News & Runway

Z Spoke by Zac Posen S/S 2011

Zac Posen’s shows are always among the season’s hottest tickets – so much so, that past seasons have required guests to bring photo IDs with them.

This season, Posen opted to debut his secondary line, Z Spoke, on the runway. Although the designer’s high-end line will be shown in Paris, that certainly didn’t deter the celebrity attendees.

Claire Danes, Kristin Cavallari, Ciara, Russell Simmons (and surprisingly, Simmons’s ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons, who according to reports told him, “I don’t want to sit next to you”), were just a few big names sitting in the front row.

It was little surprise, given the glammed-up crowd, that the show’s atmosphere was fun and upbeat (perhaps also aided by the open bar outside, and the fact that the show was scheduled for 7:00pm on a Saturday night).

The party vibe fit perfectly with the collection, which was young, fun, flirty, and wholly entertaining. It appeared that if there’s one thing the Zac Posen’s girl is not, it’s boring.

According to, Posen had three muses for his collection: a sportswear-clad brunette, a blonde who adores ruffles and probably cats, and a glamour-puss redhead. The various inspirations translated into a collection that mixed frilly party frocks, cartoonish tees, and colorful printed looks with staple black trousers, fitted cropped jackets, and flattering denim skirts.

A few of the vibrant prints reminded me of the designer’s spot-on Target collection, serving as a reminder that Posen appears to be one of the few designers who has mastered designing for those on a budget in a cohesive way without cutting into the business of the high-end line.

With the Z Spoke Saks Fifth Avenue exclusive coming to an end, I imagine we’ll soon be seeing the contemporary collection featured a lot more extensively in department stores and boutiques – especially the black jersey cut-out gown that closed the show.  Also worth singling out were the sky-high shoes (including some bright platforms), which were designed by Steve Madden, marking the retailer’s New York Fashion Week debut.