Archive for February, 2013

February 28, 2013

Calvin Klein Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

If anything, Calvin Klein is certainly the place to find lingerie-style little slip dresses.  Francisco Costa takes this to a whole different level with his interpretation of the feminine ideal hourglass figure.  In doing so, he brings back the haute couture glamour of the Christian Dior New Look and merges it with the sensuality of a forties pinup and the nineties elegance of Carolyn Bessette.  The end result is something highly sculpted and yet innately modern. To borrow from Mr. Bowles, “Costa used stiff fabrics–silk gazar and duchess satin–often bonded with acetates, and draped and manipulated them to stand up on their own.” I love how Costa has layered sheer overlay in a variety of ways, producing different effects of translucency in each look.  Also, the embroidered patterns of leather piping create a rather fabulous cage-like structure over sheath gowns.  Overall, this collection is superbly put together, elegantly referencing design history while creatively reinterpreting it into the Calvin Klein DNA.

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February 28, 2013

Proenza Schouler Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

Proenza Schouler is always intriguing in that Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez tend to take something well known and splice it into something entirely different.  Spring 2013 evolves from color-blocked pieces of perforated leather to conclude in a collage of random photos found on Tumblr, literally marrying technological advancements with satin dress designs.  And the results isn’t always pretty, but it is mesmerizing to watch.  It is also eye-catching as hell.  The journey in between is a patchwork of the two: solid perforated leather gives way to quilted leather blocks which then snakes its way into “bias-cut chiffon dresses” which winds into enthralling swirls and eddies about pieces of black lace.  The final set of looks finds a way to combine a bit of everything, incorporating the digital print with geometric blocking.  All of which is then perforated with grommets and little satin discs of matching color.  The overall collection is unbelievably complex and uniquely striking.  And I don’t know any other design who could pull something like this off without coming across as highly bizarre.

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The Proenza Schouler boys (I know that they are all grown up now, but still!) are pushing design boundaries with this collection, crafting together something coolly avant garde.  They have graduated from those chicly collegiate days with the tie-dye hair and the midriff barring surf gear, and I have certainly enjoyed the journey.  This feels oddly like modern art to me (probably in the loosest sense  because hell if I know anything at all about modern art) driven by the world we currently live in.  And in the end, this collection is “perversely chic” (Hamish Bowles) with its uniquely modern references and beautifully parsed pieces.

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February 28, 2013

Narciso Rodriguez Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

Narciso Rodriguez also displays some lovely sheer silk panelling for spring.  His version, however, tended to manifest itself in little slip dresses and lingerie-style pieces.  Though largely monochromatic in his color palette, the black and white is punctuated with vivid jewel-tones, adding bright fuchsia and tangerine into the mix.  I love the insouciant tailoring on display with structured tuxedo jackets easily hanging over curved slip dresses and easy flowing tanks.  And while his is a rather one-noted affair of sheath and slip dresses, I don’t mind overly much.  A good number of these pieces can be easily translated for a night out.  Or rather, due to their ease of access, it would be better to lounge around in instead.  These sort of clean tailoring feels on point spring as it is uncomplicated and falls just right.  If anything else, at least this collection appears highly comfortable to actually wear.  That certainly cannot be said of most fashion, in spite that “ready-to-wear” title.

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February 28, 2013

Sophie Theallet Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

I don’t normally post on Sophie Theallet.  Aside from a few distinctive looks, I tend to pass on in favor of some seasonal favorites.  That being said, I really enjoyed the relaxed pairings she presented for spring.  There is an easy, clean look to her collection, something I tend to favor in warmer weather.  And while the accessibility is certainly appreciated for a prêt-à-porter collection, I am more interested in the sheer layering that Theallet has going on.  I did not expect to find myself so enticed by the idea of transparent silk panelling, but I am intrigued by it nonetheless.  There is a subtle sensuality about the collection with the light layering and flounced skirts revealing a slit all the way up to there.  Theallet also presents a rather nonchalant tone, adding little peeks of skin amid the chic, put together looks. The small peeks of skin is unexpected in the normally standard spring staples.  Coupled with cute strappy sandals and just a tad messy eyeshadow, and I am sold.

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February 28, 2013

Marchesa Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

While exquisitely embellished as always, I found Marchesa Spring 2013 far more temperate than I am used to expecting from Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.  I have come to anticipate being transported to a romantic, highly wrought fantasy when viewing a Marchesa collection.  And though the Southeast Asian inspiration is evident rather than literal (for that I am grateful.  Nothing is quite as disappointing as seeing inspiration literally transplanted into a collection), the beading and embroidery technique is the most exciting aspect for me.  The overall look is feminine and certainly very pretty, but that is really the only feeling I draw from it.  The prerequisite silk, tulle, and gold lace are all there, but there is nothing inspired about this collection.  Perhaps I am being a bit harsh about what is, after all, a very elegantly put together collection.  It is rather difficult to sustain a hit with collection.  However, we have seen better from Chapman and Craig  I want to feel something beyond just “pretty” from a Marchesa collection.  And on that note, at least, it will make for a rather gorgeous set of prom dresses come spring.

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February 28, 2013

The Row Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

There is always a sort of serene grace to any The Row collection, a nonchalant kind of elegance that make its a perennial favorite of a certain type of woman.  Labelled “American folk minimalism” by the designers, this theme suits the line as a whole, especially considering the the personal style of the two in question.  While decidedly not bohemian, Spring 2013 has a poetic romanticism to it.  It is a collection rendered in creams, blushes, and ivories with the occasional black or red.  But even the deeper colors are quietly present, hardly disturbing the composed look son display.  The fabric choices deliberately play into the easy, chic tone: silk, crepe, and Japanese cotton crumply beautifully into loose, layered silhouettes.  I love the long, lean line they have created with draping and panelling.  The Olsens are refined designers, providing timeless, almost meandering glamour in a modern, fast-paced world.  They are uncompromising in their vision, refusing to produce trender pieces more geared towards their own age set.  Of course, this is only to be expected of a pair that just won the coveted CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award.  Their line is both tasteful and thoughtfully done, something that quite belies their age.

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February 28, 2013

Rodarte Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

“Medieval fantasy world…fantasy role-playing games…being who you imagine your best self could be.” – Kate and Laura Mulleavy

The Mulleavy sisters have quite an imagination and an even better talent for rendering their imaginings into reality.  They have dreamed up a sartorial armor of sorts for Spring 2013.  Intricate folds of leather, brocade, and silk are fashioned into breastplates as if they were modern day coats of mail while even the more ethereal gowns of flowing chiffon are toughened up with leather insets and chains. And I love how geometric print is woven into the collection, adding a sci-fi element to this trip into medieval cosplay.  The color palette is beautifully done with bold unusual combinations.  One might expect the result to feel rather eclectic in the end, but the Mulleavy sisters have an exquisite sense for detail.  The audience is never overwhelmed by the numerous print or a potentially clashing color scheme.

Moreover, this collection is fanciful and yet intriguingly “unpretty.”  It is certainly not romantic in the usual sense–with frayed leather biker jackets and samurai-like bodices in the mix.  Traditionally soft fabrics are stiffened into sharp pleats and structured lines, beautifully holding shape in origami-like folds.  The cutting technique, of course, is superb. And while there is certain sense of whimsy to this collection, each look is still utterly wearable.  One never has the feel that any piece is too precious for every day wear. Of course, my takeaway from this would be the fabulous platform shoes and the even more fantastic ear cuffs, so what do I know?

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February 20, 2013

Vera Wang Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

Say what you will about Vera wang being the reigning bridal gown queen, but she certainly does some exquisite detail work.  And before I say anything else, I must say this: I found this collection absolutely gorgeous.  I love how she has taken warm weather staples like bermuda shorts and summer dresses and given them a rather opulent makeover.  The idea of elevated sportswear is highly appealing to me where the silhouette is kept relatively simple while whimsical details sort of explode all over it.  The template provides a balanced foundation for such embellishment.  And more importantly, each look provides real world options without losing out on quality or craftsmanship.  Vera has provided a lovely sense of glamour to everyday dress in this collection.  The texture and fabric choices are divinely intricate with gold filigree lace and elaborate embroidery while the jewel-toned color scheme is equally as vibrant.  And of course, the shoes take the cake for me.  Fabulous nude wrap wedges that appear positively balletic?  How could I resist?

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February 20, 2013

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

“Young girls need to learn that sexiness isn’t abut being naked” – Marc Jacobs

Over the years Marc Jacobs has somehow transformed into part of the fashion establishment without losing any ounce of his quirkiness.  For one, he has a remarkable mind for fashion history as he effortlessly switches from one era to the next.  And even more impressively, he does this without losing his own design voice in the process.  His astonishing talent allows him to take easily recognizable elements from a particular era and fashion them into a collection that feels new and, more importantly, decidedly his. And all throughout, Marc Jacobs never loses his sense of self, allowing him to drive his vision of exquisitely crafted clothes and archival history.

Spring 2013 pays tribute to sixties mod, easily evoking the world of Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick.  While the more obvious aspects can be seen in the winged cat-eye liner and and exaggerated eyelashes, classic black and white stripes are reworked into punctuated patterns that come across as distinctly modern.  Straight lines, midi skirts, and pants-less stripes feel effortlessly cool and energetically off-kilter.  It is hard to fully encompass the feel to this collection as so much of has to do with the initial visceral reaction to it.  I found the collection well-crafted, beautifully executed, and rather fantastical.  However, in an entirely way from the darkly romantic feel to, say, Alexander McQueen.  Marc Jacobs has always been a masterful showman; he is able to smoothly transport his audience into his world at every show.  And it has proven highly effective considering the number of looks that have transitioned onto the red carpet recently.

For a more comprehensive review of this show, please read Hamish Bowles’ take on it.  It is much more coherent.

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February 1, 2013

Donna Karan Spring 2013

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Credit: Vogue.com

Donna Karan Spring 2013 is a rather serene look at urban dress.  Soft and bit dreamy, spiral-cute skirts and empire-waist gowns have an easy sort of grace to them.  Each look is beautifully draped and elegantly folded.  I love the languid line to each piece as it lends a reflective sort of peace to this collection.  There is a lightness to this rather unusual tribute to New York City, but I like this kind of quiet reflection upon a city so rapidly paced.  Moreover, slow meandering tone utterly suits the easiness of summer.  And though this collection is delightfully wearable right off the runway (vibrant red eye show aside), there is nothing ordinary about the craftsmanship.  The foundation to its serenity, after all, is the papery Japanese-style cotton which has been has beautifully crinkled like deliciously rumpled crepe.  There is a pretty, worn-in feel to this sort of fabric. Elegance at its best.

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