Saturday, September 13, 2014

NYFW: A uniformed closing at Jacobs and Klein

Calvin Klein S/S '15; image source: style.com
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the end of New York fashion week this season also marked thirteen years since 9/11 (okay, it probably has a lot to do with it), but this Thursday designers showed us uniforms.

It first started with Ralph Lauren who presented safari-clad models parading in a juxtaposition of bold and earthy colors and four hours after that 10 o'clock presentation, Calvin Klein bravely dived into the navy. For Spring, Francisco Costa decided to ditch the knitwear that made his Fall show popular with the crowd and go back to what he used to do best - pure minimalism.

The show opened with super tall models dressed in layered navy outfits that came with an optical illusion. The girls weren't actually that tall, it was the slim and elongated silhouette that gave us the impression. To achieve that effect, Mr. Costa cre-ated body-conscious knee-length dresses were worn over skirts that reached the ankles and featured metal belts which gave models a higher waistline. And while successful, some of the outfits suffered because of the no-slit policy and created unwanted creases and false bellies, but the team has enough time to fix its mistake and alter the pieces before the collection hits the stores.

As per usual, Marc Jacobs was the one closing the week. Last season was the designer's first design-ing for his namesake label only in sixteen years, having parted ways with Louis Vuitton six months earlier. For Fall, he showed everyone that he is now again capable of creating an all-round collection that isn't short on design, fabrics or finishing touches but it seems like that was one lucky strike as things yesterday got back to 'normal'.
Marc Jacobs S/S '15; image source: nytimes.com
Everyone is already familiar with Mr. Jacobs' obsession with uniforms so his Spring show brought nothing new to the table. All fifty-five looks from the collection revolved around one with slight modifi-cations to the silhouette which was mostly oversize, sloppy and clinged around the waist with a satin sash. There was again embroidery but this time it was uninspired since it only featured half Pokemon-like eggs in navy blue, standard-issue green and khaki matching the actual clothes and besides puffy sleeves and balloon skirts we saw not much else.

The only exciting part? That bubble-gum pink house in the middle of the huge runway.

For more photos of the collections go to Style.com and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NYFW: Reinvention of the classic

Michael Kors S/S '15; image source: style.com
Yesterday was a fine day for American fashion. Just ask Michael Kors who once again unveiled
a successful collection filled with reinvented but wearable pieces that are sure to melt a ton of female hearts.

The show started on a lightweight note which kept on going until the very end with 90s supermodel Maggie Rizer (also making a comeback on Vogue Japan's September cover) fully-clad in a white outfit consisted of a plain T-shirt and a midi lace skirt. Besides white, the collection embraced colors such as bright yellow, different shades of navy, ice blue and mint and also featured beau-tiful embroidery of daffodils, geraniums and wisteria. Keyhole details on sundresses and lots of gingham and plaid finished off what looks to be one of Mr. Kors' most versatile collections so far.

Even though technically a German brand, Hugo Boss has been completely Americanized since the appointment of young designer Jason Wu at the helm of the house. Working his magic for a second season in a row, Mr. Wu ironically proved that he is a better fit at Boss than at his own brand by sending out an exquisitely designed
and well-rounded collection whose pieces will yet again fly off the boutique shelves around the world.

The show presented us everything the modern woman needs. Dresses were mostly sleeveless and clinged at the waist thus making the A-line skirts even more flirty; the jackets were sexed-up and featured a deep, but classy cut; snow white and ice blue shirts were crisp and had elongated short sleeves; some black dresses got a fun addition of techno-tulle fabric at the hem and the evening dresses that closed were embroidered with tiny silver pailettes that created the effect of lamé fabric.
Proenza Schouler S/S '15; image source: style.com
The third remarkable show of the day was Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's for Proenza Schouler. However, not all was good there. The collection started off quite strong with an achromatic shirt-skirt combo that was classic Proenza, then quickly moved to Nicolas Ghesquière territory (parkas paired with straight-leg pants seem to be huge right now, though, so who can blame them) and got completely lost somewhere in the middle thanks to the patent leather and snakeskin overload, not to mention those horrid two tone Halloween-y pants.

The boys redeemed themselves towards the end after sending out hand-knitted polo T-shirts in blue, burgundy and gray paired with net skirts and got immense love for the five closing fringed looks, but someone needs to teach them editing as the best way to improve performance.

For more photos of the collections go to Style.com and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NYFW: Rodarte and Rodriguez's importance of roots

Rodarte S/S '15; image source: nowfashion.com
Kate and Laura Mulleavy, or as everyone likes to call them the Rodarte sisters, love experimenting with fashion. It was all fun and games, though, in their early days of glory as the brand started to lose love towards 2011 and took a turn for the worst two seasons ago after an overpriced hook-er collection was presented in New York City and was instantly shredded to pieces by fans.

Realizing it may be the only way to regain what has been lost, the duo went back to its roots.

This season Rodarte is all about fishing. The Mulleavys opened the show with legendary model Jamie Bochert dressed in an all-white suit, knee-length lace boots that covered the pants and a subtle hint of navy via a two-piece belt with a hook. The reference became even more evident later on thanks to the oversized four-pocket parkas, the asymmetrical macrame lace skirts which imitated sea animals and the complemen-tary fishing nets hanging from their hems. Also, silver paillettes and three-dimensional flower embroideries felt like a perfect way to round up what seems to be a successful re-positioning of the long lost Rodarte brand.

Unlike the Mulleavys, Narciso Rodriguez has never lost his true sense of style. There is even some-thing almost cult-like in the way the designer has been protecting minimalism ever since starting his namesake brand and today he delivered no less, although the question up for debate now is 'When does one's signature style become déjà vu?'
Narciso Rodriguez S/S '15; image source: nowfashion.com
There seems to be very little of 'interesting' in Rodriguez's latest clothes. No one can argue that the opening v-neck tops are impeccably done and very flattering on the models' chest or that his black pants will make every woman's 'to buy' list come this spring, but besides being a profit-generating business, fashion is supposed to be fun. There was something great about the silver embroidery on
the asymmetrical minis and the black lamé details that inspired Julianna Margulies's Emmy dress,
also by the designer, but sadly it wasn't enough to cover up for the lack of forward-moving direction.

For more photos of the collections go to Style.com and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Monday, September 8, 2014

NYFW: Sporty meets lux at Beckham and Lam

Victoria Beckham S/S '15; image source: nowfashion.com
Victoria Beckham is on top of her game right now and it has very little to do with the fact that she is still married to one of the world's hottest men. The collection she showed yesterday morning during New York fashion week is undeniably her best work so far, which really shouldn't come as a surprise given the fact that the designer has
been evolving fast with each passing season.

For spring, Beckham was thinking in a more mili-tary direction while still allowing the semi-rigid silhouettes to breathe. The impeccably tailored outerwear came with an asymmetrical twist and the light knitted sweaters got over-sized silk laces in matching colors that tied either in the front or down the sides. The striped midi skirts were a fun addition to the story but she should have stopped there as the pastel watercolor prints towards the end felt a bit too girly and not in sync with the rest of the story.

Derek Lam's collection was also an equal succ-ess. Following the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' motto, the designer continued cherishing his
love for color-blocking, leather and all things American. The 70s mood was determined right away with the opening outfit which consisted of a plum top and a tri-colored skirt, both made from high quality suede and adorned with orange top stitching. The rest of the color palette included beautiful shades of pink, aquamarine and purple which were neutralized with the addition of white and beige.
Derek Lam S/S 15; image source: buro247.ru
Towards the end things got a bit more rough (in a very positive context) as a parade of studded midi-dresses made their way onto the runway, only to end with four achromatic looks - two of them being a relaxed version of the peplum gown that is sure to find its way on the red carpet.

For more photos of the collections go to Style.com and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

NYFW: An all-American affair

Altuzarra S/S '15; image source: nowfashion.com
Long gone are the days of experimental American fashion. What used to be a Saturday reserved for young innovators going by the names of Gurung, Wang and Altuzarra has now turned into a snooze-fest as all three designers showed coll-ections that appear to have been created just for the purpose of generating profit.

Just two years ago young designer Joseph Altuzarra had his breakthrough collection thanks to a 'gut' telling him to go where very few begi-nners have gone - an expensive route filled with high-quality astrakhan fur, exquisite tailoring and excessive embellishment. Today, possibly as a nod to his collaboration with Target, he chose to create an all-American collection that brought very little to the table.

The silhouettes were well-too-known - the show opened with a classic Altuzarra white suit con-sisted of a crisp jacket and a high-slit skirt, con-tinuing with an army of knee-length dress clad models, cigarette pants and distressed chiffon gowns. One has got to applaud the designer's successful decision, however, to include laser-
cut leather pieces in the form of skirts, dresses and vests that almost have a fence-like feel to them, thus serving also as some sort of shields.

There can't be said much about Prabal Gurung's latest show, mostly because it looked like a mash-up of everything the designer has done over the past few seasons. The skirts yet once again had chiffon extensions hanging from the sides; there was a lot of asymmetry and excessive complications regar-ding the cut of the clothes; the outfits were fairly repetitive, and the whole mess ended with a weak evening-wear part of three gowns that had shower curtains covering basic white underwear.

Alexander Wang's story is very much similar. Just recently I read New York Times' Vanessa Friedman's profile of the designer and him shuffling between two brands, and funnily he mentioned how he is afraid of succumbing to the pressure and creating the same items for both Balenciaga and his own brand. I assume his fear is coming true, because what we saw at his show last night barely had its own identity.
Alexander Wang S/S '15; image source: ehads.com
Yes, there were some classic Wang-moments like the three consecutive scuba diving mini-dresses in orange, green and blue; the relaxed maxi dresses with a color-blocking technique that relied on fabric rather than color and the white and mint Adidas-inspired tennis pieces, but most of it felt like a scaled-down Balenciaga show down to the structured tops and immaculately tailored black satin pants.

For more photos of the collections go to Style.com and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!