7 Exciting New Designers to Watch at New York Fashion Week

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Think New York Fashion Week is all about the Zac Posens and Tory Burches? Eh — wrong. Meet the underdogs, the marvel players who are either new or newer to Lincoln Center, or who have recently broken out with their own lines. Edgy, elegant, and one still a bit of a mystery, this crop of designers is the one to watch in 2013.

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ADEAM

ADEAM’s Hanako Maeda isn’t slowing down anytime soon. She graduated from Columbia University in 2010. Then she became VP of FOXEY, a Japanese luxury brand. Then, in 2011, she started her own line. She’s a first-timer at Fashion Week, and despite lots of basics and electric blue hues in her Spring/Summer collection, her minimal embellishments bring a maximally artful feel to her designs.

Keep an eye out for her accessories, too. They’re simple, but the silhouettes create an ideal contrast and symmetry to her clothes. Page through her clothing and accessories lookbooks on ADEAM’s website.

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Alon Livne

He’s been in the industry since age 17, and he’s trained with Roberto Cavalli and Alexander McQueen, proving that he’s got the smarts and savvy for the Olympics of fashion that is New York Fashion Week, where Alon Livne will show for the first time on Saturday. There’s an architecture to the Israeli designer’s cutting-edge cutouts and the spiraling wrap-arounds on his dresses. They’re dramatic. Some look as though they could be delicate sculptures. Some are reminiscent of skyscrapers and old-world buildings across the globe — and there’s a hint of Art Deco that creates movement in these pieces.

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Clover Canyon

Masculinity. Androgyny. Femininity. All three qualities were evident in Clover Canyon’s Fall 2012 collection, as well as some mega-beautiful Japanese prints. So, what’s in store this time around? People have called this brand hippie-chic, but we think “bohemian” is the more correct descriptor, especially considering the fabrics and fondness for tunics.

What’s notable about Clover Canyon, among other things, is that their silhouettes can flatter all body types. Skinny model gals and curvier ladies can all get their runway fixes with this collection. The prints are outrageously cool. They do clash — spectacularly — sometimes, but somehow it works. It’s refreshing to see vibrant prints coming from a new designer, especially with so many monotone and black-and-white collections out.

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Marissa Webb

Webb is no fresh meat to Lincoln Center (née Bryant Park). Ever hear of a little brand called J.Crew? She used to run the show there as VP of Women’s Design. Since Spring/Summer 2013 collections met eyes last September, Webb has been flying solo with her own collection.

Despite the challenge of moving from a major retailer to a solo label, Webb finds a way to take womenswear and make it more masculine (with separates and layers), to intriguingly androgynous effect. She accomplishes this by playing with proportions — longer, higher skirts and cool necklines. You can draw similarities between Webb’s collection and J.Crew, but her new designs are edgier. Think of it as a lot of individual style spiked with a dash of Miu Miu.

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Nina Skarra

Nina Skarra’s most recent collection was Fall/Winter 2012, so she’s back after a year. That last show featured some well-constructed outerwear, strange, fuzzy blazers, and this gorgeous dress. Scandinavian style can be hit or miss (just check out the pictures from Copenhagen Fashion Week for more reference), and Skarra’s Norwegian roots come through in her looks. She’s a hit in Europe — especially in France — but the fashionistas at the runway sidelines will decide how her collection gels with others at New York Fashion Week.

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Noon by Noor

You could mistake the Pre-Fall looks from these Bahraini designers as a collection that came straight out of Paris. Noon by Noor has range — from Merlot-colored lace cutout tops and badass berets to the flowy tropical-printed dresses that appeared in their Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The Fall/Winter 2012 collection, however, was all techie-modern with that same shade of electric blue that everyone has been so jazzed about the past few months. With huge variance in each of its collections, Noon by Noor surely has tricks up its sleeve for this year’s show. Keep your eyes peeled.

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Second/Layer

First, watch this. A bit confused? So were we. But the mystery is part of the persona. Maybe Second/Layer’s line and mission are more about metaphor than wearability. But from this blip of a sneak peek, we can expect these two things from Second/Layer: 1. intentional fit — that is, the garment cut is purposefully drapey, and the pants have a sort of flow to them that defy the pleat-front monotony of traditional menswear; and 2. lots of black and white. It’s Second/Layer’s first time at New York Fashion Week, and their debut is much anticipated within the industry. Rightfully so.