The lights were dim and the catwalks endless as the Alister & Paine team surveyed and observed with champagne in hand through September’s Spring 2010 fashion week.

NYC Fashion Week

The lights were dim and the catwalks endless as the Alister & Paine team surveyed and observed with champagne in hand through September’s Spring 2010 fashion week.

By Jenna Marie Bostock

Courtesy of Getty Images

Last month at Spring 2010 Fashion Week, Alister & Paine crashed the runways of the elite Bryant Park Tents. We kicked the week off with an exclusive viewing of Monarchy, the chic Mick Jagger meets Prince William sans pretentious attitude line designed by Eric Kim that has everyone buzzing. Typically casual denim apparel with an Ed Hardy esque attribute, Kim really stepped out of the grunge zone and achieved an elegant profile for both men’s and women’s dress wear.

Some called it safe-I’m calling it sophisticated.

Clean, crisp, savvy lines of classic silhouettes reinterpreted to make age old chinos fresh and innovative marched the catwalk of Monarchy this fall. A soft, natural appeal was channeled as the clothes walking down the runway played off serious seduction with subdued tones. Alternating male female model order created an intriguing lineup, promising an actual fashion show as opposed to the mess of boring combinations that filled some of Bryant Park’s tents this year. (TIBI, anyone?)

There was charisma in each pant stripe and flawless attention to detail, from the selection of bronzed beached out models to the color combination of a fuchsia tie and navy blue blazer. The overall look was simplicity and understated sexuality. A beautifully stitched wrap dress was not overworked or over accessorized, and managed to stand out without outrageous additions. Uncluttered and wonderfully minimalistic, Monarchy swayed from its stereotype of high class rock n roll and wandered to push a sense of edgy refinement.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Take a look at this tailored trim sports blazer.  The piping detail and large pinstripes adds a collegiate British vibe, while the cut and structure of the jacket holds its own as perfection in fit.  It’s even reminiscent of the brand name from which it stems in its debonair aristocratic atmosphere. 

One of the most impressive things about the suits in this collection is the fit.  The craftsmanship allows for flexibility, therefore allowing classic pieces to look good on an average body type, not just the lean physique of a model whose sole responsibility it is to stay a size 36 short. 

True to form, Kim keeps the look from getting too ‘safe’ by pairing it with dress denim jeans and a pair of classic tennis sneaks. It’s still obviously a runway look (how many of you could honestly pull off a skinny short deconstructed bowtie scarf?), but the ready to wear aspect is accessible.

I respect that.

So many designers forget that while they are creating art, the art is eventually meant to be worn. Typically, by someone who doesn’t make a living with an amazing body. Be it runway or otherwise…if you catch my drift.

Monarchy’s collection (for this Spring, at any rate), is comprised of beautiful separates that come together to rock the runway, but dissemble to resume in your everyday wardrobe.


Can’t wait for the Spring collection to hit retail stores? Check out the sharp modern stainless steel beveled ‘Coat of Arms’ watch.  The white enamel finish looks great peeking out from the cuff of your favorite blazer while holding a diamond studded flute of Armand de Brignac.

Nordstrom carrys the ‘Coat of Arms’ watch–but we’ve heard rumors that it can be hard to get your hands on…

Monarchy can still be called an ‘eclectic’ edgy line, but the clean cut marriage of grunge and class is the direction it’s headed, judging from this year’s show.  

And I like it.  Keep it up, Kim.