Sunday, February 26, 2017

Salvatore Ferragamo MFW fall 2017



Since the departure of Massimiliano Giornetti, I have cast a wary eye towards the brand that the designer cultivated and reimagined during his tenure brand. Last season I was taken with Fulvio Rigoni’s collection but this season yields and elicits an even stronger reaction.
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Let me preface to say, I am not sure this collection is geared to the existing Ferragamo customer BUT this is a collection that is designed! It is laser sharp and created with a deft skilled hand and a discerning eye. I was first taken with the “color blocking” which was achieved in a series of patterns rather than with color and done in the most subtle of ways. 
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Then of course there is the overall mean clean sharp silhouette … almost minimal, not clinical, but in some ways very chic, but nevertheless hard-edged. It’s a very lean presentation in terms of looks but it is laser focused on daywear which in my opinion in the way to go these days.
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So, one must assume that a new direction has been set for the brand which will take some time to gestate and gain a toehold at retail but hell, it is a pleasure to witness a collection that has actually been designed, thought out and not another “me too” moment. If I was forced to draw a comparison, I might liken it the mindset of Akris.


Again, part of my attraction is the subtlety that the designer has used to send the message which IMHO is very much of the DNA of the brand. The brand is not a screaming “look at me” brand but one of those heritage brands that has emerged as fashion that does not lean on trend. As usual the collection is heavy on outerwear but surprisingly lean on accessories which is a bit strange but in one respect, that does allow you to solely focus on the clothes.
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And in a rare moment of restrained praise I say ... I look forward to what comes next in the evolution of the brand

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Missoni MFW fall 2017



There is something about a heritage brand that keeps you coming back for more even after they have  strayed too far from their original roots or DNA and ventured into the world of trenoidal fashion. The case in point is Missoni who built their reputation on knits… sweaters and sweater dressing to be precise (with a distinct color palette) and if there was ever a time to tap into that DNA, this is the season to do it. 
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Having been around fashion for longer than most have been on this earth, I am reminded regularly that if you stick to what you do best then eventually you rise to the top of your game. Fashion observers, critics and designers seem to believe that rocking the world or trying to shock and awe are the only ways to truly be fashionable or for that matter fashion worthy or that most hated of words… relevant!
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When perusing the images please take note that Missoni is best when it focuses on what they do best and falters most when it strays to that alien territory of trying to be too of the moment or too much of a design house. I am usually nonplussed by their collections since they try far too hard to be what they are not but this season they are able to be powerful and potent with their offerings. One might go so far as to say they may just “suffer” a revival if not gain a whole new audience. It is not so much stepping out of your comfort zone but how you do it and this season they are an Olympic 10!
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My question has always been the same and that is why ... after you spend decades building a brand identity do you suddenly decide to toss it in the trash and in the process surrender your market share?
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The photos tell the story and if you are cognizant of what made Tai and Rosita Italian fashion royalty... Well then it is time to find out why Google was invented!

Bottega Veneta MFW fall 2017



Donatellamamamia… TAKE NOTE!!!! This is what happens when you take a stand and not bother with the so called trends of the moment. To me, this is a huge departure for Maier who emphatically states through this collection that classic is not boring and retro is not dated… enter the strong shoulder… not the exaggerated shoulder but a strong demanding powerful silhouette.
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Obviously, there is an equestrian bent to it at the onset and then it is all about the crisp sharp tailored pieces which some will say meh and I say they are sexy, laser sharp in their edges and what fashion is really missing and that is clothes to wear… no pretense… no blah blah … no gimmicks or sight gags. 
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The next diversion or tangent for Maier is the 40s with dresses that memorialize those of that era yet they look totally au courant and massaged to be contemporary. Maier clearly has a deft hand when interpreting references of the past. If one wanted to be a bit more esoteric, one might say he drew inspiration from the infamous 1971 Saint Laurent haute couture collection that raised the ire of the international fashion press.


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Nonetheless, I’m all in here... This was flat out polished chic, sophisticated, urbane, and so hard hitting without any reliance on any trickery or deflection from the fact that this is all about fashion! Yes, Virginia there are clothes you can WEAR!  Great coats... great separates… great palette … daywear... dinner dresses... great evening... OH MY… a collection!
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Versace MFW fall 2017



Here is when you have to imagine what would have happened if a clear mind had prevailed and taken it upon themselves to edit the collection and yield a cohesive non gimmicky moment for this troubled brand. The trouble comes from the consistent flip flopping of looks in past seasons as well as the brand having lost much of its luster as well as its identity. 
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Donatellamamamia could have actually presented a singular message that was deeply rooted in the tailoring DNA of the brand but instead it went to hell in a hurry with the sometimes silly Vetements moments and all the verbiage all over these rather expensive supposedly message sending clothes. It is my opinion that women who spend this kind of money don’t need to spend 1000s when they can achieve the same sentiments in a $20 tee shirt from H&M  or $500 ones from the likes of Vetements or now in the Maria Grazia days of Dior. 
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Yes, I can forgive the overly exaggerated shoulders and the Donatellamamamia makeup of the models but how slick would it have been to show those Helmut Newtony rigidly tailored dominatrix power suits which would run counter to the current moods in our fashion capitols. Alas, Signora gives in to trend and gimmick and it cost her in more ways than one. When the signature chain mail pieces fall flat and the so called evening wear is either too tricked out or yawn worthy … well then you know something isn’t quite right.
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So to demonstrate the point I broke it out in sets of images . .. the boners and the beautiful.. you decide!
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Etro MFW fall 2017



It is riche... it is niche ... it is luxe... it is boho... it is an explosion of patterns... it is a souk of colors and it is undeniably ETRO. There is little like it and it is one of those brands that even though the audience is rarefied at best, it hardly ever deviates from its roots. 
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The stars here are obviously the jackets and coats and god knows there are plenty of both. Unquestionably, these are the clothes or rather pieces that inhabit the wardrobes and closets of collectors and connoisseurs of fashion. These are not fashion victim clothes as they follow no trend other than that of its own particular DNA. 
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Etro is all about and celebrates the art and craft of fashion starting with the fabrications and finishing with the Etro look which is described above in, I think , very accurate terms. It is almost unfair to measure them or for them to be measured against other brands as Etro is a sort of stand-alone collection in that it rarely if ever pretends to be what it’s not ... think Agnona!
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