Myrza de Muynck

March 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

It’s quite unusual to stumble onto a designer like Myrza de Muynck these days. For one thing, the Dutch up-and-comer, who is based in East London, has a genuinely artisanal sensibility; her clothes are all handworked with surreal embroideries that she applies herself. They are calculated to look naive. De Muynck also stands out for her take on the feminine; although she incorporates elements such as ballerina tulle and 1920s-era drop waists, her work consistently subverts conventional categories of female glamour, sexiness, and cool. There’s an innocence to de Muynck’s designs, but her woman is not an ingenue. Her preferred outfit is a tracksuit.

This collection was a typically sui generis outing for the designer, who debuted her line two years ago. Its key motif was the patch—pieces of fabric with pearl- or seed-beaded evil-eye embroideries, which had been sewn onto garments with a purposefully amateur stitch. Other looks included silk-screened pieces made from towel cotton, and track pants with de Muynck’s signature drop-waist banding, and tulle tops with knit sleeves. This was a small collection, but it had a lot of range, and the details were very compelling. The qualm had to do with de Muynck’s skirt and dress silhouettes, which could have been a bit more refined, without sacrificing the aesthetic. More generally, it would have been nice to see a few of de Muynck’s savvy adaptations of the shell suit, which have been a highlight of previous collections. Really, though, the overarching impression was a designer creating something unique, with limited means. That kind of effort deserves not only praise but industry support.
—Maya Singer
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Nozomi Ishiguro Tambourine

March 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

We’re posting runway pictures from Fashion Week Tokyo. See the full list of designers here. To read our daily reports on the collections, visit our Style File blog. And don’t miss our street-style coverage.
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Tome

March 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Tome may be a new kid on the fashion block, but the brand’s designers, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, aren’t exactly novices. Lobo is a well-known stylist back in the duo’s native Australia, while Martin’s previous gig was design director at Derek Lam. They’ve been thinking about launching a label together for the past fifteen years. All that experience shows: This collection was marked by the confidence and clarity of its point of view. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, Lobo and Martin turned out a number of pieces that hewed to the monastic look of O’Keeffe’s own wardrobe and used a fair amount of felted wool, suede, and shearling suggestive of desert tones and textures. In general, the reference was kept light. But Lobo and Martin got something important from O’Keeffe, which was the collection’s monumentality—a muted gold gown, for instance, was emphatically spare but got a lot of power from its graceful, fluid volume. Likewise, a sharp coat in felted wool was a standout, thanks to its vast, sculptural lapels. Not everything here was quite so operatic—you could cherry-pick more than a few accessible, understated pieces from the collection. But even garments like a pair of slim, striped trousers, or a tunic-length white shirt, reflected the emphatically unfussy vibe of the whole. That’s a sign of maturity in designers. Lobo and Martin did well to bide their time.
—Maya Singer
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Araisara

March 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

We’re posting runway pictures from Fashion Week Tokyo. See the full list of designers here. To read our daily reports on the collections, visit our Style File blog. And don’t miss our street-style coverage.
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Barbara Casasola

March 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Barbara Casasola returned to form this season. That was both literally and figuratively true: While her previous collection found the designer experimenting with silhouettes and proportions, this time out she reemphasized her signature shape, a column dress hemmed just above the ankle. But if this was a retread, it wasn’t a retreat.

Casasola coaxed a lot of variety of out her column dresses, cutting some of them square and tailoring others, and making suggestive use of color-blocking and sheer organza. Her best innovation here, however, was her Mme. Grès pleats, which were done in silk and seamed into the bodice to create a bustier shape. The standout dress expanded the pleating theme, merging silver pleats into matching satin fringe; it was as if the pleats had come alive somehow, and taken flight. That dress was faced in black cady in back, as were a number of the pleated looks; as she explained, the contrast facing served both a graphic purpose and a practical one, as the matte cady was more flattering than the pleats from the back. That concession to flattery affirmed the impression that Casasola was really thinking, this season, about the women who would be wearing her clothes; when her shapes were monastic, she introduced a sexy element to the look, though never an overbearing one, and when the shapes were lean, she found ways to add fluidity, and make them wearable. Overall, there were lots of advances here, as Casasola continued to refine her distinctive voice.
—Maya Singer
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Edeline Lee

March 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

This is the fourth collection from London-based designer Edeline Lee. But she’s certainly no novice: Prior to launching her line, the Central Saint Martins grad worked with Zac Posen, in that brand’s early days, and then she headed up the design for the buzzy label Rodnik. Those are two very different kinds of experiences, but you can see from Lee’s clothes how she would have made it work; as this collection affirmed, her aesthetic mixes refined construction and an idiosyncratic sensibility.

For Fall, Lee riffed on some truly rich source material: vintage regalia from a Texas Odd Fellows’ union that got her thinking about secret societies and the way clothes can communicate in code. There was an overarching quirkiness here, as she emphasized oversize sailor-suit collars, military frogging, and motifs with a vaguely Illuminati feel, which she executed in a purposefully naive way. To her credit, the clothes didn’t look silly; trim pants in mottled gold and copper tweed, with a band of black down each leg, had a graphic kick but were indisputably realistic, and a soft pleated dress in turquoise, white, and black silk was an elegant extrapolation of the collection’s color-blocking. Elsewhere, all her pencil-slim sheaths were winners, and a gray frogged coat averted kitsch, and looked sharp. Everything had a real sense of polish. The one quibble here, really, was that Lee’s sailor dresses sometimes erred on the side of the twee. You got the sense from this collection that Lee has found her voice, but she’s still in the process of modulating it.
—Maya Singer
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Markus Lupfer

March 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

There was an interview with Tavi Gevinson on the radio a while ago, in which she described one of her favorite gifts from a teenage fan. It was a DIY bracelet, she said, and it read, simply, “Poetry.” Amazing, that—it’s like a Livestrong bracelet for the community of the sensitive and the literary. “Poetry.”

There was a similar charm to this season’s Markus Lupfer collection. One of Lupfer’s cashmere sweaters was inscribed with the word “Artist,” and various of his looks incorporated a brushstroke print, and an anonymous sculpted torso, and sequin embellishment that riffed on Mark Rothko’s color-field paintings. This was an affirmation of Art—not any specific artist or school, but Art-in-General. With his tongue planted ever so loosely in cheek, as is his wont, Lupfer celebrated the mere existence of the creative spirit. That theme provided the element of whimsy in what was otherwise a very straightforward collection. Lupfer emphasized silhouettes that were angular and frou-free, and his preferred material this time out was a mirrorlike patent leather. Likewise, his palette ran to crisp black and white, with a touch of blood red and bruise blue thrown in for good measure. There was an unmistakable sense of toughness here—Lupfer’s girl may love art, but it seemed she was spoiling for a fight.
—Maya Singer
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Joseph

March 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Joseph gave itself a bit of a reboot this season. In its previous few collections, the brand had drifted into relatively editorial territory, and though some of its propositions were very interesting, the collections as a whole proved a bit digressive. Here, Joseph put itself back on track, reinvesting in its mission to create well-executed staple pieces that the Joseph shopper can mix easily into her luxury wardrobe. Designer Louise Trotter is very good at making her staples look relevant; this season, she updated the signature Joseph coats, knits, and trousers by giving them that oh-so-prevalent sculpturally slouchy shape. The graphic sweaters looked very sharp, as did some of the more outré pieces, like a chevron-patterned sheepskin coat in black and white, and the T-shirt and track pants in a tiger-stripe suede dévoré. But it was the garments with a more taut tailoring that looked the freshest. Women will have a lot of places to go for voluminous coats and trousers next season, but if they’re in the market for a trim overcoat in laminated gold wool, or a pair of slender pin-striped pants, then they will be very pleased to find those looks at Joseph. And the standout piece here was as staple as it gets: a nearly weightless baby lambskin jacket in cream, with black leather trim. It’s hard to imagine that jacket ever going out of style. Which, this collection reminded you, was always Joseph’s point.
—Maya Singer
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Co

March 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Co designers Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern have an allergy to flash. That said, the new Co collection found the duo gesturing—gingerly—at flamboyance. The signature sense of discretion remained, but elements such as leopard-spot fur, embroidery, and bead embellishment tested it. A sweatshirt of burgundy-toned Persian lamb had a real sense of drama. Much of the development here was in the collection’s textures—Kern and Danan played with mixing fabrics on many of their pieces, applying pony skin to a wool skirt, say, or knitting mink onto a cashmere sweater. Their partial-fur coats made particularly good use of contrasting materials. Elsewhere, there was a bit of nerve in the collection’s details—the blouses with doubled collars were a standout, and the brand’s staple knits featured bell-shaped sleeves or peplums. Long story short, Co threw on the bells and whistles this season—very muted, harmonious ones.
—Maya Singer
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Wendy Nichol

March 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

There have been a lot of tough looks on the runway this season—clothes with a discernible don’t-mess-with-me attitude. Wendy Nichol wasn’t immune to the trend, but her new collection put a different spin on intimidation. There was a sexy Wiccan vibe at work, one not far removed from the bohemian vibe Nichol has conjured in the past, but with a decidedly fiercer mien. The notable development was the body-consciousness of Nichol’s clothes; the designer introduced new pencil-skirt, legging, and bra-top shapes, all made from soft plonge leather. Elsewhere, her more diaphanous silhouettes elaborated on looks from last season, as did the characteristically refined outerwear. Details were telling—hieroglyphic embroidery added an idiosyncratic element here and there, while the daggered paneling on several pieces underscored the witchy tone that was most overt in a slipdress of dip-dyed French lace and an Empire-waist coat in velvet. Nichol also came up with a few intriguing styling pieces, including removable fringed epaulets and fingerless leather gloves with snaps. All in all, the vision here was eccentric. But—pun intended—it cast a spell.
—Maya Singer
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