Author Archives: enexile

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Curated by Heather Koszyk

Fall 2018 RTW

The Collections were all over the place, which is great in the sense that there isn’t really any overbearing trend that everyone is following. It seems that designers are feeling that they can experiment more. Perhaps they are under the influence of the runaway success of Gucci and the emergence of the Maximalist movement? There were tons of techniques on display;  abstract silhouettes in New York, fabric manipulation through layering and patchworking in London, color and texture in Milan and in Paris you’d have thought everyone just pulled ideas out of hat. If you saw all the collections and your general takeaway was,”What the fuck was that?” you aren’t alone. It’s a bit of a mess out there and the designers really need to regain their focus and tighten it up. Experimenting is fun, and they have a lot of ideas but they can’t ignore that part of their job is to work those ideas into a single presentation through tough editing and refining. Fashion should do one or more of the following; challenge, provoke, titillate, intrigue or dazzle – it should not be confusing or make one wonder whether something was done on purpose. On the bright side there was quite an abundance of expression which feels like the start of a revolution. Can’t wait to see where they go from here.

Alice + Olivia

 I always look forward to seeing the collections from Alice yet am often left feeling like they just missed the mark. But not this season, this time it was just pure unadulterated fun. It was flashy and unashamed, full of frills and rhinestones and color, pattern, prints and shine, fantastic! It is inspiring me to be playful and dress up like the little girl in me wishes I would. And how badly do I want those striped sequins boots?!? Badly. Very badly.

 

No.21

Clothes for the alternative girl that makes you wonder where does she get her clothes? In my experience she’s usually the girlfriend of one of my boyfriends friends and she’s not actually that cool but she has this style that is impossible to pin down. It’s not goth, but its gothy, not grunge but she’s grungy, not punk but there’s a note of it in there and not rockabilly but her hair totally is and the cat eye glasses she always wears… It’s that  eclecticism which is built in to this collection.  Now you can go out and purchase that cultivated wardrobe all in one place, (not over years of scouring thrift stores, cherry picking oddball pieces from friends, even occasionally splurging on a new item from that cheeky little shop in SOHO like she did). It’s kind of sad in a way, that a designer can appropriate a personal style – even if she’s an amalgam. But I guess that’s what many designers do now that I think about it. Hmm….epiphany.

 

For Restless Sleepers

I love this designer. The colors and prints are sumptuous as well as the fabrics and draping. It’s like dessert…before bed.

 

Max Mara

This collection had wearable clothes for either the cool girl or the chic lady, which is hard to do in one outing but here it is. The leopard pencil skirts, long coats and camel staples could go either way and were styled to just walk the line between either customer. Pretty savvy from a marketing perspective. And being Max Mara you know it will be well cut and fit with quality fabrics and craftsmanship. Something for everyone here.

Coach 1941

The wooing of the hipsters continues to be in full swing at the house of Coach 1941. This time it was by way of a 1970’s hippie shaman vibe. There was Native American inspired topstitching and fringe that led nicely into the patchworked leather looks of the 70’s. Not typically my taste on either account but it was fun and felt different from what everyone else is doing – though there are many doing a 70’s revival, AGAIN. This was a fresh take and offered up some modern vintage feeling pieces that are covetable.

Simone Rocha

This collection is fascinating in its layering and play with silhouette. There is no shortage of things to look at and each look feels more like a composition than an outfit. It may not seem avant garde upon first look but there are definite moments where this is forward thinking and pushing beyond the norm. I especially love the printed/embroidered sheer fabric layered over the printed silks where the effect is 3 dimensional. There are also interesting choices in putting the dresses over the coats yet still styling them as wearing dresses and putting necklaces (crossbody necklaces) which are so cool and reminiscent of the English royal garb with their regal sashes and adornments. Overall this collection has a pomp and extravagant quality mixed with a street and almost punk attitude which is very much in the style of Vivianne Westwood and I dig it.

 

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana are the Chanel of Italy. You can count on seeing variances of the corset dress in the same way you can count on the seeing Chanel suit. It is a perennial item in every collection and has solidified the idea of sexy when you think Italian fashion. There is always color, they are always bold and the accessories are a whole universe unto themselves. This world. is. defined. and continues to be exciting and inspiring every time we get a chance to glimpse it.


Rochas

Am I the only one who always get Rochas and Rodarte confused? They both always bring color and extravagance to the table but Rochas definitely brings the sophistication that (sorry) Rodarte is sometimes lacking. This collection had such a beautiful color palette; deep navy blue, rich celadon green, pale blush pink, gold, plum, and raspberry. I love these colors together and they played off each other brilliantly. The addition of glittering embellishments in floral motifs made the whole collection feel like it had a touch of otherworldly magic. Just lovely.

J.Mendel

So there was a lot of fur in this collection. We’re not ethically on board with fur but the collection was beautiful. Luxe fabrics draped expertly gave an overall feeling of opulence. There were some embellishments that took away from the elegance here and there (like feather hemlines and what looked like sheepdog fur trims, ick) but the long gowns were stunning and I suspect we might see a few at this years Oscars.

Oscar de la Renta

I cannot express how much I love what is happening over at the house of Oscar. It’s akin to the rekindling of spirit that is happening at another great house, Dior. These new designers,  Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are doing such a beautiful and respectful job of reinterpreting the integrity, the grace, elegance and sense of absolute refinement that these houses were built on. This collection is another in recent seasons where there are old-fashioned techniques and classic silhouettes being reimagined for the modern woman who is seeking elegance.  She has the money to wear the best and she radiates sophistication. I love this. CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE! At last!


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Mens Fall 2018

The collections that caught our eye this season were the usual suspects; a few beautifully cut suits, some exciting uses of color, some new silhouettes and lots of pattern (especially plaid). The theme running through all of these is style.

Canali

Impeccable. Timeless. Classic. The proportions are spot on, the cuts are flawless. Probably the closest you can get to Bespoke off the rack. These clothes would look amazing on any man.

Neil Barrett

When it comes to menswear my theory is that you have to walk a thin line. Clothing can look cheezy, silly, thrashy, goofy, etc if it’s not styled properly or if it’s not on the right man. Same as women’s, but lets face it women have a bit more leeway. Therefore for most men it’s best to stick to clean lines and shapes, good tailoring and leave the “personal expression” to the accessories. The hair, watch, shoes and so on. Neil Barrett has provided some perfect pieces here for just this man. Not terribly exciting, but solid – giving the man the chance to be the most exciting part of the outfit, without fussy distractions or trendy bullshit.

Daks

So in contrast to the last designer we have Daks. These are the clothes for the next guy, the one whose got a little twinkle in his eye, whose a little on the fringe, a bit of an artistic /creative type. He doesn’t mind the sideways looks and is confident enough in his personal style that he can mix plaid and mohair. Not for everyone, but thankfully we have a few of these clever fellows wandering about and if you’re lucky you might spot one in the wild like a colorful rare bird. The pants here are especially wonderful and come in a variety of cuts all beautifully crafted and fitted handsomely. The coats are also great – not too boxy not to narrow – accommodating and likely quite comfortable. Dandy.

Etro

Etro has always been one of my favorites because they are known for their use of color and they expertly mix textures and patterns. There is a youthful cheekynesss that is irresistible.

Paul Smith

Smith has always been the man to dress the quintessential quirky English fellow. That has not changed. His favorite is the classic suit; trim and tailored, wide leg or stovepipe he always runs the gamut. Here we get another vast offering of suits for the gents in his infamous broad color spectrum albeit here more subdued than usual. No complaints. A solid group with plenty to choose from. The streets of London will continue to vibrate with color and swing.

Ann Demeulemeester

In the Spring collection I thought there was a lean toward a swashbuckling pirate vibe and indeed it continues here in the fall. Demeulemeester always embodies the poetic soul and this collection adds in a bit of the rogue bandit as well. There is a feeling of romance in the styling here where the men always seem to be coming undone…Passon? Desire?  These are expressed quite beautifully and the clothes themselves are fitting costumes to wear in that state. And they are costumes but amongst them lurk wearable items – tanks, jackets, shirts…though I’d say most of the button cuffed pants are going to look a bit out-of-place in a world that doesn’t exist on the stage. Still ever lovely and inspiring.

Alexander McQueen

Mrs Sara Burton brings a fine mix of beauty and edge once again at McQueen. She has been an excellent designer for keeping with the McQueen aesthetic.

Haider Ackermann

The collection felt a bit different from the usual Ackermann sensibility, the clothes got a bit rumpled here at times looking a little messy. Ackermann usually does a slouchy shape that’s more deliberate, more controlled, here it gets a little bit away. Aside from those instances there are great looks and certainly great pieces where the cherry blossom items are my favorites. Ackermann often does asymmetric pattern placement like a painter and it’s lovely – it feels special. His eye for styling is key and it carries into his sense of proportion and overall design. There is always balance. He has yet to let me down.

Dries van Noten

You can always count on Van Noten to bring something unusual, creative and inspired to the runway. There is always a unique color scheme and clever mixing of patterns and textures. I love this about him. Here there are pieces that are 100% wearable and totally unique. What is especially nice about this for his customer is that every season he brings something new, a new favorite pair of pants or a new sweater, jacket, shoe. All totally aligned with his aesthetic, never straying from his point of view yet always realistic for the customer to incorporate into an existing wardrobe. This season he focused on abstract paint motifs as a base likely a point of departure for the color story which was blues, yellows and greens with ivory to bounce off of. It works in the collection despite the prints themselves being a bit garish. All in all the numerous offerings here are great. Fashion yet function.


 


Pre Fall 2018

This new frontier of showing collections is driving me crazy. Used to be there was a set schedule of when the collections would roll out so you’d know when to check the postings of the shows. Fashion weeks dictated the blocks of time, you could count on Fall fashion to be over a series of 3-4 weeks; New York, Paris, London,  Milan etc. Now with so many designers showing off runway, through lookbooks, galleries or private events, it’s anything goes. Fall can show anytime of year – same with Resort, Pre-Fall, Spring and so on until I’m not sure what season I’m looking at until I read the fine print. Not to mention running the risk of missing something incredible because I wasn’t checking in that day. Hopefully soon there will be a resolution to create some order amongst the chaos because I cannot be the only one who feels they may be missing out and certainly the designers cannot afford to be missed! The result I’m afraid is a rather patchy group of blog posts, where I may have missed some, or posted too early for others, leaving me only the option of adding updates to posts as necessary. SO all that being said, here is Pre Fall 2018!

 

Ermanno Scervino

There are two personas that resonate with me here, the ultra feminine, lacy, floaty dresses and the punk rock leopard and plaid. They have somehow combined the two and added in a military nod for good measure and come up with one kooky collection. I cant say I really get what they are going for, perhaps duality? I’m sure they have a whole explanation but it’s not entirely clear from the outside. It does however have some pieces that I love including almost all of those girly dresses and overcoats.

Sacai

This collection was striking. Each look was a collage of fabrics and prints, texture and shape. They garments have been arranged as if the designer had pieces that he was moving about until he found the right balance – always asymmetric. The eye is forced to move the way it would looking at a piece art with excellent composition.

Michael Kors

I am a fan of the rose print. Not gonna lie, especially when it’s mixed with an animal print. The lengths here are also right on, leaving a blurred line between day and evening which for sportwear is key.

 

Andrew GN

I look forward to seeing what GN is going to bring to the table each season. My favorite collections are always the ones with the heavy ethnic reference. Much like the former incarnation of Valentino in the early 2010’s there is always a sort of Russian doll or Eastern European traditional costume element in the clothes that I find kinda irresistible. It’s the modern take of either the traditional sihlouette; like a peasant sleeve or a print; like this oversized rose here as a lace applique – that feels like an honoring of cultures long past. A connecting of generations, a respect for tradition in a disposable fast fashion world.

Delpozo

First of all – STYLING! The styling of this collection is so wonderfully fantastical and reminiscent of classic painted portraiture. Does this creative styling make me like the clothes more…YES, yes it does. Give that photographer a raise. This collection isn’t really what you’d normally find on our page. But its undeniably good. The color story is playful and charming while also managing to be sophisticated. The shapes are structured yet soft and feminine. The contrast isn’t just in the dynamic pallette, but in the fabrications and silhouettes. So maybe this is our style after all, we do love a clever contrast.

Sachin & Babi

This is clean and modern feeling despite all the sequin and fringe. There is a hero in the styling here, where the modern is played up through hair and accessories making the clothes feel more sophisticated and elegant. The killer here has to be the white topped sleeveless gown with the embellishments. Perfect balance of modern utilizing the geometric shape and glamour with those deep colored stone embellishments. Stunning, a best piece of the season.

Oscar De La Renta

I love what is happening at La Renta, there is a definite honoring of the house and it’s done with such vision! There are modern cuts and shapes in modern fabrics that express both grace, elegance and a little humor. This is exactly how a modern version of a classic house should be run. Follow the original ideals while always moving them forward. The tulle dresses are charming and the separates are high style sophisticate. Love!

Christian Dior

I am loving the new design direction at Christian Dior. This is the first time since Galliano that the line has been so memorable. This particular collection feels distinguished – as Dior ought to be – and yet youthful. This time there is a touch of that 1960’s London, Mary Quaint style, in the shoes and caps. It’s youthful but in a retro way which is refreshing as most designers appeal to the party girl youthmarket via slick party dresses and overt sexiness. Dior here, feels fresh and bright while retaining a sense of dignity.

 


WTF fashion – a brief rant about the absurdness of ready to wear

Sometimes when I’m reading through what the designers are quoted as saying regarding their collections I am baffled. Many times what they intend and what they are showing has a significant chasm between them that no amount of explaining can bridge. I’m writing this little blip here today because I feel like I cannot be the only one out here (on the sidelines of the industry) who is seeing this and thinking WTF? I was moved to type by this latest statement by designer, Natasha Zinko. She said,  “Resort dressing should be easy,”  and then proceeded to show the following looks in her Resort 2018 collection :

I understand that styling is all about attitude, but it is also about intent. This is the designers opportunity to show their clothes in a vacuum where they control the environment, the girl, the pose even the light. This is their chance to sell you on the fantasy. That being said, how in this hell does this evoke easy? Does anyone else get easy from layering daisy dukes over slashed open jeans? Lets let that sink in – 2 pairs of jeans; two metal zippers and two brass snaps, two sets of pockets, front and back. Easy?? And what the hell, why not toss on that bustier?? Over a tee shirt…EASY!

 

 

 

 

I know the backless sweater is a thing, its purely fashion no function blah blah blah, I get it. But this kind of fashion – non functioning fashion is by definition the type of dressing that makes fashion so intimidating. How do you wear this? You have to take into account how your back is going to look, what is going to show through there, and if nothing at all (the easiest of all possible outcomes) you had better have a chest that requires no support and a toned back like this genetically gifted professional model.  This isn’t just not “easy” it requires planning in advance.

 

 

 

And finally, patent leather. Not just patent leather mind you but a patent leather bustier. Because nothing says “easy” like a bustier,  unless you’re Grace Jones. Easy ,Breezy, Bustier! Said no one ever.

Baffled. Just. Baffled


Spring 2018

First of all I want to acknowledge the addition of varied size models on the runways of such designers as Prabal Gurung, Tracy Reece and Christian Sirano. This is a positive step toward normalizing the impossible size standards in the industry. When you hear of size 0 models being told they are too big simply because either the designer has a fetish or they are trying to save money on cutting expensive fabrics, it’s disturbing to say the very least. There have been designers like Jean Paul Gualtier  who have used “regular” people in conjunction with models, but that always seemed more of a gimmick as they often did not sell their clothing in a range of sizes beyond 10. Now we actually have the possibility of adding more sizes into designer collections. I know how frustrating it was for myself and my customers to love a garment, or the aesthetic of a line but have to tell them that they simply didn’t cut anything above a size 10/12. So if you’re 5 pounds over-size 12 – you’re too fat. Bullshit. I hope to see more designers follow suit and offer sizing that includes more people and alienates less. Considering the fashion industry has a tendency to follow trends – I think it’s only a matter of time.

 

Gary Graham

Once again Graham has delivered an oddball bohemian vibe. He sticks to his subdued color palette shown here in Victorian style patterns. Small patterns in soft colors on light fabrics with the anchor of black. I love the insets of lace and pattern in the draped dresses and the modern slouch pant. It all feels sort of dreamy and gypsy like, true to form for Gary Graham.

Coach 1941

Hello 1999 – 2004. This is a Courtney Love love letter. The embellished slip dresses, the 1970’s vintage style leather jackets, the double faced satins in bright and pastel shades of blues and pinks… I cannot help but grin when seeing all of this because this is exactly the type of thing we were making in house at enexile when we had the brick and mortar shop from 1999-2007. We made chinoiserie print A-line ball skirts, brocade coats, satin skirts and hand dyed, hand embellished vintage and one of kind slip dresses. This collection is nostalgic no doubt, but it also feels like we are going down a similar road to Heidi Slimane when he took over at St Laurent and went all Disco/ sleaze /teddyboy/ punk. No doubt it will kill with the kiddies, but I don’t imagine many who have been there once are going to go back, especially it they still have the originals in their closet, like I do!

 

Diesel Black Gold

Well if we needed any more evidence of the sturdy revival of the grunge era this is it. An obvious nod to Mark Jacobs’ Perry Ellis epic Grunge manifesto. I had to include something that honors a moment that helped contribute to my own eclectic personal style.

Vivienne Tam

This is right on my wavelength at the moment. In the last 6 months I have been working on a project which is heavily chinoiserie influenced and have been researching images of cranes as a result. Images exactly like the ones peppered through this collection. There also seems to be a hint of a peruvian or gypsy influence which is interesting and makes sense with the colors and varied fabrics. There was a lot to choose from and many different silhouettes happening but overall I got the sense that it was modern day chinoiserie in modern shapes and styles.

Oliver Theyskens

I want to say that this collection is an interesting take on the 90’s slip dress. A deconstructed yet modernised version of the softer side of the grunge era, highlighted by the ever present monkey boots. But there is more here than just that. It has got serious streetwear attitude and what they are wearing  potential. It’s feminine and tough – which makes it sexy in a very cool, casual way.

Libertine

Heres what I love about Libertine:  they always play up color, there is always a bit of mischief and they love to go over the top with graphics. My favorites as always are the sequins, the mildly cheeky and the items that aren’t so loud you can’t wear them on a regular rotation without them defining you. Basically the practical pieces, (at least practical by libertine standards) that you can wear easily on their own. Like the sequin dress or flashy coat with jeans. Meanwhile always knowing that whenever it strikes your fancy you could wear the sequins and the patterns and the tat all at once! It’s liberating. heh

Christian Dior

There is a reason the French coined the perfect elusive term, “Je ne sais pas” Christian Dior is solidly back to upholding and representing this phrase for French fashion. There is a coolness and edge that is decidedly and impossibly French. Dior hasn’t been this cool since Galliano.

Dries Van Noten

Noten consistently cultivates colors and prints into collections of the most impressively unique and chic pieces around. The cuts and shapes are always soft and easy, nothing strained or tight – it’s so much easier to be cool and graceful when you aren’t tied up in your clothes. It’s also so refreshing to view his collections as they always stand apart from whatever the trends are, the latest thing the hottest whatever. It doesn’t touch him. He doesn’t need a gimmick when he has this much style. Thankfully for the rest of us he shares.

Oscar De la Renta

This collection impressed me more for the designers ability to channel De La Renta himself, than for the clothes. They have captured the essence of the old house perfectly while adding in a fresh, original and modern evolution for the line.

Maticevski

Maticevski straddle the line between abstract and refined. The clothes are always pushing forward through the exploration of volume and form. This time there were some looks that really didn’t work but you can see the progress being made. They are inventors, pioneers and always fascinating.

Dolce & Gabbana

After clicking through countless uninspired or conversely overwrought collections I was beginning to think that this season was wrapping up with a thud. But then I saw this. Dolce & Gabanna has never let me down and this was no exception. This collection was full of bright colors and pattern, timeless black suits, sequins covered flashes of brilliance and chic feminine dresses. And the shoes! You will never see the models in the same shoe on this runway as every shoe is considered a part of the overall look, never an afterthought. There are no afterthoughts! The bags, the jewelry all fit the theme of the outfit. I have seen other designers try but no one can do what they do, no one can replicate the magic world they have created.


Mens Spring 2018

I wasn’t even going to do a Men’s post for this season because as it was rolling out I wasn’t seeing anything that really inspired a post. But then I saw the Dolce & Gabbana Collection, and Haider Ackermann, and then Rick Owens and I thought well, I have to write about this.

Ann Demeulemeester

There is always a sort of Marque De Sade, 18th century poet vibe happening over at Ann Demeulemeester and this time was no exception. Although this time there is also a swashbuckling 1970’s seduction element. It can get costumey but for the right guy this really does hit the mark. He’s a theatrical type for certain with a romantic confidence. Plus these are prime steal from your man clothes, seriously, they’d look so good on me.

Alexander McQueen

In this collection there weren’t a whole lot of Spring clothes and even less for Summer but I find myself overlooking this glaring offence in the name of outstanding fashion. But then again an argument could be made that they are in London after all and I guess the Spring there is chilly so wearing a wool coat isn’t out of the question. Or you could just say it’s fashion, its Alexander McQueen, they can do whatever they want! The result of throwing convention out the window (and who better than the house of McQueen to do so?) are some very cool and unique clothes. The leather jumpsuit is biker chic at its very best and the string draped jackets are works of art. Sure they’d catch on every table you walk by but hey – how cool does it look?!

 

Rick Owens

I don’t usually include Owen’s work because honestly I don’t think its very wearable. His designs fall more in the realm of art and are conceptual and storytelling. His shows are experiences that don’t typically translate when posting runway stills. But this time is different. His vision for this collection was about man finding order in nature. Hoping to make his place and therefore find immortality. The evolution of the clothes was a way of showing a rise to understanding and eventually the civilization of men. Profound stuff for fashion yet it’s pulled off here with beauty at its core. This is what caught my attention, the beauty. The pants in particular are draped so – ugh – words! The are billowy and soft and light while still somehow full, formed and perfectly cultivated.  Owens was able to master the fabrics like a surfer riding a wave. He gets it here so perfectly that it’s almost moving. At least for me. And the cropped jackets are fit beautifully with long lean arms and trim waists, the result being a stunning silhouette of fit and fullness. I was blown away. Am.

 

Berluti

I’m clicking through the Berluti collection and I’m wondering why I’m liking it so much. Don’t get me wrong, Berluti has always been a well made collection but it’s usually lacking charisma. Not this time though, with each look I became more and more intrigued. The pants are cut with just the right amount of cool guy drape and sit in just the right spot on the hips. The jackets are sleek and clean and expertly tailored, just the right amount of design so that you don’t really even notice it – this is what makes clothes, staples. Timeless. Then I got to the end of the show and it all became clear. The last photo showed the designer, Haider Ackermann. Of course! The master of cool menswear has harnessed his flair just enough to make it more commercial for his new endeavor. He did a great job, totally wearable and tons of investment pieces. I’m sure Berluti will be thrilled.

Givenchy

Here are some cool options for the guy who is on the fence about wearing the outrageous pieces from Gucci. There are some stunning items here, most notably the shiny print trousers and metallic suits, which could be mixed into a more conservative wardrobe without too much blowback or concern over being trendy. Not to mention the sprinkling of some sequins shawl collared evening jackets that would certainly be in danger of being stolen by ones lady friend. A little flash never hurt anyone, particularly when it’s as impeccably tailored and crafted as Givenchy.

Dolce & Gabbana

My longstanding favorite designer never fails to deliver on the quintessential Italian flair. These fellows are decked out to impress with all their flash and machismo and somehow D & G can marry those two elements and not feel cheesy. These garments are fitted with ease, (not overly tight like Versace) allowing them to remain at once – Gentlemen. Flashy Gentlemen, but still having class. This is a man who brings humor and charm to the table, he definitely can’t take himself too seriously. There has to be a sense of fun, after all Dolce & Gabbana is all about playing dress up. Particularly love the sparkly collar tuxedos because sometimes you just want a little bit more dazzle. 

 


Fall 2017 Favorites

When the first of the Fall 2017 shows stared rolling out I was excited to see that the colors I had been obsessing over the last few months were represented. Plenty of burnt orange, mustard yellow and navy blue playing together among the collections. And gold – gold was everywhere, especially paired with black, (which takes me back to my jr high dance so I don’t know about that one) There also seems to be more mixing of textures such as satins and wools paired together.  I was surprised however when the Paris collections began and there was a dominance of baby blue and pink. Weren’t those the colors for last year? I can’t figure that out other than perhaps they warmed up to the idea(?) though the French are not known for following so it’s perplexing. Regardless, there is always immense diversity which is the very best part. So many choices. Isn’t it wonderful to have CHOICES!

I also can’t help but notice a deliberate pandering to the millennial crowd. Heres a tip – putting Doc Martins on the model does not transform that dress. Nor does that tired slouchy knit hat or the alternately so ugly it’s cool socks with sandals trick. Just make the clothes and leave out the gimmicks please.

Alice + Olivia

I always want to love Alice + Olivia because in theory it very much my personal taste. A little rockabilly and a little cheeky with some sparkle and girlishness all mixed together. Yet oftentimes the collection seems to just miss the mark. This time around there were a more than a few that hit and it’s my pleasure to add them to the seasons list of favorites. Particularly the camo set minus the pants whose length is bothersome, but the top and jacket are awesome. See what I mean?  Just a little off. The bird skirt is great too though I’d prefer it with a tank, cropped jacket and a hip slung belt. The white sweater and skirt are perfect and I would put that on right now, go get some coffee and be admired for my easy cool style.The two dresses are lovely especially the last A-line allover print which is one of my favorite of the season so far. So nice to have a dress that you can’t see thorough!

 

Fay

I must say that I like this because it looks like my wardrobe from when I was in my early 20’s. Plaid bondage pants that I used to wear with oversized sweaters, box pleat mini skirts with cropped jackets. Snake skin pants – if I could’ve found a snake skin jacket a’la Nick Cage in Wild at Heart I would have been all over it.

This reemerging of the trends from 20 years ago goes back to a post I wrote regarding the cycle of fashion, where I theorized that the designers now taking over the houses are looking back to their youth for inspiration on their current collections. This is how we end up revisiting eras 20-30 years later. It simply takes that long for most designers to work their way up to the top, and when they do, they are nostalgic for a simpler time.

 

Cinq A Sept

I love the colors and prints and the way they have been styled to compliment each other in such a creative and unexpected way. Like the sky blue and brown coat with the blueberry and black dress or the peach cardigan with the bubblegum pink and burnt orange dress. There is such life in these colors that the clothes really become like candy to the eye.

 

Dice Kayek

There aren’t many designers playing with volume right now – at least not as many as there should be. Volume feels like the next big thing so I’m interested to see more from this designer going forward.

 

Gary Graham

Although this particular collection isn’t my style, I think it’s distinctive and uniquely cool. The layering of knits with brocades and leather is intriguing and unexpected yet it works. The prints are all working together with textures and embellished pieces to create this modern bohemian vibe that is very provocative. My favorite is the first look where the embellished shirts are layered together and dressed down with the casual pant. so much is happening but none of it fights – it’s so harmonic. Such a distinct voice here. Love that.

 

Jil Sander Navy

Wait…This is Jil Sander? But it didn’t bore me out of my chair. Intriguing.

 

Ann Demeulemeester

What can I say other than they are designing for the modern day goth. This is the goth aesthetic. Romantic, dramatic, emotional dark and complicated. The teenage goth in me can’t help but love that. I also love that when they do incorporate color they tend to use it as a dutch painter might – contrasting deep hues with barely there tints. Now that may not be what others see. Perhaps they see modern in the consistent black and white palette, or maybe edgy due to the interesting draping and choices of textures and creative styling. Demeulemeester straddles a line where costume meets contemporary always resulting in a performance worth catching.

Hiader Ackermann

SO I have to admit I was disappointed to see a predominance of black this season from Ackermann. I adore when he uses color but here there was only a small touch of blue – vibrant though it was. He did have his own take on the black and gold trend which was masterful, naturally. where the gold was painted in like a vein along a few choice garments and it was powerfully chic. Still a myriad of impressively tailored shapes and of course the exquisite jackets. There are 2 looks in here from the menswear show that I had to include because those pants are killer and that teal blue velvet is stunning.

 

 

Maticevski

My take on this designer to date has been that they are about silhouette and volume. That is still true, but now they are crossing into sculptural design and the result is at times breathtaking. There are two looks in this collection – the white gown with the high slit and the black gown – that are so sculptural that the model in clothes actually looks like a sculpture. When fashion and art meet it isn’t always pretty, nor does it need to be by any means! But here truly, it is nothing short of beautiful.

Dolce & Gabbana

It’s funny how when I see the Dolce and Gabbana collections now I can’t help but think of what is showing at Gucci. There is certainly a shared affinity there, yet when I see Dolce I hear myself saying (out loud to no one) “See! This is how you do it!” There is a restraint at Dolce that has come with experience. They have the ideas and they know they have a lifetime to share them. They don’t have Gucci’s urgency to shove them all into a few dozen looks every season. I never would have used the word restraint in the same sentence as Dolce and Gabbana prior to this, just goes to show that context is everything. In any case, this is how it’s done. Allover sequins and insanely embellished accessories can be sophisticated and womanly. They don’t have to be hipster and loud. Adjust the volume back to 10, it doesn’t always need to go to 11.

Gucci

Well this time they take a bit of a Wes Anderson turn. I’m realizing that the Anderson type has always been there and feel silly that I didn’t notice before. Maybe now the dust is settling I can see the sweatbands and peter pan collars of The Royal Tenenbaums. In my defense there is just so much to see. There is less however of the trompe l’oiel, the snakes and crabs. Still animals though and still sequins, florals, prints and plaids, stripes and trimmings and satin and bows. It’s a lot. I still like all the glorious pattern mixing and over embellishment, but truthfully the excitement is wearing off. There is no more shock, no surprises. Now that wouldn’t even factor in to a collection normally, but when you start out so big and you keep at it, it can either get stale and the novelty wears off, or you go bigger or change it up drastically. So far it seems they are headed for the first of those. But we’ll see. Perhaps there is something up Michele’s sleeve…

 

Naeem Khan

Oh my god if Liza and Cher had a lovechild. These are some far out spangly getups. I especially enjoy that Khan really went for it with the styling too. Just because the dress in covered in beads and feathers doesn’t mean you can load on piles of necklaces and enormous earrings good Lord! That being said though there are some gowns in here that I could see showing up in a museum one day, like the one with the (is that a) bee belt. That’s a work of art.  It takes a big personality to pull off one of these outfits.  If you can, please do because we need this kind of go big glamour in our fashion.

Marchesa

I love the Celadon green, the cherry red, the chinoiserie, the trims of velvet ribbon and the fringe. It’s old Hollywood spit shined and dolled up. Hard to resist all that shimmer and shine.

Rochas

I really like this collection. The palette is paired down to basics and the prints are bold yet filtered into simple shapes. They are simply elegant and chic, with some great options for holiday.

Christian Dior

I was surprised to see the theme of outer space coming up so often during the shows. It’s not often spaceships as it is more celestial. It’s hard to make a spaceship chic. But here was more of a continuation from the tarot influenced collection of last season, with more of a focus on the moon and stars. Normally I would lean more in favor of the sparkly, embellished options, but here I really enjoyed the solid offerings. Where the cuts and shapes were the stars – no pun intended. The shapes brought to mind what Dior became famous for, new silhouettes and divine tailoring. These harken back to a time of simplicity and elegance with out all the fuss and tat. Perhaps seeing season after season of glittering sheer dresses covered in applique of everything from animals to, well spaceships, has taken its toll. These modern, clean elegant pieces say so much more and have more substance.

Alberta Ferretti

Pretty Pretty Pretty!!! A sucker for a flowing floaty dress. The colors are soft but there is a mystique to these clothes, like they are hiding a secret about the wearer. Film Noir clothes if Noir was in the 1930’s instead of the 40’s.

J. Mendel

From the first look I sucked in my breath. Oooohh! I love this. Love the textures together and the tiers and the black beading on the navy it all seemed so regal. The looks are grand and elegant and you can sense the richness and quality. These are heirloom garments.

Reem Acra

The play of textures and volume while done with luxe rich fabrics and jewels is nothing short of regal. These garments evoke an aura of royalty in their execution of cut and form and fabrication. The fabrics are heavy and dense and you can imagine the decadent feel of them. The way she has created her shapes which have a avant-garde origin yet somehow seem completely organic. Only a master of draping can take volume to this extreme yet have it look so sophisticated with not a hint of pretentiousness. If you have ever had the opportunity to wear something from Reem Acra than you know these clothes are transformative. I can only imagine how amazing this collection would feel to wear. Queen for a day indeed.

 

 

 


Open for business!

After a long hiatus we are thrilled to announce that our e commerce website is open for business! Available now are Mens and Womens jewelry and accessories, a small collection of home accessories and a few one of kind paintings by myself, Heather Koszyk. Please drop by and have a look, we’d love to get your feedback!

And check in every now and then as we will be adding a vintage and estate jewelry department as well as a vintage clothing department. Plus we are hoping to add a few more designers to our catalog so there is a lot more to come, Cheers!

 


Couture Fall 2017

I didn’t even bother to do a review of Couture last season because there were so few offerings and of them not enough favorites to warrant a post. Typically Fall has more players and also more looks per show, so this time around we are in business! Here are the favorites from Fall 2017.

Iris van Herpen

How cool is this? It makes me think of 3D printing. Art in fashion goes hand in hand with couture and this is such a beautiful expression of line and form.

Schiaparelli

This is the show I look forward to the most during couture. They have always been a couture titian because they lean toward the artistic side while still being wearable. There is always a nod to surrealism which somehow goes hand in hand with couture in my mind. Perhaps because its such an easy transition from surreal to avant garde which also seems to find an outlet in couture. It was Picasso who was honored this time around which was not as interesting to me but I’m sure will find an audience with the buyers. It also features some beautiful an unexpected color combinations like this burnt orange and burgundy. And I loved the addition of the ultra sheer, net opera gloves. This group did not have as many of the exciting surrealist moments but I still enjoyed the masterly crafted gowns and moments of artistic expression when they came.

Dior

There is something happening over at Dior that is silently exciting. Its been a real snooze over there ever since the ousting of Galliano but in the last few seasons a new designer has taken the helm and is slowly breathing life back into the line. The clothes are reserved and not flashy at all which is why I say, “silent” there is nothing loud here. It’s all very graceful and elegant, sophisticated and refined. It’s beautiful and I’m so excited to see more and more. These full skirted coats are an affectionate nod to classic Dior. Dior was all about playing up the feminine while maintaining grace. These full coats have graceful movement and feminine sensibilities which makes them perfect. These are going to start a big trend over the next few seasons. There were many other reworked looks from the archives  including the epic petal ball gown from the 1950’s shown here in grays with ruffles rather than beads, not a success for me but the reference is distinct. There are also pinched waists in fitted jackets and draped, off shoulders here and there. So much respect for the history of the house which I love to see. It’s not so much about some new hot shot designer as it is revitalizing the integrity of a revered and beloved label. I suspect Dior will be the new Bellwether now that Valentino has run out of steam.

 

 


Resort 2018

Resort had a lot of clothes. And despite there being so many designers showing collections for this often skipped season,  there was not a lot of “fashion” happening. Perhaps it’s because designers are becoming more acutely aware of the need to be commercially viable? In any case most collections were full of reasonable options. Lots of pretty floral dresses, modern looking separates in black and white, some stripes, an occasional jumpsuit, some denim. Meh. Nothing to write home about, feels like we are waiting for the next big thing to hit. In the meantime, here are my favorites.

Chloe

I’m digging the  modern interpretation of a seventies sophisticate in this Chole collection. It’s not costumey or overly derivative. Modern and feels light, perfect for Resort.

 

Rochas

You know, I bet I’d like some of these looks if I could actually see them. This trend of action posing, dance poses, leaping, what have you is really annoying. This is the line sheet – meant to show the clothes. Theatrics work on the runway because the models are in front of an audience who can see the garments in 360, and photographers who are choosing the best angles to VIEW THE CLOTHES. It does not translate in singular 2 dimensional, conceptual photos. I can tell there is something on the front of the gold gown but all I see is the zipper. WTF? Save the artistic interpretation for the ad campaign.

Antonio Marris

I love that Marris clearly reveres vintage clothing. The collections always have a dusty, I found a trunk of grandmas clothes and costume jewelry in the attic, what a find! kind of feel, yet there is always a cheerful quirkiness and sense of mischief about them. The colors are subtle and always mix wonderfully together.  There are a lot of them too, so it’s quite a task to make all those patterns and colors and accessories harmonious, but they do it time and again. That’s the eye. A curated persona for an unusual and intriguing customer.

Johanna Ortiz

This is just a great collection for Resort. The fabrics are rustic where you’d want them, light where you’d want them with a touch of glam here and there.  There are playful dresses for dinner and great outfits for a day of sightseeing and shopping for souvenirs. The colors are mellow yet cheerful and the shapes imply a lighthearted playful vibe.

Alberta Ferretti

Another collection where Resort is dedicated to the idea of being at an actual Resort. (Which makes the most sense to me.) There are some charming safari prints and a cool color palette of mustards and olive greens set against white. I don’t usually go for safari themes but these are done in almost a chinoiserie style which I do love, well done.

 

Erdem

In this collection it’s easy to see that Erdem are masters of color coordinating and pattern design.  I especially like this group for the overall darker palette which allows the touches of bright to shine. The retro silhouettes are always a favorite and are done here beautifully with an air of elegance. The gloves get to be a bit much though and in some cases kind of look like the model is off to assist with the birth of a baby calf… Other than that there seems to be a Spanish feel in the ruffles and one shoulder looks and the florals have a Café in Spain appeal. All in all there is a cool, feminine quality that is perfect for Resort.

 

Elie saab

You can always count on Elie Saab to bring the drama. I’m really into burnt orange, navy and celadon green at the moment so this was pretty satisfying. Saab took full advantage of Resort to get extra glamorous and design for the fantasy vacation. A yacht in the south of France… perhaps the Tahian islands…? Decisions decisions.  However these are just a few from a large 48 look collection full of suits and jackets in leather, lace and knits, see the rest here.

 

Michael Kors

Easy, graphic and comfortable. These are great mix and match pieces with zero pretense. All the best sportswear pieces are represented including the crowd pleasing tunic, wide leg trouser and jacket and the quintessential halter dress.  Solid collection.

 

Reem Arca

Glamorous. Sophisticated. Elegant. Reem Arca stands firm here in her position as one of fashions premiere tastemakers. She has put forth an enviable collection of clothes worthy of seducing James Bond – or rebuffing his advances.