Today in Fashion Week: February 22nd

February 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hi there! Unfortunately, we’re going to have to make this short today, but there are only a few shows to get through to finish off the season in London.

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou had a breakthrough last season with her architecture-inspired collection of wearable art, which won the adoration of critics across the world. Perhaps she didn’t see it as as much of a turning point as everyone else did, however, because she didn’t exactly proceed from there this season. Instead the collection began with some riffs on print explosion–geometric prints worn with busy floral tights, for instance. Gradually, she brought some of the prints from last season’s collection back, and that was by far the highlight of the lineup. That being said, however, this was far from a worthy follow-up to that last brilliant collection. Katrantzou had quickly gained fame the good old fashion way: with pure talent and ingenuity. But she didn’t make good on the promise of that collection this time around, and for that reason her showing was quite a disappointment. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Today in Fashion Week: February 21st

February 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

And we’re back! I’ve finally caught up with the shows and now I’m ready to see what London holds. Of course, London only gets a few measly days to show all they have to offer, so it can get a little packed, as it seems to be today. Oh well, I suppose, let’s get to it!

Burberry Prorsum

Christopher Bailey has been highly regarded for transforming Burberry into a modern brand, appealing to the young women of today with his own brand of essentials. Last season, however, he was heavily criticized for sticking to that aesthetic a little too hard. As his outlook became a bit outdated, he somewhat stubbornly stuck to motorcycle jackets and minidresses. Well, it was a lesson learned, it appears. He seems to have realized that perhaps the best way to move his Burberry into the future is to look to the past. This season had a very dressy, 60’s air about it, from the matchy-matchy accessories to the curvy, womanly shapes. Bailey was sly, however. He stuck to his signatures, like military jackets and trenches, making slight tweaks to fit the theme of the show. All in all, it was far more invigorated and exciting than last season’s limp effort, and it dealt with its perhaps cliched inspiration in a fresh and unique way. « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 19th and 20th

February 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, everyone, we’re back, and the season has now taken us to London. London can often be a city that surprises us, where new designers are likely to make surprisingly accomplished efforts, and where we can always rely on a little bit of good old fashion wit and humor. Perhaps the best advice when looking through the London shows is to keep an open mind. British designers have a rare quality to them, and it may be just what you’re looking for.

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders’ clothes have an almost doll-like playfulness to them. That’s not to say that they’re not practical; they’d have a place in many closets, but he simply doesn’t register as a “real women” commercial designer. He seems to have somewhat of an obsession with perfection when it comes to the fit and ideology behind his designs. It’s a no-hair-out-of-place philosophy, but it isn’t exactly intimidating, either. Perhaps Saunders finds looser, untamed silhouettes too messy; indeed, some of those indecisive hemlines and oversized cuts can often look like they need a designer’s attention, and not that they’ve had one’s. His aesthetic isn’t “short and tight,” necessarily, but it is body conscious, without being the sort of futuristic “bodycon” we’ve come to know in recent years. This season’s effort seemed like a natural progression from spring’s terrific collection, including some pieces that were lifted and shown in different colors and styled differently, including a belted blazer with sort of rounded, tapered sleeves. Jewel tones made an impression, especially pretty emerald greens. When he got past the basics, Saunders showed some colorful prints that seemed to have tropical underpinnings; perhaps the Prada effect is going to come more into play in the bolder European shows. All in all, it was a decisive, skilled lineup, which is somewhat refreshing after seeing a lot of nondescript, relatively bland collections in New York. Sure, we’re talking apples and oranges here, but London can always be counted on for a burst of vibrancy after a bleak New York season. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Week in Fashion: A Conglomeration

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ok, I’ll admit it. I got a little burnt out on fashion towards the middle of this week. I have no idea how it happened. Maybe it was the stress of the other myriad responsibilities I face as an average, society-dwelling human, or maybe I just suddenly hate fashion. All I know is, confronted with the possibility of deferring my daily recap a day, I watched a live stream of Proenza Schouler and felt nothing. I genuinely considered whether or not I had somehow damaged my frontal lobe. But I’m back, ready to make use of the short gap between New York and London. This is going to be a less thorough recap than I’d probably do if I were going through each day individually, but I’ll try to give fair breakdowns of the essential shows before I move on to London.

Proenza Schouler

If you were slightly confused by Proenza Schouler this season, you’re not alone. Those prints seemed to dominate the collection, but what were they? Were they tech-inspired pixels, or traditional “heritage” patterns? Well, it’s both, evidently. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez began their conceptualization for the collection with some Native American blankets they collected, but they didn’t stop there. Part of what makes them such interesting, modern designers is that they never take the obvious route. They manipulated those patterns digitally to the point that they became saturated, striking designs. And, with their re-envisioned take on classic silhouettes as a backdrop, it made for one of the most interesting, accomplished outings to come out of New York this season.

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Today in Fashion Week: February 15th

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

We’re almost at the halfway point of New York Fashion Week, so maybe it’s time to take a moment to reflect. The endless haul of back-to-back shows, each seemingly more important than the next, is certainly not a format that stimulates analysis. Rather, you need to step away for a moment to understand the significance. What are the main points being thrown at us this season? It’s hard to tell. Maybe, once we’ve been through all the European shows, there’ll be some aha moment where it all connects. So far, however, the shows couldn’t be more disparate. Are we lost or  are we in the middle of an upheaval? It is a new decade, after all. Maybe today will clarify things.

Rodarte

God bless Rodarte. Though their show has become a big ticket during Fashion Week, they still remain faithful to their 12 pm time slot; giving overworked, exhausted bloggers an early day. Not only are they sympathetic to sleepier time slots, however, they’re also fans of sleepier locales. They’ve infamously based collections on rustic but violent parts of Mexico, but they’ve been known to find inspiration in the dustier parts of the world, perhaps influenced by their California upbringing. So perhaps it’s no surprise they went with a Midwestern reference this time around. Those cornfields that usually tell you you’re in the middle of nowhere were evidently a source of great fascination for the Mulleavy sisters. They printed them on glamorous evening gowns, a paradox that was so ridiculous that it was entirely successful. Elsewhere, the colors matched the stagnant beige-iness of the region, though the clothes were a far cry from the minimal pieces we’ve seen over the past few seasons. Always a fan of a movie reference, moreover, the Mulleavys were clearly inspired by the quintessential good ol’ Kansas girl, Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. Though scenes plucked from the most rural of Midwestern areas hardly seem like they’d make for an interesting collection, there’s perhaps no one that could accomplish that other than the Mulleavy sisters.

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Today in Fashion Week: February 14th

February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! Sure, the fact that you’re reading this, assuming you are on the day of, might indicate your romantic status, but fear not. Fashion is like a communal significant other for its small but ardent group of followers. Fashion is the love of my life, I’ll readily admit, and a fresh set of shows is better than any hackneyed red roses or boxes of chocolate. So on to those, then.

Marc Jacobs

Show attendees entered Marc Jacobs to find a dimly lit room playing smooth jazz and quilted patent leather columns displayed on stage. Perhaps Marc’s V-day slot got him thinking. As everyone got in their seats, however, and the lights went up, we were in for a surprise. Set to Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” which seems to find anger in beauty, the show was something of a paradox. Yes, it had all the hallmarks (not the greeting card company) of a romantic show, but something was amiss. Marc has never been one to cater to the traditional buxom beauties, and he wasn’t about to start now. On the one hand, there were 40’s silhouettes, sequins, polka dots galore, lace, and jaunty little hats combining pretty much all of the above. Despite all that, however, he found little ways to pervert all of them. The 40’s shapes were shown in drab colors and awkward lengths. Combined with clunky ankle boots, they showed only a few inches of polka-dot-tight-covered legs, which made for more of a lanky silhouette than a salacious one. Perhaps this was not Marc’s most history-making or memorable show, but they were plenty of looks that suggested they were in for a quick ascent to magazine covers and pages. This was Marc in his witty, irreverent fighting form. In any event, it seems we’re in for a little romance this season, with lace becoming a top trend all around. « Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Fashion Week: February 13th

February 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hello again, fashion flocks! We’re only a couple days in, but we’ve already seen some significant showings. It’s quite impressive how so many young designers in New York have been able to turn their collections into must-see events. So long as inventive talents such as themselves are around, the industry will survive. Now, on to today’s offerings!

Thakoon

Thakoon, against all odds, actually seems to get better every season. This time around, he was inspired by both European and African royalty, which resulted in a collection that was alternatingly bold and regal, punk and ladylike. He showed prints both exotic and commonplace, traditional silhouettes in colorful buffalo plaid, and some very interestingly light takes on complicated constructions. He is an undersung talent in the industry, but something tells me he’ll be getting his due recognition soon enough.

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