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 In actuality, schoolgirl uniforms are all about unflattering pleats, awkward shapes, and outdated plaids.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 »
February 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
On to another city! We have only two shows to look at today, but think of it as a pallete cleanser. Tomorrow is a very special day. Yes, people, tomorrow is Prada. I know I’m fasting and praying to Miuccia like there’s no tomorrow. But hopefully there is a tomorrow, because that’s the day of the show. We are all not worthy. We are all not worthy. We are…
Frida Giannini has not been the most celebrated designer at Gucci in history, and that is not exactly unjust. Her work has never been very polarizing or idiosyncratic. She has never led a movement. She’s a perfectly capable designer, but she’s not inspiring revolutions. One thing to her credit, however, is that she’s the queen of the 70’s reference. Seriously, she’s been exploring the 70’s as a source of inspiration for years now. Now that they’ve finally come back into fashion, it seems she’s not squandering the opportunity to bask in her favorite decade. Her clothes had a lot of commonality with those of Marc Jacobs last season. It had the same dressy-casual feel to it, and the same loose but luxurious sentiment. Particularly beautiful were a couple of coats toward the middle. It was that point where you stop scrutinizing and start simply taking a show in. The pace got derailed a bit with some ill-advised largely sheer evening gowns, but those solid looks more than made up for it. All in all, it was Giannini’s best effort at the house in memory, and possibly one of the best of the season so far. « Read the rest of this entry »
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 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 »
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!
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 »
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’ 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 »
February 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
We meet again! Believe it or not, fashion lovers, I did cover yesterday’s shows, and my witty recaps and slideshows are now somewhere in cyberspace hell. Yep, all my hard work was erased by a curious lack of auto-save. Anyway, I’ll assume any devoted readers are able to find the shows themselves, but the standouts for me included Richard Chai LOVE, which I usually don’t like but found to be improved thanks to its wearability. Also, Rachel Comey, whose work I adore, turned in another solid collection of loose, pattern-happy wintry looks. Now, though I believe those designers deserve to have their work showcased on this site, I think it’s time for me to move on to today’s shows.
Jason Wu has slowly been experimenting with menswear in his collections for the past few seasons, probably as an antidote to the poofy princess concoctions that he became well known for upon his meteoric rise. However, seeing as the last few collections have been mostly a spare pair of pants or two in the mix, this was a collection much more devoted to the concept of menswear-as-womenswear. Sure, pants don’t really have a gender anymore, but there was something in the formality of it, the hearkening back to classics in an ironic way, that made it seem fairly fresh and different. There was an abundance of quality separates, many of them embroidered expertly with just the right amount of lace to make them distinctive without becoming gimmicky. Wu is hardly playing with gender here, but this one goes to the boys. « Read the rest of this entry »
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!
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 »