Author Archives: enexile

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.

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.

 


Pre Fall 2017

So Pre Fall landed with a bit of a thud. There wasn’t that much happening on the runways that was terribly interesting.  Perhaps the general lack of inspiring moments came from the designers now showing at different times? The industry has been facing a transition of its own lately where some designers – in an attempt to keep up with the immediate demands of social media addicted clients – are opting to hold off on showing until the moment they are ready to sell. Cutting the wait and allowing the public shop now. You may already be seeing little bags next to the designers name indicating you can buy it “direct from the runway” as opposed to waiting the traditional 3-4 months for promotion and distribution. Resulting in a large gap between shows of the same season. For example, Pre-Fall 2017 began showing as far back as November of 2016 and as recently as last week! Maybe this is why the designers are off their game. They are out of sync with the industry, the customers and the season.

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I love well made, high quality clothes that you can just throw on. No brain required because some days I just can’t. I would like to buy and wear these all today. (See? No patience!)

Nili Lotan

There is a hint of the early 2000’s here with the slip dress and sweater set, but I don’t mind it because it’s looks modern. What’s interesting about that is that if you had slip dresses and sweaters from the nineties, now they would  be validated as timeless and classic pieces. Its simple, chic, sexy and cool.

Ulla Johnson

These feel more like Resort than Pre Fall but regardless of that how cute! Perfect for anything from vacation wear to an afternoon wedding. Young, spirited and like, bouncy? Yeah.

Monse

This collection is interesting because it has an avant-garde attitude yet the clothes themselves are innocuous. They aren’t drastic and attention seeking, in fact they are quite elegant and chic. They’re avant-garde for the cocktail class, in much the same vein as Vivianne Westwood. Plus I love the jewel tones, particularly the yellow and teal blue and especially in those rich fabrics. It’s all very art culture and could define the nouveau high society art scene.

Erdem

In my mind I have classified Erdem as one of the more feminine houses. They tend to use florals regularly and cut more ladylike shapes so working in the seasons colors of pink and blue was no hardship. But I applaud them for taking things further with some volume in the silhouettes and by adding some bolder colors into the collection. While I do love the pale sequins looks, my favorite here is the yellow brocade gown. (I also really want the floral stockings)

Temperley London

I wonder how pissed off Erdem and Temperly were when they realized they both had pastel sequins gowns with floral appliques? That’s one hell of a coincidence. Though my favorite has to be the red and black print dress which is stunning and unique.

Gucci

I would like to order the tiger skirt, the dragon topcoat, the pink chinoiserie print skirt and the red all over print dress. It’s so much but if you can cut though the glare the clothes are so insanely fun and chic. It reminds me of Todd Oldham in a way – the playful unashamed frivolity. It’s wonderful to see all this again – but I still can’t help but feel that the days are numbered when you go this big. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

J. Medel

More so the ambiance than the actual clothes, although the dresses are pretty. These colors, the dusty shades of blue and gray and the deep red and pink cut into these overtly romantic tiered and ruffled gowns, they are so loud in their softness. They create a mood around them and it’s just lovely. I’m inspired to paint like an old master, Rembrandt or Willem van Aelst. The romance and richness are beautiful.

example of the Dutch painting style


Mens Fall 2017

The menswear collections didn’t strike me as having any prevailing trends overall. There were your standard suit shows, your knitwear, your rumpled boys and nerdy hipsters. The same old stuff. Yet there does seem to be an underlying whisper of workout casual sneaking in. At Valentino the nerdy fellows all wore trainers. Even at Dolce & Gabbana there were sneakers paired with D-Squared-esque rolled up jeans and novelty sweaters. And almost everyone showed a version of sweatpants.

Sweatpants.

On the runways.

I blame Athleisure. Athleisure is a dangerous contagion. First it was Yoga pants and now I regularly see women in horrendously ugly patterned leggings at restaurants, movie theaters, shopping, everywhere! It’s like that sickening trend of knit patterned workout pants from the early 1990’s.

Allow me to refresh your memory….

…or the velour tracksuits that have FINALLY gone away…

 

Now this, sweats on the runways.  This is a shot from the Runway at Balenciaga.

Balenciaga!?!

Are those his sneakers from home? Did they get them from the lost and found? What is this?!

*****

Err, okay. So here are our favorites from Fall 2017 Mens.

Missoni

Always love mixed patterns, always love a well cut and nicely tapered flat front plaid pant. Double zip sweater with an interesting and somehow still chic and cool pattern (that is Missoni’s thing after all) love it. And the coat is, again, interesting without being obnoxious or trendy or trying so hard. How much do I wish they would loose the hats and Where’s Waldo glasses?

The Kooples

This showing feels more like a wardrobe than a collection. Which is great in the sense that you get the styling – you see exactly how it can all be mixed and matched without necessarily saying here is your sportswear, here is your streetwear here is your formal etc. They mixed it up so you see the suit dressed down and the leather jacket with slacks. I especially like the military outerwear and the drape on the trousers.

Diesel Black Gold

I’m digging the Asian influence here. Always interested in a new take on a classic leather jacket.

Yohji Yamamoto

The oversized look can be ridiculous if it’s too extreme. Here it’s just up to the line where it is indeed exaggerated but it maintains a cool chicness that is very French. The French  somehow manage to have an air of purpose in fashion and that is what we get here. There is a sense of the poet or conceptual artist wearing these clothes – I could easily see Basquait at a café dressed just so. The silhouettes are still clean and maintain shape despite the oversizing. These men look casual and comfortable – and they aren’t in sweatpants! Hooray!

Ann Demeulemeester

Again here we get that sense of the poetic soul. Albeit Ann Demeulemeester is known for bringing the drama. The more feminine pieces are a tough sell, so I turn to the cut of the pants and the jackets which are stellar.

Alexander McQueen

These clothes are beautiful. Exquisite even. Even though its hard for me to imagine the man who can wear them. This is a special fellow that I have yet to meet.

Haider Ackermann

Not my favorite Haider Ackermann collection but still as always very cool. The merging of fabrics which seems to be the theme of the collection doesn’t always work here but I like the idea of it and when it does work, like with the coat, it is unique in its artistry. Never in dispute Ackermann has the spirit of an artist and the eye of a tailor. His design always moves forward and it always has moments of sheer beauty and perfect balance.

Berluti

One of the more classic houses, Berluti has mastered tailoring long ago. It’s cool to see them bringing in these rich colors and luxe fabrics. There was a wonderful time in mens fashion in the early 1960’s. Where velvet jackets and sharkskin suits came in teal blue and emerald-green. Men wore these clothes and felt cool, they felt hip and they got to have fun with fashion.  Then the 1970’s came along and with it came poly double knits and menswear lost its way for the sake of “innovation”. I’m thrilled to see such an elegant reimagining here. Love the velvet jackets and that golden-yellow coat is a show stopper.

John Varvatos

Varvatos has managed to cultivate the perfect blend of rustic manliness with rock and roll. That’s got to be why he dresses so many celebrities who would be considered the coolest, the hottest and the edgiest. He knows how to cut a pair of slim pants without getting all Hedi Slimane impossible hipster tight. He can wrestle a suit into something edgy without looking trendy. He is the master and its clear when you see the transformation that takes place when a regular guy slips on a Varvatos jacket. No regular guys here, but take my word for it. Favorites are the olive double-breasted jacket and OMG that leopard coat. Not too much embellishment, just clean with a slim cut and sharp fabrics. Awesome.


Spring 2017 RTW

Is it just me or did the Spring offerings look more like Resort than the layerable looks we usually get for the season of crisp mornings and drizzly afternoons? The Pajama trend was still abound even though it has had a pretty good ride last year. There we plenty of light floaty dresses and thin tunics over palazzo pants – Resort right? Perhaps many designers are simply adding their resort items to the Spring lineup, or they just said fuck it and went for full summer wardrobes. Not sure, but it definitely felt off balance.

Hellessy

What I really love about these two looks is that I could probably wear them. No problem. Like, tomorrow. They would layer easily and they look comfortable and fluid. They could be accessorized with long necklaces, cropped jackets, sweaters, boots or sandals. They look easy, simple, but well made and quite lovely. Wrap ’em up!

hellessy

Stella Jean

Clothes for Carrie Bradshaw’s  hypothetical art school dropout little sister to wear on her vacation to Tahiti. Sex in the City had one of the best costumers in the business, Patricia Field and she is probably the reason why so many designers style their offerings in odd combinations and layers. I loved it then, when it was totally jarring in some instances and completely dumbfoundingly brilliant in others, and I love it here now. These clothes are playful, they are whimsical and they make me want to get crazy. Bravo.

stella-jean

Gary Graham

Ever since I became aware of Gary Graham I have become an increasingly bigger fan. The clothes are interesting. The styling is decidedly cool girl where the clothes could border on being old lady hippie. The way they walk that line fascinates me and keeps me coming back to see what they have next. This time out there is a nifty group of dusty florals and bohemian made at home feeling silhouettes. Simple shapes, layered in interesting ways that result in something I’d expect to see on Lisa Bonet. Who is awesome btw. I wonder if she wears this designer?

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Pringle of Scotland

I’m not really into plaid this year but when I come back around I’m going to think these are fantastic. Love when plaid is used in atypical ways like this draped lilting chiffon fabric. The stripes are great too in the design of the print and the choices of layering.

pringle-of-scotland

John Galliano

This season just as last season, there is a little hint of what we used to see in the lavish couture when Galliano was the head of Dior. Those were the days of Dangerous Liaisons esque drama with undertones of the Marquis De Sade. They were captivating. The wrapped and slung leather belts styled over the light floaty dresses are provocative yet tame enough to be accessible. The signature draping skills are in full force across shoulders and hips creating beauty in shape and form. Finally there’s a sprinkling of menswear that adds the edgy contrast that brings the cool factor. So good.

john-galliano

Libertine

It’s hit and miss with Libertine as sometimes the embellishments don’t seem justified by the design. When it works though I’m a fan. Especially when they antagonize the Queen. Where would the English be without Punk Rock? My favorites here are the Union Jack dress and cardigan and the black silk slip dress. Love the contradiction of sexy and snarky.

libertine

Alexander McQueen

What’s so captivating about this collection is that there are some many different inspirations happening all at once. Yet they all work together to create a striking and fresh Frankenstein. There seems to be some tribal, some India, some Hasidic Jew, some punk and some English heritage all carefully worked into this new creation. It’s so fitting that this cultural mash up come at a time when we are having a global cultural clash of sorts with refugees and new leaders wreaking havoc. To see how it can all come together into something totally new and how it can all compliment each other. Maybe I’m getting too in my head, but that’s what I see here and its fucking awesome.

alexander-mcqueen

Haider Ackermann

Impeccable tailoring. Edgy. Coolest designer out there. It’s not out of the question that I may find myself staring a Haider Ackermann fan club. This man inspires such awe and devotion, he delivers time and again and it’s always contemporary yet stays relevant over time. These are forever clothes. We love you Hay ay der, oh yes we do-oo, we love you Hay ay der, and will be true…

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Cushnie et Ochs

Ba-Bam! Wow, someone call Chrissy Teigen cause these dresses are edgy and foxy all at the same time.

cushnie-et-ochs

Maticevski

Once again the play with volume is masterful. Like a sculptor who knows his medium, this designer has the ability to craft shapes that transcend clothes and become wearable art. After looking at this collection it’s difficult to appreciate other designers collections. The works shown here take your head out of the fashion bubble and into the gallery. It’s easy to see that this will become a new and exciting minimalist movement that will set the tone for the post embellishment era that is upcoming and inevitable.

maticevski

Antonio Marras

These outfits are striking. They immediately bring to mind a 1950’s socialite who set the trends. When she arrived at the party all the other ladies whispered their jealous disapprovals yet secretly wished they had the guts to wear something that different and ultimately fabulous.

antonio-marras

For Restless Sleepers

So this is a line of Pajamas. I didn’t get that right away because of the big PJ trend that’s been happening, but once I caught on it was like, GENUS! I fully intend to become a eccentric old lady who slinks about her elegant apartment admiring her collections from her travels and THESE will be my uniform. Not that I wouldn’t wear them now nor that I wouldn’t want every single one, because I do. I just couldn’t live in them as I plan on doing later. I wonder if they do layaway?

for-restless-sleepers

Dries Van Noten

There is a decidedly 1930’s feel to the clothes but I cant put my finger on why my mind goes there. Perhaps the yellows and oranges against the creamy white and blueback? It has a vintage postcard feel that is so French and intriguing. That lovely serene woman with impeccable style and uniqueness. Je ne sais quoi indeed.

dries-van-noten

Dolce & Gabbana

Before there was Alessandro Michele there were Domenico and Stefano. These designers have set the bar for playful, sexy, bright and spectacular. And they do it again and again and again. The have a seemingly endless well from which to draw inspiration. They have never let me down when it comes to dealing out showstopper piece after piece of elaborately decorated garments bags and shoes. There will always be roses, there will always be corsets and there will always be black lace and gold trim. You can count on it.  It’s like coming home to a baroque embellished yet quaint village in Sicily for a glass of vino and a dance.

dolce-gabbana

Gucci

I said that I would no longer get angry at Gucci for having so much damn fun with this historic house, but my immediate response is NO! Stop it!

Why? Why does it freak me out so much every time? I know it’s going to be madness and color and ridiculous animal sweaters with stripes and sequin and on and on. Maybe it’s because it feels like a cheap Harajuku brand, or that it’s haphazard and ultimately doomed to become a cliché? A cheap thrill? Yet it endures still. I think it’s because I love over the top, stripes and sequins and color and rhinestones and tat and glory and I can’t stand to see it abused with abandon. Knowing it can’t possibly continue on at this breakneck pace. People will tire of it, the novelty will wear off and that will be that. (sigh) I’ll be so sad to see it go. It’s just so fucking fun to watch, and I really do love those bags and shoes and printed skirts with skull butterflies and sequin tigers and starbursts and beads and satin ruby red bows on celadon green skirts….*passes out*

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Men’s Spring 2017

My new neighbor is a 20 something man who is a model and in a band. He is gone for months at a time on tours so I guess his group has some success. He is definitely what I would refer to as a hipster, but in the most endearing way. You see he’s a bit awkward and decidedly geeky. When I see him he’s always dressed in bright colors wearing high-water pants and shrunken tee shirts with narrow jackets and occasionally glasses. I would classify his style as fitting with the new Gucci aesthetic and I get it. It’s pretty adorable because he’s such an earnest fellow. Normally I would say menswear should be more simple, clean and cool. But he makes me smile and I’m always curious to see what he’s put together. Honestly though not many over the age of 26 could pull off that style, but you gotta be you, no matter the age.  Fashion is really the easiest and most accessible form of self-expression. You fly your flag to seek your tribe. That’s why it’s so important.

Here are my favorites from the Menswear Spring 2017 collections.

Gucci

I can see now that fighting against the new Gucci aesthetic is a waste of energy. I am finally at the point where I know what it’s going to be and that they have no intention of puling back on the excess. Okay, so it’s a new and very different Gucci now. Gone are the days of Tom Ford and his sleek sexy vibe.

Tom Ford for Gucci

Gone is the era of the 1980’s preppy god.

gucci-1980s

It’s a new dawn and the sun is rising to reveal satin and tat in all its gaudy glory.

So here we go:

Gucci

Alexander McQueen

I really like the Spanish style embroideries used on the jackets here. It’s difficult to add embellishments to menswear and not have it get gaudy or too feminine (see above). Usually I would say it’s just for the rocker type but here with the provenance of the Spanish heritage it remains dignified. I’m sure this will appeal to the younger, more hip type but if you were a more mature fellow, I think you could pull off one of these beautifully tailored jackets for an elegant, yet relaxed affair. The key here is to dress it down. I also like the designed prints on the suits because they always stand out and look very special.

Alexander McQueen

Haider Ackermann

Here’s what I hear in my head while looking through his collections,  Haider Ackermann is the coolest. I hear it on a loop in a sing songy way. It’s automatic. Ackermann will never be confused for any other designer. What he does is so distinctive and pure. It’s inspired and fascinating. The use of color is brilliant in that it’s at once unexpected and then totally natural. Of course those pants would have to be teal blue! His man is always on the cutting edge without ever getting tired or overplayed. This is just an eclectic fellow with confidence who exhudes style.

haider-ackermann

Dries Van Noten

Mr. Ackermann and Mr. Noten are really the two designers who are leading the way for the next generation with their vision and their laser focus point of view. This is what true designers do. They create a world and let us glimpse it. They offer you wonderful options that allow us to just pay a price to buy a form of self expression. They are taking the hard work out of expressing yourself by showing you a wholly different perspective. Noten always seems to know just when to shift gears and does so from say – the fitted to the relaxed – with ease. The colors as always are just as important to the design as the cut and fabrication, and all work in total harmony. Noten, in true French fashion takes risks and always has a dynamic and unique perspective.

dries-van-noten

Ann Demeulemeester

Yet another very cool French design house, Demeulemeester always has an edge that inspires admiration and yet still feels accessible. You don’t have to be a model or a fashion guy to wear these clothes…well the stripes might be a challenge for the regular Joe. There are some pieces here that would work for anyone and add that little something that says – hey, I know what I’m doing.

ann-demeulemeester

Valentino

I always have a sort of “meh” response when I see a military inspired collection these days – especially if it takes the canvas and fatigues approach as opposed to the more exciting Napoleon era Galliano approach. But here Valentino has really borrowed with refinement and if anyone could elevate camouflage they can. They have designed these clothes to be investment pieces that you can wear like jeans; the solid zip up jacket and the olive overcoat  feel easy and rather timeless. A clean collection that has just enough to stand out.

valentino

Louis Vuitton

Vuitton by way of Vivian Westwood? They feature Sid Vicious’ famous lock necklace – which immediately played the scene from Sid and Nancy in my head “Oh cool!” says Sid as Nancy clasps the lock around his neck, “where’s the key?”

“What key?”

Sid bursts into laughter. I’ve seen that movie waaaaay too many times.

sid and nancy

I used to have this poster on the back of my bedroom door. Mom didn’t care for it.

 

 

Aside from that there are also the infamous Fur sweaters.

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Westwood and McLaren

Who is this new designer? As it turns out Kim Jones is indeed a collector of Westwood and McLaren’s and he has pulled some serious inspiration from them here – which is naturally my favorite influence of this show. There is  also some African influence which makes for an very unlikely juxtaposition. Punk and African that is, unless you were to reflect on the roots of Ska which is Jamaican but probably the closest association.  That’s just the music though and I don’t recall seeing any Rude Boys sporting Zebra Print. However despite all the confusion the Animal Print Creepers and  briefcase are perfectly awesome.

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Resort 2017

Not sure what to make of the Resort collections. It has always been a season that is up for interpretation and here it continues to be like California Architecture – a mix of all styles.  Choosing favorites becomes even harder  because I am choosing between drastically different types of collections.  Some are chic and breezy for a vacation while others are showing outerwear and brocade. I tend to lean toward the more warm weather wear for this season as it just feels like the more natural definition of RESORT. That being said here are my favorites.

Antonio Marras

What I love about this aside from the sense of nostalgia, is the way the patterns are mixed and sewn. The dresses have a certain old timey feel that appeals to my desire to play dress up.

antonio marras

ADEAM

As a big cardigan fan I can’t help but have a visceral response to cardigans looking cool and not conservative. Others often remark I look like a librarian or a teacher when sporting one of my many handy, lightweight layering pieces. So to see the cardigan shine here (not through embellishment or pattern) is pretty nifty. I also find the use of shape and proportion intriguing. The wide trousers, which are becoming more and more prevalent on runways are extreme yet still classic.  They choose a  pinstripe which is unusual for resort but it’s brilliant here where it acts as a more sophisticated seersucker. The touches of girlishness seen in the bows and flounces are paired with the more masculine stripe resulting in an easy, chic vibe.

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Elizabeth and James

This is truly a Resort collection. Wherever these girls are going I want to go too. This is elegant, breezy, sophisticated and cool. I’m feeling Belize, Cannes, the Spanish Rivera? A glistening aqua pool overlooking a magnificent vista. Sign me up – and pack these clothes.

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Nina Ricci

Ricci strikes the perfect balance between modern cool girl and retro 1930’s cool girl.

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Markus Lupfer

This looks more like Markus Lupfer for Target. It’s a decidedly commercial outing but that’s okay with me. Particularly for the resort season where you are supposedly shopping to supplement your transitional wardrobe or for a tropical vacation. Ahh the good old days when flying was a glamorous and exciting endeavor,  not like being on a city bus. Anywaaaaaaay, these are all solid items that work for either requirement. The palm print is a long time favorite of mine and I am pleased to see it come back into fashion. Showing it in navy/black is a nice variation on the classic green/white combo.

markus-lupfer

Anna Sui

I guess I would consider my personal style somewhere between gothic and bohemian. With that in mind this collection offers some very wearable and practical items for either my pseudo goth vacation, or just a nifty new dress or cardigan to blend into that eclectic closet of mine. Love the nod to grunge in the dresses but not quite sure I could ever wear a choker again. Like a former hippie swearing off bellbottoms or a yuppie rejecting shoulder pads, sometimes you just can’t/won’t go back.

anna-sui

Di$count Universe Australia

So apparently I need to go to Australia and get a job working with these two chicks. They are having entirely too much fun down there and it is blasted all over these clothes. The cut on the pink blazer is perfection and the leather shirt/jacket whatever that is – covered in studs is so obvious I cant believe I haven’t seen it before. The boots are outrageous and the color combinations are dead on. Rock and roll is alive and well in the upside-down.

dicount-universe-australia

Gucci

Here is what resort looks like when you give absolutely no fucks about what season you are designing for. I continue my love hate relationship (one sided) with the latest incarnation of this iconic house. The embellishments are getting even more insane to the point where I almost get angry about the gall of this guy! How dare he pile it on with total abandon, doesn’t he know where he works? Its like a slap in the face to the history of the house. A once elegant and daresay preppy powerhouse is now known for its insane hipster/dork gaudiness. It irks me to see the association because it’s just too drastic, but I cannot look away. Worn all together makes me want to cover my ears it’s so loud but if you pull out items on their own they are just. so. cool. ARRRRGH! SO COOOOOOOL. Green leopard coat? Yes. Silk printed skirt? Yep. Sneaky snake and floral printed spring dress? Uh huh. Tartan, leopard, stripes, cats, tigers, roses? Yes! I give up! You win Mr. Alessandro Michele. As if I stood a chance…

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Fall 2016 Review

We really get to have the best time drooling over the fall collections. It is by far the biggest blowout of the year. The collections present complete wardrobes laced with epic backstories. Layers of sweaters and skirts, boots, jackets and coats and the gowns! Hooray for gowns;  impossibly extravagant gowns, clean sleek gowns, embellished, layered, draped and dramatic – this is their time.  This is fashions bright shining moment where designers bring us their earnest best. Day to evening, including outfits for every possible circumstance. The nail-biting, the ulcers and the sleepless nights all come down to that runway and it’s so exciting. There is so much to see this year, so much variation and so much great work that it was very difficult to edit it down to just these few.

Damir Doma

Deconstruction had its trendy heyday about a decade ago so when we see it nowadays, you know the designer is a true devotee. This is their aesthetic not just a gimmick. And here it really shows. The use of the technique is thoughtful and designed which keeps it looking elevated and not shabby. The layering is beautifully done and enhances the garments’ proportions. While the color palette of black and white, neutral and utilitarian is true to the genre. My favorites are the jacket and coats, especially the white which compliments the all black uniform underneath with a hip result. (The shoes and jewelry are cool too.)

damir-doma

Aganovich

Aganovich gets me again. It’s still in need of refinement – there is something that is keeping it looking like design school level – not quite elevated enough yet. But they are definitely on to something and I’m still waiting to see them evolve…

aganovich

Maticevski

The silhouettes shown in this collection are amazing. The volume is done with such precision that it doesn’t overwhelm the model even when that seems impossible. The proportions are perfect, the fit is impeccable, the result is ultra feminine and chic.

maticevski

Moschino

I love the subdued jewel tones and the theatric elements of this collection. Jeremy Scott is known for his unapologetic designs which are usually more satirical and pop culture centric. The pop culture collections don’t interest me much but this one gets me solely on its charred dresses. (Although the day of the dead tails are cool on their own) The Dresses themselves are pretty but then he stets them on fire and they are suddenly tragic and punk all at the same time. No doubt this is a very fun show to attend and though the theatrics and sparkle got me, but the rest of the collection was just meh.

moschino

Paule Ka

If you are in your 20’s and in search of the perfect cocktail dress than Paule ka has got you covered. Well crafted and cut just right to evoke a playful simple charm.

paule-ka

Les Copians

Who wants to be snuggly, adorable and chic as that girl walking on the bridge over the left bank in Paris on a drizzly fall afternoon? I do!

les copains

Alberta Ferretti

The dusty colors and soft fabrics are lovely. The first dress is delightfully unusual in the combination of its metallic base and matte rusty-red detail. There is a sense of antique to the whole group that evokes nostalgia for feminine softness. It’s romantic and poetic and I find that irresistible. I love when the clothes transport you to another time and place.

alberta ferretti

Erdem

So gloves have been making a comeback. Talk about nostalgia. They often look baggy and sloppy to me, and God forbid they be spandex ((chills)). I love these three looks though, despite the gloves. This is a confident woman and she means business. Erdem always has florals and this print is one of the coolest they have done. The metallic and the green against the matte black background is dangerously close to looking upholstery yet reads as very sophisticated here, especially in the Asian style dress. The coat is borderline muppet but is saved by the graphic pattern of the fur. The shoes are fantastic too!erdem

Antonio Marras

There is something very unique about this designer. Nothing he does looks derivative – at least of nothing I’ve ever seen. He has such an original point of view that I can’t help but be intrigued. Where does he get his ideas? How does he come to his design resolutions? The choices are not obvious. They are in fact distinctive in their obliqueness. Whoa, I am overdosing on the vocabulary words. Just goes to show what an inspiration a unique perspective can be.

antonio marras

Gucci

It’s still an embellishment bonanza over at Gucci and I can’t say I don’t like it. There are SO MANY IDEAS here, it’s insane. It’s as if the designer has just been holding all of these colors and patterns and images in his head until he finally just exploded all over the workroom. There is chinoiserie, there is disco, there is every conceivable era from the 1900’s all the way through to 2015. What can be said? There are pieces I love here and there and little jems hidden amongst the Where’s Waldoesque chaos. I cannot imagine wearing it all together but mixed into a wardrobe, paired with some basics. For example a black camisole with those sequins pants would still stand out without going over the top. Or the Jacquard coat with good old jeans.  And it may sound crazy but that tiger bag could be an everyday item. At least it would be if I got my hands on it.

guccigucci

Roberto Cavalli

I love this interpretation of bohemian. It feels very authentic and not like costume for once. It’s decadent and full of rich fabrics, sensual textures and jewel tones. The teal blue with the deep green is such a stunning and rich combination. And who can forget the stunning yellow Beyoncé gown which is now iconic?

One of the best things about this collection is the styling. It is an excellent guide for how to dress something down. Yes, you can dress down sequins and you can dress down gowns. It can be one of the coolest cool girl secrets you’ll ever learn. The second look featuring the belted beaded gown paired with boots and a scarf is the perfect example. That dress on its own could go to the Oscars, but how many people are going to the Oscars… Styled this way, dressed down it can go out to cocktails or even an afternoon of shopping and a late lunch. Brilliant!

roberto cavalli

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Somehow Vivienne Westwood is always doing classic Vivienne Westwood. She has such a singular point of view which is never obstructed by trends or outside influence. It’s always just coming out of her head. It is so cool in there. I love that she shows slouchy yet tailored and masterly draped clothes time and time again. While not everything she designs is easily wearable, these four looks sure are.

vivienne-westwood-red-label

John Galliano

Ooooh there is a little glimpse of the Galliano dandy from the days of Dior. The cheeky Louis XIV rapscallion. Obviously not with the decadence of Dior Couture. This is more of a wearable – I’m guessing from the shoes – street style dandy perhaps? But those dresses do have the same feel as the stunning concoctions he showed on those ladies of the court in the 1990’s.

john galliano 6-john-galliano-1

Central Saint Martins

So these are student designs from the St Martins college, I don’t know who the designer is. That is a shame because these dresses are lovely and do not look like student work at all. The draping and cutting is perfect and in these shapes that it not easy to do. It takes a deft hand. Hope to see more from this designer – whoever they are!central saint martins

 

Rochas

I think my favorite thing about this collection is the color story. I’m dying to see burnt orange, teal blue and emerald green, navy and mustard yellow.  Here is more of a muted version of those colors, but I’ll take it. So satisfying! I also love the first three dresses because they require little thought, no special underwear or accessories. You could just throw it on and go.

rochas

Nina Ricci

I wasn’t sure I needed to include these dresses because they aren’t really anything special, yet here they are, included. Is it that they are kind of simple? We have definitely seen them before. Perhaps it’s that they are wearable party clothes. Most anyone could wear these shapes and these styles. They aren’t exclusive to a thin girl, a busty girl, a cool girl or a conservative. From left to right they are clean, playful, a bit flashy and a bit sexy. Wouldn’t one of these work for that night out you have coming up? I think so, and you would look really good. Easy! That’s why they are included.

nina ricci

Rodarte

The first time I saw this collection I thought, “My dream prom come true. A stunning, elevated, gothic prom complete with fishnets and live orchids.”

When I was editing the post I looked at this same collection and thought “Were they going for 1930’s French hooker?”

What a difference a few months makes! In either case I still really like these looks, they are so overdone in the best possible way. All the elements have been worked out and come together in the looks. Even with so much piled on there isn’t anything completing for attention. You get to see it all because it’s cohesive.

Rodarte

Haider Ackermann

This collection looks as if it is starting to borrow a bit from the menswear line – which  I love because as much as I like the menswear collection for men, I love it more for me! So this works out very nicely, very nicely indeed. Plus the added bonus of the very cool striped dresses mixed in amongst the infamously cool Ackermann cropped jackets. The colors as always are a perfect palette of brushed metallics, earthy base tones (in this case green) and a shock of electric color (here it’s pink). Do you want to look edgy and still be the picture of sophistication and impeccable taste? Do you want to look cool without looking trendy? I sure as hell do. My adoration for Ackermann is not secret and he does it true to form every single time.

haider ackermann 10-haider-ackermann

Alexander McQueen

I just recently watched the Documentary The First Monday in May ( I highly recommend it btw) and there is a section of the film devoted to The Met’s Alexander McQueen exhibit. I marveled at the images. I realized that I had adjusted to Burton’s vision of McQueen and had almost forgotten his genus. He was a master at showing beauty and nature in all its rough and raw glory. He reveled in Natures brutality and was fascinated by her adaptiveness and fierceness.  Burton is less dramatic and less in touch with that sense of awe and wonder for the world and now I feel almost disappointed. But is that fair? How do you follow a man who left no traceable path. He was truly inspired in the most pure form.

This collection by Burton for McQueen shows that she does honor his roots as best she or anyone most likely could. There are elements of romance, punk and natures wonderful display here and they are altogether cool and modern and spectacular. But I cant help but wonder how Alexander would have done it.

alexander mcqueen 11-alexander-mcqueen

Dries Van Noten

So many designers this season and the previous few actually, have been showing pajama sets and leopard prints. So it’s nothing unusual or particularly exciting to see them here. What makes this collection stand out from all the rest is class. The word “classy” has always stuck in my craw a bit because only classless folk use the term “classy”. It’s really more of a slang term so it seems to negate the credibility of the compliment simply due to the perspective of the user. Here though it feels like a perfect fit because so many of the pajama looks and leopard prints being shown by other designers are a trendy version: a rock and roll version, a club version or a quirky hipster version.  These clothes on the other hand, look elegant and expensive. They are high fashion, not trendy and marketable. No cheap commodities here – oh no. These are the clothes one aspires to wear. To be that park avenue woman who represents strength, intelligence and CLASS.

dries van noten dries-van-noten

Valentino

My first thought in seeing this collection is “Oh my god finally some new silhouettes from Valentino!” Without question Valentino has positioned itself as the bellwether for high fashion. Most every designer has elements (let’s be kind and say) inspired by what has been shown on the empirically impressive runway at Valentino. We can trace the illusion dress, the long fitted gown, the narrow shoulder and the turtleneck seen of late all back to this house. Not to mention the entire embellishment trend. They have been showing variation on these established powerhouse designs for at least 6 seasons now so it’s refreshing to see some new offerings that go in an entirely different direction. I love these fuller flyaway skirts and the lightness they bring. In fact lightness seems to be the theme of this collection which features feathers and clouds as motifs. The illusion dress has run it’s course so I’m excited to see where they go from here.

valentino

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pre Fall 2016

It’s going to be so sad around here when the embellishment trend is over. It’s getting so gloriously out of hand that its doom is assured. Fashion cannot, will not tolerate anything to go too far for too long. Soon it we be a big swing toward *minimalism and modernity, wha wha wha.

Enjoying this as much as I do it’s fun to see what I think is an influence coming from the reemergence of Cuba into the consciousness. There are so many beautiful bold colors and patterns shown by the likes of Valentino and Andrew Gn. Then there is the ongoing extravaganza happening over at Gucci. It’s so fun to see all these designers just pile it on. This is also apparently the time to stock up on those grunge era floral dresses as they are in just about every other collection. I am enjoying it while it lasts!

*(Although as I go though the images I am realizing that I included a few that could be described as just that – minimal and modern, and they look great. I guess what I mean to say is the trend that seems to have stolen the spotlight is embellishments while other houses will always continue to follow their own point of view. As they should.)

Here are my favorites from Pre Fall 2016…

 Jil Sander

This is more of the slouch look that I really have been enjoying from the past year. This is also minimalist and modern – but that is the Jil Sander aesthetic so they would likely rather shutter their doors than stitch on a single sequins. I really like this though, the wide trouser is easy and cool and the coat is like a modern New Yorkers idea of a Navaho blanket coat. It’s cool girl – but it’s also easily cool woman. Now that is refreshing.

 Jil Sander

Adam Lippes

Moving on here we see a touch of the inevitable leopard jacket that almost everyone seems to be showing these days. Hey – a perennial favorite – no complaints here. I like this group because it’s full of essential separates and solid staples. It feels very collegiate sophisticate. A good solid base for a young woman just building a wardrobe.

Adam Lippes

 Michael Kors

Always super wearable and distinctly American in the best way. Kors has this unique ability to channel the best styles from eras of American fashion and funnel them into modern looks. I love a printed trouser because I love clothes that do the work for you. With a good print you can easily print match or just go with a basic solid on top and still look stylish. The dress is versatile which is the mainstay of sportswear, add a little jacket or cardigan and you can wear the hell out of it. The coat is a great cut, and would be just as cool for evening as dressed down with jeans. Good old American sportswear I tell ya.

 Michael Kors

 No. 21

I have been waiting for the floral dress to come back for so long. It really feels like we haven’t seen this since the 1990’s grunge era. I had at least 6 and loved to wear them more than any other look since then. I wish I still had them but sadly I actually wore through my favorite ones and must have sold the others. In any case about 10 years ago I was looking everywhere for a simple long dress that I could layer and wear with boots or sandals and there weren’t any. ANYWHERE. So hooray for the return of the printed floral dress. I love the classic colors here, and the pleating feels cool and swingy. The babydoll dress and coat are respectively charming and studenty. (I like to add the letter “y” to words.) The coat has that look like a fashion student would love it (in the best way) because it is actually pretty cool. The last look is a nice marriage of both and I dig it.

 No. 21

 Rochas

More of that grunge influence in the styling and the “house dress” element. Love the colors and the florals being mixed with plaids and leopard. These combos are an all time favorite ever since I saw my first Ralph Lauren campaign. The slouchy coats are hip and easy, and that thigh slit is genus. The gold dress is just the right amount of frumpy, kind of like,”It’s so ugly it’s cool” right? The leopard coat is a nice one for sure. I particularly like the print itself as the color is less golden and more beige. The last dress has got a little break at the floor like a men’s trouser and that’s a pretty nifty detail.

 Rochas

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

I included this one more for the ideas. The first dress is really feminine and pretty just begging to be worn with a masculine element like boots or a mens jacket/moto jacket. Just not a fan of the print. Same with the skirt next to it, I love the shape, the lightweight fabric and pairing it with the plaid shirt, just don’t like the print. The final look features a skirt that is probably one of the best skirts I have ever seen. I love the extra long length, the pleats down the front, the tie at the side, it is the epitome of cool girl. The possiblilites of looks is endless: a simple white beater and boots with a leather jacket or layer on a slouchy ivory sweater or tuck in a loose silk blouse sloppily and pair it with a strappy flat sandal. I just want it.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

Erdem

Now these prints I love.

The first dress is just as simply pretty as it is ripe to be paired with a masculine element. It is so ready to be worn as a grunge dress just add boots and a leather jacket or oversized cardigan. The next looks are all about the print. Love dark colors contrasting against pastels.

Erdem

Just Cavalli

The First dress is a great throw it on to cover all sins dress – everyone needs one of those. The rest is just straight up grunge for the modern gal. The red leather insert on that jacket is clean and makes it special. The floral dress is just right, not too fussy or frilly, just enough length and transformable through accessories. Some good staples here.

Just Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Overall very costumey when styled all together like this. It’s as if you fell into an Aerosmith/Stevie Knicks acid laced smoothie. There are certainly some pieces you could cherry pick out of here that are amazing.  The jackets alone are outstanding and have so much potential of being your new favorite thing. The rest is just for fun.

Roberto Cavalli Roberto Cavalli

Gucci

Did someone say fuuuuun??? Yeah I know I hate that term unless you are talking to toddlers but really what else can I say? This is fucking fun. Here is a continuation of the theme from the last collection with the snakes and the trompe l’oeil… It’s iconic and great for the new designer to make his mark but I hope he moves on soon before it all starts to look like one long collection. That being said, whenever a designer goes full imaginarium there is always some amazing work to snatch up if you can. I am reminded of the original Moschino and his iconic surreal collections. These are investment pieces. And the gold pleated skirt is just really awesome and I really want it.

Roberto Cavalli

 Andrew Gn

Here is that Cuban look I was mentioning earlier. The colors, the styling and the vintage feel all take me to Cuba. I really love the sweet feminine designs with the bold colors. There is an energy to these clothes that is very unique. I especially love the lace inset blouses, they are so delicate and bold at the same time. Its exciting, truly.

 Andrew Gn

Valentino

Yet another stunning collection from Valentino. Full of energy and fantasy. The first group of looks have an Asian ethereal feel that is so calming yet have the energy of motion. Like a meditation by the water. I love the painterly colors – you don’t often see such colors, (for example in the skirt) in textiles they are more often seen used by artists. Subtle and powerful. The dresses are so lovely that it doesn’t bother me that they are the same silhouette and the same see through dress that has been done to death over the last few seasons. If you were going to wear one – wear one of these. The second group must be more of the Asian theme because of the dragon, but I just saw Cuba. The vibrant colors and graphic use of stars and explosive imagery. It is more in your face power as opposed to the earlier looks’ more subtle strength. I love these all, just inspiring!

Valentino Valentino


Men’s Fall 2016 Review

Men’s has been heading the way of more relaxed styles as a reaction to all the skinny suits and skinny jeans of the last big trend. Yet now we seem to be coming to find a tidy balance between the exaggerated and oversized, and the impossibly snug. This is great time in fashion when the trends aren’t swinging too far to one aesthetic. Sprinkle in a bit of Edwardian and Gothic and we’ve got Fall 2016. Here are our favorites.

Joseph

So here we have the moderate version of that slouch look. It’s an easy fitting pant with an easy fitting sweater and yes, an easy fitting jacket. It’s laid back, it’s cool and it’s surely a hell of a lot more comfortable than skinny jeans. (Always love a tuxedo pant.)

 Joseph
Costume National

I like how they have taken a bit of that Edwardian, Edgar Allen Poe Goth trend that is resurfacing and relaxed its often rigid aesthetic. You still have the costumey Edwardian vibe with the silk stripe pant and velvet vest but they aren’t quite so heavy nor so strict. The gothic peeks out in the form of pointy boots and zippers at the knee. Not too much, not too far, just right to work into an existing wardrobe.

 Costume National

Joseph Abboud

Here is an admittedly more subtle and decidedly English country version of the Edwardian trend. The Pants again are a bit more relaxed and the sweaters are easy. Love the relaxed feel of it all even in the velvet tuxedo.

 Joseph Abboud

Greg Lauren

Athleisure meets Ralph. The black on black vest and undershirt are a nice choice, keeping the vest from getting too hipster.  Then the jacket and loooooong shirt combo make a cool, albeit tough to pull off look.

Greg Lauren

Dolce & Gabanna

A really nice mix of the Italian houses’ signature flowers and appliques with the Edwardian influence. Love that leather jacket and excited to see a elegant little wallet chain. Believe it or not these pants are loose by D&G standards!

Dolce & Gabbana

 John Galliano

A little peek at the dandy with the flowers at the end. This is a cool guy who wants something distinctly different yet not gimmicky. Like most guys I know. The jacket and coat are just that, with distinctive design details which are enough to make them unique yet not subscribe to any trend nor specific era.

 John Galliano

Dries Van Noten

The French can thank Noten for keeping their name at the top when it comes to forward fashion. He often seems to take a cue from historic costume but always manages to completely make it his own. There has been a eastern influence in his work of late and here we see it again in the silhouette, the wrapped skirt and the buttoned up jacket of the worker. I don’t know if the embellishments are from a military or regal base. At face value though, they are very intriguing shapes and add a unique element of flair to the impeccably cut jackets.

 Dries Van Noten

Alexander McQueen

Edwardian Gothic is right in Burtons wheelhouse. She is a master at all things punk and Gothic especially if she has the freedom to make it a little femme at the same time. The prints are a gothic girls dream, all floral and butterflies in glorious black and white. The suits are so cool and the possibilities of mixing into a wardrobe are making my inner goth giddy. The long narrow black coats are stunning, especially the silver paisley. Finally, that rose print coat is like a dream come true. Oh that I had all the money in the world to spend on sublime flowery gothic fashion!

 Alexander McQueen

 Roberto Cavalli

This collection is like a smorgasbord of what is being shown by Gucci, St. Laurent and Marc Jacobs. Whether that is a good thing I don’t know, but I like what all those designers have been doing and I like what I see here too. Mostly the mash up of prints in dark colors and embellished velvet. The slouchy PJ’s and the leopard fur are all good fun. Not digging the chucks and the Aerosmith scarves but still some good buys here – mostly for me though, not so much my man.

 Roberto Cavalli

Haider Ackermann

Oh my God, a Misfits and Bauhaus mashup.

Misfits meet bauhaus

Ackerman answers to his own muse. This is not exactly on trend though it is undeniably gothic. This is rock and roll history in all its glammed out, hairless, skinny boy glory. These are rock and roll clothes and if you aren’t rock and roll at heart you just won’t understand and that is just fine.  If everyone liked it, it wouldn’t be special which is probably why it’s always leaned to the extreme – to keep the others out. When I started this review I had praised the designers for staying more toward the middle of the road on trends so I get the irony of closing on a totally extreme collection. I never said middle of the road was my favorite – just the most reasonable.

Haider Ackermann


Spring 2016

So many questions…

You’d think that designers who have longevity – wait, not all designers that have longevity – but some of them at least, would be pleased to see the revival of a look that they were responsible for. Like Armani – who you’d think could blow the doors off of the 1980’s revival seeing as he is the designer who led the way in the 1980’s. He was the top designer at that time who brought us the power suit. Is Armani thinking, “I know this – I can do this in my sleep, lets show these kids how its done!”? Then there is Marc Jacobs who was famously ousted from Perry Ellis immediately after showing his “grunge” collection (ironically his most influential)  which IS ALL OVER THE RUNWAYS now. From the super trendy St Laurent to the Italian powerhouse Roberto Cavalli. Is Jacobs thinking that this epic revival is his for the taking? Should he give derivative Slamine a run for his money? Or are they over it? As designers it is their job to move forward so do they just shrug and say its nice to see that I’ve made a mark on the industry? One that can be felt all over again, all these years later?  Which then implies it will continue to resonate in the decades to come as it will surely play out again and again in subsequent revivals.

It seems to me that the overall feel of  Spring 2016 (and then again in the just completed Fall 2016 collections) is Revival. And no era has been spared. The top designers are going from the 60’s all the way to the 00’s. Sure, someone is always doing an homage but when the majority of the top designers are looking back to go forward….that’s a big shift. Perhaps they have fatigued on all the “half and half” looks and the origami draping. Do they need a break from the desperately overdone, overworked and tortured looks meant to break new ground?  Now they just want to relax and make something they love inspired by a favorite bygone era? I think that having a break from trying to be the designer of the future will allow them to relax and clear their minds. When you stop trying so hard that is usually where inspiration is found.  My prediction for next year is that these same designers – now revitalized – are going to be pushing forward with fury. The collections for 2017 are going to be modern and clean and the silhouettes will be shapeless, straight and simple. None of the layering of pattern and costume frivolities we see now.

In a nutshell for Spring 2016 we see the beginnings of a huge trend of Fur, Leopard and Patent Leather with a gothic undertone all which carry into the Fall. Here are our favorites.

Mui Mui

So happy to see the bold prints and mixing of textures in this collection which first caught my eye in the 1990’s Prada collections. The purple print is my favorite because it  looks like it would feel joyful to wear. I also love the trench coat layered over the dress and the wide lapel double breasted coats (also a 90’s staple). They have a nice nipped in waist and are the perfect length both at the sleeve and the hem for ease of wear and practicality. This is the first hint at the gothic makeup trend there will be much more of to come.

 Miu MiuA.F. Vandevorst

I love a cool girl. The fitted striped pants are understated which is not easy to achieve in a striped pant. The result is instant effortless cool points, the belt is soooooooo coooool like a punk rock cummerbund then paired with the elevated blazer is a nice touch of class. The dress has that papery drape that would usually annoy me but I find myself thinking it looks really clean and sharp here – perhaps its all attitude? Hmmm. The last – those killer embellished  pants layered under the black embellished dress (?) is great because you can feel the weight of it, the way the metal embellishments effect the hang and that when she walks she can’t help but feel powerful, like an armor. It’s all so cool.

A.F. Vandevorst

Haider Ackermann

Ackermann is my current favorite designer. He must be, because he has done deconstructed neon pants and I like it. The fact that he would put neon yellow with ice blue velvet is enough to know that this guy knows what the fuck he is doing. The obvious quality of the work and the materials support the design so that he can accomplish deconstruction without losing any luxury. The pastels play off the bright colors so naturally that I wonder why it never occurred to me before. I love that – when a design is so successful that I have an ah-ha moment.  The signature cropped jacket is always spot on and the leather is supple and chic. Ackermann continues to inspire.

aa Haider Ackermann

Yang Li

Big flowy dresses are always on my list. Whenever the weather gets warm and breezy I have an innate desire for long fluid fabrics that will billow when I walk. It just feels good. These speak to that desire. The white swingy jacket, the black maxi dress, the florals with the full skirts and that jacket with the train are all easy to wear and make you want to parade down the sidewalk in the sunshine. The gothic color palette is unexpected with floral so naturally I love that too.

aaa Yang Li

Etro

Here is  more of that same feeling but with a vintage and exotic vibe. These are more of a lounge around drinking tea in the solarium just off the manicured gardens while discussing the trivialities of politics. Who’s in??? Tra la la!

aaaa etro

Anna Sui

Anna Sui always has a strong retro vibe to her collections, which is probably why she is one of my favorites. Especially when she taps into the 20’s 30’s or 40’s. This time it was a late 1930’s nod full of her signature prints and dusty tone color palate. I especially love the charmingly old Hollywood retro swimming costumes in the colorful prints. And the floral print floaty dresses are always welcome. Fair Warning: Generally, whenever florals are really popular there is always like a 10 year backlash where they are impossible to find so here our chance to stock up.

 Anna Sui

Had to include the final sequin look because it is a remake of an iconic costume worn by Barbara Stanwyck in the very funny 1941’s farce, Ball of Fire

Annex - Stanwyck, Barbara (Ball of Fire)_04

Temperly London

More resort-y springtime faire on the runways at Temperly London. I used to say that I thought this was the perfect designer for Kate Middleton, though now they seem to have evolved into more of a relaxed silhouette. More and more they are heading toward looser fits. I love the soft pink and black combo that they always seem to go back to – it’s charming in its innocent femininity without being cloyingly sweet. Always a sucker for a palm print, I like it here in conjunction with the English rose motif which keeps the palm from getting too trendy. The peasant dress out first is a nice introduction to the story of the collection and charming on its own. The blazer is not my favorite,  I’d prefer a lightweight knitted ivory pullover in its place with a low slung belt. A robe is the new covetable item especially when the sleeve and hem are long, as they are here. The Sheer beach dress has perfect pattern placement and the sequins jumper with the addition of the rosary is so cool.  Relaxed chic for Spring.

Temperly London

Alexander McQueen

Right off I have got to announce how much I love the redcoats juxtaposed to the soft rose print florals. All the details are beautiful from the touches of fringe to the tiny covered buttons and the eyelash festooned metallic lace. Burton has reigned in the ruffles and peek a boos from the last few collections and it looks like she has really gotten to the meat of it here. This is more restrained and better edited which makes it so much more balanced and accessible. The jewelry is STUNNING and so badass – I love the heavy chain and the boldness. It’s at once pretty, cool, soft and strong.

 Alexander McQueen

 Antonio Marras

This group is decidedly European. There is that thing about this designer that is akin to when you see a person from Germany (or some western European country) at a coffee shop and you can tell they are not an American. There is just something inherently different about them. These clothes have that indescribable thing and it’s really intriguing. The colors are unusual together, warm grey with gold, pink, ivory and crimson red. I love all the embellishments on the dresses and the makeup and styling are kind of like what you may see in an old oil portrait painting framed in some heavily carved gold frame. This whole group  has mystique. I love that.

 Antonio Marras

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce and Gabanna time! Bring on the colors, the embellishments, the lace, the corsets and the sexy. They always have some roses, some religion and some sequins so I always love something. This time it’s the flowers that were my favorites, along with the pajama theme that most designers are showing.  There are plenty of more is more moments here and I just chose some of the ones that caught my eye especially though I assure you there were tons to choose from.

Dolce & Gabanna 1 Dolce & Gabanna 2 Dolce & Gabanna

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

These are some romantic, billowy, spring and summer dresses. I love how the fabrics are light enough to layer but have enough weight to behave as a dress not just a nightgown. Obviously some clever layering would be necessary in the case of sheer dresses, but this brings the opportunity for brightly colored slips or light colored blouses – loosely knit cardigans…there is fun to be had. Just what I want on a hot sunny day with a big hat and cool drink.

 Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

 Valentino

Though the theme is not my favorite there is always stunning work done at the house of Valentino these days. I could not reasonably do a review without acknowledging the masterful craftsmanship and immense creativity of this team.

 Valentino

Gucci

Were do I begin?? There is so much happening in this collection and as a more is more subscriber, it’s hard to deny that my eyes are dancing. The colors are like a bowl of shiny hard shelled candies. The fabrics like they came from Diana Vreeland’s apartment, the details are cheeky and irresistibly playful. The trompe l’oeil ruffles are genius. I always applaud when a designer gives you a collection that you can own a piece of and be satisfied. Here you could have that bag, that shake charm shoe or just a ring and feel like you have a bit of the fantasy. This is purely due to the fact that the theme is so cultivated and merchandised for point of sale. I’m sure the investors are slapping each other on the back right now seeing dollar signs,  this collection is so easy to shop.

Gucci Gucci

Shoes!

So speaking of things we can buy, shoes! Shoes!! Shoes!!! We had to include these few from the runways.

J Crew

J Crew Gingham and Madras 1950’s inspired sandals! YES!

Miu Miu 1

Mui Mui Snakeskin T-Straps and blood red patent leather heels. Love the ankle ties too.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta does Vamp. Oh Yeaaaaaaaah

Marc Jacobs

I have discussed how excited I was to see what Jacobs would do once he had his own house to play in again. Having thrown off the shackles of Vuitton and it’s expectations, what delicious creations he would be able to unleash. Well this collection was just what I hoped for. The overall theme of the circus, the burlesque, the fantasy, he went there all the way and clearly had a blast. It’s so enjoyable as the viewer when you can see the fun that was had while they were designing. How each idea led to the next – the energy is kinetic and inspiring to behold. I love the colors, the fuschia and gold and the blood red and silver. The navy and burgundy and white! The details are abundant and make each piece beg the viewer to get a closer look. This is the best, most fun part of fashion – this is what sells the tickets to take the ride.

Marc Jacobs hh Marc Jacobs

Lanvin

The final collection by Alber Elbaz and it’s as if he decided to show us how it was all done. The revealing of the underwork is nothing but genius. There is so much meticulous crafted beauty shown here it is sad to think that this is the end. Lanvin has personified French fashion and this collection simply shows us why. Master craftsmanship, fierce attention to cut and form, and the highest of taste levels. Glamorous and elegant meet when stitched with lace and sequins, satin and wool. Breathtaking.

Lanvin

 Dries Van Noten

How fitting to end this review with French Designers. The Paris shows are arguably the most innovative. They innovate while maintaining a level of taste which is not as easy to accomplish as it may look. Noten has been at the top of the industry along with Valentino, Ackermann, McQueen and a handful of others when it comes to designing innovative and fresh collections that are legitimately wearable. Not to mention dramatic, yet poised and even downright practical at times. This collection is full of color and texture and pattern at every turn yet somehow it doesn’t look jumbled. Noten is an excellent stylist as well as designer which is why the collections always look so accessible. I love the evolution of the Chinoiserie influence in the prints. It is still there, on his mind from the last season but it’s morphing into the next idea and that is the best kid of tease in fashion. What will he do next???

Indeed.

z Dries Van Noten
 Dries Van Noten
zDries Van Noten 1