Rag & Bone

July 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

It’s hard to imagine a person who wouldn’t look right in Rag & Bone. That’s exactly the point designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville made with their all-in-one photo exhibition/lookbook/collection presentation. For the men’s Spring 2015 outing, they recruited people of all shapes and sizes—a pro basketball player, a stand-up comedian, a guy who makes perfume, the proprietor of a local bar, men and women, old and young—and the whole cast did the clothes as much justice as any model could. “We made a lot of points about the versatility of the clothes and the individuality of Rag & Bone,” said Wainwright. “How one piece of clothing can be worn many different ways by many different people.”

Rag & Bone’s men’s line, now ten years old, isn’t known for creating new challenges for a guy’s wardrobe. The duo makes exceptionally easy-to-wear clothes with an emphasis on comfort, subtle detailing, and safe fits. This collection wasn’t a departure by any means, but it did shine a new light on the brand’s appeal.

Forgoing the preciousness of a cohesively themed collection, this was a loosely curated assemblage of nearly perfect individual pieces. Best in show was the outerwear—a fishtail parka in a high-tech sailcloth infused with fiberglass, a replica-quality bomber in onion quilted nylon, a moleskin overcoat that could have been from any one of your favorite Belgian designers. Denim—the category on which the house of Rag & Bone is built—was given a worn-in look; a longer rise; a darted and tapered leg; and a cropped, raw-finished hem. The effect wasn’t merely an updated classic, it was a total re-engineering, and to telling effect. Tops were long and languid, mostly stripped of the extraneous details we’ve come to expect.

Wainwright and Neville didn’t present a new vision for Rag & Bone here. They presented what felt like a reaction to fashion’s adoration of conceptual design, and a compelling case for interesting clothing that people actually want to wear. “Some people look for fashion and they look for art and they look for things that are completely new, and I think that’s fantastic,” said Wainwright. “But at the end of the day, if you can’t wear half of it, what’s the point?”
—Noah Johnson
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Viktor & Rolf

July 10, 2014 by  
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In due time, many of the dresses shown throughout the Haute Couture collections will reappear on red carpets the world over. But you’ve got to hand it to Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who considered how dresses might look if they were actually made from, well, red carpet. After conceiving second-skin, tattooed ballerina dresses last season, Viktor & Rolf came up with what they referred to as “a meditation on a contemporary obsession.” They wondered whether it would be possible to coerce such a rigid material into wearable volumes, describing the knotting, wrapping, and tying techniques as “spontaneous gestures.” The duo insisted that there was neither positive nor negative subtext—that the intention was “nonjudgmental.” They admitted that the idea was, quite simply, “a big challenge.”

Where other designers begin with aesthetics, Viktor & Rolf often start with language, and in this way their collections can end up projecting the esoteric cleverness that comes naturally to graduating-year fashion students. This time, however, the painstaking execution—whether shaping the pile into sculpted pleats or cutting and placing the spots with such deliberate irregularity—helped balance concept and craft. Except, that is, when the concept proved too heavy in the physical sense; keeping the material above knee-length proved more compelling than a weighty cascade of carpet down the front of a long, vaguely Renaissance frock.

The undone hair, au naturel makeup, and boyish rug-covered oxfords made clear that this was not a dissertation on Hollywood glamour. Instead, the leopard, zebra, and giraffe patterning—all hand-cut, shaved, and hand-applied to a pliant netting base—suggested primitive glamour (not to mention workmanship; these pieces took upwards of three hundred hours to complete). All those cape shapes, blankets bearing oversize bows, and sacks with well-placed arm slits are not destined for play-it-safe starlets; more likely they will be collected and, one day, exhibited. But as the models moseyed down the tapis rouge runway (supplied by Dutch manufacturer Desso) to be shot by fashion photographers rather than paparazzi, the realms folded in on each other and the medium became the message. All the while, a group of percussion students from Amsterdam provided a rhythmic soundscape from an upper balcony, clapping according to a syncopated composition by Steve Reich. They drew out the applause after the audience hurried off. It felt appropriate, if not self-congratulatory.
—Amy Verner
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Valentino

July 9, 2014 by  
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Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
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Ulyana Sergeenko

July 8, 2014 by  
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Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
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Schiaparelli

July 7, 2014 by  
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Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
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Atelier Versace

July 6, 2014 by  
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One of the highlights of this week’s Couture schedule is sure to be the opening of the Musée Galliera’s new show, Les Années 50, La Mode en France 1947-1957, curated by the fashion savant Olivier Saillard. In a timely coincidence, Donatella Versace revisited the decade for her Atelier Versace collection tonight. That starting point marks a departure for the designer, who has lately found muses in the likes of Lady Gaga and Grace Jones, and inspiration from more contemporary reference points, like nineties grunge.

Donatella’s fifties, of course, were different from the Galliera’s fifties. Her round-shouldered, boned-waist jacket featured a strategic cutout at the shoulder with a gold buckle to suspend it in place. A slit-front bustier dress, meanwhile, was a dress in name only; one of the legs of the model who wore it was covered with a pant. These were among the strongest looks in the collection, confidently executed and rigorously structured. In some ways, they were the polar opposite of the navel-baring, slit-up-to-there tropical-print dress of Donatella’s that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammys back in 2000, simultaneously cementing both divas’ places in red-carpet history. Lopez was in the front row tonight, poured into a strapless corseted gown with gold buckles at the hip. But if Versace’s techniques are more sophisticated now, it was and always will be about flaunting the assets at this house.

Also percolating was the notion of taking something as simple and everyday as the T-shirt and rendering it haute by covering it in crystals and beads and draping it into an hourglass evening dress. Side by side, these dresses didn’t have the precision of the opening numbers—though perhaps because of that fact, they will be fun and sexy to wear. A few fringed pieces made from crinoline, with fine strips of patent leather embroidered on top, somewhat muddled the message.

For the finale, it was back to the fifties, but as before, with a generous tweak. A powdery pink silk-duchesse satin ball gown came slit up the middle, fully revealing the black Swarovski crystal bodysuit it was strapped and buckled to. “I am Versace,” the designer said beforehand, explaining the piece’s brazen cut and construction. “I have to show it to the world.”
—Nicole Phelps
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Thom Browne

July 5, 2014 by  
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Thom Browne‘s Fall scenario—the hunter and the hunted—could also be read as man against nature. And it had an ending that could be construed as happy. “The animals prevail,” said Browne at the time. This season, the elaborately staged competition was between man and machine. “They all lose in the end,” was Browne’s cheery summation this time round. That makes man a two-time loser. Has Browne got something against guys? Legions of the Unconvinced would cast their eyes over his designs and come to that conclusion, so…er…idiosyncratic is his approach to menswear. But connoisseurs of his oeuvre would see instead a radical, experimental revision of the male form. It’s almost as though Browne has been making a new man for himself. He’s fashion’s Dr. Frankenstein, with all the idealism and horror that implies.

Utopia and dystopia: Browne in a nutshell. Today, they came together in a collection that, he claimed, took inspiration from TRON, the 1982 sci-fi stinker that became a cult. Ahead of its time, actually, with its life-is-a-video-game story. Browne isn’t really a video game kind of guy. More likely little Thom was glued to the puppet fantasia Thunderbirds, with the young heroes of International Rescue thronging round Lady Penelope in her pink Rolls-Royce. The models with their perfectly sculpted plastic masks, articulated stiffness, and jaunty caps did indeed look eerily like International Rescue. Like puppets, in other words.

The scenario was this: Browne’s arena was filled with a field of human statuary, 23rd-century robots patrolled by guards bearing lightsabers. Around this compound paced two antagonistic tribes: one sculpted from human anatomy stripped to its elemental musculature, the other all points and spikes and pixilated definition (the ghost of Klaus Nomi hovering over the compound). The fun was, as usual, in plumbing Browne’s intent. Yes, he was enjoying molding classic American fabrics like seersucker, tweed, and cotton into anatomical show-and-tells. But how could he alchemize this obsessively realized, minutely detailed (sixty to eighty pattern pieces in each jacket!) compendium of all-but-couture techniques into a collection of clothes that would bring men to their hind legs in appreciation? Why bother? The robots who sat motionless for hours while the fancy-pants paraded around them were the ones wearing the classically cut and fabricated clothing that would most likely end up in stores. In the end, it felt a bit like we’d been snookered by a master magician. Magic relies on distraction. Color this crowd distracted.
—Tim Blanks
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Umit Benan

July 4, 2014 by  
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Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
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A.P.C.

July 3, 2014 by  
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Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
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Marc by Marc Jacobs

July 2, 2014 by  
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An exhibition called Tiki Pop has just opened at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Chances are it’s unrelated to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring collection for men—with its Polynesian motifs and an “angry tiki man” graphic—except to suggest an emergent trend, a kitschy interest in the ancient cultures of the South Pacific. During a showroom walk-through of the collection, the theme was described more in terms of “surf punk.” At any rate, more than anything, Burning Man and summer music festivals suffused the collection, translated through indigo denim; ornate Indian embroidery; ikat tie-dyeing; trippy color-blocking; heat-sealed waterproof rubber raincoats; cotton and jacquard blazers worn with matching shorts; “ragamuffin” jackets strewn with colored duct tape; and a purple-clouded, Martian-looking landscape print by the illustrator and house collaborator Fergus Purcell, aka Fergadelic. A coming-of-age “gap year,” when a student takes time off for hostel-hopping self-discovery before entering college, was also cited, seen in bright Birk-style sandals, luggage-tag leather accessories, and large travel backpacks.

The main Marc Jacobs line is the place for structured, three-piece finery. The Marc by Marc label is a different beast, as the younger, louder, cheeky tiki vigor of this twenty-look collection proved. Jacobs has always done adolescence very well, and this outing was no exception.
—Lee Carter
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