Thursday, February 28, 2013

Melange du jour Paris Collections fall 2013

As far as I am concerned, the only review that warrants or is interesting to devote a full article to has been done this morning.  Today was a day of disappointment and more of the same except for that brief moment this morning.  So here goes with a “mélange” of reviews that cover the day.

Balmain is about ready to give up the look; we get the point!  Time to move on from the heavy embroidery, the hair grazing length skirts and the draping.  Yes it was colorful but so is a swatch book.  And the hard tailoring with squared off shoulders was not the respite that was needed.

Lanvin, my biggest disappointment of the day with odd looking clothes and the insect theme didn’t do much to endear the collection to me.  Yes, it was quirky and yes it was often times clumsy and in my eye, very poorly styled.  There were a few true Lanvin pieces but overall … je ne suis pas heureux!

Rick Owen for me is just more of the same season after season with minor changes that seem to signal a new season.  Yes I know I am supposed to love it but I don’t and I can’t as I can’t wrap my head around women wanting to look like that unless they have something to hide.

Nina Ricci certainly wasn’t anything I can really speak about except it was a lot of clothes that at best looked weird to my eye.  I didn’t see the polish or the chic here and I seemed to keep feeling that the it was both fall and spring chez Ricci.

Carven was lots of the latest boxy looks but in pastels. Yes, I liked the zebra fabrications and loved the bambi print coat.  It would be hard to forget the series of dresses that seemed to light up but then again that sort of sums up my idea about my amnesia needed for the collection as a whole.

Balenciaga Paris Collections Fall 2013

There must be a HERD of pigs flying by my window  as I am about to say words I swore would never pass my lips … Alexander Wang’s freshman outing at Balenciaga for Fall 2013 is pretty damned good if not very good , if not beautiful!  It’s hard for me to get out the sentiment … but alas it is true.

Mr. Wang has undergone a transformation from cargo pants, tee shirts and shorts to real grown up sophisticated clothes that even have a chic quotient!  I cannot believe these words are passing through my fingers to the keyboard to the screen.  I am duly impressed and shocked and yet pleasantly surprised to see it all.
The collection is modern, youthful without being “kiddish”, sculptural in the Balenciaga sense of the word and minimal in the Balenciaga sense of it.  The collection is restrained with its black and white palette, stark yet not off putting, sexy, slick  and ..This is really getting me...wearable!  I have to say here goes... he nailed it!  Yes it is true so I will say it again. He nailed it!

Let’s talk the sculpted cutaway jackets, the silver bow, the fabulous shoes, the “Rucci-esque” suit, cutaway jackets, the enormously salable short dresses, and the overall tone of the collection is just commendable!
I loved the white tops, the engorged lace pants, the dresses, the suits...if this keeps up I might be in love …. 

One thing for sure , the retailers will be jumping up and down as they finally can sell the brand ….

This is the collection that invites comments so PLEASE do just that ……

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mugler Paris Collections fall 2013

Where can I possibly begin to explain what’s wrong with the design esthetic at the house of Mugler?  Before I go any further, I need to say I was and still am a great fan of the only and only Thierry Mugler.  He remains an architect of fashion as well as one of the most creative and imaginative talents of the latter 20th century.

The present design team at the house, which I will refrain from naming, as I feel they have no idea what to do with the brand and had it not been for the perfume and the young Clarins heiresses, there would be no apparel.  So, here it is, once you take the edge and the sharpness off these clothes,  it is like melting an ice cube … other you want water or you want ice or how’s this a razor or a bowl?  Where is the brand integrity?

The current offering looks to me like a bowl of oatmeal and lumpy oatmeal at that.  It is abject silliness to think that these clothes bear the name that once embodied hard edged brilliantly conceived clothes.  I don’t want you to think that everything Mr. Mugler did was of the wearable or even close to norm of wearable clothes but then again he only had to live up to his own hype and he was up the challenge season after season.  These 2 are more worried about Gaga or some other 3rd rate performer than they are about perpetuating a legendary brand; they are barely designers let alone stylists and every time they stray from the original DNA, they fail miserably as it always looks like some poor relation to what once was.  Where is the sexuality, the eroticism and the B&D edge of these clothes?

If the pundits laud them, it only shows their lack of respect or knowledge about the brand.  I stick to my review but I remain hopeful that one day there might a collection that lives up to the legendary name!

P.S…. what’s with the Girl w/ a Pearl headgear?

Guy Laroche paris collections fall 2013

Well, here’s something I never thought I would say in the 21st century... I really liked this collection and maybe I love it!  Yes, I unashamedly admit it... it was pretty fabulous.  This is how one revives or resuscitates an elder brand!

I don’t want you to think I have lost my mind completely but this was a collection in the truest sense of the word and I think it has really redefined what a total collection should look like.  There were day clothes, both of the more conventional and of the trendier, there were feminine and tough looks, brights and seasonal  black, the de rigeur black leather and most of all it was not boring.  It surely had its own brand of chic, sexy  and soigne qualities.

Mr. Marongiu offered up some very memorable missteps but the overall timbre of the collection was pretty damned tasty.  I think the collection would have survived very nicely without the over harness looks as well as the fishnet/nude grouping but alas, tis human to try and be daring in out of character ways.  I liked the diversity in the looks from real day clothes to cocktail and luncheon dresses to evening; it is a welcomed change that harkens back to the glory days of the Collections that were shown in Paris, New York, London and Milan.  I really believe that this is what I spoke of very early on with regard to the fall collections and that was this is the season for salable clothes, clothes that resonate with the consumer and the store owner and clothes which will swan right out of the store into the closets of the fashion set.

I also strongly believe that this Guy Laroche collection demonstrates one of my other favorite things to say this season or any season… designers design!  There were some great pieces which are now distinctly Laroche.  Mr. Marongiu certainly gave this collection a point of view and he marked his territory by putting his imprimatur on clothes that will long outlive the trends of Fall 2013.  I say bravo to you!

Damir Doma Paris Collections fall 2013

First things first, thank you Monsieur Doma for not opening your show with a black outfit as did about 90% of the designers over the course of the past weeks.  Thank you for using hose as a finishing touch to your looks.  Thank you for not showing oversized odd shaped clothes that critics seem to think is pretty and a la mode!

As I stated when I wrote the men’s review, Mr. Doma’s signature is that wide band of shirring he uses at the waist, neck or cuff; not my favorite but less apparent in this collection than it was in men’s. For my eyes it needs to either be refined or redefined so that it is not distracting and more mature in execution.  Okay, that’s my personal annoyance but it does not take away from the overall look of the collection which is beautiful day clothes for women who are not in need of screamingly trendy fashion.  What I mean to say is that Mr. Doma obviously has his own modern design esthetic and follows it without worrying about whatever odd trends are sweeping the runways.  His clothes are distinctive for that reason among many makes them extremely likable.

Standouts here are his impeccable color sense, the asymmetric double pleat front he uses in pants shorts and skirts, the soft layering and by that, I point to pieces that remind you of Ackerman and Owen, just less cluttered and more refined.  The tailoring seems to be rather good BUT what I found to be the most distracting throughout the presentation was the “Prada-esque” footwear … no need; for me it was detrimental to the overall picture.  **remind does not mean referenced or copied*

As a point of advice, I would tell Mr. Doma that he must more clearly represent what he considers to be evening as what was shown was not as well thought out as it might have been.  He had enough ammunition in his arsenal to translate some of its pieces to dressier fabrications but that aspect is minor and I am sure will be corrected in future collections.

Let’s say here  that “OK I am hooked for now!”  As the old garment saying goes… “You are only as good as your last collection” and so far sooooooooooooooooo GOOD!