Vika Gazinskaya

May 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Vika Gazinskaya has a small fear of tattoos, but that didn’t stop her from positioning them throughout her Fall collection. They appear as vintage emblems, with both “Vika” and “Viktory” on scrolls wrapping around hearts or held up by multicolored swallows. Last week, the Russian designer learned she’s among the finalists for the generous LVMH Prize (which will be awarded for the first time in May), so the motif could prove self-fulfilling. But in any case, she staggered them judiciously enough—here on a gray felt baseball cap, there as a trompe l’oeil effect on a stretch bodysuit—that they didn’t steal attention from the collection’s other strong elements. Strongest of all: the almond-shaped shoulder cutouts that transformed a high-necked sweatshirt or blouse into a vaguely 1950s look. Think Roman Holiday redux. Gazinskaya extended this sensibility to a soft-washed wool dress and pleated tapered pants. Then she pushed it from nostalgic to new with an oversize, ruffled gingham placket tunic dress and a bell-shaped shearling vest hand-painted an ombré surf green.

The tattooed “Vika” lettering, by the way, has one additional meaning: a nod to the influential Russian rock artist Viktor Tsoi, who died in 1990 at the age of 28. Gazinskaya said she kept returning to his Soviet poetry on love and death. Such overarching themes were barely obvious in her nuanced collection—although the shimmery, champagne-hued tattoo dress did signal a certain desire to lay everything bare. It conveyed the sophisticating of an ingenue.
—Amy Verner
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Louis Vuitton

May 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

The steep, winding streets of Monaco are fenced up and guardrails hug every curb. The Grand Prix begins here next Thursday, but this weekend belonged to Louis Vuitton. Team LV set up a see-through tent with custom-made Pierre Paulin seating for three hundred in the Place du Palais, and Nicolas Ghesquière favorites including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jennifer Connelly, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Brit Marling, Ziyi Zhang, and Mackenzie Davis sat in the front row. All of them stood up when Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, accompanied by a battalion of security guards, walked in with Bernard Arnault.

The Cruise collection, Ghesquière’s second show for the LVMH powerhouse, was an elaboration of his first. He’s still thinking about “a wardrobe,” but these clothes were significantly more embellished than what he did for Fall, and, by extension, more playful. Ghesquière appeared to be having quite a good deal of fun: collaging mismatched prints, embroidering lace with tiny seed beads, and accessorizing with spiky silver belts and gladiator sandal-boots that inched up toward the knees. Deep pink was paired with baby pink, and caution orange with yellow and sea blue—”a game of colors,” he called it. It made his debut look almost austere by comparison.

At Vuitton’s March show, the blinds louvered open; here, the curtains closed and moving images of water flowing over rocks, shot by the artist Ange Leccia in Corsica, began playing on the video screens installed in the floor. “I liked the spirit of the girls walking on digital water,” Ghesquière said, referring to the Oceanographic Museum around the corner from the Palace. Aquatic motifs extended to the clothes. Coral branches were embroidered on a flaring, knee-length skirt, and the printed top it was paired with was decorated with two cutout portholes. Formula One, another Monégasque reference, got callouts of its own in the form of a snug racing car red leather jacket and a jersey dress printed with a checkered flag motif.

Ghesquière is still liking the fit-and-flare silhouette he introduced for Fall, but there was more diversity on the runway tonight. High-waisted, slightly flaring trousers will stir memories for fans of the leg-elongating pants he used to make at Balenciaga; on the other hand, embroidered slips with scalloped hems were among the least structured things he’s ever done. And because this was a Resort collection—in stores longer than any other season—the show ran the gamut, from a sheared fur coat to jersey T-shirt dresses. The handbag offering has grown, as well: The Petite Malle now comes with a chain handle, and he’s added a new, wide-mouthed bucket bag.

The overriding impression was of a designer not holding back. There was an engaging new eclecticism, but it didn’t come at the cost of the easiness that he established as one of his key LV codes back in March. The sensational first look—a silk top inset with LV’s classic monogram pattern embroideries and a pair of those high-waisted flares—captured that yin-yang best. Other looks, like the printed pantsuits, seem destined to garner the cult status that so much of his output has in years past. So, Ghesquière is enjoying himself at Vuitton? “I am. I’m inspired and I’m very happy.” It’s catching.
—Nicole Phelps
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Crippen

May 19, 2014 by  
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What’s the philosophy behind Crippen? No one speaks to the brand’s ethos better than Susie Crippen herself. This season, the Los Angeles-based designer, who launched her namesake collection in 2012, went in front of the camera to articulate her credo. “I love making things for women. I love that conversation I get to have with them. I love creating something for women who were too busy to do it themselves,” she said. “I do not want to give up ease and comfort for style. Everything that I do comes from a very strong place of logic and how women think.”

Keeping this in mind, Crippen aims to create understated, everyday clothes that will take her customers through the entire week—from the office to after-work events to a soccer game on Saturday—and there’s an underlying emphasis on functionality. Denim has been a core category from the beginning (which makes sense, given Crippen was a cofounder of J Brand), but in addition to premium jeans, the collections have evolved to include tailoring, knitwear, and lots of leather. Themed “Winter Gatsby,” the new lineup reinterprets traditional menswear elements in a casual, feminine way. A sharp suit with slim, cropped trousers came in a flecked tweed with just a hint of sparkle, while a graphic bouclé topcoat nicely balanced tough with soft. Crippen ramped up her sweaters this time around with engineered ribbing, discreet notches, and side vents that took them from basic to beautiful. Other highlights included a snug, slightly cropped biker jacket boasting utilitarian patch pockets, as well as a standout shearling originally inspired by the one worn by Anouk Aimée’s character in the 1966 film A Man and a Woman. At a showroom preview, Crippen explained, “Ever since I first saw that movie twenty years ago, I’ve been searching for one just like it. Finally, I was like, ‘Let’s just do it, let’s just make it ourselves.'”
—Brittany Adams
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Jasmin Shokrian

May 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

For nearly a decade, Jasmin Shokrian has been quietly creating thoughtful clothes that reflect her interest in the arts. This season, she reported that sales of her Spring ’14 collection are up by 300 percent—all thanks to a white T-shirt that read “Je pars habiter a Los Angeles.” The success of that relatively simple, Instagram-able top (in English, it says, “I want to live in Los Angeles”) got the designer thinking about the split-second attention span that social media fosters by bombarding us with thousands of images a day. At a Fall preview, Shokrian wondered, “How do we differentiate our own memories from things we’ve visually absorbed now?” She addressed that idea with a cerebral video starring Malu Byrne that strings together fragmented quotes such as “People’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive” from Haruki Murakami’s novel After Dark.

For Fall, Shokrian revisited the wordplay of her popular T-shirt on pullovers and tote bags splashed with “Arte Povera,” a tribute to the mid-century modern art movement that partially inspired her this season. She went on to cite Persian architecture and the particular black-blue shade of caviar from the Caspian Sea as additional influences. All of this played out in a range of sculptural navy pieces (many of which were cut from a terrific silk faille that resembled technical nylon), which articulated Shokrian’s fascination with shapes. Highlights included a slightly retro swing coat, wool wrap skirts, and dressy culottes that would look nice at a cocktail event. Compared with recent outings, there was a sportier vibe here exemplified by organza sweatshirts, sweatpants trousers, and a windbreaker jacket. Many of the looks were finished off with a statement-making bucket hat (watch out, Pharrell) that doubled as a daytime clutch. Only time will tell whether it will become as popular as Shokrian’s Los Angeles tops.
—Brittany Adams
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Rachel Antonoff

May 17, 2014 by  
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There’s a personal narrative behind each of Rachel Antonoff‘s idiosyncratic collections and their creative, correlating videos. This season, the spunky designer referenced one of her favorite novels, Marijane Meaker’s 1972 queer coming-of-age classic, Shockproof Sydney Skate. Antonoff paid tribute to the book’s female protagonist, whose pockets and handbags are always full of matchbooks, with a scratchy matchbook plaid found on casual cotton separates, and a pair of brushed-wool overalls featuring “No Smoking” embroidery. Other playful touches included a dashed-off tic-tac-toe motif that turned up on feminine silk wrap dresses and the lining of vibrant wrap coats, as well as an illustrated print depicting a cast of eccentric ladies, which ties into the Fall film.

In the short flick, Antonoff portrays a group of oddball women getting ready—each in her own peculiar way—for a night out. It’s a celebration of their various primping routines and such “mundane secrets” as draping stray hairs over house plants to interpretive dancing. All of the preparation leads up to the characters playing in an orchestra led by renowned contemporary artist Laurie Simmons. In general, there’s an offbeat humor about everything Antonoff does. Her novelty items may have the most immediate appeal, but the rest of the retro-preppy range shouldn’t be overlooked. Other highlights from the new lineup included color-blocked miniskirts, trompe l’oeil knits, and schoolgirl jackets. Antonoff also whipped up several nice trouser styles; one pair was pleated with ultrawide legs, while another fit like sweatpants with an elastic waistband. With the latter, Antonoff wanted to address “how to feel your absolute most comfortable and still be presentable enough to leave your house.” Surely, her customers will appreciate that emphasis on ease.
—Brittany Adams
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Oscar de la Renta

May 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“Resort means nothing. Who buys clothes exclusively for going to a resort?” asked Oscar de la Renta at his presentation today. Who indeed? Even the rarefied crowd who shops for and wears four- and five-figure designer clothes wants value. De la Renta imbued his new collection with a good deal of that, opening his salon presentation with smart black-and-white looks, including a trim skirtsuit in tweed bouclé and a graphic coatdress with short, elbow-length sleeves. But just as often, he seemed eager to inject a fair bit of fun into the proceedings. That black-and-white coatdress was accessorized with fuchsia pumps, part of a renewed emphasis on footwear. Meanwhile, a silk faille bustier bared the midriff above a hip-slung skirt, and a bandeau top and shorts in Lurex-shot navy moire exposed plenty of shoulder and thigh. If those two looks seemed like something of a reach for the debonair De la Renta, it would take no stretch of the imagination to envision one of his ladies in the tomato red version of that bandeau top worn with wide-leg black culottes.

In the end, anyway, those daytime looks were just a preamble. The evening dresses were the undisputed winners of this collection. A long-sleeved, black lace ankle-length gown with contrasting lace trim struck an elegant yet youthful note, while a strapless dress in hot pink with bullion filigree and multicolored floral embroidery was exuberant and joyous—not to mention a breeze to maneuver in with its just-below-the-knee length. It would’ve been a major hit on the Met Gala red carpet last week.
—Nicole Phelps
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Tomas Maier

May 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Tomas Maier has had a signature collection since 1997. The lifestyle brand is sold in his own shops in Palm Beach and East Hampton and more than fifty other retailers including Barneys and Net-a-Porter, and his neoprene bathing suits are pretty much the ne plus ultra of swimwear. But up until now, the label has taken something of a back seat to his work at Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxury goods company he’s turned into a $ 1.35 billion business. Thanks to a recent investment from Kering, the parent company of BV, that’s about to change. A Tomas Maier store is set to open at 956 Madison Avenue in New York this October, and when it does, the expanded Resort collection he presented at his new showroom today—with newly added categories like wovens, leather goods, and shoes and sandals—will be there.

“This is not another collection for the runway, this is not editorial, it’s not about a very high price point,” Maier said, adding, “I’m not going to compete against another line I design.” What separates Tomas Maier the collection from Bottega Veneta is its focus on everyday clothes and accessories. “Casual,” Maier said, “but still designed.” In his thirteen years at Bottega, Maier has distinguished himself as one of fashion’s most thoughtful designers, attentive to the tiniest details of fabric and finishings. But where sublime workmanship is the holy grail at BV, simplicity is what counts for him at his own line. In his new Resort offering, you’ll find a raw-edged wool peacoat; a Japanese denim dress; a white button-down with a fit lifted from the boy’s department; skinny jeans; and a fleece tracksuit to wear on overnight flights, among other elevated essentials.

There’s a keen sense of practicality to the clothes, and it extends to the accessories. From lace-up gladiators to Moroccan satin slippers, all of the shoes are flat, and most of the handbags will retail for less than $ 1,000, a remarkable figure considering most European-made bags start at $ 1,600 or $ 2,400. A few of the dresses will go for less than $ 500. Numbers like those, Maier pointed out, can’t be achieved with a lot of overhead, so you won’t be seeing a Tomas Maier runway show or ad campaign anytime soon, but that’s just the way he likes it. “I like the challenge, I like proving to the industry that maybe we can do something different.” Odds are, the customers are going to like it a hell of a lot, too.
—Nicole Phelps
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Cut25 by Yigal Azrouël

May 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Judging by the first Resort ’15 collections, fashion isn’t ready to kick its sneaker fetish just yet. Case in point: Yigal Azrouël, who styled the looks in his new Cut25 lineup with crisp, white tennis shoes. While the designer won’t be producing the trainers, they complemented the relaxed, sporty vibe he was going for this season. Azrouël’s laid-back approach was most evident in a white jumpsuit and oversize T-shirts cut from a soft, double-face crepe. Those pared-back pieces channeled a nineties-inspired minimalism, as did the standout navy suit that came in a flattering technical twill—its slouchy, cropped trousers were a refreshing change of pace from his staple, second-skin leggings. Speaking of skin, Azrouël didn’t abandon his sexy, body-con aesthetic altogether here, but the fit-and-flare tennis dresses and stretchy cutout sheaths (the ones that combined nautical stripes and Chantilly lace were terrific) seemed a bit more casual and easy to wear than his standard va-va-voom fare. Other highlights included lightweight scuba separates featuring graphic, engineered prints, which added an energetic jolt of color to the mix, and chunky hand-knits backed in lightweight georgette silk. All in all, this outing felt firmly in touch with the here and now and was a definite step forward for Azrouël’s contemporary line.
—Brittany Adams
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Chanel

May 13, 2014 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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Martine Rose

May 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

London-based menswear designer Martine Rose is on her own trip. That’s what makes her work such a pleasure—the sense that she’s telling a story no one else knows. This season, she delved into her own teenage memories of raving, with a lot of help from the Wild Life Archive, a collection of youth culture errata compiled by Rose’s friend Steve Terry. Using Terry’s old rave fliers as a jumping-off point, Rose conjured the “low” glamour of the original scene—the shiny shirts, the crusty furs, the baggy pants and anoraks—and exaggerated the look as a means of elevating it. The big faux fur—shaved with a beard trimmer, with embedded fliers—has been a surprise hit, according to Rose. But that makes sense, actually. Even Rose’s most fanciful pieces are grounded in a masculine reality that makes them relatable. The same is true of her more challenging silhouettes, like the extra-voluminous denim: They’ll look great in editorial, but the look wouldn’t strike you as absurd if you encountered it in the street. That’s an impressive trick. Martine Rose has been flying under the radar for a while now; here’s hoping this is the collection that gets her the buzz she deserves.
—Maya Singer
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