Monday, March 28, 2022

ACADEMY AWARDS 2022 or What were they thinking?

I have long lamented the days when movie stars owned the clothes and jewelry, they wore on this night of nights but now, especially, we have entered into the Instagram phase of this awards show where likes and shock value are more important that any kind of actual style. Celebrities no longer select their clothes, they are offered payment to wear clothes, most preselected by stylists, some of whom are barely up to the task but do all the heavy lifting.

It was a “mammorable” and memorable event this year for sure. We learned that those cup-like necklines clearly don’t work on ANYONE and certainly reveal who had implants and who did not! I read this morning that Zendaya’s outfit was compared to the white shirt and black skirt of Sharon Stone from years ago except the point is lost when you consider that Stone’s shirt was from the GAP and she put it together herself, not a designer who created an outfit for their brand ambassador that would cost in the 5-figure category!

As is usual, I ask if there was a hairdressers’ strike on Sunday and if these women actually look in a mirror other than a magic one?

PS... it is one of those extremely rare moments that I say   that an Armani gown was one of the most ill-conceived and rendered among the lot!  ... and yellow is really reserved for Big Bird!... and by the way... who the F..K are  some of these people?

                     ***** CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE *****

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Ralph Lauren fall 2022

He just proves my point ... you know when I constantly harp on signatures and that bells and whistles don’t make you a great designer. Then again, this man has probably one of the best styling teams in the business who are of one like mind and that is THE BRAND!

Some will yawn and some will dismiss, and I say well, how long do you think these designers of the moment will survive in this business. Ralph has unquestionably withstood the test of time and successfully invaded so many contiguous branches of fashion and he’s not the flavor of the month nor does he receive glowing reviews every season for any of it and yet the collection is immediately recognizable on an international scale.

So how many Instagram famous so-called designers can boast a public company that THEY started and has sustained itself for over half a century... most of them will quickly be forgotten when the next flavor of the month appears and will leave no discernible mark that they ever were here!

For some reason this collection made me think of the Clothilde days and that’s certainly not a bad thing at all. It’s slick, its ageless, it’s classic, its timeless and it’s slick or it’s not ... that’s up to you. Yawn if you will, listen to the clap trap that designers offer as justification for what they show or just watch how it’s done and what you get when it’s done correctly!

                                  ***** CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE *****

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Alexander McQueen fall 2022

There are many things that can be said about Sarah Burton, but the most important is that on her worst day she is head and shoulders above the majority of her peers when it comes to delivering on a collection! I will openly admit that I had to read one review before I could write mine as I was curious, a rarity, to know the backstory, otherwise known as the blah blah blah that most designers use as an excuse or rationale rather than a jumping off point. Burton told it plain and simple, shooting from the hip, that New York City was her inspiration ... well...  that’s enough for me ... I don’t need any esoterica or faux intellectual espousals from any designers.

While I may not have been crazy about the dresses, in most cases, whether for fabrication or reasons of design, the high point of this collection was in the tailored pieces which ranged from close to the body (not second skin) to slightly and I emphasize slightly, oversized. No balloon dragging hemmed pants, no shorts, just slim pants worn with stilettos and not oafish or Wookie shoes. Imagine that, she touched on so many trends that I found so wrong in other collections but when done with this kind of skillset, they were so slick, so smooth and so right!

The one shoulder jacket with asymmetrical organza pouf lapel was staggering as was the tuxedo dress with glacé lace and beading. It’s a rare moment I can speak about McQueen as being soigné but so many times in this collection it was with seemingly little effort. The airbrush prints sure did remind me Lee’s famous show where the paint was sprayed onto the model and then of course there was black leather, some tough as nails and others as feminine as charmeuse gown. I guess it is best summed up by saying this is what can happen when designers actually design.

My biggest criticisms would be that I wish the dress part was stronger or more pleasing to my eye and that the casting did not lean so heavily on so many gender fluid models rather than the more “painted “variety ...  that’s just me as I think that would have been an asset.

Anyway ...I did like it ... A LOT ... I just can’t say I LOVED IT!

                              ***** CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE*****

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Burberry fall 2022

Aside from a trench coat and the plaid, please tell me what the most visible traits are for this heritage brand. Apparently Tisci just discovered this as well the symbol for Prorsum... a part of the Burberry history that hasn’t been spoken of or seen since the days of Rosemarie Bravo who aptly named the ready to wear segment of the brand by that moniker when it was designed by Roberto Menechetti. How many of today’s so called fashionphiles have ever heard of Prorsum let alone recognize the symbol for it?

So, with all that said, this is one of Tisci’s best outings to date only because he has finally surrendered to the plaid and the raincoat as key elements and yet the rest is still nothing but filler.

Plaid is a notoriously poor seller at retail for women and I’m not sure that any women, of any age, want to accentuate their hips, own a fully quilted ballgown, look like a fullback or wear thigh high latex boots. I did however love the gathered/pleated/ shirred trench dress cum coat and some other pieces which have nothing at all to do with the brand. I might add here that there is no excuse to see the sewing of a hemline on a ball gown from any designer.

Bottom line is, my guess, is the signature plaid pieces will sell and a minority of the other pieces which just will serve the need for lady clothes for women who can afford them. It’s just sort of a yawn and once again there is no place for politics in fashion!

PS ... explain to me who wants to look like Big Bird in a ball gown or wear a patchwork leather Jacket that looks like it fell off the back page of some cheap ass fashion magazine?

                               *****CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE*****

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Chanel fall 2022

On the plus side, to her credit, Virginie did not board the trend train that started in New York and continues to this day and beyond. BUT girl what were you thinking here? This looks like the farm girls got dressed to go to church or some ho-down somewhere!

Karl (too bad for VV that she will ALWAYS be compared with him) always had his share of clunkers in every show but NEVER a show full of them. This iteration makes all the models look thick and burly and the clothes leave so much to be desired that the photos say more than the words I can offer. Lurex tights and leg warmers, rubber mucking boots and by God the thick and tweeds and buffalo checks.

Yet, the film conveys a whole different message of girls doing a very bad rendition of the twist, the swim and the frug which would suggest we are supposed to think 60s... well, what did I miss?  I didn’t see any swinging sixties, the fantasy of the Vreeland years or the youth quake unless you think “8 maids a milking” are youthful after they mucked out the barn wearing their rubber boots and tweeds.

To say that this was sadly one of her most ill-conceived collections would be like saying the Pacific Ocean is a puddle! I just can’t fathom that with everything that has come before you and all the years you supposedly spent next to Karl that this comes to your mind as being the Chanel you know!

PS... was I so distracted by the unappealing clothes surely less than fabulous styling that I didn’t exactly see a collection brimming with accessories? BTW, it’s the 65th anniversary of the sling back cap toe pump and yet we got rubber boots!

                     **********CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE **********

Monday, March 7, 2022

Akris fall 2022

I will openly admit that I am an Akris fan and that Albert Kriemler delivers almost every season year after year and while the brand and designer may not get the hype of far fewer deserving brands, he remains at the top of his craft as a designer.

The collection is precise as always with special attention paid to clean lines, subtle details, appealing colorations and of course fabrication; Kriemler always has an inspiration but his inspirations are not justifications as much as actual jumping off points for all the aforementioned qualities that are part of an Akris collection...

This is not an influencer/Instagrammer collection as it doesn’t scream and it isn’t meant to attract the klieg light sort of attention of that are catnip for that audience. The dirty words of wearable, timeless, ageless and minimal come to mind as reasons why that generation will bypass the unrivaled quality and design prowess of Akris.

It doesn’t take a very trained eye to see the impeccable finishing nor the actual thought process that goes into a collection such as this.... yes, it actually makes sense in terms of presentation and design.

If you are looking for fluff and bells and whistles or design  gimmickry then there is nothing for you to see here!

                           ********CLICK  ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE********

Schiaparelli fall 2022

It is indisputable that Daniel Rosenberry is fluent in the vocabulary of the brand and of its eponymous designer. It is unassailable that he is a savvy designer who moved beyond the immense over the top elements of the Haute Couture and left them behind and brought the attention back to the clothes themselves. Gone are the sculptural accoutrements and welcome to sculptural clothes.

This collection is the essence of Schiaparelli in its architecture, whimsy and design. There are showpieces which can still be wearable if taken apart and paired wisely. Yes, there is exaggeration but then again what would the brand be without it. Elsa in her own way was an attention whore of sorts and she created that persona with her clothes not by transforming herself.

What is fascinating to me is that Valentino showed in “shocking” and Rosenberry countered by showing in black and white....  chew on that for a moment. There is artistry in Schiaparelli that beckons awe and leaves many other designers in the dust despite their hype.

                                       CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Balenciaga fall 2022 women's



Valentino fall 2022

Where to start? ... Well, there was lots and lots and lots of pink to the point of Pepto pink overload! Why on earth would you show pink clothes against a pink background as it does, as one might assume, make it quite difficult to actually see the clothes. Watching the live feed, it suddenly dawned on me where in my day the crowds gathered to see the designer, to get into the show or just feel the energy and pulse of fashion. Not the case here as apparently the crowds gathered outside was to see their favorite influencers/Instagrammers decked out in the literally the latest Valentino!

How many 20 somethings do you suppose can afford 4- and 5-digit price tags which brings me to the point of I cannot imagine the 100s of thousands of dollars spent on giving clothing to these young people as a reward for attending the show. PPP has officially recast the brand as one that is supposed to appeal to millennials and not ladies of a certain age or social standing.

Let’s speak to the styling ... hair, patent leather shoes, makeup ... duh... greasy haired boys don’t wear $5000 tops and as demonstrated on the runway, most girls of any age can barely walk in 3-inch heels let alone 3-inch platforms with 5-inch heels which made for many uneasy and cautious moments. There was no effort to glamorize the models and using cheap ass waterfall earrings didn’t help much and apparently there is a big push in the handbag area.

YES! I do have a few positive things to say that mixed into the seemingly endless parade of dross, there were some pieces that I think will sell and are pretty universal but let it be said... there was nothing new here in terms of design unless you count that egregious bra top or the sequin coverall shown at the start of the show. If anything, the bell skirted pieces seemed somewhat out of place as did Mona Bismarck opera coats and that curvilinear neckline which isn’t new!

Let’s face it, I’m no fan of his but this collection, take away so many bells and whistles, there are some commercially viable styles that will retail to HIS Valentino customer and maybe even to some of the old guard.

                          *****CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE*****

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Lutz Huelle fall 2022

If anyone had told me 5 years ago that would write I LOVE LUTZ, I’d have said ... Have you lost your mind? Well, times change, people change and collections evolve and this season is living proof that Lutz Huelle has not only grown up but evolved and yet held onto its own original vocabulary and DNA.

Yes, the denim in there, white shirts, the bombers are there and the innate quirkiness is there but it is somewhat disguised by the fact that you do have to look a little harder to see it and find it. I’m loving that ruffled scarf, that sort of poncho cum gilet, the coat with one front on the bias one on the straight, a simple raincoat, a divine any time-of-day short opera coat, the beloved denim jackets and jeans and some great easy dresses!

I don’t want to say that the collection has matured as I feel that gives the wrong vibe but maybe what can be said is that the collection is more polished, more soigné and that dreaded of all words.... more commercial! Lutz has said that even in this pandemic era, his business has grown and with a collection like this I do believe that was only the start of an even more pronounced growth spurt!

                             *****CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE*****

Friday, March 4, 2022

Alexandre Vauthier fall 2022

Well, here is a rarity if there ever was one at this juncture in the fashion cycle.... ready to wear that is a continuation of a couture collection. It was the common practice moons ago that couture was the tease of what was to come in the nearby future for the ready to wear collection and Vauthier has done just that !... BRAVO!

The segue to this collection is as smooth and slick as the clothes. He is already a red-carpet favorite, a master tailor and designer that does not fall victim to trend. He is his own man... an independent in a sea of wannabes. It seems that every season I want to see more and more but this season I can now say he is truly coming into his own as a master of footwear... especially luxury boots and statement making stilettos. They complement his clothes yet stand alone as unique entities.

The clothes are unabashedly sexy without being vulgar... imagine that ... he hits the right notes with the right silhouettes and fabrications without a trace of gimmickry. He actually celebrates his women!

                          ********CLICK  ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE********