Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tome Spring/Summer 2016.

Sat. 09/10/2015.





Tome Spring/Summer 2016.

It would be incredibly refreshing if Tome's Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin didn't fuss up their clothes so much. A nice flourish here and there is always appreciated, but with every artsy installment in the "Tome Show" Lobo and Martin seem to exaggerate and overdo things simply best left alone and to their own devices. That problematic fixation on Zhuzhing up pieces already quite fanciful to start with, leads to an overwrought nature to many items. Usually, the duo find idiosyncratic artists and intellectual types to glean inspiration from, and this is where oft times, the tendency to overthink and over design comes from. This Spring they found Australian visual Artist Fiona Hall as their touchstone. It lead to some nifty exits, and some serious drama in a few outfits that were genuinely, brilliant. Yet, that niggling sense of an innate lack of restraint caused much of what was paraded down the catwalk to fall into the category of needlessly tricky.

The simplest offerings were definitely the most potent, the opening section in Black and White was quite near flawless and a Citron Yellow dress over a White Lace top was an exceptional exercise in simplicity and refinement, but executed in the vocabulary of Martin and Lobo. A Glacier Blue gown on Supermodel of olde, Claudia Mason, was a perfect study in artistry meeting fashion in equal proportions. I don't want any one going away from this review thinking the collection wasn't likable, indeed it was, but the takeaway should be that Martin and Lobo could do themselves, and in that, their customer, so much more a service, if they reined in their more esoteric and extrovert leanings and focused on just one or two strokes of genius. If not, their collections will continue to be shrouded with a miasma of artsy high minded-ness that might alienate customers that don't want to think too deeply about their clothes, or work that hard to wear them!





That's All.





Bye4Now!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Marissa Webb Spring/Summer 2016.

Sat. 09/10/2015.




Marissa Webb Spring/Summer 2016.

For Marissa Webb's Spring-Summer 2016 collection, she juxtaposed girlish flirtatiousness with tomboy chic and jumbled them together in her fashion Spin Cycle for an offering that was neither too heavy nor too wan on either sartorial idea and struck a nice balance between both. Webb was influenced by pictures of her grandparents in the 50's, Grandpa bedecked in his military finery and Grandma beside him, dressed in her "Prim" frocks and noticed how interesting it would be if those two style statements morphed together into one cohesive idea.

Webb's best exits were when she feminized the military components into softer, more girly outfits or layered more demonstrably military ideas with more fluid clothes. The color palette was executed brilliantly starting with a cool Lilac and moving into Army Green and Desert Tan, then on to a flattering Golden Yellow and a Navy Botanic print that was most deeply welcome amidst the panoply of solids. The one odd and ill-conceived insertion, a strident and misplaced Coral Red that didn't jibe with the rest of the collection and felt distinctly jarring and out-of-place. Webb finished strong and on-trend with plenty of Black and White and after the early excursions into colour, felt like just what was needed to refresh the eye and on an exceptionally strong note.





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tadashi Shoji Spring/Summer 2016.

Thurs. 09/10/2015.





Tadashi Shoji Spring/Summer 2016.

There is an unmistakable signature to Tadashi Shoji's work, and that may or may not necessarily be a bad thing. Sure, his clothes are unquestionably beautiful and the work that goes into creating his lovely creations is always dazzling, but there is a certain sense of sameness that permeates what he does and an unwillingness to venture outside his well-traveled comfort spaces. In his Spring 2016 collection, that aura of familiarity was compounded by the fact that Shoji was exploring well-traversed ground, by hiking towards Japan, which he stated was his overarching thema. Yes, it was one of his prettiest and better done collections in recent memory, but it had the tinge of banality and predictability that hangs over his work like a miasma.

There were pieces among the parade that stuck in the imagination, a Wisteria embroidered sleeveless White lace gown was among them, as was a dynamic White gown at Exit No. 36, gussied up with Black floral embroidery, still and all, even they in the end couldn't help but feel boringly pretty and insipid. Shoji should extend himself a bit more, Hell... A LOT More. True, there is always going to be a market for his kind of ethereal, fairy-tale beauty, however, I'd auger to say his clothes need a well-placed injection of gritty reality to make them truly, shine.





That's All.





Bye4Now.

Creatures Of Comfort Spring/Summer 2016.

Thurs. 09/10/17.





Creatures Of Comfort Spring/Summer 2016.

Le Corbusier... A touchstone for all designers, fashion, interior, architectural, or otherwise, is a ripe and fertile plain to sow seeds of inspiration from. The results are not always favorable, but Jade Lai's collection for her label, Creatures Of Comfort for Spring 2016, was a convincing and rather interesting, if uneven effort. Lai seemed to draw from Corbusier's unrealized utopia, "Ville Radieuse"  which yielded something of a whiff of the nostalgic to the clothes. Lai used a definite somber palette to express herself, especially in the muted shades of the knits that dominated the collection. Not everything presented here, worked in this context, especially a horrendously realized idea of elliptical hemmed shorts thrown over dresses and tunics.

Lai's looks were best when she kept the trickery to a minimum and focused on showing easy, relaxed assemblages that expressed her philosophy of dressing more succinctly than her experimentations with layering and proportions. A Gunmetal Grey ensemble had grace and ease and a restrained seriousness that was quietly powerful and sensual with it's off-shoulder top and flowing skirt. Or, witness the effectiveness of the slouchy Black suit with rope string ties, that languidly oscillated about the body in a nonchalant and casual manner. Here, was where Lai showed her skills and made the most impactive statements. Although, some of her more experimental works were not always a success, those moments when they were, counterpointed the more mainstream pieces well and showed a idiosyncratic diversity, it made for a collection that one could not easily dismiss or forget.





That's All.





Bye4Now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Erin Fetherston Spring/Summer 2016.

Thurs. 09/10/17.




Erin Fetherston Spring/Summer 2016.

Presenting a collection inspired by both Jane Birkin and Anne of Green Gables could be a undertaking fraught with fashion peril. Fortunately enough, in Erin Fetherston's sure hands, it was a naïf and demonstrably pretty collection for the grown up woman still in touch with her inner youthful self. To be clear, there were no big "WOW" moments or serious "Fashion" to be had, but with what was presented, there needn't had been those things, the collection stood on it's own for what it was, a feminine and romantic offering that had a distinct whiff of fairy tale, yet conceived in a modern vocabulary.

Fetherston struck a nice balance between girlish dresses and more urban sportswear, giving us a floaty frock here then counterpointing that with a knit tank and culottes or a femme top paired with sharp Navy trousers. Little surprise, the dresses were the items that fared the best, and Fetherston offered up one delight after another, especially her finale trio of White gowns that could easily work for the modern romantic as a less traditional and fussy bridal option. Fetherstone was right in her niche this go round, there was little in the way of surprise, but much in the way of prettiness and enjoyment. The wheel need not be reinvented when it obviously works just fine the way it is.





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Kimora Lee Simmons Spring/Summer 2016.

Thurs. 09/10/17.






After a few years hiatus of divorce, remarriage, birth of a son, another divorce and finding herself a loving Billionaire for a third husband, Kimora Lee Simmons has been through a whole fucking lot since her relationship with her previous design house, Baby Phat was dissolved in 2010. Bringing world wide attention and assimilation of hip-hop couture and urban luxe fashion to the public, much of the current fashion landscape can be laid at her and her former husband and business partner and father of her two daughters (Ming and Aoki) Russell Simmons feet with no sense, eve of overstatement or insincerity to that claim. 

Her new fashion venture could not be any further from the celebratory days of Baby Phat, Here her KLS Collection is deeply Smart and Sophisticated and with a penchant for Bod-Con dresses (sort of like Celeb-turned-designer Victoria Beckham's clothes were at her labels inception) with a flattering cut and sleek aesthetic. Simmons' Spring/Summer offering was brief, but impactful, shaved down and pared back to an essential emphasis on graphic executions of Black and White with a touch of Hot Pink and Navy for contrast and a throw in a Silver Lamé draped gown for good measure too! Keeping lengths modest, but still sexy was the overarching theme of the showing.

Without a single note of hyperbole, every outfit was a high, there wasn't one low in the bunch. Simmons cast a gimlet eye on the edit and kept everything laser focused, which produced a worthwhile and exciting effort. Simmons has the background and with this collection as proof, the skill to further propel her new venture to the highest echelons of success, and if the results are, going forward, this excellent, the heavens are her limit!





That's All.





Bye4Now!


BCBG Max Azria Spring/Summer 2016.

Thurs. 09/10/2015.





BCBG Max Azria Spring/Summer 2016.

As of late, Lubov and Max Azria have been, it would seem, throwing every possible thought and idea at a wall, at once and seeing what sticks and then cobbling together an incoherent and sloppy mishmash mess and calling it a collection. Spring 2016 sees them narrow their focus slightly, but with still skewed results. Claiming their inspiration came from their hometown of Southern California, specifically, The City Of Angels. What that translated into was Surfer and Skater vibes shot through with a touch of Californian bohemian, and what did that all come to? Another slipshod performance that failed to move itself beyond the inexplicable.

There was much to take in, long, short, layers, floral prints, bucket hats, shorts, virtually not one outfit was not expressing multiple personalities from top to bottom. Even the simplest of outfits were bogged down by an overabundance of nonsense. The salient takeaway was that, deconstructed, the pieces would work nicely, but together as conceptualized, the looks bordered on foolish. Yet, rather than prattle on about the lows let us look at the highs... Um... Ok. Then, let's just end this now. Fini!





That's All.





Bye4Now!