New York Fashion Week: Zac Posen Channels Hollywood Film Noir

Zac Posen Fall Fashion Show - H 2013
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Zac Posen Fall Fashion Show - H 2013

The "Project Runway" judge starts a new diffusion line but turns to his old tricks when it comes to his fall collection.

WHO: Zac Posen 

WHAT: Fall 2013 runway show in New York

WHEN: February 10, 2013

THE FRONT ROW: Katherine McPhee

THE MOOD/INSPIRATION: Zac seems to live for the 1940s and film noir Hollywood, Hitchcock style. This doesn't change. He loves his peplums, his seaming, a killer bombshell satin gown, peplum tweed jackets that Kim Novak and Grace Kelly donned in Hitchcock movies. It doesn't change. This season, he added a lot more jewel tones: mostly wine, but also purples, reds and even saffron in satin. Like most of the New York designers, for fall he's really going to texture mash-ups: velvet with wool and satin -- it's all about texturizing. Fur collars with satin blouses. A sprinkle of beading here and there. And truly amazing detailed embroidery.

COLORS/FABRICS: Wine, merlot, pinot noir -- every kind of dark red imaginable. Grey, black, brown, saffron, purple -- velts, wool, fur, satin, silk -- wine velvet Mary Janes on black tights to really texturize the nipped waists, peplums and tight skirts with flared fishtail hems, just over the knee.

KEY TRENDS: Layering, texturizing, nipped waist, 1940s. The gowns were typical Zac: bombshell '30s and '40s shapes, sweetheart necks, great shapes. Zac makes a beautiful gown; Naomi Watts wore one to the Globes, and he's been everywhere in L.A. this season -- Project Runway hasn't hurt. He's even started a diffusion line between collection and ZSpoke called Zac Zac Posen. Is he the new Michael Kors?

RELEVANCE TO HOLLYWOOD: Zac makes a gown that makes a body look amazing -- that will always be relevant to Hollywood. Many actresses wear him already. It would be nice to see them wearing his equally chic cocktail dresses that are looking more L'Wren Scott all the time. The gowns in brown and wine satin are heart-stopping and would look amazing on Jessica Chastain at the Oscars -- or Watts, for that matter. Chastain in chocolate brown satin would really be a stunner. It's not too late to order it!

RED CARPET WATCH: We can totally imagine any of these Zac gown looks at the Oscars, but the ready to wear and jackets are too wintry for L.A., and velvet almost never looks good here. Hollywood loves the 1940s for gowns -- but daywear? It just looks a little too retro.