Today in Fashion Week:February 24th

February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The truth is, no matter how much we strive for equity, we all play favorites. And so today, I’m taking to opportunity to cash in my favorite card. Yes, Prada holds a special place in my heart. It’s the one show I always look forward to, the collection I think back on fondly more often than any other, and in many ways the impetus and constant reinforcement of my love of fashion. I think Miuccia is a living legend whose work will be looked back on for centuries to come. And now, on to her offering for this  season.

Prada

Last season, the Prada show started with a bang: a flash of fluorescent light followed by an exhilarating, colorful collection. This season started much more gently, by contrast. In an all white room, Miuccia started the collection out with a few classics. From there, the collection could’ve gone anywhere. There were snakeskin boots, aviator-like oversized sunglasses and caps, and somewhat boxy proportions. Perhaps those were just distractors, however; because it was actually those seemingly generic black coats that became a jumping-off point of sorts. Evidently, Miuccia was thinking about purity and innocence, as well as her all time favorite muse: the schoolgirl. But in case your knowledge of schoolgirls is heavily reliant on fetish porn, this show should provide a reality check. In actuality, schoolgirl uniforms are all about unflattering pleats, awkward shapes,  and outdated plaids. Miuccia goes against the grain whenever possible, refusing to sexualize her clothes, and often settling for what is widely considered ugly. It’s easy to produce beautiful, unimaginative fashion; but she unequivocally says that’s not enough. Her off-kilter clashing combination of blown-up plaid in bright colors and two-tone snakeskin boots is one that leave most questioning what they think is beautiful clothing. Those looks were the real meat of the collection, the takeaway of the theme, but perhaps my favorite looks were the fur-covered ones. Fur detailing has been all over the place this season, but it takes something really out-there to stand out from the pack. Miuccia’s take was to have nondescript, plain-jane coats and dresses and then make them appear to literally sprout fur like a Chia Pet. Those looks were wacky but fascinatingly beautiful. For the final looks, Miuccia layered dull sequins together to make matted, blurry dresses. The effect was abstract and interesting, though it didn’t add much to the theme. All in all, the collection left you a lot to think about. It was a real statement in the “what is ugly?” category, and it’s sure to inspire intense debates in the days to come.

MaxMara

Your “no white after Labor Day” grandma is rolling in her grave (or her chair. I don’t wish death to your grandmother). The MaxMara show began with a progression of ethereal winter white. Having made that statement, the show evolved into an interesting mix-match theme. After last season, it seems MaxMara is working to move away from its reliable, conservative image and venturing into more modernized territory. This season had a few plays on that idea, notably a wool coat with a large fur patch on it, which is far more interesting than either a plain wool or fur coat. There were also some worn-in looking pieces, which had a nice approachable touch to them that isn’t always associated with the brand. All in all, it was a successful effort, and the revamping of the brand’s image is going well.

Fendi

Sometimes it seems that Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t exactly know what to do with Fendi. Sometimes it’s hip and modern, occasionally it’s upscale and ladylike. It’s never really been a must-see collection, but sometimes it will surprise you. Last season’s outing was a coolly composed refreshing spring collection. Continuing in that same vein, this season had a lovable schlub vibe to it. Fall and winter are often hard to dress for without looking a little bit messy and overwhelmed, and Lagerfeld seemed to be embracing that. Sure, he’s not one to accept faults or glorify flaws, but the overall look to the collection had a sneaky element of comfort and effortlessness. Outerwear, as it tends to in fall collection, made a big impression. But these were coats that were easy to imagine being worn day after day. They didn’t look untouchable as many runway looks often can. And that is precisely where these past two Fendi collections have succeeded: they have something special to offer. Here’s hoping Karl keeps it up.

D&G

Where’s the controversy? I would like to allege that Stefano and Domencio were more inspired by Express Yourself than Lady Gaga. Indeed, there was a strong day-glo 80’s theme running throughout, especially if you looked at the Converse-esque shoes. Then again, D&G isn’t exactly noted for its subtlety. If you can’t glean any of the inspiration from a D&G collection, you probably have no business analyzing things. This season, they began with a scrambled letter motif, which would be interesting if I was 5 and learning the alphabet for the first time. I’m not, however, and so that idea sort of fell flat. You can’t pour alphabet soup on everything and hope that jazzes things up. All that being said, however, you know what to expect going into a D&G collection. It’s painfully obvious, but it is what it is.

Alright, that about does it for now. I hope you enjoyed today’s shows. Tomorrow brings us Moschino, Etro, Gianfranco Ferre, Blumarine, and Versace. Get a good night’s sleep! That’s eight hours, you repeat-offender insomniacs. Get off Twitter.

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