Yesterday I had the good fortune to view Delpozo, Custo Barcelona and another menswear designer Pyer Moss. The highlight of the three for me was Delpozo, Papierdoll editors usually fawn for Custo but the Delpozo collection resonated more with me. Unfortunately it was viewed by me (and other latecomers) through the large picture windows surrounding the gallery the show was housed in. Let’s just say that I expected a showcase rather than a runway show, invites don’t specify, and I assumed the late start all other shows seem to faithfully adhere to. I was wrong. It started on time. And the gallery was beautiful, as were the clothes. Beautiful almost doesn’t cut it. There was a Dior Couture quality to the looks that spoke of modernity and Parisian simplicity simultaneously. As I watched one structured piece elegantly walk by after another, followed with a series of stunning organza, beaded and embroidered gowns, I had one thought in mind: This is the girl Shakespeare invented when he wrote Titania, Fairy Queen of the forest in a Midsummer Night’s dream. Each season Custo Barcelona throws an extravaganza of a show to display the collection. It could be a reflection of the growing […]
What do Brian Lichtenberg, Nautica and Mark and Estel have in common? Not much, except they comprised my runaround for the third day of fashion week, yesterday Sept. 7. Starting with the Nautica show at Lincoln Center (my second home), I began the day. Nautica offered a welcome respite from pin thin models on the catwalk, given it was menswear. I loved the models, I loved the models in swimsuits,the commitment to lifeguarding the stylist insisted on by hanging whistles around the models’ necks was awkward. What Nautica represented in this showing was exactly what you would expect to see. There were drawstring anoraks, board shorts, chunky knit sweaters and cardigans. The palette was…nautical navy, cream, white and black. It was the quality you come to expect from an athletic and active collection like Nautica. After Nautica, I was in a cab on my way to Chelsea Pier Studios for Brian Lichtenberg. In case you’re not familiar, he’s the designer who’s recently been sued for selling varsity-inspired T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Vicodin” and “Xanax” on the back. Celebs in tow included Perez Hilton andNicky Hilton among others. But what about the collection? What about the collection… I have to […]
Today I had the pleasure of attending NYFW’s opening day at Lincoln Center. The fanfare was out, the welcome wagon was in place, smiling, happy faces were glowing with anticipation. Okay, I jest, slightly. There were some smiling faces, but mostly the ladies were concentrating hard on their teetering heels and trying not to look in agony as they strutted both inside and out, doing their best imitation of whatever a fashionista is supposed to look like. I attended three shows (veterans get to be choosy): David Tlale, The Supima Design Competition, and Desigual. Tlale’s show was in a designated area NYFW calls “The Box.” No, it’s not a form of solitary confinement in a state prison, much like it sounds. It’s a staging area that literally displays clothing and their models on pedestals. You walk around in a sort of misshapen line, trying not to get in the way of the guys with the big lenses, and peruse. What’s my take? Tlale has potential. I give him an A for effort. Some of the pieces showed high fashion promise, and I think we’re going to see better things in the future. Points for cut back details, a well made […]
Jenny Packham‘s fall 2013 show was inspired by intellectual discourse in the sophisticated Paris salons of the 17th century. Or so says the PR info in the folder gently laid on my seat before the show. Packham delivered sophistication, undoubtedly. Stunning look after stunning look paraded down the runway, each one playing with some form of red carpet-ready embellishment. Particular favorites included cropped short-sleeved tops beaded in a delicate red flowering motif. Gowns that will surely be tried on by the likes of Kate Winslet (who is a Packham fan) and her A-list cohorts were also on parade in organza-overlaid, beaded and satin finishes. Bold hues of red and teal were shown along with cream and blush frocks, ensuring that no matter the wearer’s skin undertone, there will be an option. Though I failed to see any obvious direct references to 17th century style, this collection absolutely called to mind romantic, intelligent conversations whispered in hushed tones by women of elite status, in an equally elite setting. The Paris salons of yesteryear are today’s foundation benefits, political fundraisers and seasonal award shows. There’s no question we’ll be seeing them again, worn by our modern sophisticates.
Dennis Basso has officially been in the business only slightly longer than I’ve been alive, indicated by the homage to him and his 30th anniversary in WWD. As much as I love fashion, I have to admit, I haven’t been following it since birth. So the storied history of Basso’s success is something I have to take everyone else’s word for. I’m inclined to believe it, given the number of fashion’s most highly respected visages I saw in the audience. And I also have to appreciate the collection that was Basso’s own homage to his successful history. He’s well known as a furrier and did not disappoint his fans by running down fur topper after fur topper, each one feeling fresh, youthful and wearable. It’s easy to go old school with fur. He also marched a beautiful array of alligator jackets and furs accented with the exclusive leather. I adored his fall color palette of blues, greens and grays. Underneath his sumptuous outerwear were largely red carpet gowns (that were stunning and full of sparkle) and adorable fit-and-flare strapless cocktail dresses; however, he may have missed the mark by pairing a few of the looks with too-loose velvet pants that were […]
In an earlier fall 2013 review I mentioned that American Sportswear isn’t always about innovation, that we enjoy a reverence for classicism and simplicity. I stand by the statement, but feel the need to expand upon it after seeing Joanna Mastroianni’s collection. While you don’t need innovation per se, it’s certainly a welcome respite to see it. And Mastroianni delivered. Standard elements in the looks were beading, sheer chiffon, animal print textures, metallic fabrics, and feather embellishment. No doubt, you’ve seen all this before. Yet here they were again in beautiful, wearable ways that felt fresh. Whether it was through her use of color, pattern or cut, these looks were entirely new. Mastroianni’s woman is chic, sexy, and yet doesn’t shy away from color or femininity. She is essentially the type of woman we all want to be. I do, however, have one critique. The tubular, tufted embellishments on a few of the dresses reminded me of a matte string of tinsel around a Christmas tree. Added to crew necklines and in some cases in horizontal stripes around the base of a frock, it looked a bit too sweet. Otherwise, this was a solid A collection with looks that can easily […]
Upon walking into the box presentation for Rafel Cennamo’s Couture fall 2013 collection, I met with an absolutely stunning gold duchess print cocktail dress over a beaded legging that felt edgy and classically chic at the same time. A look to my left and right displayed one equally impressive look after another. Cennamo chose a golden palette throughout, expertly varying texture and metallic touches that precluded any notion of monotony. Every model donned uniquely different expression of the same theme. When I complain about a lack of originality, playing too much with current trends or disappointing cohesion, it’s because I’m looking for something like Cennamo’s talent amongst new and veteran designers — and not finding it. This was beyond a breath of fresh air from earlier presentations in the week. And for any woman who is worried the midas touch is on its way out, Rafael’s almost exclusive use of the color and metal proved that it has its place in a world of luxury and high design. From ball gowns to geometrically beaded sheaths that fit like a dream, this is the stuff red carpet dreams are made of. I particularly loved the chunky cashmere knits with hand-painted gold accents. Unexpected pairings that […]
Yuna Yang’s fall 2013 presentation included a decisive mix of well thought out, well constructed pieces and those that seemed otherwise lacking. From too-exagerated ruffles to too-loose sleeves on a white lace dress, it was difficult to know the direction the designer was trying to go in. Was there a mind to play with recent trends and volume? Was there an intention to deliver tailored pieces that speak to the sensibility of chic-minded consumers who enjoy innovative draping? Yuna Yang did both. If you find yourself shopping Yang’s collection, you’ll likely fall in love with the Grecian feel of look number 12; its universally flattering shade of blue and draped asymmetrical hem feel modern, despite the use of the (drape) technique American sportswear as come to embrace with aplomb. Likewise, I fell head over heels for the emerald green, v-neck frock whose texture and sleeve shape brought together old-Hollywood glamour and zeitgeist appeal. But for each high there was also a low and look 15’s coral, A-line coat with ruffle closure left me feeling disappointed and deflated, as did the blue lace overload of look 14.
Remember Althea? She’s done the project runway rounds and is gunning, of course, for recognition as a lead design talent with her own eponymous label. Her offsite show was a bit of a hassle to get to, given that things are so much easier traveling between showrooms and stages in Lincoln Center. But, made the effort, I did. And, while I hate to be snarky, ultimately I had to wonder why. Althea had a starry night theme that felt thrown together. Loose shifts with gold belted waists, mildly sloppy looking prints in colors of the sky at dusk, and tops that included metallic star accents all felt juvenile. Huge tied-waist bows to close constructed blouses muddled the fit and shape of what could have, at least, been a fun casual outfit. Overall there seemed to be a disconnect between commercially viable and a desire to be artistic and slightly avant garde. The result was a collection that showed impressive overall cohesion, but fell off the mark in terms of being prescient, which it seemed to want to be so badly. If I were Tim Gunn, still in touch with a former contestant (does he do that? IDK) I’d probably suggest […]
Cesar Galindo has worked under Francisco Costa and at L.A.M.B, now on his own with CZAR the Houston-native has created a collection he wants to be accessible to “every woman.” He may have achieved his purpose. There were certainly a variety of looks to pick between, all with a relaxed feel that gives way to the reality of cold-weather dressing: the need to layer. The show’s first piece, a boxy, powder blue coat that spoke to our sense of drama with oversized lapels, was the first glimpse of simple, classic-looking American Sportswear. From fitted pencil sheaths to casual tops that could be worn on your Saturday errand run, there was something in it for the practical wardrobe-builder in each of us. Not excessively creative, or even pretty, we had to at least appreciate Galindo’s commitment to his goal and his ability to follow through. There were a few looks that felt as if they were thrown in as a “high-fashion” afterthought, to help balance the danger of being too pedestrian. The metallic outerwear and suits will be hard to move out of stores — if they get there, as will the leather arm sleeves that are neither glove nor part of the […]