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Catherine Malandrino Fall 2011 Ready-to-Buy Presentation — A Mix Of Boho French Charm And New York Edginess

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Seasonal confusion is one of the side effects of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. After all, editors, buyers, designers, and writers all file into these spaces to assess the predominant trends for the following season. So, while bold colors, imaginative prints, and billowing silhouettes will inundate stores come Spring 2012, we still have to grapple with over six months of chilly fall and winter weather. And, while we all perused the Fall/Winter 2011 collections back in February, sometimes we need a refresher course on fall trends after so many days of looking forward to spring. Luckily, designer Catherine Malandrinoreminded us that incumbent fall weather is no reason to pout. Rather than staging a Spring 2012 presentation, Malandrino re-introduced the masses to her Fall 2011 collection, which she first unveiled in February, relabeling the collection “Ready to Buy” and preparing an intimate event at Exit Art. The genius of the event, of course, likes in the very phrase chosen to describe it: all the pieces seen are, in fact, ready to be bought.

The collection merged Parisian and New York influences, incorporating lush emerald, amethyst, and sapphire jewel tones (as with the emerald green romper with the tie belt pictured above) one might associate with French soirees, then pairing them with slick leather jackets, incorporating biker-ish accents, and topping off fluid garments with such decidedly urban fare as cropped black puffer jackets .

This time around, Malandrino teamed up with stylist June Ambrose, who repositioned the collection and accentuated the mix-and-match elements and the overall Boho charm. A pleated pale violet skirt, for example, was paired with a darling neck-tie blouse of the same color, then given an urban feel with a draped camel-colored vest with oversize lapels, black lace-up boots, and a black turban.  A stunning, figure-hugging, black halter leather maxi dress featured light ruching along the cinched waistline, creating a sense of movement that made the gown appear all the more lustrous, like an oil puddle in the sun. Piled-on bracelets, dramatic statement necklaces, voluminous turbans, and a plethora of furs added the extravagant air both women adore.

The collaboration between Malandrino and Ambrose proved to be incredibly synergystic as both women successfully created a visual bridge between the City of Lights and the Empire State.

Contributing Editor Izzy Ruiz went backstage at Exit Art and interviewed Malandrino about the collection (check out the video above) and snapped some great photos of the behind-the-scenes action (peep them after the jump!).


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