Tag Archives: Haider Ackermann

Spring 2019 RTW

The buyer must be sweating it this season. As runway after runway sees models stomping down in experimental looks, abstract conceptualism and other evidence of designers either playing with fabric manipulation, expressing political opinions and outrage, going neo modernist and anything else you can think of. The idea of expression at any cost is rampant even when the cost is wearability and sellability. Neiman Marcus, Bergdorfs and even Nordstrom are going to be wringing their hands looking for the glamour for their society ladies and the wardrobes for the modern woman. Combing through all the art looking for viable fashion. In a retail environment where businesses are closing left and right can designers really afford to be artists and revolutionaries? I would argue there needs to be a balance of art and commerce where the designers that are steadfast will be seeing the rewards while the myriad others who let expression overcome practicality fall to the wayside. With so many voices screaming and clawing to be heard it all drowns each other out. Hopefully next season some of these will soften and try to incorporate their point of view into the clothes with more savvy, after all isn’t it the reflection of our times that turns clothes into fashion in the first place? But then again what better reflection of our current cultural climate than chaos?

Nili Lotan

Nothing exciting here, no newest and latest, no cutting edge or attitude. Just wearable, well made clothes that everyone can wear in real life. Practical and good. Thank God someone is doing it.

Carolina Herrera

There is a classic 1940s Hollywood glamour to this collection that is irresistible. The full skirted dresses, the bright colors and silky fabrics all harken back to the era of I Love Lucy when they were in Hollywood. Lounging by the pool and sneaking around the Beverly Hills hotel looking for movie stars. A fitting retro collection from the new designer, as Herrera has always been synonymous with classic, sophisticated glamour.

Petar Petrov

This is the first time I have taken notice of this designer and I’m hoping I haven’t missed too much. These clothes are wearable, they look comfortable, they are practical and they have a chic ease to them that make them extremely versatile. Who doesn’t need that in their wardrobe?

Libertine

At Libertine more is always more. This season was no exception. Patches made it onto just about everything – even stockings which has got to be a first – and pattern and color were on everything. I usually tend to like their less appliqued items and go for the more artistic pieces. This time my favorites were the painterly pieces and colorful graphic prints. How awesome would it be to pick one standout piece to add to your wardrobe from each season, have a curated collection of Libertine in the closet? A girl can dream – in color!

Moschino

I’m not including this collection because I love the clothes. More often than not Jeremy Scott goes way too gimmicky and overboard but this time… Genius. The idea of making the sketch – literally making the sketch is brilliant. I don’t doubt that these items will be highly sought after and collectible for may years to come. This is an iconic collection. Bravo.

Dice Kayek

Sure there is a doll clothes reference here, but the silhouettes are so lovely. The bright satins and crisp edged sinuous lines are striking and feminine yet strong. I love this resolution of ultra feminine shapes and strong defined edges. The curves of the full ruffles, waves of fabric and the conflict of those elements is masterfully controlled.

Paco Rabanne

As a longtime fan of the national dress of India this collection is a delight. It feels like the designer has taken that strong influence and sprinkled in some grunge shapes and styling and created a hip, fun and youthful collection showcasing the rich textures and colors of India. So great!

Kes

This is the first time I’ve noticed this designer, and it’s not that the clothes are that special, but as a group there is something so effortless and just cool about them. There is an understated confidence happening that feels inviting. For some reason I see the cool girl in these clothes – the Lisa Bonet  type. That girl who just knows exactly who she is and doesn’t need nor does she care to explain.

Ann Demeulemeester

This collection was full of fluid, flowing and dramatic pieces that have a dark romance. The styling is always theatrical but underneath all the theatre, the pieces are there. The stars of the show are the long button down shirts which work as dresses, jackets and…shirts! Remarkably practical and functional items that add a touch of that romance while allowing comfort and ease. There are also some breathtaking long lightweight coats that are perfect for adding instant drama.

Rochas

Good solid collection of uptown, chic clothing for the evolved fashionable woman. Some interesting silhouette tweaking as in the pale blush dress with the bows, and the LBD that make them feel modern yet classic.

 

Maticevski

This designer has been a favorite for some time for their voluminous shapes and lovely exaggerated ruffles. Ruffles aren’t often modern feeling but the manipulation is so subtle and feels so natural – like water over rocks or fabric caught in an uplifting breeze yet the fabrics are not light and full of actual movement they are stable – like a moment stopped in time. The result is like a visual poem.

Givenchy

There have been a few changes over at Givenchy where this time last year it was being designed by Ricardo Tisci.  He designed a bit on the dark side with themes like Vampires and Victorians and has always had a gothic undertone – in some of those cases overtone. He was a visionary and designed intricate, edgy, luxury garments that more than qualified him as a master. This newer designer, Clare Waight Keller, still has an edge to her design yet it’s not quite edgy and definitely not gothic. Personally I miss the drama of Tisci’s collections but I cannot dispute the fact that Keller is good. Maybe even better than good. Her Givenchy may not have the drama but it does have the glamour and upholds the sense that this woman – the Givenchy woman – is a woman of status and distinction. The star of this collection is the genus crystal shrug/cap/caplet whatever it is, little layering piece. I have never seen that before and it’s certainly a piece that is versatile (if you are in the high society world) while still being special. Looking forward to seeing what other genius pieces she will design.

Dries Van Noten

What can I say about Noten that I haven’t already gushed? That he is my idea of the quintessential French designer – always chic, always totally unique and not giving a shit about trends. Always perfectly balanced design regarding proportion and fit. Always a strong point of view with a stunning use of color and print. Here again, he pulls off the definition of “jen ne se quios” with cool confidence.

Haider Ackermann

As a woman who has always borrowed from the wardrobes of men this collection totally spoke to me. The looks were designed to be shared between the men and women and were designed to work for either. The prints were beautiful yet masculine, the cuts modern and perfectly tailored as usual except this time with a few more straight lines in the jackets and pants. Which only makes them look even more modern. The pops of bright yellow and green along with the ever-present black and white and the hint of a metallic seem to be a signature of late and come together seamlessly, no pun intended.

Oscar de la Renta

Hooooow can I express how much I love what is happening at the house of Oscar? It is everything that got me excited about fashion in the first place. It is clothing that is transformative. In the tradition of the great houses of Paris in the heyday of couture, these garments are simultaneously elegant, expressive, sophisticated and exquisitely crafted. These are clothes that those who are lucky enough to own them – or even borrow will instantly realize what an experience it can be to be dressed in the best of the best. The feeling of confidence, pride and transformation.


Advertisements

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.


 


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.

 

 

 


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?

gary-graham

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…

haider-ackermann-10

haider-ackermann

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*

gucci-1

gucci-2

gucci-3


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.

westwood

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.

louis-vuitton


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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


Men Spring 2016

Has 2015 been this looooooong of a year?? These collections seem like they are from ages ago. I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and work on the review and most of the images don’t even resonate anymore. I’m really surprised by that. Usually I don’t flip a switch that quickly, maybe it’s just because this year has indeed been a long one with some major changes. Experiences can shift your point of view, proof is right here. But I’m going to stick to my guns on this and show the majority of the looks I had picked way back in September.

Gucci

So I had been really excited about Chinoiserie this time last year. I even had a chinoiserie themed Christmas tree.  I painstakingly hand made at least 75 paper cranes that were glittered and tucked into the branches of the tree, the garlands, the wreaths and all. It was my obsession. To see some of the Fall 2015 and forward collections featuring that same idea was really satisfying. Even 3 months ago I was still thrilled to see these exquisite bird and branch patterned fabrics and embellishments.

Gucci
Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Dolce & Gabanna

This is more of the Italian version but in the same vain. I love the Pajama influence in the suit, it goes with my whole slouch theory from last season.

Dolce & Gabanna

Marc Jacobs

Speaking of last season, here is that same drip of a model from Jacobs Fall outing. What’s the deal Jacobs?

These pants are what it’s all about – these are very similar to the drop dead killer pants that started my obsession with Haider Ackermann (see below).

Marc Jacobs

Third pair…Still love this.

Haider Ackermann Spring 2015

Haider Ackermann Spring 2015

Haider Ackermann

Speak of the devil. In this new season Ackermann evolves the Asain influence. The center look most notably as well as other moments through the collection. This one was my favorite though, it is very wearable despite the potentially costume-y nod to traditional robes. Leave it to Ackermann to push forward with the idea successfully all the while making the designing seem effortless. The other two looks reference a 1980’s hipster which could go so very wrong yet it doesn’t. It looks cool enough to make me question why I would ever turn my back on a drop shoulder coat.

Haider Ackermann

Ermenegildo Zegna

More oversized, softened styles here and I’m really surprised that I love the colors. Normally all these pastels would be a huge turn off.  The coats themselves feel very 1960’s business man but the colors are so humble that you get this charming kind of sheepish he’s a gentleman but he’s earnest? I need a thesaurus and a poet to help me express myself here. I just find it charming in a rosy cheek kind of way. I try – I do.

Ermenegildo Zegna

Lanvin

In keeping with the theme, here are some more exaggerated shapes – note I don’t say “baggy” which would be a direct reference to the 1980’s. (Despite the model in gray bearing a striking resemblance to Al Pacino in Scarface) These are carefully tailored clothes, simply cut wider and fuller but the lines are still strong. Nothing sloppy here which makes all the difference. This red coat is outstanding I would share it (maybe) and wear it!

Lanvin

John Varvatos

Consistent. Varvatos delivers for his customer there is no doubt. This man will always have a sharp new suit every season that will be clean, fitted, and cool. If he wants to get crazy there is a version of the oversized coat thrown in there too. It’s so nice to have a designer at this level – in this rock and roll world who just gives you what you want.

John Varvatos

Roberto Cavalli

This collection actually looks more like his womenswear than what he usually delivers for the guys. I was a little surprised that the silhouette was so lean when he usually goes more broad – more beefy if you will. I know there is a new designer for the women’s, I don’t know if the men’s has been taken over as well but it does feel different. The women’s latest collection was horrible and felt like a very different house. In fact it’s the similarity to the original womenswear that leads me to believe that this was still by Cavalli’s hand. In any case I do like the clothes but more for me! Hah!

Roberto Cavalli

Thom Browne

Thank God for Thom Browne! Circling back to the chinoiserie influence by way of Edwardian gothic! I think this is incredible. By far the most stunning collection of the season. These are art. This is art.

Thom Browne