Desigual f/w 2017
Desigual F/W 2017. Photo credit: Elizabeth Pantaleo

While we were enjoying our warm memories of Southern California this morning, back in New York it was snowing. A lot. Accumulation in a lot of places is over a foot and there were even some reports of thundersnow overnight. This is one of those moments when were the CFDA take a poll about there to hold this season’s shows, everyone would likely choose Los Angeles. The temperatures are cold, getting around town is impossible, and things such as makeup and liquid hair products can freeze before one has a chance to get them inside, no matter how close one was able to park (and there really is no such thing as parking close at Clarkson Square).

Fortunately, if you happen to be among those trying to navigate the now slosh-filled streets of Manhattan while still looking all cute and attractive, the Desigual New York store is having a sale on all last year’s autumn/winter merchandise, so you have something warm and toasty to wear while taking a look at their new set of clothes for this fall. If you order online, they’ll give you something like 50% off, but you might want to hurry. The way the weather has been this year it might by 80 degrees by the time your clothes arrive, no matter which shipping option you choose.

What’s that? You’re not familiar with one of the most colorful brands ever? That’s okay. We go through this every season. I’m always surprised by how many people don’t know the Desigual brand. They’ve been around over 30 years now and have made quite an impressive showing. I’m also surprised by the number of people who don’t realize that not every brand showing in New York is American-owned. Just as with the other major fashion cities, brands from all over the world choose New York because of the access to major department store buyers and to try and get a foothold in the potentially lucrative American fashion market. Desigual is one of those brands, making the trip over from Spain every season to show on the first day here.

Beyond that, though, it is difficult for me to tell you much more about the brand other than the fact they’re well known for their use of bright colors. We’ve tried making contact with them multiple times on different platforms and have yet to receive a reply. This makes me a little sad since I find this season’s stylings especially attractive and would love to share a few more details about the construction of the garments and the materials involved. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying what we do have, though.

What you’ll notice in this collection is red. On their Facebook page, they refer to red as the “protagonist of the season.” How they use the color is quite interesting. You won’t find any all-red ensembles in this mix. In fact, generally speaking, the overall color palette tends to skew rather dark, which is totally appropriate for the season. However, you’ll find touches of red in small things such as a puffy fur ball on a handbag, or the quirky fur (I think) hats that kept popping up. Perhaps the best use of the color is just above the eyes, where a carefully applied streak of red, not the average cat eye, truly popped above the darker colors of the wardrobe. I’ll include a picture below so you can understand exactly what I’m talking about.

You will also want to pay attention to the number of different ways they’ve styled outerwear. The very first look is a good example with a wrap that puts a zippered pocket right in front, close to the face, where you can easily reach something like a bus pass or subway card. Another of my favorites that would work extremely well here in the Midwest is an overcoat with straps, allowing one to wear the coat like a backpack. How, exactly, would that come in handy? Stop and think for a moment about all the days we’ve had this winter where it was freezing cold when you went out of the morning, but then almost 60 degrees by mid-afternoon. You don’t really need the coat for the trip home, but you’re stuck having to carry it. This coat is the perfect answer to those situations.

There is a lot of denim in this collection, and I have a feeling that may be a strong trend for this season. However, no matter how many pair of jeans you have in your closet (or on your bedroom floor), you’ll want to take a close look at these. The embroidery on almost every piece is wonderful and makes the denim look all the more like a work of art. There are some incredibly beautiful embroidery designs and while, yes, that does drive the price up, you’re going to be willing to pay that premium because of just how much these pieces stand out from the boring stuff at the discount stores.

A number of women are likely to appreciate the consideration they’ve given to leg coverings in this collection. From long skirts to leggings to colored stockings, there’s not a bare leg to be seen anywhere, and if next winter is as cold as today is you’re going to be very thankful for that. Don’t take that to mean those leg coverings are boring. There are beautiful prints on some, and colored stockings that look like fishnet without being sheer. The long skirts? You might just have difficulty making up your mind which one you want.

Of course, bold prints are a Desigual trademark. They go floral a number of times this season, putting bold primary colors against a black background so that the flowers almost seem to leap off the fabric. Even in the coldest part of winter, the flowers are still a bright memory of the spring we’re all hoping is right around the corner.

And then, there is the matter of those hats. I really wish I could tell you more about the construction of those hats. I’m reasonably sure the crown is faux fur. I’ve looked at pictures from several different angles now and if that’s real fur then they’re using a spray starch of something stronger than Aqua-Net® to keep it standing upright. These hats are fun, especially in red. We all know how grey and depressing winter can get and these hats are just the kind of thing that might no only brighten your mood but that of people you meet. I can’t imagine seeing on of these hats on the street and not smiling.

I think I say this every season, but Desigual is a strong brand with clothes that don’t disappoint. If anything, the fact that they’re not as well known in the Midwest works to your advantage. You’ll stand apart from the lazy trends found in those cheap fast-fashion knock-off stores.

Here are some additional photos from today’s show.


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