We couldn't wait for Fashion Week to kick off, so we caught up with designer Cynthia Rowley during her Fall 2014 lookbook and film shoot. We stopped by the Diamond Horseshoe, a hidden gem housed in the lower level of The Paramount Hotel, where Rowley was already ahead of the game. "I broke the system, I cracked the code!" the New York City designer tells Instyle.com exclusively while wrapping up both the film and lookbook shoot for her Fall 2014 collection — before showing her collection.
The strategically planned shoots took place a week before the fashion world is set to attend her Fall 2014 presentation, because according to Rowley: "How awesome is it that we're kinda done?" The designer wants her presentation to play out as a celebration. "It will be a great time. We are going to have some surprise elements, but the sweaty work is done. I did sleep three hours last night," says Rowley.
As for the film, here's a little teaser: There's some knife throwing action. And while knife throwing may catch you by surprise, it not only speaks to the venue — a space Rowley describes as a "visual feast" — but the collection is full of equally as intriguing looks. From sporty sweater separates (like a three piece sweater set, a tripod that Rowley tells us is her favorite from the collection) to moonbow decorated pieces. A moonbow, not to be confused with the traditional rainbow, is a rainbow that radiates off of the moon at night. Rowley tells us she incorporated the cheery motif into her collection because "there's something universally happy about it." But perhaps the most decorated piece of all is what Rowley calls 'the junk dress.' The one-of-a-kind piece — that took 30 hours to make — has the designer claiming: "I don’t care either way if you love it or you hate it. It’s really just meant to start a conversation."
Check out our gallery to for behind-the-scenes shots from our on-set date with Cynthia Rowley (junk dress and moonbows include!) and read on for more details from the designer herself.
• Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek at The Inspiration Behind 5 Designers’ Fall/Winter 2014 Collection
• Find Out Out The Chic Survival Items InStyle Editors Will Be Wearing During Fashion Week
• The New York Fashion Week Schedule for Fall/Winter 2014 is Here: Bookmark It, Print It, Memorize It
1. Making the Finishing Touches
Cynthia Rowley adds her finishing touches to a black ruffled cape-like top before it's photographed for the Fall 2014 lookbook. The top is true to Rowley's aesthetic. "There’s certain things I always love. I always love something sporty, something a little tough and tomboyish, but I also love ruffles," says Rowley.
2. The Venue
The Diamond Horseshoe in midtown Manhattan is the venue of choice for Rowley's lookbook and film shoot and where she will show her presentation to New York's fashion crowd during Fashion Week. "I wanted something that would be really different and everywhere you look there’s something," says Rowley. "It also has a tiny sense of humor about things. It is so artistic and everywhere you look there’s a surprise."
3. The Junk Dress: "We wanted it to be junk, just junk"
"I just wanted a piece that would be totally polarizing," Rowley says of the dress that took a whopping 30 hours to complete. So, just how did this junk dress come to life? "We emptied out drawers everywhere, everybody went through all their stuff," Rowley tells us. The dress even includes a key chain that reads "Perry Street" - the street on which Rowley lives. Crafty letters spell out 'whatever' across the bodice, a word Rowley thinks is a good message in fashion. "Have an open mind, don’t judge," she adds.
4. The Makeup
Colorful cat eye liner and barely-there powder was applied to the model before she stepped in front of the lens - allowing the junk dress to command all of the attention it deserves.
5. The Moonbow is Lookbook-ready
"I found out that there was this thing called moonbows. I was sort of like woah, that’s really beautiful. And I like that it’s moody and romantic, there's kind of something universally happy about it," Rowley tells us.
6. Posing for the Lookbook
The moonbow makes a subtle reappearance throughout Rowley's Fall 2014 collection on feminine separates in a blurred-yet-polished print.
7. Ready, Set, Action: Filming the Video
While the central theme is a surprise, we caught models posing in front of a wall of knives clad in their colorful-yet-moody Fall 2014 looks.
8. So How Did the Knives Make their Debut ...
Rowley had a knife thrower by the name of Olga Kosova on board. Before the models stepped on stage, Olga (who will also make an appearance in the video) artfully threw handle-less knives at an already cut-up wooden backdrop.
9. Take 1, Take 2
In between takes, models sashayed across the venue's ornate stage. The final film will capture both the models and the knife throwing in sync.
10. Cynthia's Favorite Look from the Collection
"I love these sweaters that are three pieces. It’s a crewneck, a little dickie, and then a little shoulder shrug. I just like that idea of real sporty sportswear, which is a challenge for me because I do love little and cute dresses," says Rowley.