Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Valentino.. Paris ..spring 2015

Talk about overdone, over worked, over printed, and over the top... yikes!

First things first, these 2 need to edit as there is no reason for such a huge collection especially with all the repetitive shapes and styles. Next up, they gotta get rid of some of these sissy missy necklines and collars that tend to make the clothes look so matronly and prissy. Lastly, wouldn’t it be nice if they finally realize that transparent does not translate to young.

The very graphic prints used toward the start of show should be read as playful and sort of resort wear but instead they were treated so seriously as to seem out of place and oddly matched to styles. The pastel group that included some wonderful solid dresses and separates was not in need of the skimpy ruffled georgette pieces. The excruciatingly beautiful “step down couture” pieces were a bit too plentiful but that seems to be their wont in every collection. The broderie anglaise pieces were just pitch perfect but them  they got all carried away with the super eyelet pieces dyed degrade etc. it is all almost schizophrenic in its totality. One really has to wonder what this collection would be if they didn’t offer a million and one options and keep using certain styles over and over again in color ways.   Many styles seem to be at odds with which fabric they have been made of and maybe that’s the point but it is far too jarring in my eyes.

My question is simply this... what would happen if they utilized some  of the slick and chic of Mr. Garavani and incorporated it into their collections, yes, these designers have without question continued the legacy of fine workmanship and art of craft but the collections come off a bit bohemian and sterile rather that worldly sophisticate ... make sense??

If one had to summarize, it is safe to say there are more than a few stand out pieces and more than enough wearable pieces but for me this collection really would have greatly benefited with some tight editing and more of a singular story.

CHANEL by Karl Lagerfeld Spring 2015

My opinion is this: Karl has now reached a point that others aspire to and that is no matter what he shows, no matter what the back story, no matter what, these clothes will sell and he is the grand meister of marketing and sales! While the Rafs, Nickys, Hedis, Wangs and Rickys are trying to sell you with their arcane inspirations Karl just puts it out there and it sells. He has reached the point of thumbing his nose at them all and doing what none of them will ever achieve. The clothes, the brand have a life of their own at this point.  As for his Coco references and extrapolations of her he has climbed inside Coco and he has “aged” with her to the point of WWCD or “WHAT WOULD COCO DO?” if she was still alive...  think about it!

If it is possible to opine about this collection then here are some immediate reactions; the cap toe print boots and new handbags will have  waiting lists starting today, the choice of prints and their mix with tweeds is very jarring, there are loads of jackets and coats, some extraordinary blouses, there seems to be an overall look that somehow causes the wearer to look a bit square, the details are beyond incredible (embroideries and special effects), the ankle strap  gold flats will ripple all the way down to H&M and Forever 21 within  weeks, the CHANEL biker belt is already being  copied without question and if one had to generalize, one would just have to say that if you ever wanted a piece of Chanel, you would certainly find something within this monstrously large collection. Every length, every proportion, every silhouette is covered.

What prompted the tone of this review is one that came to my attention about Saint Laurent which stated that given its Hedi history the clothes will sell despite what any critic thinks. Herein lies the fly in the ointment and that is Chanel has enjoyed that luxury for decades while Hedi’s shelf life will run out. His expiration is caused by his Johnny one note approach to fashion while Karl has proven himself to be a virtuoso who attracts more and more clients on a daily basis. Karl is not stuck for ideas nor imagination and inspirations.

PS.. he has created Chanel as an event... a happening... a moment... A major event and it is all orchestrated by Karl... he leads the symphony that is CHANEL

Monday, September 29, 2014


Apparently Donatellamommamia and Hedi have something in common. Yes kids, it is that dead horse they keep beating, actually it is 2 separate dead horses they continually beat.

Hedi who could give Barbie and Mattel a run for their money making doll clothes also can’t and  I am guessing won’t be letting go of the 60’s and 70’s anytime soon. Frankly it is boring. What makes it all the more boring is the heroin chic models with smudged eyes that show off these rags while wearing clumsy heavy looking platform shoes with good sturdy fat heels.

This season we are introduced to handkerchief points, some Jodi Foster Taxi Cab looks and stars and then we are back to shrunken $3000 jackets and heavily beaded tunics cum dresses, , some LBD’s all accessorized further by ratty hats and rattier scarves BUT who’s paying attention. Leopard print check,  motorcycle jackets check, studs check, hats check, skin tight pants, plenty of price upon request items and all the other so called signatures that “Mr. caught in a time warp” has employed over and over again under the guise of the NEW Saint Laurent signatures ... you know the one without the Yves!

Here’s the deal if you like this sort of thing that’s great... enjoy if you can afford to drink the Kool Aid and if not line up behind me who has already lived this and it was better but more well executed then and a lot cheaper.

By the way, Mr. Slimane certainly adheres to the dictum of sticking to your vision and building a brand identity …  tired as it may be.

Please spare me the references of the chubby, the pinstripes and the smokings!

Emanuel Ungaro.. Paris ..spring 2015

The time has come to speak openly about one of the great fabled heritage brands that flourished for so many years under its eponymous designer; Emanuel Ungaro was a master of drape, fabric, construction, detail and most of all women. This was a man who adored women and showed it season after season with the clothes that he showed. women absolutely cooed and oohed to won those clothes and men’s tongues hung out looking at women who wore them no matter of it was a jersey dress , a wool suit or a balls out evening gown.

Thru an unfortunate series of mostly ill equipped designers and a shorter string of inexperienced owners we arrive to the present when the latest designer is once struggling to recapture what once was. One thing you can be sure of and it is this, what once is certainly not what was shown on the runway today. Can we say it is an embarrassment to the name and even worse that Monsieur Ungaro is still alive to see this pile that carries his name? As was pointed out to me there is a great difference between a Madame Claude girl and one that works a corner in Pigalle and you can guess who wears the current collection.

 As a rare occurrence, in the slide show, you will be able to compare and see what is being written about. Monsieur Ungaro’s collections are as viable now as they were then and maybe even more so if tweaked by the proper “hands.” What was once sexy remains sexy what was once trashy remains trashy and cheap looking. Think about it as this is a prime example of why try to revive a heritage brand using a designer who hasn’t a clue about how to go about it. The DNA is there.

PS if ones only way of expressing and transmitting sex is via T&A then you came to the wrong brand

Giambattista Valli spring 2015

Let’s talk intellect now, not the bloated philosophical variety that comes so easily to those like Raf, Miuccia and Nicky but the intellect or rather the smarts of what it takes to deliver an exquisite collection of clothes. Yes, smarts well maybe savvy would be even more to the point.

Giambattista Valli is clearly a designer who has a vision and a mission. Both are achieved season after season by following his gut and evolving his body of work. Spring 2015 is clearly a collection that boasts his well-honed skills and talents as well his trajectory in the world of fashion. Giamba, if I may, stands much closer to the top of fashion hierarchy than most as he is one of the very few,  and getting fewer, designers who design. If you follow the collections around the fashion circuit you find so many designers who think that if they blend in and fall on trend they win but here is the spoiler alert… they lose!

What is severely lacking in this business or art that we call fashion is the heroes who brave the waters by showing a personal and unique approach season after season. Unique would mean that it is their vocabulary and DNA on display and not a mediocre take on modern fashion influenced by someone else’s work. If you take for example the “petal” dresses that Bill Gaytten did for Galliano this season and then you look at a very similar approach taken by Mr. Valli, well... Clearly you can see that vision and imagination only go so far unless you can successfully execute them.

Okay enough preaching, let’s talk about the hyper feminine, luxe and pitch perfect collection. Valli clearly has a handle on his customer and offers her more than enough reason for her to lust after more of what he turns out. The clothes are so precise without being surgical. This is the essence of what I now call “step down” couture. He massages his vision, he imposes his themes without ever getting lost in them and he explores territory that most are incapable of or ignorant of.  His choice of embroideries and prints are those which again do not distract from the clothes but enhance them. The variety of silhouettes and his adherence to his DNA and vision is more than just admirable. As described in my Givenchy review, Mr. Valli’s clothes have instant recognition to those who follow fashion closely unlike what is stated in that previous review.

Rarely are there not enough superlatives to describe any collection. Mr. Valli offers reassurance that fashion is alive and well in Paris especially in his maison! He is the master of his universe without doubt or question.