Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.

As late in the game as it is, we all know this was to be Raf Simons last Haute Couture collection for Dior. Being perfectly frank, I am glad. Simons never really felt right for the job and his collections were always so completely subsumed with Intellectual over thinking and overly indulgent cerebral introspection that they were bogged down by all the psychological elucidating that the one thing missing was the one that was sorely needed... Passion! Passion for the woman wearing the clothes, passion for the sake of passion, passion for the Couture. To Simons, it was always analytical Art Project, he completely divorced the soul of Dior from the house and concentrated on the logic, the mind, and in that, his clothes were great to talk about... However, to wear...??? Another story, indeed! 

So here we are, his last gasp at making a statement that would solidify his tenure at Dior in a way that would show him in a better and more celebratory light than his past collections... Perhaps because the decision was only percolating in Simons' mind at the time (July of 2015) and only came to fruition within the days leading up to his last show (October 2015) maybe he hadn't fully committed to leaving and thought there would be more to show as a Couture designer... Maybe he knew all along and this was his last statement, as arch and impertinent as his collections during his short stay at the house all seemingly were. No matter the case, it wasn't the kind of collection that one wants to be remembered for. It wasn't dreadful, in places, it was as stunningly wonderful as anything one could ask for, in others... Outright confusing. More directly, Ugly. Ungainly and Awkward spring to mind also. 

Spending inordinate amounts of words and time going over all the things wrong with the collection would be parallel to pointing out the few moments of glory. It's a fool's errand, both. For, the collection just did not cohere in any possible configuration or formation. It felt as lopsided and maladroit as those one sleeved hulking masses Simons called coats. Someone out there will madly, try to make them work, and maybe succeed, but it will be the few and far between that do. Let's put it as pointedly and simplistically as one can... if the Wafer Thin Models parading around in them look as if they were just this side shy of Quasimodo, How are the clients who as much as they would like to think they are model size (and as deflating to their money lined egos this may be) but most certainly ARE NOT, going to look in them? Flat Out Ridiculous! 

At every turn, the collection looked as if it had been styled by Lucia di Lammermoor in her mad scene. Simons willfully seemed and always seems, to fight with every fiber of his being against simply designing something... Beautiful. He has to Ponder on it, Futz over it, Re-examine it, Throw in a Intellectual curveball and then, only then, is he happy, Instead of going with his obviously Legion instincts, (partake of the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture collection and WEEP at the Diabolical Loveliness!) He simply doesn't rely on them. He has to THINK about the clothes, and that thinking leads him to travesties like this. The Fucked-Up part? When he does let go and simply, instinctually designs a garment, Bliss is achieved... Take for example Exit No. 46 on Ondria Hardin? A sylph-like gown that from far away, to it's Genius quality, looked like a Rib-knit Tank top fabric under the dead GORGEOUS Floral embroidered bodice. The flowing White gown, as it gained on you, you realize that those "Ribs" were densely embroidered Caviar Pearls, that then released away around the knee and the gown fell into Chiffon panels with striations of those "Ribs" running down them! IMMACULATE! See!? when Simons simply Lightened The Fuck Up... look what he can achieve!

Simons is going to be remembered one way or the other, have Sarah Mower and Tim Blanks and those of their ilk tell the tale, it's going to be a Renaissance and Golden Era for the house, for they couldn't ever see the forest for the trees, for them it was all achingly beautiful and satisfying and breathtaking. Ask anyone else to be nakedly honest, they'll tell you it never really made a lot of sense. It was simply easier to hop on the train of masturbatory praise and orgiastic fawning that the others all seemed deeply entrenched in. To me, It was a blip on the Dior radar that had it's shining moments, but more oft than not, was a period of great hype with nothing more than said hype to show for it. Simons may have had Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" as his starting point, but what transpired was more like Baudelaire's "Fleurs de Mal" 

That's All.


Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.

Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

First Impression... Bertrand Guyon has quite the masterful, not to mention, eclectic, hand with Daywear, as clearly evidenced by his Debut collection at the house of Schiaparelli, which has gone through a bit of a shake-up recently, with Marco Zanini unceremoniously stepping down for who knows what reason, then leaving the house in Limbo this past Spring for a collection that, besides the dramas going on, was pretty substantial and inspiring.

Now, the house has what hopes to be, a head designer who will stay the course, the way that fashion houses have been playing musical chairs as of late, that seems more and more tenuous and shaky as the days proceed. But really, all that matters are the clothes. For his debut, Guyon has decided to take the less literal approach to the archives, as Zanini did, and keep things forward looking while glancing sidelong at the past. However, while Zanini's debut was much more Madcap, Guyon's is more subtly irreverent. As with all the designers so far at the house, they have all instrumented something of the Template laid down by the Unspeakably Brilliant Christian Lacroix who relaunched the label with a one-off collection that has seemed to be fodder for all that has come next. (Rightfully, Lacroix SHOULD be the Head Designer of the house, but he wants no quarter with that, so....)

Back to that Daywear observation, Guyon's packed plenty of eccentric punch, de riguer for the house of Schiaparelli, From a Gorgeous Matelassé coat in Lacquer Red paired with a Soigné matching colour dress to a Quirky and Offbeat combo of a Mushroom colour Crocodile "T-Shirt" paired with an Organza skirt that looked like Moonlight had been captured in a fabric. Other standouts included a Black Satin top paired with a A-line skirt in Mink that had a profile likeness of Elsa on the front and a Molto elaborate, embroidered, nip-waist suit in Golden Yellow, embellished to look like it was a Cut Velvet or brocade, with it's swinging, gently flared skirt counterpointing the Sharp, Fitted jacket above, it was a nod to the past while being only possible in the present.

Evening saw a bevy of Dazzlers, also. from a Ode to a Grecian Goddess moment in a filmy White Chiton inspired gown with a drop skirt, deep draped neck and stitched down pleats, it was as effortless as it gets and equally as High-Impact. Also stunning, the Liquid Bronze Pannè Velvet Stunner near the end, rippled and undulated like molten metal wrought forth in sumptuous tangible material! And the Strapless Amphora shaped Ballgown with the Hand-Painted tableau on the front in Bone White was a masterstroke if ever there were one!

Sadly missing, a Bride. Most houses have left this tradition behind, and it always saddens me a little to see that neglected, it may be hopelessly old fashioned, but it gives a designer grounds to do the most unthinkable and unimaginable things and steal the breath of the onlookers. Even though Guyon chose not to close with a Marieé, he did conclude with Elsa's signature Shocking Pink, And he probably did capture the hearts of many a audience member, for the gown was spellbinding and rapturous. When all was said and done, Guyon produced a collection that made you want to see much, much more from him. Here's hoping we get to do just that!

That's All.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Atelier Versace Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Sun. 07/05/2015.

Donatella goes Music Festival? Pardon Moi? Well, get ready for Haute Couture Festival girls in the mould of Glastonberry and Coachella at the house that Sex built! Donatella Versace's Fall/Winter 2015 Atelier showing was inspired by equal measures of Stevie Nicks and Lollapalooza. Flower girls who are more daring than your usual festival goer, revealing more skin than might be seen as decorous for such an occasion, especially when that skin is encased in exposed skin tight, body shaping corsets in which diaphanous raw-edge Chiffons, Devoré Velvets and figured Lace are spun about in gossamer and fairy-tale like configurations. 

For Versace, Donatella especially, this is brazenly new territory, Donatella is not given much to limpid, dreamy, ethereality and this presentation saw her break with her usual Power Woman aesthetic and indulge in something much more romantic, all the while cloaked in the phenomenal technical wizardry of her couture ateliers. Those ateliers whipped up some truly dazzlingly masterful concoctions that defied imagination. Spinning webs and floating panels of fabric onto corsets that had become the centerpiece of the gown, not the accomplice, bisecting fraying edged materials with beading and lace and crafting them into elaborate confections. The best possible moment was when Hanae Gaby strode upon the stage in a flotilla of shredded petals of pleated Aqua Blue Organza that were worked to resemble huge Ostrich feather plumes amassed into a Magnificent Ballgown. It was a Breathtaking piece de mode to be sure!

The only thing that grated on ones nerves, there was no releif from all this floating, liquid-y finery. No day wear to speak of, nothing to cut the gauzy, hippy-dippy grungy Haight-Ashbury meets 90's Seattle and add a much needed counterpoint. To the end, the collection felt more than a small amount redundant. But with such beauty on display, and such beautiful technique, Donatella could be forgiven for getting a little carried away with herself!

That's All.


Up Next: Fall/Winter 2015 Haute Couture.

Thurs. 12/22/2016.

Dear Readers,

Another Year is nigh over, I am trying to catch up. I am seasons and seasons behind, but if i can make some progress and keep moving forward I just might get to the end and be on track! Have Faith. Send me your positive thoughts!

Take Care and Happy Holidays!


Terrill Lawrence Sanford.

Céline Resort 2016.

Thurs. 10/22/2015.

Who this woman is exactly, that dresses in Céline, is a TOTAL Mystery to me. Phoebe Philo's Resort collection for 2016 for the label is as mystifying as it totally outlandish! The clothes here are often so incomprehensibly bewildering, that to call them dysfunctional would be bordering on a compliment! Most in the fashion circles swoon over this, let's call a spade a spade, shall we... "SHIT" like it's Mother's Milk. Sorry, I don't really like that particular flavour of Kool-Aid that they are drinking! Maybe, it is me. Perhaps, I simply don't get it... I'd like to comfort myself with that knowledge and hope that at some point I WILL GET IT, yet my brain doesn't work like that and I can't get this. It's too damn... Horrendous! 

Philo seems to be defiantly trying to push people's ideas of what is fashion, but in a way that comes across as snotty and boorish. Like she's too cool for the rest of the pack. What it equates to is some unwearable trash masquerading as Fashion. Let's be frank, there are treasures amidst the trash, A Pencil Striped Trench in a Pretty Sea Blue and White had legs, as did a Palomino coloured shaggy fur with Leather tie closures, that piece was killing it, to be fair! But the rest... A Dung Heap! That's about as good a comment as I can muster! 

That's All.


Tracy Reese Resort 2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.

If you like Pretty, then Tracy Reese's 2016 Resort collection has all the things you need to be as Pretty as a Peach! A truly delightful excursion filled to capacity with Bright, Happy, Upbeat and Unabashedly GIRLY clothes made for Woman and Girls alike! Sublime, Positive colour was the most gleeful facet of the collection, Robin's Egg Blue, Mica Pink, Ocean Blue, Electric Turquoise, Coral... Plus a healthy soupçon of Neutrals, Black and White. Swishy dancing skirts and ruffles added more lively flair to the collection and a breezy attitude topped it all off wonderfully so!

The best pieces were actually, the ones that did indulge their lighthearted and girlish sides the most, A Sweeping Robin's Egg Blue flora and fauna print sundress was as easy as Sunday Morning, while a Flutter sleeve wrap dress in a graphic Black/Neutral print had equal parts of Dressed Up and Casual and could manage both, handily! While a White Lace dance dress with Black over-embroidery was a polished and masterful take on the perfect dress for a Summer Night! 

Reese managed to create a Fanciful collection that was not bogged down by saccharine condescension or lack of sophistication. It was how a True Woman wants to dress when she wants to get in touch with her inner Girl! Most women I know, are always happy to dress like their inner youthful self, yet still remain 100% Grown Ass Woman! Quite the Fetching Combo, if you ask me! 

That's All.


Nina Ricci Resort 2016.

Sun. 07/05/2016.

Guillaume Henry presented a fascinating and brilliant Resort collection for Nina Ricci, where he was just ensconced a few months ago. For the second collection under his design, it hit, practically, every note pure and true! Henry's collection is a little less Frou-Frou than what Peter Copping did at the label, but the essential concern with femininity was forefront, (as it should be) yet handled with a somewhat more décontracté air about it. 

The best takeaway, even though the Girly clothes were deliciously delightful, Henry packed the most punch in his virtually detail-less pieces that had a graceful and easy everyday appeal but still looked anything but basic! A beauty of a Shift dress with a gentle flared "Swish" of a hem in Bone was super easy for day, and could double for Cocktail duty in a nanosecond. A Natural Linen Trench was as perfect as any woman, in any city, in any country, could possibly desire! Also, a long, Gauzy sleeveless Black gown/dress with raw edges at the neck and armholes, paired with a Midnight Blue peacoat proved to have a versatility that could transition it from day to night without any worry or concern! 

Henry is quickly staking his claim at this storied Maison and adding his own flavour to the mix. What Copping left behind as a template, Henry is subtly shifting and adjusting to bear more of his signature, yet still give the Ricci woman what she desires... That is a Recipe for Success, if you ask me!

That's All.