Rachel Antonoff

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“Best Friends” is the theme of Rachel Antonoff‘s Fall collection, and the designer brought in her real-life BFF, Lena Dunham, to make its corresponding video. The result: a nature-documentary-style short film that follows two partners in crime who could’ve walked off the set of a Girls episode guest-directed by Wes Anderson. The video aptly showcases the quirky-cool clothes, which also riff on the idea of besties via thoughtful details like friendship-bracelet trimming and the gold half-heart charms adorning the collar of an otherwise straightforward cap-sleeve shift. Other highlights include a shirt-and-pleated-skirt set in a slightly retro tie print, as well as matching oxford shoes from Antonoff’s ongoing collaboration with Bass. A duo of novelty sweatshirts that read “Ravenswood” and “El Royale” are a shout-out to two historic luxury apartment buildings in Los Angeles that Antonoff and co. are fascinated with and divided over. They will make Antonoff fans feel like they’re in on the inside joke.
—Brittany Adams
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Louis Vuitton

March 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

The scene Marc Jacobs set at his evocative show for Louis Vuitton this morning was that of a grand hotel. Out of fifty numbered rooms lining the runway, models emerged in varying states of dress and undress. One wore a flower-embroidered double-breasted jacket and matching briefs with her platform sandals and fifties wig, an echo of a silhouette Jacobs showed in New York nearly three weeks ago. The pajamas of that collection reemerged here as well. More often, though, he conveyed a sense of intimacies exposed—the walk of shame, some called it, which fits with what he was saying backstage about our exhibitionistic and voyeuristic tendencies. There were lace-edged negligees under sweeping astrakhan coats, printed silk brassiere-and-slip sets, and peignoirs lined with plush fur. Daywear, too, evoked the boudoir: Skirtsuits were stitched with degradé embroideries, deep feather hems decorated oversize men’s coats.

Jacobs has taken us to hotels before—the quartet of old-fashioned cage elevators from his Fall ’11 Claridge’s collection lingers in the memory. But where that show had an erotic undercurrent of sex, the takeaway today was more romantic. Back then, Kate Moss wore hot pants; here she was in a long-sleeve tulle dress embroidered with flowers. This was a romance with intimations of decadence and melancholy, though: Only the very indulged or the very depressed stay in their jammies all day. For his bow, Jacobs wore the pj’s from Vuitton’s recent men’s collection, which feature Jake and Dinos Chapman’s print interpretation of Diana Vreeland’s Garden in Hell apartment. That’s a choice ripe for interpretation. You couldn’t blame him for wanting a nap, given his myriad responsibilities. On the other hand, with his fiftieth birthday coming up next month, perhaps he’s simply achieved a greater sense of relaxation. Afterward, the designer shrugged off any special meaning. “I haven’t worn anything else for months,” he said.

The clothes on the runway were lovely, with their muted, sleepy colors and the deluxe details that Vuitton does so well. Luxury was the word for the bags, too, which were Vuitton classics like the Speedy, the Lockit, and the Pochette Accessoires in materials that included marabou feathers and waxed crocodile. If the collection felt less provocative than usual, in spite of the suggestion of illicit goings-on behind closed hotel-room doors, that’s emblematic of a season in which designers have turned en masse to the look of midcentury clothes. That could have been prompted by last season’s Miu Miu collection, but Jacobs has never hidden his affection for the work of Miuccia Prada. If the Vuitton designer is comfortably part of the pack this season, the clothes were none the worse for that.
—Nicole Phelps
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Vionnet

March 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Goga Ashkenazi has made headway at Vionnet since her debut effort last season. She threw a well-attended party in Milan last month to celebrate her acquisition of a cache of Thayaht illustrations of Madeleine Vionnet designs. More importantly, the collection she presented today was more runway worthy than what she did back in September. The thunder-and-lightning opening was corny and the Ancient Greece set, complete with metal columns, overdone, but those are beginner’s mistakes, easily corrected next season. The clothes demonstrated a keen attention to our fashion times. Pants were cut high on the waist, roomy through the thighs, and above the ankle, in keeping with current trends, and she put the emphasis on strong shoulders. Hers are squared, not rounded like most of the others we’ve seen. Vionnet was famous as a dressmaker first and foremost, and there were some pretty numbers here that demonstrated a familiarity with the house’s codes, most notably a long, softly draped black dress with a keyhole bodice and a high slit up one side.

Ashkenazi’s slipup came with fur. It’s just hard to get astrakhan, fox, and other skins to do the kind of draping that silk does. For the time being, it might make sense for her to narrow her scope and pay close attention to the little things. One model carried a handbag all the way around the runway with its paper stuffing about to spill out.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Moncler Gamme Rouge

March 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

When fur-clad walkers led huskies onto the runway at the start of the Moncler Gamme Rouge show, it was all very Game of Thrones. Quite what it became when a couple of the gorgeous creatures slipped their leashes and took to the front rows was something else altogether. But in the end, it turned out to be mostly a petting-zoo moment, which coupled nicely with the clever, family-friendly spectacle staged by Giambattista Valli to celebrate his collection for Moncler. The big picture, according to the designer, was a love story between a snowflake and a polar bear. Nature surely dictates that such a relationship would be strictly taboo on any level you could imagine, but a frisson of the forbidden and a triumph over the impossible are at the heart of most fairy tales. It’s all in the marriage of beauty and the beast. And so were Valli’s clothes.

He patchworked real pelts and photoprint furs in substantial parkas, accessorized them with hoods, mitts, and laced-up cuissardes (remember them? Word of the week) for a look that was full-on Philip Pullman fantasy. This being Moncler, there’s little doubt that the outfits that followed were the very height of high performance, but Valli gave them an agreeably cinematic flair. Cape shapes helped. So did the fact that the prettily rosy-cheeked girls and rugged boys were just the types who would emerge from a Hollywood blizzard as a prelude to a happy ending. It came when the silvered, crystallized ice princesses were united with their ursine lovers. Enchanting!
—Tim Blanks
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Miu Miu

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

There has been a great deal of soul-searching and introspection going on by certain designers during these collections. In France, for one, it seems that they have been asking themselves, What constitutes Paris Fashion, after all? For them, the answer is not marketing, a sole interest in profit margins, or the number of likes on Facebook, but a sense of daring, freedom, skill, and fun that quite simply connects with people who would like to buy and wear their clothes. Strangely, many of these designers are not French, yet they are intimately linked to fashion in Paris and what it symbolizes. And it was up to an Italian, Miuccia Prada, to bring Paris fashion week to a close with a Miu Miu show that was a paean to all of those things, but mainly to the notion of the freedom and fun of French Fashion with a capital F.

She presented once more at the Palais d’Iena, but the venue had been altered again by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA—the people behind the Prada set pieces. Slicing the show space in half, raising the floor and lowering the ceiling with industrial grid-like grates—this intervention in the building had an idea of “cutting through the past,” as the designer explained afterward. As the lights were switched off and strip lights flickered on, the Eurythmics’ “This City Never Sleeps” was played, and with its continual rumbling of subway trains, the show began.

A polka-dotted neckerchief, a jacket with a double sailor collar—one in navy wool under one in black astrakhan—with a calf-skimming skirt, stripy stockings and telltale shoes, all was at once old and new. That tailored hourglass shape hinted at the belle epoque, the end of the nineteenth century, or maybe the end of the twentieth, in its cartoony intent. As the looks continued—those sailor collars, the building of stripes and the spots, the flashing of the tops of stockings, the inclusion of sportswear and those continuous, sinuous lines and lengths—it appeared this was a reimagined Gigi for today, and also one that reminded you of yesterday. “Those stripy stockings have different associations,” said Prada. “From prostitute to schoolgirl,” she laughed.

They also hinted at the last time French fashion felt truly free, fun, and full of life: when Mr. Gaultier ruled in the late eighties and the beginning of the nineties—of the twentieth century this time.

Yet this was most definitely Miuccia Prada’s contemporary view. “I had no time to think about this collection,” stated the designer simply after the show. “I worked on instinct. I had kept the idea of taffeta back from Prada—we started with the fabrics here—it had reminded me of Isabelle Adjani in Subway. I wanted the collection to have the feel of something sport, industrial, contemporary, tough. And that polka-dot scarf was the start of Frenchness, frivolity; the starting from sport toward a more feminine feel.”

In many ways, this collection could be simply read as the pleasure of pink and the joy of polka dots—the designer admitted she gets somewhat instinctively drawn to them over and over again. Yet the very joie de vivre of these clothes felt like a comment on what has gone on this season. To believe instinctively in what you are doing, and to engage with people on that level, means that business and fashion are not incompatible.

“If you are in sync and in the right time, try to sell; it means people like what you are doing,” said Prada. “If you want to be an artist, compete with artists. You are not completely free. I struggle for freedom, for understanding, to find the places in between.”

Then again, Miuccia Prada is in charge of her own history. Miu Miu is unsaddled by the weight of somebody else’s past, and with her own nickname no less. And just as she did last season, she sets her own agenda that others follow. The merry-go-round of house politics that has gone on in Paris over the last few months is avoided when designers are in charge of their own destinies. To paraphrase the noted frock fancier Karl Marx, the critics have only interpreted the fashion world in various ways this season. The point, however, is to change it. That’s what Miuccia Prada does. It is what the other great designers should aim for, too.
—Jo-Ann Furniss
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Elie Saab

March 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

It was hard to stifle an eye roll when Elie Saab‘s smoke machine hissed awake at the start of his show today. After four solid weeks of shows, the fashion crowd is over stunts. The good news is, once the smoke cleared, Saab’s runway was gimmick free. He’s got his formula and he sticks to it. Strictly Decorative, he called the show, but that applied mostly to his daywear, which had a somewhat regimental feel in navy and black. There was sleek tailoring in crepe satin, and a few take-no-prisoners sheaths with waist-accentuating peplums topped by fitted jackets. A sweeter pinafore dress with a full skirt looked out of place among all that rigor.

For evening, Saab softened things up, adding colors like teal blue, violet, and chartreuse yellow to his lineup of white and black, and, as is his custom, laying on the sequins and beads. Picking up where his couture collection left off, he experimented with sheer tulle insets and peekaboo laces, which meant that while the silhouettes were modest, the results were still quite suggestive. Among the finer pieces was a demure cocktail dress in black lace with varying degrees of transparency, and a full-skirted black gown with an embroidered lace bodice and sleeves.
—Nicole Phelps
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Hermès

March 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

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

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Jeanne Labib-Lamour. Giles Deacon. Esteban Cortazar. Peter Dundas. Vincent Darré. Giambattista Valli. And not forgetting Estrella Archs and Lindsay Lohan. All have passed through the Emanuel Ungaro atelier since the designer’s retirement about eleven years ago. Some fared better than others, but nothing stuck for very long. With all the different names that have cycled through the house, the heritage has become a bit muddled; for those in need of a crash course, Ungaro in his eighties heyday was known for flamboyantly feminine designs, often incorporating flowers. Today it was the Italian up-and-comer Fausto Puglisi’s turn to try his hand at the house’s legacy. Puglisi’s daring party dresses, covered in geometric prints and baroque embroideries, make him a reasonably logical choice for this gig.

“I wanted it to be very Ungaro, but with a graphic approach,” Puglisi said backstage. “It’s not romantic, it’s more graphic.” Instead of flowers, he used other Ungaro signatures, like polka dots and leopard prints and a bright palette of yellow, light blue, and royal blue mixed with black and ivory. The crisp angularity of one-sleeve tops and brief miniskirts looked a bit close to his own work; we associate Ungaro more with drape. Other pieces got closer to brand DNA, including wrap skirts with thigh-high slits and silk blouses with batwing sleeves. In our view, those skirts and the cropped blouson jackets they were paired with were the best things in the collection. Some of the proportions of the rest felt too retro; on other pieces, like pants with each leg in a different pattern, the graphics were too glaring. Puglisi will need more than a few separates to get this latest revamp off the ground, but we’re rooting for him.
—Nicole Phelps
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Akris

March 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

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

March 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

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