Steamy Night. LaQuan Smith AW23

New York loves sexy fashion, and since Tom Ford is on and off the NYFW schedule, there’s a great need for sensual, stinking hot, evening glamour. LaQuan Smith does that so, so well. “This collection has a little bit more of an elevated sophistication,” the designer said. “The LaQuan Smith woman is growing, and she’s incorporating these sexy elements she finds here in all aspects of her life,” he added. Smith is growing, too. His cut has become more precise and intentional, as has his choice of materials.  The star of the show was the tailoring. Smith said he didn’t want to take the suiting so seriously, “as we’ve seen classics from all the greats.” This was evidenced by the cleverness of the tuxedo-meets-little black dress of the first exit and the playful sharpness of the cropped jackets. Smith is known for dresses, but here he cut a solid range of trousers: some low-rise, others with hand-folded silk waistbands, but all razor-sharp and with the right fit – not too wide, not too slim, and just long enough to wear with a good pair of stilettos.  As expected here, there were moments of sheerness, including mesh tops with scooped satin necklines and another with applied strips. Rounding out the lineup were bodysuits, evening dresses, and separates in stretch suede (the vertiginously low slung skirts include built-in panties, a considerate detail), a skirt and bra set in a crinkled metallic leather, and two LBDs in a patent black material. Smith also included menswear in this lineup, inspired by his recent creation of a custom ensemble for Lenny Kravitz’s CFDA Awards appearance. The looks were worthy companions to his womenswear, and the Kravitz influence was evident, particularly in the coat and monogrammed leather trousers worn by Alton Mason.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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