Thursday, January 31, 2013

Andrew Gn pre-fall 2013

Can we talk? Can we talk about impeccably made and designed clothes?  Can we talk about a modern ageless collection?

There are some designers who can and some who can’t and then there are those designers who do and those who don’t.  Andrew Gn can and does execute precise, exacting and clean lined highly coveted  clothes on a very regular basis.  This particular collection is restrained in the fact that Mr. Gn has been known to get carried away with his embellishments, but for pre-fall 2013 it is just about as perfect as it can get.  His color sense is very “democratic” without ever being dull, the proportions are beautiful albeit a bit short and each season he demonstrates his design chops by designing clothes that are true to his DNA.

Rather than blather on and on, you need to look at the blouses which are breathtaking in their detail and delicacy, the inventive sleeve treatments and designs, the “minimal” monotone embellishments, the razor sharp tailoring and the impeccable “make” of these clothes.  The silhouettes are trim and reasonably forgiving although I do wish he had selected a different shaped pant to use throughout.  Two favorite design nuances were the shirt tail sleeve and the georgette cascade hippie sleeve which couldn’t possibly look any less hippie!  A few favorite pieces are the leather hemmed black cocktail dress, the leather lapelled smoking, the lace pieces and the caftanesque shape he uses for his gowns.

The take away here is that Mr. Gn delivers a product that is as close to haute couture as you can get.  His ladies are loyal, fashionable and deep pocketed.  The collections are reflective of his clients and an extreme talent.  It’s a pity that the media appreciates only those who can afford to spread around their advertising dollars and not those who are genuinely talented and have earned their job titles … designer

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elie Saab .. pre-fall 2013

The wonderful thing about Elie Saab is that even though he showed Haute Couture and ready to wear on the same day, he showed 2 very distinct collections.  Each collection was unto itself in that each had a definite point of view and each one was unmistakably Elie Saab.  This in itself is a great combination of discipline ability.

Pre-fall 2013 is all about the clothes that reach many many more women and are far more affordable, not to mention that many more women will covet these clothes for their wardrobes.  These are the clothes of a somewhat more real life as opposed to the clothes of the rarefied Haute Couture.  Mr. Saab shows us he designs clothes and not just retreads or borrows from other designers.  I know it is a novel situation these days but this designer designs!

The ones thing that mgr. Saab insists on is that you take care of your body; these are not half size clothes by any stretch of the imagination.  These are body conscious clothes, if not a tad unforgiving, but these are clothes that quietly scream look how fabulous do I look!  The dresses and suitings are lean, precise, clean, and modern and designed for women to look their best, with or without an accessory of any kind.  Hair, make-up, shoes and hose are the requirement and you can be as chic as any style icon.

The palette is simple and very understandable and allows for endless possibilities.  I have some personal favorites such as the caftan, the white Vee back paneled pant and top, the cropped trapeze like jacket, the razor sharp tailored suits and the peplum dresses.  In actuality, I really don’t think there is a boner in the grouping; it is just a matter of what one prefers more than the other.  When is the last time you ever heard me say that about any collection?

If pre-fall is meant for easy sales, then Mr. Saab should have a sellout season!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alexander McQueen pre-fall 2013

The spin here is that the mood boards reflected the church and nuns and robe etc.; in other words ecclesiastical vestments.  Rather than this churchy theme, I see a more medieval tilt to the collection which certainly engenders a type of romanticism if you discount chain mail and crusades.  I read that the mood boards also included a photo of Audrey Hepburn in a habit which I found so profoundly amazing as she was the one person the last Mr. McQueen was able to channel during his time at Givenchy.

Okay, now that the blah blah blah is done, gets say that this Pre-Fall collection is about as commercial as Sarah Burton gets when designing McQueen.  Yes, the references are there for the church steeped styles (tunics, robes, tabards, capes, poet sleeves & patterning) but I really just prefer to say that the collection looks very McQueen.  From the high waisted pants to the fitted tops and full skirts to all the drama, albeit a considerably dialed down version, yet all the telltale signs of a McQueen collection are there.

One has to admire the restraint when a designer who usually knows no limits and yet can design a beautiful collection that is relatively free of the insane craftsmanship that has become a hallmark of this brand.  By all standards this would be considered almost Spartan by comparison  to past collections but if you recall, weeks ago, I said the real purpose of pre-fall is to SELL and this would fit that bill to a tee.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

La Folie d’Haute Couture Spring 2013

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I have a page called “What were you thinking?” and so I thought that as a conclusion to my Haute Couture reviews, I might inject some of that humor, sarcasm, disbelief and shock into today’s post.

There is no doubt that the Haute Couture brings out one upmanship amongst designers who show in this short period of time. Everyone is pushing the envelope as well as pushing ateliers to accomplish the wildest of dreams and creations.  The designers are also challenging themselves to be as original as possible and to show their mettle when it comes to couture.  All of this in the quest to be taken seriously a world class designer on the rarefied stage known as Haute Couture.  As you see today, the best laid plans of mice and men can go very wrong!

There will be no finger pointing or name calling here, there will just be photos and if photos speak a thousand words, and then I offer to you at least 20, 000 words.

Have fun and while the end result may be the most outrageous and the most fantastical of designs, please remember the artisans who really did the heavy lifting here!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rami Kadi haute couture sp 2013

Rami Kadi may sound like a menu entrĂ©e but this is the name of a new designer from Lebanon who has entered the world of Haute Couture.  As a neophyte in this rarefied world, Mr. Kami demonstrates extraordinary skills but requires some restraint as this collection is at times pitch perfect and then  at times way too over the top in every way.

As I have stated previously over the last week, couture must be shown one a t a time so as to show each piece off to its best advantage.  Mr. Kadi surely needs to do this as between the clothes and the venue, one can experience visual overload instantaneously and repeatedly.  The surroundings are way too baroque for such dresses despite its grandeur and luxurious atmosphere.  The visual tug of war is palpable.

I think one must address the strengths here which seem to be Mr. Kadi’s skill in draping which have gone beyond just draping to the art of origami with multiple folds, festoons, swags and such.  There are some exquisite pieces here but a little self-control would go a long way.  With all the color and the patterning and jacquards, the designer really needs to decide where the focus is here which should be the dresses!
What is very disturbing is that some of the models seem to be standing on stools so that the bottom half of the gowns do not puddle on the floor which eerily elongates their legs to non-believable proportions.  I can understand that he wants to show off the dresses to their fullest but again... Restraint! And in this instance ... common sense.

Within this vast array and assortment of dresses, there lies jewels, somewhat in a way of unset stones.  There needs to be some clarity in direction and some editing so the designer presents a clear cut vision of his design philosophy.  If he wishes to participate on the international stage of couture, he must certainly  lighten the Middle Eastern influence.  I am hopeful that Rami Kadi is a name who will become as well-known as his fellow Lebanese designer Elie Saab who has certainly mastered the art of couture.