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.
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 In actuality, schoolgirl uniforms are all about unflattering pleats, awkward shapes, and outdated plaids.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. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
(L to R: Hailee Steinfeld in Prada, Jennifer Lawrence in Oscar de la Renta)
Whatever its reputation may be, the Golden Globes’ red carpet has become crowded with more and more standard award-show looks in recent years. This year’s offering, other than Helena Bonham Carter’s Swan-dress-esque Vivienne Westwood dress topped off with mismatched shoes, was far more notable for Ricky Gervais’ mischievous turn as host than any of its all-around blah fashion. Last night’s SAG awards, however, had far more to offer. Perhaps because the focus is all on the actors at this soiree, there were several notable risks that paid off greatly. First, and perhaps best, was newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, who’s been lucky enough to not only be a preternaturally composed 14-year-old, but also be nominated for an Oscar for her very first movie role in True Grit. She surprised in a Prada look from the bold Spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection. To the Golden Globes, she wore a beautiful if less flashy Prabal Gurung dress. Props are in order to the girl’s stylist. She manages to look improbably cool and age-appropriate without succumbing to the Dakota Fanning or Abigail Breslin cutesy method.
Read the rest of my picks and get a better look at the best of the night by clicking « Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
Welcome, my friends, to a day of reckoning. As Fashion Month approaches its final stages, we’re in the midst of the collections that will shape our dreams and daydreams alike for the next few months. Today is a very important day in Milan, in my extremely biased opinion. Today, friends, is the day of PRADA.
Miuccia Prada started her show with a bang–a whoosh of light on her light-up runway–but you couldn’t really say the same for her collection. The first few looks had a lot to do with her most recent men’s show, with bold-colored riffs on scrubs and workwear and shoes with thick rainbow-striped soles. Those will look great in the group shots for her next ad campaign, but they obviously weren’t the real story. No, the real story came when those first subtle looks evolved into a cacophony of exuberant colorful stripes and monkey motifs. The best looks had to be the striped skirt suits worn with giant matching hats and the white dresses with explosions of color and pictures of monkeys and what looked like dancers with pineapples on their heads. Oh, in other news, Miuccia went bananas. There were banana printed shirts and skirts, plus bananas in combination with monkeys, but perhaps most buzzed of all were the banana earrings Miuccia wore to take her bow. The mood in fashion has been self-serious for a while now, but the message that a little humor never hurt anyone should be particularly effective coming from such a credible source.
June 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
Men’s Fashion Week can often seem like less of a convincing sales pitch aided by the spending of millions of dollars and more like a bizarre opportunity to delve into myriad fashion cliches. Perhaps it’s because designers are confused about their target customers, creating an abundance of lackluster business attire and unthinkable edgy creations. Either way, however, there are a lot of womenswear superstars who just can’t seem to get it right when their focus is on males. As the shows are winding down, we’ve seen a lot of both categories, but there are a few shows that stand out for being truly well-executed. Take, for instance, this season’s offering from Missoni.
As it’s recently become a hugely important collection in the womenswear world, it’s only fitting that the same treatment be given to the men. In fact, the Missonis have done us one better. The collection is full of charm and optimism, sunny colors and delectable prints. It isn’t necessarily a sequel to what we’ve seen in womenswear recently, but it’s just as noteworthy and ripe for praise. Indeed, it really sells itself. There should be no trouble finding a market for the boldly colored sweaters and cardigans, and I’d like to talk to someone right now about getting on that waiting list. « Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
September 26, 2009 § 1 Comment
I sure chose a bad day to be late. The Milan shows kicked off yesterday and they’re crammed into a minuscule period of 5 days. Today is the second day, but I’ve also got the first (which includes Prada, freak out now) to get out of the way. So let’s waste no time!
Ohhhhhhhhh Miuccia. I’m a well established devotee to her artistic wiles, which she certainly seems to be abound with. Every season, without fail, she delivers a collection that summons edicts of disappointment and bewilderment. And every season, inevitably, her collection is plastered across the magazines, the signature pieces repeated so often they become like dear friends to us. This season, she shied away from so of her more off-kilter pieces and offered a collection that seemed, dare I say it, accessible. Of course, accessible really only counts in fashion if you’re of model age and proportions. But (relatively) accessible it was. The look was, as mentioned, youthful, with takes on the suit shown with cut-off shorts, the kind done in dressier materials she invented at her men’s show this season. Also on the shorts front were Bermuda shorts, an inevitable return with the reemergence of biker shorts, which were also present in the collection. But perhaps more notable were the series of photo prints she showed on dresses and jackets alike. High-contrast beach scenes more colorful than a Bollywood film were juxtaposed against rigid, dull-colored fabrics. Elsewhere, Prada experimented with a sort of expensive-looking fishnet, draping it in ways that slyly exhibited the hard-earned Summer figure. All in all, it’ll stay on our minds all throughout the Spring season, but it won’t come to be known as one of her strongest moments. Of course, when your weakest is this strong… Full Show Here. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 2, 2009 § Leave a comment
Well hello! Believe it or not, it’s already March. I don’t know why February has to be the weird short month, but this is neither the time nor the place to get in to that. Instead, we have some very important shows to get to today. Let’s just begin.
Isn’t favoritism fun? I know I give a highly preferential treatment to all things Prada, but you can rest assured that my reasons for doing so are quite valid. You see, Prada is basically one of very few original sources in fashion. So, in a season where other top designers are doing flashy 80’s influences (which I am in no way deprecating) it’s hardly surprising that Miuccia has done the closest thing to the exact opposite. Her main influence in this collection is unclear; she claims she was inspired by country life, but there are also hints of the prehistoric, ancient roman, and flapper varieties. But perhaps the standout pieces, for better or worse, are the fisherman boots. Bulky and dowdy, they hardly scream fashion, but surely they’ll be a welcome antidote to the increasingly impractical but beautiful vertiginous designs being displayed on runways everywhere. Personally, I prefer the heeled boots with the thick socks rolled over them; they come from the same brainchild but aren’t as distinctly extreme. Also on the shoe front are cream colored heels that appear to adopt some elements of a gladiator’s helmet. What am I forgetting here? Oh yes, the clothes. The clothes are surprisingly subtle. Although fabrics run the gamut from atypical usages of fur to brocade, a large majority of the looks are expertly tailored jackets and skirts. The dresses range from sparse variations with wide necklines to a cross between gladiator and flapper. A lot will be said about the collection; it’s undoubtedly a lot to process. But what’s so great about it is how uniquely, clearly Prada it is. Miuccia has mastered the niche of dark, primitive wiles, and one gets the sense she’d rather be way off than boring.