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Top Row L-R: Prabal Gurung, Diane von Furstenburg, Band of Outsiders; Middle Row L-R: Rebecca Minkoff, Thakoon, Christian Siriano; Bottom Row L-R: Candela, RED Valentino, Lela Rose. All images via style.com.

My favourite time of year is here - Fashion Week in New York and the debuting of a never-ending number of drop-dead-gorgeous Fall/Winter Ready-To-Wear looks. Though I am stuck on the west coast, the ever-growing world of social media and generous live streaming of several shows has made me feel more present than ever before (well, excluding the time in 2010 I actually WAS in the city, hoping to bump into a few of my favourite designers and models). With anticipation for this season's shows and events appearing mixed (The Cut seemed super excited while Racked was expecting the worst), I have to admit I was feeling a bit lost myself - particularly as a result of several key designers opting out of traditional runway shows and going online. However, this month's Fall/Winter 2013 kickoff has been anything but dull and I've concluded I was most certainly under-hyped for the occasion. Without further ado, have a read of my review of the first half of New York Fashion Week (shows running February 7-10) below.

Here are my overall favourites

from the first half of the Fall/Winter Ready-To-Wear shows:

...And my top five favourite collections from the first half of the week are:

Five - Thakoon

A longtime favourite of mine, Thakoon's latest was enough to be in my top five from the weekend but still left me wishing for something more amazing and memorable. The highlights from this collection for me were the fur wraps belted at the waist, leopard prints, and over-sized looking jacket and skirt combinations. ...And let me just say it, I absolutely hated the hair.

Four - Rebecca Minkoff

The pin straight hair, holographic bags, and pops of yellow in this collection are what caught my eye. This show was my first live stream of the season and while I enjoyed it, my expectations for the collection may have been a bit high. Being that Rebecca Minkoff is a designer who I enjoy most for her handbangs, it's no surprise that these were my favourite element of the show. I absolutely loved the multi-coloured patchwork-esque sweaters and some of the beautiful patterns sported on coats and blouses but I could have done without the overdone stripes.

Three - Band of Outsiders

The giant quirky hats sported by confident, no-nonsense looking models caught my attention immediately. With lots of neutral navys and grays (my favourite when sported on the trendy yet cozy sweaters of looks 16 and 17), blue and green plaid, and pops of colour mixed in for good measure, the collection most likely has something for everyone. Some of my favourites were the shirt dresses of every length that started off the show and outfits unique enough to capture personal style while still being appropriate to wear to the office.

Two - Diane von Furstenberg

Bold retro patterns, pink lips, disco music, and model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne opening the show. With this collection, DVF managed to be aligned with everything hot in the present while at the same time reminiscing with fabulous inspiration from the past. I loved just about everything about DVF's 'Glam Rock' vibe. The hot pink lip is one of my favourite makeup trends of 2013 and it looked even more amazing on models who smiled - a change from the regular sullen look, which I welcomed. Metallic pants, a hot pink silky suit, and hippie-esque belted dresses were some of my favourite looks, but really, it was impossible to pick just one thing that stood out among the rest.

One - Prabal Gurung

This one is not surprising based on my overall commendations above. Prabal Gurung is the only show thus far that I can quite honestly say I wouldn't change anything about (and I'd also like one of everything in the collection). It quite literally took my breath away. From the execution of the show (with a final walk that has been dubbed 'Prabal's army') to the beautiful fabrics and details, this collection was everything I could want for the fall and winter seasons. From army looks to intricate patterns to strappy over the knee shoes to gold heels to sari-esque dresses, Gurung has created a set of looks that are just to die for. While I tend to be more in favour of bolder, brighter colours on the runway, the dark navys and army greens were exactly what made this collection. Hair and makeup were minimal as the clothes spoke for themselves and no distractions were needed. As it turns out, I'm not the only one who has fallen head over heels for Gurung's latest... Twitter remained abuzz about it all weekend and the patterns even inspired nail art (which, by the way, I am dying to try). This is Prabal Gurung's moment.

Honourable mentions go to Lela Rose and Christian Siriano. While Lela Rose is not a label I am regularly associated with, some of the items in her FW2013 collection have informed me that this is one designer I need to be more aware of. I particularly liked her use of pink and feathers in looks 28 through 30. I loved the ultra-feminine feel that these dresses gave off. I was also drawn in by the beautiful floor-length skirt (of look 35). While Christian Siriano's latest didn't make my top five favourites from the weekend, he did show some absolutely amazing dresses and gowns that I would die to wear to an appropriate function (see looks 11, 31, 33, and 35 - the latter two being particular favourites). I enjoyed the final few looks of the collection much more than the first half of the show.

...And the collections I found left a bit to be desired:

Some of my longtime favourite designers left me wanting more (not the in a good way, but in the salvaging for anything vein) this season.

  • Charlotte Ronson - While I loved the blue/green flowery patterns seen on a pair of trousers and a knee-length dress, these two looks were the only ones that really stuck in my mind from this collection. The rest just wasn't that memorable for me with most of the looks not quite my taste.
  • Alexander Wang - Though his runway show was a joy to watch for the venue, music, and layout, the collection itself wasn't something I loved. Though I was a fan of the sweater/hoodie/toque-esque looks on top, I didn't feel the same way about the two-toned ponytails peeking out the back. I'm not opposed to wild hair for fashion week but I wasn't a fan of the burnt orange colour of choice. Finally, there was just too much fur. Already not a fan of fur, I felt other designers did a much better job of executing this trend from the upcoming Fall/Winter season.