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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.

 

 

 

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Fall 2014 Ready to Wear

The Fall collections are the most anticipated of the year. It is here where you will see the strongest work of the season (hopefully) from the designers. Collections can be anywhere from 10 looks to 50 (if you are Karl Lagerfeld).  Every designer shows for Fall so there are hundreds of shows to see and likely thousands of collections to review. Here we have widdled them down from merely hundreds to just a simple few of the most impressive. In no particular order,  here they are:

No. 21

Always a fan of sparkle for the daytime. I love the dressed down styling here which lets you see just how easy it is to wear glitter in the afternoon. The pants are ca-razy and I would wear them all the time everywhere with a wife beater and an army jacket.  Also love a piece that does all the work for you like this coat for example – which could be thrown over anything and look like an outfit.

 No. 21

Diesel Black Gold

We used to carry Diesel at the shop.  We sold the hell out of the jeans and leather pants but never had much success with the rest of the line. This is because most of the time garments were trying too hard to be street and just came off kind of cheesy. There were lots of neon trims and graffiti style randomness on the clothes. This always made me crazy because they were cut well and fit well so they didn’t need all that nonsense. It makes me happy to see clean, wearable pieces that aren’t loaded up with trendy gimmicks. These are all great pieces here and I bet I could sell the hell out of them.

aa Diesel Black Gold

Michael Kors

I love this collection. Kors just keeps getting better or at least maintaining his high standard.  This is the sophisticated lady that is achievable for women. His clothes are priced well and he cuts with more sizes than most which is awesome because not all women with class and style are rocking a 26″ waist.

The fringe bags are cool without being western or overly bohemian. The suitings are drapey and easy not stiff and straight. It all looks so classic and charming, flawless.

B Michael Kors bags

b Michael Kors

Haider Ackermann

This is one of the best modern designers. I mean he designs modern. The clothes have a timelessness that seems to be of the future. They are designed utilizing all our modern techniques and fabrications with out feeling forced. He really has an innate insight into what it means to design clothing for now – without being derivative.  He has a true vision all his own that speaks to today – truly a designer who was born at the exact right time.

c.Haider Ackermann

Prabal Gurung 

I don’t always like experimental because often times it steps into art and thus no longer functions. This designer often manages to make something that could easily be classified as such look totally chic and wearable.

e Prabal Gurung

Roberto Cavalli

Once again there are just too many to choose from. I love Cavalli – clearly – as I probably have pinned more of his looks than any other designer.  I want to live in this world. These are clothes for living the fantasy and what would fashion be without the dream? This is where I would go for the killer dress – the knockout suit – the drop dead scene-stealer. This collection has some awesome moments – for instance, the leather studded fringe that somehow manages not to look like something Versace would do and make cheesy. The 1920’s glamour puss flapper dresses with the art deco beading that transition from “Angel” to “Devil” and the (holy fuck!) Flame coat with the fur collar… Yes.

ee Cavalli suits eee Cavalli black eeee Cavalli white dresses eeeee Cavalli red

Jason Wu

This is 1998. I wore these draped bias cowl neck dresses in burned out velvet and the plum patent leather witch shoes. I rocked them then and I would do it again. They are not original, not modern and not classic. They are pretty clothes and I really want those T-Straps at the end.

eeeeee Jason Wu

Salvatore Ferragamo

Ombre Crocodile? I give, you got me. I know Ombre is a crazy trend right now and I know it’s probably going to look like rainbow suspenders in hindsight but it’s just so cool.

eeeeeee Salvatore Ferragamo

Erdem

The clothes in this collection were beautiful and had some really gorgeous details.

The shoes blew them all out of the water.

Erdem

Vera Wang

I don’t think anyone could possibly argue the talent of Vera Wang. She is always experimenting with technique which is the mark of a true artist. The fact that she consistently turns out wearable clothing is a testament to her savvy . I also love that her accessories’ are always part of the designs – no afterthought. You can tell the jewelry has received the same scrutiny as the garments. In this collection she has once again shown us something new with the fabric treatments and details. There is always a sense of romance in her collections  (I say fully aware of her Bridal notoriety) that mixes dare I say; dangerously, with the darkness that is always right at the surface.

I think she is awesome – a true businesswoman in black leather gloves.

g Vera Wang g Vera Wang details

Hugo Boss

I never think of Hugo for women. Just suits. Nice men’s suits that you get at Nordstrom where they throw in free tailoring. These two looks caught my attention though because they have successfully accomplished something where many have tried and many have failed. These are both charming examples of the schizophrenic look we are seeing EVERYWHERE. The half pant / half dress of the she male from old timey freakshows has apparently been inspiring fashion.  Rarely is it successful and usually just looks like what it is – two looks cut in half and sewn together. I can see the designer in the fittings insecurely tilting his head to the side while the entourage all nod and say, “it’s fabulous!” Bullshit. It’s dumb.

But here, here it actually is done quite gracefully and it’s not too forced. It doesn’t look off balance at all. In fact the movement of the chiffon gives the feel that a full skirt has just blown open from the breeze to reveal the shimmery pencil skirt underneath. The fluidity adds a softness and mystique to the looks. Success! At last someone does it right.

gg Hugo Boss

John Rocha

I don’t know what this fabric is. Some kind of coated lace? It’s probably the best party dress I have ever seen.

h John Rocha

Talbot Runhof

I can only hope that they didn’t mess this up by featuring an open back or something predictably daring like that. This is like the hip yet obnoxious maxi dress you’d expect to see in some stock footage from the 1970’s. It was cool then for the same reason it’s still cool. It’s bold.

j Talbot Runhof

John Galliano

 What John Galliano did for Christian Dior was outstanding. He was/is by far the most fun, exciting, inspired madman of fashion. His disgrace is tragic as he is a true genius of fashion. He is what makes fashion so fun to watch. Apparently this line that goes under his name is not even designed by him.  This  is apparent even if you are not that familiar with his work and that too is disappointing. All things considered, I really like these two looks whoever they came from.  There is a bit of apocalyptic freedom in them that I really enjoy and they look comfortable. I do wish Galliano would design his own line though.

k John Galliano

Anna Sui

I have always looked forward to seeing the collections of Madam Sui. We carried her line in the store and the day her collection would arrive was one filled with the delighted squeals of shop girls. Always bohemian and always rock and roll – you can count on that. This is an awesome group inspired by a 1920’s starlet which is a muse that is always dear to my heart. The leopard, the chinoiserie, the silks and the fringe!!! Oh my oh my! I wish we could still put in a big fat order as I would defiantly be taking a few pieces home for myself. I miss you Anna.

l Anna Sui comp

Ladies in Lace

Lace was a big deal this season and it came in many manifestations. Here are some of the best.

Alexandre Herchcovitch and Tadashi Shoji both had their own version of this demure and delicate lady in white lace. Both are stunning.

Lace

Luisa Beccaria

Almost evoking Alice in Wonderland, when I first saw this I thought Temperly London. It’s just so pretty.

m Luisa Beccaria

Marchesa

How cool is this? The way they treated the lace with the dye and the texture, it’s like a doll that has faded and been worn out from years of play. It tells such a romantic and mysterious story. I love that, there is art here.

Marchesa

Alberta Ferretti

These are just light and pretty and feminine and very editorial. The lace overlay on the layers of sheer netting(?) is lovely. There is a kind of Victorian nightgown, 1930’s film noir dressing gown thing happening that is irresistible. These will be beautiful in the campaign photographs. I see a dimly lit Italian parlor with models strewn over fainting couches looking forlorn and melancholy.

mm Alberta Ferretti

Valentino

Another showing featuring dramatic prints, elaborate details and exquisite craftsmanship. I mentioned in a previous post that these are truly collectable garments. These pieces will without question be in museums in the near and far future. What is happening in the house of Valentino is as close to ready to wear couture as you can get and it is amazing. Oh and the shoes – wow. Wow wow wow.

n Valentino n V3

Alexander McQueen

This collection immediately made me think of Arthur Rackham. It is dark and fanciful – a Goth girl just loves that kind of thing. The detail smacks of couture in the best way possible. These clothes are obviously not meant to be practical but Lee McQueen was sure to dismiss any notion that his house existed in order to be practical in his earliest of collections. His successor has surely done him proud in her continuation of the fantasy that he clearly loved and strove to manifest. Not an easy act to follow by any means ( how do you  follow a tortured artist??? ) but Sarah Burton seems to be the exact right protégée for the job.

o Alexander McQueen

Wendy Nichol

I don’t think we have featured this designer before but if there is more where this came from we are sure to feature her again! These two dresses in particular are so beautifully considered. They have been designed just to the point where one more detail would be too much. Seaming georgette (?) is a tricky task and can cause all kinds of pulling, shifting, throwing off the whole drape – altering lengths and on and on.  They have achieved something very special here in the way the dresses fit that is admiable and quite lovely. These are gorgeous gowns that wink at the 1930’s and the invention of the bias cut. They feel timeless – my favorite thing.

Wendy Nichol

Iris Van Herpen

This is the only look I pinned from this collection. Normally that wouldn’t warrant being included in the favorite looks of the season, however this dress stands out. It is so simple and fluid yet the fabric looks modern while also looking ethereal. It’s like part dressing gown part resort kaftan. I would love to style this with some long beaded necklaces in dark red or pyrite or even tourmaline…hmm. You see? It inspires the wearer to make it their own. You could go heavy or light, dress it up or down – heels, boots, sandals – the possibilities! So great – I love it even more.

www Iris van Herpen

Kaufmanfranco

These gowns are fitted perfectly. The proportions are exact. These each represent an updated version of an era – the first the 1970’s, the second the 1950’s and the 3rd the 1990’s.  Here you have three looks that speak of classic decadent glamour but with a contemporary feel. The beading and sequin are expertly handled resulting in elegance – which is not always easy when dealing in sparkle.  You must be young, you must be fit, you must be privileged to wear these gowns. Not gonna happen for most of us but wouldn’t it be sad if they stopped designing for the dream?

wwww Kaufmanfranco

Would love to hear your thoughts – agree or disagree, who did we miss, who should have been included? Comments are welcomed!

See you again for resort!