Gianfranco Ferre & The Celine Effect

Which is which? You decide

Sportmax I Love You

I love Sportmax. It’s brands like these that have a break-down of every conceivable trend for a season packed into one show and it’s always beautifully made, the colours are gorgeous and the silhouette chic. Sportmax is never intellectual, it’s just straight up beautiful, must-have right now daywear.

So heres the break-down: Fur gloves, knee-high socks, oversized checks, military touches, leather skirts, reconstruction, tweed, chunky knits and ease. Unless I missed it, there was no velvet which is a good thing because so many designers have dabbled with it for fall and it’s been disastrous.

Lumpy Bumpy Curvy Prada

The high/low dichotomy of bourgeois/common that’s an ongoing theme to Prada’s work was ever present for fall. Beautiful printed silk skirts later reappeared in what looked like vinyl or patent leather only less shiny. My first thoughts when seeing this fabric was hooker so there’s that cheapness and playful contrast Prada is so fond of.

Prada appeared to be thinking about women and body shape, perhaps brought on by the recent commentary of the weight issue which was interesting. Firstly with the use of very unflattering cable knit sweaters and dresses. This was done for the socks too, adding bulk onto otherwise spindly Bambi-legged models. They had a stripe of fluffy cable knit down the front like whipped cream. Jackets were A-line and cut at the hip, widening the torso and double collars in fur and more cable knit added weight and sort of presented the model’s heads on a plate.

The casting of some ‘curvy’ models was rather silly really. I can imagine Mrs Prada tittering with her husband over how risqué it was to have a few Victoria’s Secret models dressed as ‘ladies’ in a slightly twisted Eliza Doolittle way. Afterall, they are the Barbies of the modelling industry.

To me this was more a reflection on how uptight she is. If she really wanted to shock then why not cast some playboy bunnies like Betsey Johnson did a few years ago? Doutzen Kroes and Lara Stone looked positively dumpy which is no small feat. But it wasn’t all a string of designer fat suits, there were some prim and trim 50’s dresses, neatly belted at the waist which put further contrast on the more experimental pieces in the show.

Maybe this was Mrs Prada’s way of showing the power of fashion and what it can do. A slight tweak here, a bulbous knit there et voilà!

Rough Around The Edges for Versace Fall

Above: Soooo trash right?

This was quite a weird collection for Versace. There was just something about it that wasn’t quite right and I can’t put my finger on it.

It lacked polish giving the clothes a raw element and a certain drape I’d expect to see at perhaps Rick Owens. There were some very spare looks, like 90’s grunge straight skirts but they were zippered at the thigh. The notion of splicing clothes-something done at Alexander Wang, Marc jacobs and Christopher Kane- added extra movement to jackets.

The pants were ugly with leather inserts and zips at the ankle and the finale of dresses were formulaic Versace sex on a stick.

Jonathan Saunders Fall 2010

A very cool collection from Jonathan Saunders. I think I’ve said this before but it’s worth mentioning again what a great colourist Saunders is. He has a fondness for grey and always puts it to good use contrasting it against a bold red or a rosy pink. There were also shards of black and silver pieced into overized tops that elongated the silhouette.

Skirt lenghts were dropped and a-line, something that’s been seen at a few other collections.

What surprised me most was the great daywear he did. Even though he shows in London it looked like something you’d see at Marni or Sportmax. There were some great jackets in the opening and some billowy paperbag waist skirts with punched holes creating a pattern.

Some of his prints need a bit of work. There was one with red and cream dots but it looked like something you’d see on a throw pillow or a shower curtain at Ikea.

Repetitive at Christopher Kane

Fall 2010 was highly repetitive and was a series of variations on the same outfit: a neat-fitting dress. This dress came with long sleeves, short sleeves and no sleeves. It came with a two piece collar, a two piece collar with placket or no collar at all. It was the same dress with the same fit.

These were done in either black leather, patent leather and black lace or a combination of all three. It was all quite boring really. Beautiful but tedious. Usually florals soften a look but in Kane’s case they didn’t. Embroidered sprays of flowers appeared on various parts of the clothes such as collars, cuffs and breasts.

I’m not sure if he was short on ideas or just metering them out to make a bold statement.

Though it was cool it just didn’t grab me like his other collections such as spring 09. It wasn’t as disappointing as spring 2010 but it was pretty close.

Prada & that Lumpy Blue Sweater

"Stuff? Oh, okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet, and you select, I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that sweater is not just blue. It's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn't it, who showed a selection of cerulean military jackets. And then cerulean quickly showed up in collections of eight different designers. It filtered down through the department stores, and then trickled down into some tragic Casual Corner where you undoubtedly fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room... from "a pile of stuff."-Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada

That's all

Stunning Jeremy Lang Fall

Texture party! Jeremy Laing produced a solid show for fall. The soft draping combined with harder fabrics complimented the texture play.

Papery tops, sculptural leather and trembling silk with a startling lunar dust-like print. There were so many pieces you just wanted to pick up and look at more closely because there was a specialness (is that a word?) and attention to everything.

The fur may have been interesting if every designer and their dog hadn’t done it. I’ve seen too much fur in New York, it’s overkill (literally) and I get it. Buy a fur coat. If not a fur coat then a fur bag or a fur bum bag or fur sleeves or fur gloves or fur shoes!!!!

Schwab's Shaky Start at Halston

Marios Schwab is the latest in a very long line of designers with the unenviable task of making Halston relevant and he was off to a shaky start. Halston was synonymous with disco divas, first ladies, movie stars and Studio 54 so where do you go from there when perhaps Halston the brand was more about a time in history than say a silk jumpsuit? I’m not saying the man had no skill just that maybe it was more a moment in time when New York was flooded with cocaine, disco and Andy Warhol. The city must’ve been electric and glamour was at it’s peak.

Schwab needs to be sharper, more focussed, and loading the collection with his own personality and have touches of Halston’s. Look at brands like Givenchy with Ricardo Tisci. There are touches of Hubert de Givenchy but it’s modern and belongs completely to Tisci. This is what turning a brand around is all about.

So the clothes. They were mostly pared back in single block tones of grape, mustard, lipstick and bone. The references were thick and fast: one-sleeved dresses, skin baring slits and billowy disco dresses Diane Von Furstenberg may have once worn. A draped bias-cut dress with a metal clip near the neck was sexy and fun.

So where will people wear these clothes? The Boom Boom Room in the Meatpacking District? Who knows.

Pretty Average Fall Show from Elise Øverland

Thanks to trend forecasting, leather, suede, shearling and velvet has appeared on many runways and Elise Øverland is no exception. People say that leather is Elise Øverland’s specialty but I’m still not convinced. Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler both showed how leather can be whipped into something chic and easy (see their skirts) but Øverland’s dresses and skirts appeared heavy and restricting. There were exceptions of course. A snug fitting, quilted jacket and a beautifully draped dress looked sharp and sexy. There were a couple of 80’s big shouldered jackets that seemed at odds with the rest of the collection. In a season where almost every designer is doing something in leather, Øverland should’ve been streets ahead in terms of design and cut.