Tag Archives: No.21

Fall 2018 RTW

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

Alice + Olivia

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

 

No.21

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

 

For Restless Sleepers

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

 

Max Mara

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

Coach 1941

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

Simone Rocha

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

 

Dolce & Gabbana

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


Rochas

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

J.Mendel

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

Oscar de la Renta

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


Advertisements

Pre Fall 2016

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

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

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

Here are my favorites from Pre Fall 2016…

 Jil Sander

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

 Jil Sander

Adam Lippes

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

Adam Lippes

 Michael Kors

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

 Michael Kors

 No. 21

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

 No. 21

 Rochas

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

 Rochas

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

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

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

Erdem

Now these prints I love.

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

Erdem

Just Cavalli

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

Just Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

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

Roberto Cavalli Roberto Cavalli

Gucci

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

Roberto Cavalli

 Andrew Gn

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

 Andrew Gn

Valentino

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

Valentino Valentino


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!