's reports on FW, but yours I do, I love seeing fashion week through your eyes...
    Great write up lady! Yup, we're onto London, except I'm here and off to a wedding weekend, maybe i'll catch the last few days!

  3. Thanks, Nenna! It was so great to finally meet you. We'll have to spend more time together when I'm back in New York!

  4. it does seem like such a whirlwind!

  5. I love the runway confetti!

  6. this collection was awesome