The Best Emerging Designers From NYFW

Fashion Week is finally over, and we must have slept 40 straight hours this weekend. We know you've been reading all our coverage of New York Fashion Week, from our show reviews to party pictures, and, of course, sick street style. But with all the going-ons, we sadly couldn't be everywhere—the sheer volume of designers showing this season meant that some of the newest stars and smaller labels would be lost in the shuffle. So, now we're giving you a chance to peep our eight notable mentions—we've got the newbies and our new-ish faves who nailed it this season. From dramatic evening-wear to dainty frocks, plus plenty of covetable prints, our hit-list has pieces for every occasion. So pull out a pen and paper, and scroll through our comprehensive slide show. You'll want to write these names down.
Want more Fashion Week 4-1-1? Check out our guide to the coolest NYFW menswear collections here!
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Araks spring '11:
Araks Yeramyan's spring '11 presentation revealed the designer's most digestible collection yet. And by digestible, we mean that we want to snatch nearly every look off the runway and wear it right now. Toning down her tendency to go a tad over-the-top, Araks played up her love of lace and sheer textures. And considering that lingerie was the line's original claim to fame, this lady know how to work the lace. Fun details such as peter-pan collars, button-up dresses, and flowy floor-length skirts delineate the designer's inspiration for spring—the Dutch farmer. Maybe we should take up a plough.
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Araks spring '11
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Casertano spring '11:
Something in the way each of Alex Casertano's designs is infinitely refined yet exciting, but also completely wearable has us looking forward to next season already. The designer's second collection, which stayed in a palatable white-black-red-khaki color scheme, evolved from an elegant, floor-grazing skirt in grayscale ombre to a particularly covetable black and tan moto jacket. Though it's only just the beginning for Casertano (who used to design menswear for Yigal Azrouel), we have a feeling this scene-stealing wonder-boy isn't just working off of newcomer's luck.
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Casertano spring '11
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Jeremy Laing spring '11:
When viewing Jeremy Laing's spring '11 presentation, you get the sense that every aspect of his collection—from the overarching vision, individual cuts, and the draping of the fabrics—was planned with a masterful precision that's rare to find with many up-and-coming designers. Laing, a minimalist, stuck to an even starker color scheme of mainly white, gray and black, punctuated with splashes of bright orange and teal. The sole print was that of a rose—a lovely homage to his grandmother that passed away earlier this year. Devoid of patterns, Laing made excellent use of texture and layers in the collection. Sexy and straightforward, we think we'll be loving Laing long time.
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Jeremy Laing spring '11
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Jonathan Simkhai spring '11 :
Although 25-year-old Jonathan Simkhai is relatively new to our radar, this designer proved that he is no novice with his second-ever presentation. Adding to the Mad Men-inspired mania that's been gracing the runway as of late, his spring '11 collection featured '50s-esque looks with a tomboy twist. Think slouchy trousers, fitted pencil skirts paired with a leather bustier, and shape-hugging snakeskin shorts. This gamine-yet-girly vibe has us reaching for our pocketbooks.
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Jonathan Simkhai spring '11
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Lorick spring '11 :
Abigail Lorick, the designer responsible for making Blair Waldorf a veritable TV fashion icon, hasn't lost her fresh, feminine touch. It's hard not to notice, however, that Lorick's overall look has lost a bit of weight. Gone are the ornate, reach-for-anything-pretty details that is signature to Gossip Girl style. The line's spring '11 collection is comprised of perfectly preppy, pastel pieces, simply paired with headscarves and light accessories. This new airy aura is indicative of an evolved designer capable of continually surprising us.
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Lorick spring '11
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Honor spring '11 :
We really loved the fresh, yet still totally lavish color palette and fabric choice going on over at Honor. The cohesive aesthetic of designer Giovanna Randall's debut collection, coupled with impressive art direction (the room was awash with beautiful natural light filtered through gauzy green curtains), makes us certain that Honor is a line to watch. Mixing country club-esque, menswear-inspired separates with more whimsical, decadent party pieces in shimmering brocades with gorgeous floral prints, it's safe to say this collection has whet our appetite for more to come.
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Honor spring '11
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Juan Carlos Obando spring '11 :
First seen on the fall '08 runways, Juan Carlos Obando is pretty new to the Fashion Week circuit. But despite a relative newbie status, we trust in his aesthetic mantra already. This season, Obando was inspired by the ultimate uncharted frontier: outer-space. Darkly ethereal looks, in a hand-dyed palette reminiscent of starry galaxies and prismatic nebulae, were punctuated by a unique breed of cut-outs—acid-eaten, raw-edged, and spotted with beautifully gleaming, dark crystals. Long, chiffon materials mixed with raw silks highlighted the juxtaposition of soft with hard, delicate with rough. With art direction that left us completely entranced —the music was a pitch-perfect mash-up of trance and dramatic classical—let's just say this: we're definitely on board for this designer's future quests.
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Juan Carlos Obando spring '11
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Siki Im spring '11 :
We tend to be a bit wary of heavily-conceptual collections, and with good reason. Sometimes designers throw unfinished, un-hemmed, and generally un-styled pieces of fabric on a model under the guise of concept. Siki Im is not one of these designers. This architect-slash-menswear designer focused on a concept that is relevant beyond the realm of the runway. Based on the idea of isolation and integration as it relates to immigrant culture, this offering juxtaposed non-Western cuts with Western construction. There's no culture clash here though. The line, painted with a minimalist palette of white, gray, and black, is beautifully fluid and functional. This is definitely a concept we can get behind, and we can't wait to see what drives him to design come next fall.
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Siki Im spring '11