Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010 Review

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli replaced Alessandra Facchinetti after she was unceremoniouslydumped because Valentino felt she wasn’t referencing his archive enough. He said There is an existing archive with thousands of dresses where they (Maria and Pier) can draw and take inspiration from to create a Valentino product that is relevant today. It is a shame that their predecessor didn't feel this need."
So it was a shame she didn’t see a need to tow the ruffled chiffon line. And now after a couple of seasons under their belts Maria and Pier have strayed into conceptual design territory, much like Faccchinetti only less successfully.
After their paint-by-Valentino-numbers spring RTW show it took my eyes a moment to adjust to what I was seeing. The models looked like they’d hitched a ride into Paris on the back of a Balenciaga truck via Burberry Drive, Ungaro Way and Rodarte Ave.
It wasn’t all bad but a lot of it was. Look 25 was pure tack. A red stripper dress with tiers of mini ruffles snaking around it that no doubt took 500 hours to make. It doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to see the seamstresses crying while making these outfits.
Look 32’s conception went something like this “omg we should totes do a column dress with multi-coloured tiers of chiffon but let’s do some of the tiers in clashing neon. Squeal!”
Then there was look 33, a hippie cape that looked like Matthew Williamson vomited all over it after a bad acid trip. Seriously you guys, it was hideous.
Pier said of the collection "We think that to keep a future in couture, it's necessary to bring a new customer who wants something cooler.” Though the collection was a mess they should be commended for being brave enough to step out from Valentino’s over-bearing shadow and overstuffed archive but they’ll need to try harder to get that new, young customer they’re after.

Givenchy Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010 Review

Upon first looking at Ricardo Tisci's spring couture collection for Givenchy I was disappointed. I whipped up a review almost imediately after viewing it but left it and went to work. I mulled over it during the day and looked over it again and I take back most of what I said.
Initially it mostly failed to muster any drama, a key element to Tisci's work. Something was missing. If you look at his 2010 pre-fall collection it's a shining example of what he does best; sharp brooding meets soft romanticism. It's in all his work and many of his trademarks were in this collection: the graphic lacework, the military coat, the organic coral-like embellishment and the nude tones. What he failed to do was whip it into shape and really make the whole collection sing.
What I'd missed the first time round was Tisci delving into the archives and looking back at the 70's. He admitted it was something he'd always been too afraid to do. It seems rather stupid that I'd missed the references to the 70's and Saint Laurent but Tisci's never done this before.

Some of the looks were too busy and the clothes were jostling for attention weighed down with extravagant beads and pailettes then topped off with wide lace hats.

I've studied look two repeatedly as if maybe I'd missed something but I cannot make sense of it. A black satin corset skirt with puckering seams, a cut-out bra which appeared to be clamping the model's breasts making them look short and saggy, a tulle net top and a grim looking hat. Maybe it was shot from a bad angle? Maybe it was just fucking ugly.
Above: Hideous you guys!

Lara Stone looked soigne in a fluffy pink bowed top with cuffed shorts and thigh-hugging suede boots. Other standouts included a gorgeous top with ruffles peeling away from the decolletage. The ruffles also appeared in a black feather-trimmed dress arching out from the elbows displaying Tisci's knack for silhouette.

Despite the mis-steps some of these clothes are truly special and I have huge respect for Tisci and the vision he brings to haute couture.

Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010 Review

I just don't know what to make of John Galliano anymore.

His work now comes off as timid. The spring Haute Couture collection opened with a series of equestrian skirts and jackets. Some of the jackets were done in the style of the classic Dior Bar. Yawn. He's done this countless times over the past few seasons and I call bullshit on it.

Above: Spring 2010 Bar inspiration. Below: Spring 2009 Couture
Below: Fall 2009 Couture
For me it comes down to expectations. For example a Chanel collection just wouldn't be complete without the black and white, the camellias, the chain straps, the tweed suits. They're Chanel staples and Karl whips up variation after variation each season. I'm used to it and I don't expect anything less or anything different. But with Galliano-the Galliano I grew up with-I expect world references pulled from all corners of the globe and envelope-pushing clothes that force you to re-think the way you do or could dress. I think the main reason for my disappointment in this collection is that it is in such stark contrast to the work he did in the early 2000's, when I first started taking a serious interest in fashion so I do have extremely fond memories of say the Spring 2001 prom queen/white trash collection.

Above: The good ole days, Spring 2001 campaign with Angela Lindvall
Unfortunately now he seems to be stating the obvious that rich white women are his clients and his inspiration and they have been for the past few seasons. Just take a look, you'll see his countesses, his debutantes, his first ladies serving as the inspiration for his work.

I do not question his talent, skill and the craft that has gone into this collection, I don't know, I think I'm actually upset that I no longer enjoy the work of a designer whom I once idolised. It's a lament for what I consider to be 'the good ole days' which is wrong because fashion should always be moving and shifting you in new directions. There's no point in Galliano doing a high-octane extravaganza anymore. He did that ten years ago.
Of the 35 looks my favourites were look 16, Chanel Iman looking trés Bo Peep and look 21 with Jenny Sinkaberg in a button down dress with a belted swathe of fabric bouncing off one hip.
Above: Look 16, Below: Look 21
John Galliano once said "it's our job to make people dream" but unfortunately Spring 2010 only makes me want to sleep. Here's looking forward to Givenchy.

MINI PRE-FALL ROUNDUP PART ONE

It's nice to see designers taking pre-fall more seriously rather than just churn out watered down filler. I think I read somewhere that resort and pre-fall sells really well so maybe that's where the enthusiasm is coming from for designers.
So far I haven't seen any knock-out collections but each one has had some seriously covetable pieces. Thakoon is doing an oddly chic looking pant that's quite boxy at the top. Unlikely to be flattering on most women but beautiful all the same.
Below: Thakoon

Pringle of Scotland have the best coats hands-down. Donna Karan did a gorgeous military skirt suit that will just melt around your figure. It's such a non-aggressive look for military inspired clothes. Jason Wu has some beautifully molded jackets, belted and paired with pleated skirts and wooly tights. It's good to see him do something youthful and more playful while maintaing that Fifth Avenue tag he has. Above: Donna Karan. Below: Jason Wu
Above: Pringle of Scotland

Currently I'm completely freaky for Celine and Phoebe Philo can do no wrong. Her work is so refreshing and sweet without being frothy. Crisp crease-front high-waisted pants make a return this time in olive and there was also a trim pair of red pants cut just on the ankle. Coats were strong, a sporty black japara and a long black one in what looked like felted wool was trimmed in licorice leather.
Below: Celine

AD CAMPAIGNS

When I first saw the Balenciaga ad campaign for spring 2010 I was like meh, whatever but it's grown on me. For fun I turned it on it's side. It's like a 2 for 1. I'm such a weirdo.
My version. I'm sure Meisel won't mind.

MAGAZINE DROP

I’ve been waaaay bad over the last few weeks. I’ve been on a bit of a literary bender when I should be saving for my holiday to Japan (fuck yeah Puroland, check yo’self)

I got the January issues of Vogue AU, Russh, Harper’s AU, SuperSuper #18, Fantastic Man number ten, September Vogue Italia and quite possibly a couple of Grazia’s here n there, ya know, just for good measure.

Oh and November French Vogue and a few books from Amazon. OK, book slut I am.

Huge crazy postal tags from the U S of A
Weird sack. Possibly held rice at some stage
Hey it's crushed! But still smilingAbove: They need no introduction. Below: Queen of Fashion, it's about all the clothes Marie Antoinette wore in her life. Bringing Home The Birkin, I'm nearly done with this book, it's quite addictive and I have so many thoughts on this book.
Above: My haul
Above and below: Fantastic Man and a sampler of Fantastic Woman
Below: AU Vogue with some guerilla gardening shoot. Why can't I prune leaves in a Celine skirt?


Super Super
Below: Russh
So ridiculous but I wanna go op-shopping (that's thrifting to my US readers) for a wetsuit and a weave
Below: So deliciously 90's. Very Bjork/No Doubt. Get some zulu knots girl
Below: I made juice so I could get some vitamins. It tasted as ugly as it looks so I just bought some V8 instead.