Red Valentino

October 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli make clothes that set girls to dreaming. So it’s not surprising that they associate the lower-priced Red Valentino collection with thoughts of fairy tales and fantasies. “It’s always about this girl—like in a children’s book, she goes on different adventures,” Chiuri and Piccioli said in a phone interview. This season, the design duo took her on a series of trips from Saint-Tropez to Hawaii to the Caribbean. They carried the label’s whimsical nature all the way. Bright colors like cobalt blue and orange, soft landscape prints, and a series of plaids appeared on flirty frocks that you could easily picture at a poolside soirée. A denim top with ruffled sleeves, eyelet dresses, and a tweed skirtsuit, meanwhile, were among the range’s memorable daytime options. Neutral handbags and feminine floral pumps—although a far cry from the clear studded accessories shown in Paris a week ago—were a nice way to accent the looks. A sheer dress and matching capelet embellished with raffia and ribbons looked like it was plucked straight from the runway. That’s what will have girls lost in their fantasies all season long.
—Jessica Minkoff
Runway Feed

Lindsey Thornburg

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“Naughty nautical” is the theme of Lindsey Thornburg‘s new collection for Spring. But while the lineup may have a maritime message, fans of the designer famous for her “witchy” Pendleton cloaks and tie-dyed caftans know better than to expect bateau stripes and anchor motifs. Instead, Thornburg’s familiar sack dresses come with loosely tied rope details in back, while the enzyme treatment on a flirty gown with cutout sides evokes the reflections of a tidal pool. Thornburg explained that she aimed to branch out into more wearable pieces this season, hence the inclusion of cute linen drawstring shorts and a few comparatively form-fitting frocks. Still, what stood out here was the designer’s more signature fare, like an ethereal silk linen kimono, which felt fresh in light of Spring’s ongoing Asian theme.
—Brittany Adams
Runway Feed

Barbara Casasola

October 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Barbara Casasola is impatient. Not in a bad way—Casasola isn’t one of those young designers who treats success like a bus that’s a few minutes late, aggrieved that it hasn’t arrived yet. Her impatience is of a more earnest kind: She’s impatient to be great. Her headlong desire to stretch herself and realize her full potential will likely benefit her in the long run. But this season, it got in her way.

Casasola caught the eye of more than a few industry VIPs with a collection for Fall ’12 that was disarmingly well crafted and distinctive. The vision she expressed was narrow, but it was complete. And so it was only natural that she should try to expand her horizons this season, in particular by varying her column silhouette. Unfortunately, in this collection, she never settled on a satisfying way of developing her shapes and instead seemed to be testing out sundry lengths and proportions. A few of her experiments worked really well—Casasola was definitely on to something with her fluid volumes, and she easily could have devoted herself to exploring how to develop her architectural use of color in softer, more dimensional ways. One fantastic look suggested the missed opportunity: a fitted crop top and matching long, full skirt done in a surprising combination of off-white, magenta, and mustard. Other looks elaborated the possibilities, such as a pair of coral gauchos worn with a coordinating color-blocked top, a lean black and nude dress with georgette inserts hidden in the pleats, and a halter-neck dress in coral and orange. Elsewhere, she focused just on fluidity and volume and arrived at standout looks such as her fuchsia gown with a braided collar.

The weaker passages, meanwhile, suggested that Casasola has retailers’ voices playing a little too loudly in her head. Some looks, such as a double-breasted dress in off-white and mustard, seemed to be premised on retailer feedback that similar items from Casasola’s last collection would be more saleable if they were shorter and looser. That may be true, but it’s vital that Casasola stick to her guns and find her own ways of making commercial pieces. She accomplished that here, but not consistently. Casasola will learn from her mistakes, but here’s hoping she learns from this collection’s many successes, too.
—Maya Singer
Runway Feed

Karl Lagerfeld

October 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

After Fendi and Chanel, it was clearer than ever this season what Karl Lagerfeld‘s own collection actually stands for. As he once memorably observed, anything bearing his name is pretty close to how he imagines himself dressing if he were a woman. Unsurprisingly, that meant his Spring offering for Karl Lagerfeld Paris veered between a sveltely structured futurism and a governess-y strictness. A halfway house between dreamland Gattaca and birthplace Hamburg, in other words. The palette said it all: black, white, and a silvery metallic, which flowed over Poppy Delevingne’s body like a mercury second skin. The governess? A white blouse with a double bib tucked into a high-waisted black leather skirt suggested the kind of woman who’d keep naughty little Karl in check.

That bib with its asymmetry was a recurrent motif throughout the collection, on everything from dresses to leather jackets. Also recurring was a trompe l’oeil element: the black jumper dress over the white top, all one piece, or the jewel-buttoned tee under a black gown, also a single garment. And all of it was cut from ultra-light technical fabrics: tech cotton, tech silk, stretch linen, rubber-effect leather for the accessories. The overall impression was a streamlined, monochrome antithesis of the profligate creativity of Lagerfeld’s other work as a fashion gun for hire. It will be made even clearer in February, when he opens his own shop in Paris.
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed

Louis Vuitton

October 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Pop! Paris fashion week finished this morning with a six-minute Louis Vuitton show as energizing as it was brief. Marc Jacobs makes it look so easy. The mod, sixties-ish shapes, the eye-grabbing checks, all those miles of legs gliding around on sharp little heels. The girls walked out in pairs—models of efficiency!

Les Deux Plateaux, a famous installation piece in the Palais Royal by the artist Daniel Buren with columns arranged in a grid, gave Jacobs his starting point. The columns’ three different heights suggested the show’s three lengths—mini, midi, and maxi. Buren also collaborated with Vuitton on today’s fabulous set, with its four escalators emptying out on a giant yellow and white check runway.

Vuitton’s famous Damier provided the template for the checks—both large and small. Even the floral embroideries were stitched in mini-squares, and the house’s iconic Speedy bag got cubed, too. The checks gave this collection a graphic immediacy not unlike that of Jacobs’ signature line in New York, where stripes ruled. A month ago, that show got fashion watchers talking about the new minimalism. Backstage today, the designer said, “After the romance of the train and storytelling, this felt like something very powerful without telling a story. I was like, yeah, let’s have a grid.” A flash of flat tummy between bandeau top and maxi skirt and hipbones jutting out from a cropped jacket and a lean pencil skirt ensured that the collection didn’t feel cold, despite its comparative lack of emotion. The sunshine yellow worked its optimistic magic, too.

For a finale, the models streamed down the four escalators like an army of grown-up Diane Arbus twins. The show was a kick. It was also a corrective response to the excesses of last season and a reminder, during a Paris week when other design stars are hogging the spotlight, that Jacobs is as agenda-setting as ever.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Miu Miu

October 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

As the curtains were closed at the Palais d’Iéna for the last blockbuster show of the season, you knew something special was about to happen. For starters, there were curtains at the windows—something never experienced before at this venue, a place that is usually bathed in natural light. There was also a complex wooden set designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. Merely the evidence that Miu Miu had cut through such a massive amount of French bureaucracy—this is a government-affiliated building—showed that the label meant business. These are the pyrotechnics usually reserved for Prada shows.

The dark setting, the smoky lighting, the jazz trumpet opening, featuring snatches of “Miles and Miles of Miles Davis” by Malcolm McLaren—it was the kind of ambience usually reserved for a French femme fatale of the fifties. And the first looks? All dark denim.

That dark denim was one of those simple statements Miuccia Prada presents that just has a strangely profound resonance for a collection. The shapes might have been those of fifties couture classics, but that dark denim was the contemporary touch of a contemporary house. But to add to the perversity, “All of the denim was lined in duchesse satin,” the designer explained after her show, with some glee. That is, after all, the quintessential couture fabric, relegated here to a mere—very expensive—lining; a decadent motif in the extreme. “I was trying to be very elegant in a very different way,” Prada continued. “It was not about destroying elegance, but achieving a different kind. There was a mixture of the rich and the poor fabrics, a manipulation of fabric and material to mean something else.” She added: “The femme fatale is never perfect…at least the ones I like.”

What Miuccia Prada presented today was about the opposite of perfection. Grand yet effortless, and with ease—that ease, again, that is on the side of the slattern this season. This was a workwear femme fatale, with a hands-on dishabille wardrobe: Furs were tie-dyed and casually slung over shoulders, or they were vast; evening coats that were oversize, creased, and crumpled—this time in that characteristic duchesse satin—were given the same tie-dyed treatment, almost appearing like massive stains. It was a contemporary updating of the kind of clothes Simone Signoret might sashay around in. She was, after all, often typecast as a good-time girl.

At the same time, this was not a retro collection; the layering of history in those rich and poor fabrics was used to arrive at the point of today. Like the music of the presentation, it was a sampling that showed the way to something else. Malcolm McLaren’s reworking of Erik Satie’s “Gnossienne No. 3” through the eyes of Miles Davis, spliced alongside Neneh Cherry’s version of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”? As Miuccia Prada is oft likely to say: It’s complicated. Like McLaren himself, she is a kind of big-business punk impresario. And while she might change her style, her signature always remains the same. The ideas may be complex, but this is her unerring knack: She always makes it look easy.
—Jo-Ann Furniss
Runway Feed

Elie Saab

October 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Elie Saab dubbed his collection Heiress, but this aristo has a job. No lolling about in raw-edged silk pajama pants and fur-lined shower shoes for her. Saab emphasized daywear here, shirts that buttoned all the way up to the collar worn with flap-pocket trousers or pencil skirts, and for dresses, a fitted sheath or a V-neck with a pleated A-line skirt. The models wore cross-body bags or carried big totes—Saab meant business. He worked with strong, monochrome colors: royal blue, turquoise, raspberry pink. Most of them appeared in a bold abstract print used for a passage of floaty chiffon dresses. The dresses were a change of pace for Saab and not a bad one, even though most of Paris has moved on from the digital print craze.


For evening, Saab’s big idea was to sculpt dresses at the waist with grosgrain. The look was graphic on an ivory column embroidered with dark brown ribbons. He re-created the effect on sequined cocktail numbers and gowns with geometric inserts of lace tracing the natural curves of the body. That experiment produced the collection’s best piece, a three-quarter-sleeve raspberry pink dress on Magdalena Frackowiak that sizzled as she came down the runway.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

A.P.C.

October 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Jean Touitou is celebrating A.P.C.‘s 25th anniversary this year, but he’s still as hands-on as ever. This morning, he personally narrated the label’s modest presentation of 16 looks at its newly renovated sixth arrondissement headquarters. A huge, curving vintage leather couch was trucked in for the appointments, which was fitting because, as Touitou explained, the clothes were inspired by a German nanny “sometime in the seventies who doesn’t mean to be sexy but is.”

The lineup was typical A.P.C.: denim on denim, cheeky jumpsuits, printed halter dresses, flat gum-soled sandals, all vaguely retro but still right on the money. A jean jacket with a little kick at the hem worn with a matching pencil skirt had some admirers, as did a pair of high-waisted jeans. Vanessa Seward’s collaboration with the brand has expanded, and her prints added to the winsome feeling.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Mother of Pearl

October 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

The premise of Mother of Pearl is that, each season, the brand collaborates with a different well-known artist and translates his or her work into clothes. Given that approach, the label maintains astonishing consistency from collection to collection, always emphasizing a few key silhouettes. This time out, adapting the work of multimedia artist Francesco Simeti, Mother of Pearl expanded its signatures and, to some degree, shifted its tone. This was an unusually tailored and even ladylike collection for the line.

If brand mastermind Maia Norman knew before approaching Simeti that she wanted to shake things up this season, then he was a wise choice of artist to work with. His wallpaper prints don’t require much engineering, which meant that they sat nicely on the collection’s tailored jackets and ruffled skirts and dresses. Alternatively, perhaps it was Simeti’s work itself that inspired the change. At any rate, the baroque quality of his prints made them well suited to scalloped edging and fullish, floor-length skirts. Overall, the tonal refinements here were tentative—the trademark Mother of Pearl sportiness was still much in evidence—but they did a fair amount to expand the brand vocabulary.

One additional note: This season, Mother of Pearl is launching a range of scarves, featuring prints not only by Simeti but by previous collaborators such as Jim Lambie and Fred Tomaselli as well. Good move.
—Maya Singer
Runway Feed

Alessandra Rich

October 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.

This season, we are presenting several instant shows each day, so that you can see the runway images in as close to real time as possible. These shows are marked on the site with a red Instant banner. Come back a little later to see the same show with full functionality, including zoom, video features, and detail, beauty, and front-row shots.


Click here for a complete calendar of our Spring 2013 ready-to-wear show coverage.
Runway Feed

« Previous PageNext Page »