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.
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.
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.
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 »
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!
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 »
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!
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 »
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!
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 »
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.
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 »
February 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
The fashion world suffered an incredible loss with the death of Alexander McQueen today, which sent shockwaves throughout the convening masses in New York. Today marked the official beginning of Fashion Week, but the real story was McQueen all the way. Anna Wintour reportedly left BCBG mid-show upon hearing the news, and issued an official statement just hours later. The McQ presentation that was scheduled for today was canceled. Rumors began swirling that editors may abandon New York early to mourn his death. This will be an ongoing story, but I do hope that his final collection will have its runway moment. I, for one, would like one last opportunity to celebrate his genius. Despite this somber note, the collections proceeded as usual. It’s impossible to forget, but we must forge on.
BCBG Max Azria
BCBG had seasonless undertones, with less substantial separates layered over warmer basics. The styling was certainly the highlight, though it did not quite offer any new thoughts on layering. All in all, it was a bit of a dud. The clothes were lackluster and did not have much going for them that couldn’t be similarly duplicated at lower-priced emporiums specializing in basics and simpler trend-driven fare. Often the brand can be trusted to bring less reachable runway trends to an affordable price point, but there was something missing from the formula in this case. Perhaps it was the attempt at minimalism, which translated into colorblocked neutral pieces in grunge-era silhouettes. Either way, the effort seemed disconnected and bland. « Read the rest of this entry »