Thursday, December 20, 2012

CHADO Ralph Rucci ... pre-fall 2013

I would like to call this collection “Resolute Rucci”… if you need to look that up, now would be a good time.

In the past couple of weeks I spoke of the how, what and why of pre-fall and that, as a rule, these particular capsule collections are primarily comprised of “the best of” rather than the newest, the latest, and the greatest.  Mr. Rucci who has an evolutionary perspective of fashion proves again that he is a master of fashion as well as a sole navigator of his path.

The collection, dark as it may be, continues to remind all of us that this designer does what he does best and we should be ecstatic that he follows this route.  He actually paid homage to coats and suits; there’s a concept for you, a Fall collection with coats and suits.  He deftly includes he signature knit, crepe and jersey dresses along with his “comme il faut” concepts for evening.  Nothing is over the top and all within the world according to Ralph Rucci including the awe inspiring details that remain his and his alone.

Very recently, I spoke of designers who shun the idea of having a signature look for fear of not being on trend and allow me to point out that this collection is unmistakably the output of one specific designer. There is no one in this country that comes within spitting distance of what this man produces season after season.  Ralph Rucci has stood the test of time and no matter who the media may be hyping this season or next, we all know there is only one Ralph Rucci who is the designer’s designer.

No one else can lay claim to his accomplishments nor his “modus operandi” as he has always been about heritage and craftsmanship even though those 2 aspects of fashion seems to be much more fashionable during this decade than in years gone by.

Okay so let’s just say that the coats are spectacular, the suits are razor sharp, the dresses are pure Rucci and the rest is icing on the cake!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

D Squared pre-fall 2013

I am always hesitant when the Catens show a collection as the rule of thumb is usually to show a pile of clothes and maybe within the spectacle of the runway presentation, you walk away with something other than a good time and showmanship.
The pre-fall presentation is all about showmanship except via the images that were presented.  The styling is beautiful if you want to walk away with images but more buyers need clothes.  For a change, there are some real clothes to be found in this souk of a collection which borrows from anyone like Marc Jacobs to St Laurent … Yves, not Hedi or Stefano… to name a few.
In general, the palette was beautiful,  the dresses, long and short,  were borderline obscene due to their lack of breathing room, the model was a great departure from their usual cycle sluts but I just wish the styling was not so intensely retro.  I fully understand that designers today do not have a signature look but at least try to be somewhat consistent within a collection.  That being said, they went from gaspingly tight to boxy and everywhere in between.
The dresses were definitely the highlight as were a couple, I mean a couple, of the tailored pieces and the rest of the pile is odd at best as they remain just pieces of clothing.  Maybe someday, the Catens will present a cohesive collection that shows off what talent they may possess.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rachel Zoe ... pre-fall 2013

Apparently, this might be the last season that Rachel Zoe shows a collection for most of her major accounts have abandoned ship….. Shocking as that might be!  This pre-fall should serve as yet another reminder that the only thing offered here is just another pile of clothes from someone who has no clue about the pulse of the retail environment let alone her own.

Apart from black, Ms. Zoe is woefully short on a palette as well as any particular look other than clothed.  Who dresses like this and why would anyone dress like this?  Save maybe 2 or 3 pieces, I am not sure how any store could go about buying this which brings us back to her lack of retail outlets after Neimans has left the building and Saks and relegated it to only online which means either HELLO Kohl’s or some home shopping channel with her trying to fill an hour with her self absorbed chit chat.

The bottom line is like when there is a train and wreck and the cops direct you to “move along, nothing to see here” and so you have the synopsis of the season here chez Zoe.  A hat and a pair of boots do not make a look nor does some faded reality star that has about 30 second left of 15 minutes.

With all the wonderful talent out there, it does give one great pause to think “what were you thinking?” when you take this cartoon character and try to make her a designer brand.  She is a glorified saleslady who had a magic wand waved over her and failed to become the next Donna Karan! 

Not so sadly one is reminded that you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear!.... P.S. this is as good as it got!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

BURBERRY PRORSUM ... pre-fall 2013

There is always much ado about this collection but I always seem to lump it into the “emperor’s new clothes” grouping of designers and their collections.  However, Christopher Bailey’s collection for pre-fall seems to make perfect sense and demonstrates that he actually can turn out a great collection.

Mr. Bailey fulfills the dictum about what makes pre-fall such an important season as the selection is filled with covetable outerwear for both men and women.  The coats and jackets are razor sharp and right on target for today’s fashion client.  Simply stated, the coats are from a slick reefer to glorious trenches, both cropped and full length and from basic black to “Dalmatian prints.”

Burberry bills itself as a collection and brand when in fact everything but the accessories and outerwear seem superfluous. It is the ready to wear that becomes the accessory for the coats and handbags.  The knits mesh well with the coats and jackets as do some of the leather pieces but what no one ever seems to mention is the extreme cost of these pieces.  The dresses, for the most part, are rather clumsy and I am not sure why anyone would need basic black pants from this brand.

One more time, the bottom line remains that yes, they will sell coats etc. and scarves and bags and key rings but they are not what I call a power player in the ready to wear game.  Take away the key rings and scarves and the plaid and I wonder what is left to the bottom line!