Today in Fashion Week:February 26th & 27th

February 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ok, ok. I missed a day. Actually, two days, if you count the fact that I am writing this in the wee hours of February 28th. But, then again, I’m my own worst critic. Let’s catch up.

Versace








Last season, Donatella Versace interrupted the progress of her collection with an endeavor that, though well received by some, I felt did not live up to the success of her previous collection. That collection, the Fall 2009 effort, was a masterful showing of modern graphic sophistication with edge. This season’s turn is more logically connected to that show than the one shown for Spring, with its strong fusion of minimalism and modernity. No one does sexy like Versace does, but I think it’s a collection like this that shows that there’s more to the brand than that. Because, after all, a woman needs more in her toolkit than weapons of mass seduction. Every now and then, pants seem like an appropriate choice. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Today in Fashion Week:February 25th

February 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ciao! The shows have moved to Milan, and the daily recaps are back in action! We’re getting into the majorly heavy hitters now, so let’s get to it.

Prada









The latest fixation of the more benevolent of the fashion crowd has been the issue of size. Take, for instance, V Magazine’s recent Size Issue or Coco Rocha and Lara Stone’s attention-grabbing headlines. So, when Miuccia Prada seemed to be the latest (and most prominent) to jump on board by hiring curvier models (read:Victoria’s Secret), people took note. But her statement seemed to be much greater than the eerily exploitative efforts to date. She’s not highlighting size but rather downplaying it. Anyone, it seems to be the message, can look just as amazing as they want. The cuts were more forgiving, sure, but the looseness wasn’t overtly noticeable. What was noticeable, however, was her take on a seemingly intellectual, unabashedly and demurely dowdy erudite woman, which translated to nubby cable knit sweater-looks and 60’s era silhouettes on dresses. The Miuccia signatures were present throughout; she didn’t quite explore new territory as much as she summarized the best of her work in a cohesive and concise statement. If, admittedly, it isn’t quite revolutionary, the collection is definitely empowering. Beautiful, sustainable design for all is something we can all get behind. This show fits into the same genre as the instant classic Marc Jacobs show from just a few weeks back. Fashion, it seems, is where the heart is this season.

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From London With Love

February 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Apologies, apologies, apologies. It seems I didn’t have the heart to go through with the daily recap format for the London shows, but rest assured that I was feeling guiltier and guiltier every day I failed to meet this standing appointment. So, the Milan shows begin on Thursday, and while I’ve run into some free time I’ve decided to get us up to speed on what we’ve missed in London. Here goes!

Hakaan




Newcomer Hakaan took no time at all in being wholeheartedly embraced by the most discerning of the fashion elite. And it’s not hard to see why with razor sharp tailoring and luxe fur detailing. Definitely one to watch on the London scene, and a good bit of excitement to liven it up. « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 18th

February 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

You know that feeling when you’ve put something off for so long that the thought of doing it at all seems impossible? Yeah, me neither. Thursday’s post is just a weeeeee bit late today, as life comes at you fast (Thursday) and I’ve been busy looking through the Prada archives (yesterday). Luckily London hosted less than a stellar lineup yesterday, so we’ve only got the one day to catch up on. And it just so happens that it’s the last of New York. Let’s get it over with to it!

Ralph Lauren




Remember that whole neogrunge movement I noticed starting on the first day of the week? Well, with the blessing of Ralph Lauren, it appears to be totally and unequivocally on. The look was so faithful at times that it was like something directly out of 1990. This had some questionable side effects, but Ralph’s modern interpretations made it worth the lesser bits and pieces. One think that’s unmistakable is his reference. The look came out in floor length summery floral dresses layered over long knits, bulky sweaters paired with skirts (floor length again, of course), heavy velvets, and full length men’s coats. Grunge, baby, grunge. It’s not surprising that designers have chosen this as fodder given the circumstances, but nevertheless I’m looking to the development of this look. « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 17th

February 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

As the last few days of New York Fashion Week run their course, slowly but surely the must-see shows are dwindling down. We’ve seen some interesting statements and definitely some shows that I think are instant classics. I’ll reflect more at the end of the week, but for now I’ll just say that I think this has been one of the most consistently impressive seasons in a while. I especially love the initiative many of the major designers are taking in streaming their shows live on the web. With their help, every show will soon be broadcast, moving fashion forward into the future. It’s been a major development this season, and I think a lot of it can be attributed to Alexander McQueen’s web broadcast extravaganza last season. He truly was an innovative and directional thinker. On that note, let’s get into today’s shows!

Proenza Schouler






The basis of Proenza Schouler this season seemed to be a schoolgirl. That explains the pleated skirts, leather button down collars attached to minidresses, and thigh high stockings. There definitely was a feminine undercurrent, but there was also a heavy dose of the sort of acidic tomboy they’ve been working with for the past few seasons. The melding of the two archetypes was a major theme throughout, but it wasn’t so obvious that it was a gimmick. It came up in the pretty dresses layered over long sleeved tees and the menswear tailoring that was added to more traditionally feminine pieces. In a way, it was evocative of their first few seasons, but brought up to speed with their developments ever since. I liked the accordion pleats, a sure sign that the softening of the look was conscientious this season. Altogether, it created a strong look, and one that influential cool girls will be sure to flock to now that they’re likely tired of the dominatrix look.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 16th

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s happened again! Fashion Week has gone by in the blink of an eye. After this we only have two more days left to cover. So let’s get into it!

Rodarte





The sisters Mulleavy revisited, as usual, the same types of intricate constructions that they’ve been known for from the start, but there was a lot of new material covered in this collection. The concept seemed to be a duel  (or dual?) between two mismatched themes for our attention. On the one hand, an infusion of down home Mexican iconography like woven shawls and fringe, and on the other a subdued feminine streak. The two were fused, to varying levels of success, but there were a troubling number of befuddling looks. The best moments unsurprisingly came when they took a lighter hand to their heavy concept. Their exploration of lace and ruffles was delightful, because it was surprising coming from their tendency to celebrate the industrial. The collection was, unfortunately, not one of their best. But there’s gold betwixt the madness, and the Rodarte legacy lives on. « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 15th

February 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

There’s something about Fashion Week and my internet connection that just don’t agree. I spent the weekend in a semi-depression over my disconnection from the world. Anyway, my internet’s back, but I fear I can’t possibly make up what I’ve missed. I did, however, look over the shows from Saturday and Sunday, and here’s what I thought, in a nutshell. Ohne Titel was great, and I loved the mesh pieces. Prabal Gurung and Altuzarra both turned out amazing collections, but I preferred Gurung’s for it’s practicality and envisioned a future for him as the Marc Jacobs of the next generation. Alexander Wang stepped up his game and experimented with suiting in a way that I felt was evocative of Miuccia Prada’s approach to design. He had some iffy moments, but I thought it was a job well done. Irina Shabayeva deserves a mention; she’s one of the most talented Project Runway winners, I think, and her collection was very luxe for a debut. I loved DKNY, as I always do, but I thought it was an especially good season. Herve Leger was surprisingly inventive, for a brand not really known for that. Y-3 was great, and it revived some of the grunge aspects that were peeking through at the beginning of the week. But I think by far my favorite collection over the weekend was Thakoon.  I especially liked the prints and the fur hoods. The look was very strong, and the collection was an amazing achievement from him. So that’s it, as far as quick reactions. I’m incredibly remorseful that I can’t give all of those designers proper write-ups, but I really was impressed with all of the collections I saw. It’s going to be a good season, I think. It’s not over yet, so let’s get to today’s shows.

Marc Jacobs









Pinch me. Marc Jacobs’ latest collection plays out like a dream sequence. Jacobs’ approach is often to take the ordinary and paint it in a new light. That was very much the case with this collection, given the neutral pallet and the billowy cuts. But there was some element that seemed larger than life. The look didn’t feel like it belonged to the past or the present. It was at once romantic and pragmatic. There was something extraordinary about how ordinary it came across. There was a practical streak, I think, in how everything was lined in thick fabrics and especially roomy. Comfort was definitely a statement he was trying to convey, right down to the noticeably flat shoes. He has a habit of exploring the frumpy and making it charming. I think that was the point, but it was at times hard to tell. He designed more with his heart than his head. It’s a pleasant collection, but it’s nothing too groundbreaking. Once the pieces are dissected and reinvented come Fall, they’ll be welcome dosages of homey charm. For now, however, they’re nice. But how far can nice take you? « Read the rest of this entry »

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