Catharine Holstein

I don't usually pay attention to women's fashion during New York Fashion week (a show that is slowly gaining more and more style cred--"For the first time in my life, I'm proud of my country..."), but with the men's show this year basically boiling down to one thing--$$$$$--I diverted my attention to a few up-and-coming designers. Most notably, Catharine Holstein.

Holstein isn't so much new as new to me. Clearly she's a women's designer, but her Fall 2008 ready-to-wear is daring and avant-garde, and not because of being flashy or organic or anything pretentious at all. She's completely scaled back on the blacks and harsh silhouettes of other designers, simplifying the entire idea of what can be future-minded. As these shots below demonstrate, sometimes you don't have to be modern to be, well, modern; you just need to be unique. Holstein is borrowing inspiration from Katy Perry and Feist with the nerd-meets-sexpot looks, and while the individual pieces aren't anything you'd see outside of say, Urban Outfitters or (ugh) American Apparel, that is exactly what makes the collection so profound.

As for the men's show, I was far more impressed with what happened off the runway. Granted, as I wrote a few weeks ago, I like what Burberry is doing for casual menswear, but photographer Scott Shuman and a few of the editors at Details (Magazine) had freaking awesome ensembles. I'm definitely feeling the suede loafers of the moment, and as soon as they are on sale for less than $200.00 they're in my closet.

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