Saturday, November 30, 2013

Three Reviews. Two Missed... One Not. Suno. Edun. Alice + Olivia.

Fri. 09/06/2013.


The Designers of Suno, Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis are two of my favorite designers on the current fashion radar! They have a love of things African and A love of diversity that is Admirable, yet not about glomming onto the zeitgeist... there is a real love of women of Colour and A real commitment to exploring the Influences of the Mother Land and plowing that furrow for all the creative Gold it has to offer!

The duo call their "Suno" Clientele a Maximalist African Safari Girl... which is Quite an Apt moniker. The collection does have a Distinctive Maximalist feel to it, but not Ostentatious. There was Clear Minimalism being explored though in this collection starting out with Exit No. 1 A Study in Icy White that was Spare without being Ascetic or Even... Plain! It had Plenty of personality, with it's Pin Pleated Drop hem on the skirt... but it was Surgically Precise and Reductionist! After this Crisp Opening... the Colours of the The Savannah came into play... Most Beautifully an Especially Spicy Deep Orange that at Exit No. 6, An Asymmetrically buttoned Short Fit-And-Flare Dress in Shantung, Was Ravishing! A Geranium Red Leather Ensemble at Exit No. 9 was also Eye-Popping but Intensely Cool!

Awfully Fun was a Zebra Print that was splashed across a few exits and Injected a good deal Playful Energy! But, then again, there was ample exploration and Mix-Matching of prints throughout... from a Black and White Scribble Floral Print and also a White Splashy Floral Print on a Black background that was Naive and Pretty! Also Newsworthy... A Lattice Fabric that was also embroidered that Had Instant Desire built in but when matched with  Gold Embroidered Tops it radiated with a Glistening Shine and a Quiet, yet Vibrant Sophistication.

The show ended on a Modern and Avant trio of Heavily Damasked White Evening Pieces that were New and Fresh Takes on evening and will appeal to the Hip and the Less Hip as well! Max And Erin have cultivated a Very Inspiring and Very Eclectic Signature, one that is winning them Raves and Accolades as well as a growing clientele!

I, for one Chillrens, Am As Happy As a Clam!

Sun. 09/08/2013.


Edun has tried to be both Ethically Sound and Fashionably Sound as well... While the former may have been achieved with flying colours, the latter has been a bit of an Up-And-Down affair. U2 Megastar Bono and His wife Ali Hewson Started this label which is part of the Huge LVMH Stable and is not yet the Luminary in their Universe, but with Danielle Sherman heading the label now... I Forsee that changing Forthwith!

Starting Out... She has spun a Particularly Spellbinding tale for Spring 2014 that Touches on All of the Bases of the Season so far... The Ethnic Motifs... The use of Graphic Black and White... White on White... Urban Modernity and even touches of Exotic Colour! Sherman has the pedigree to make this label ascend to the highest fashion ranks and showed considerable Skill and Intuition in this debut collection.

The Previous Designers At Edun had some good ideas, but not the most inspired execution. Sharon Wauchob who Failed to raise the heat above a bubbly simmer... Sherman is turning up the heat to a good old Roiling Boil! Firstly, by Hitching up the Covet factor several dozen degrees and tapping the Urban Cool vein while still trying to propose something, if not NEW, Perhaps New...-Ish!  Secondly, The New-ish inclinations were achieved by exploring some serious Ethnic Motifs and not exactly mimicking anything specific, but making it just,Tribal enough to give one the Intimation of Zulu or Ndebele or Masai... There wasn't an Identifiable Tribe... but it felt like it may have been some long lost Nomadic Tribe being unearthed and put on display!

Street Savvy Layering was the Clothes that came at the Opening Bell and is also showing itself to be an inescapable trend this season, but even though some of the pieces... At Exit No. 1 a Boxy topcoat, At Exit No. 6 a pair of Full Trousers... were roomy the overall silhouette was Lean. And even with all the graphical goings on the collection it had a spare minimal Approach. There was also Of-The-Season Sportif about the Skinny Legging pants that were underneath the Grey Exits No. 9-10 But then again the Mood of Sport Fashionably pervaded this Most Cool of collections.

Exits No. 11-12 were Breath Stealers... Black Button front Pajama style tops with White skirts with Black Leather Side Stripes... HALLELUJAH! Just the perfect touch of Fashion to something easy and beachy!

It all felt so Resolutely Modern. So Urban, so the way any Chic Woman around the world wants to dress... Hip, Edgy, Slim, Aerodynamic!  This would be as clear a Fashion Hit in Miami as it would be in Chicago, From Atlanta to Detroit! A woman would feel Youthful, Spirited and Strong in these clothes.

The Altruistic Leanings of the label only make it that much more desirable when knowing that while Looking Good, one can also Feel Good and Do Good by buying and wearing these Insanely Stylish Creations. Bono and Ali have finally found the All-Star Batter that will deliver Home-Runs like this one with consistency. Will there be Consistency, one cannot say, this is only one collection so far...

However, Chillrens... For a First At Bat... Danielle Sherman Hit it Way, WAY Outta the Park!!!

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Alice + Olivia.

Stacey Bendet presented a perfectly Pretty and Wearable Collection for Spring 2014 for her Alice + Olivia Line and worked a Delightful yet ultimately, Boring Retro/Nostalgic Edge that rendered the collection Seamlessly Elegant. A Modern curve was cut out by the usage of Cropped tops and long skirts.

This didn't present anything Modern or Forward looking in the collection but there will be a Coterie of women who will find this collection fitting into their fashion view of life. It wasn't Earthshaking nor Particularly of the Here-And-Now Fashion-wise, but there was nothing objectionable or unattractive about it either.

Bendet isn't going to set the Fashion world on Fire with this collection, but she will make her Niche of women look quite beautifully Appointed.

That's All.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thom Browne.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Thom Browne.

How do you Classify a Collection of this Order? How do you Explain Something such as this in words that can be Quantified within the Language of Humans...??? Vivienne Westwood meets Lee Alexander McQueen In John Galliano's Loony Toons Old Aunt Mathilda's Attic??? It was a Mash-Up of The most Epic Envisioning that wasn't even TRYING to be A MASH-UP! It was Disturbing... I am sure it was Equally Sexist AND Misogynistic... It Was... FAB!

Thom Browne Does things His Way... Taste, Style, LOGIC Be Damned! His Brilliantly Kooky Vision of Fashion is not only Bold, It is Otherworldly. He has the Fashion DNA of Provocateurs Past like Westwood and McQueen and Galliano and Gaultier Deeply Ingrained in his Modus Operandi, He also has all of their Skill and Technical Facility to Accomplish these Masterstrokes of Surrealism and Provocation!

Trying to Pick out Outfits and Individual Pieces to shine some light onto this Elaborate Mystery of a collection is Useless in the Highest Regard! One simply should Experience it and make one's own Judgement then. To go into some detail describing it... It was MAD! And Mad meaning "ASYLUM" Mad... women Draped in their own Unique, almost Dystopic vision of Sartorial Lunacy! Sure as the Sky is Blue that they look like Queens of Couture and not like A Doyenne of The Insane! But strip away the Manic Makeup and Bi-Polar hair and the Individual Pieces Are Actually Gloriously Ornate and Operatic but Wearable! But wearable only by the most Confident and Fierce of The Fashion Flock! These outfits could EASILY Wear their wearer, Do not get that point wrong... these clothes demand the wearer to tame them like wild beasts or easily be eaten alive by the FASH-ION Of it all!

There was something of the Perverse about this collection, one that Browne said was based, with faux simplicity, on "Elizabethean Clowns" One could see the Elizabethean Properties of the collection in the Stiff proportions and sometimes elaborate Ruff like necklines which also paid some homage to the Pierrot and the Elizabeth I Era Jesters or "Clowns" But taken to the Nth degree of that idea.

More Perversity sprang from his usage of Latex, which in his hands upon first inspection looked to be a Satin Organza or Satin Chiffon but closer up... Yup... It's Prophylactic Material. But that he could take that material and visually morph it into something Regal looking is a testament to his Haughty Sense of Fashion! There was a True sense of Awe and Wonder at the Outrageous combinations and Brilliant Suffusions of Fabric... some even upon Up-To-The-Eye Viewing Were still bewildering...  The Stiff And Angular Twisting Constructions of some of the garments also Blew One's Mind!

At first blush... there was something distinctly Sinister, Almost A Certain Clive Barker "Hellbound Heart" feeling to the look and mood... However, as one begins to absorb the Beauty of the Madness of these Hysterical Visions, The Madness remained, but the sinister aspect began to fade and something more Beautiful emerged... the clothes are Abominably Difficult to wear, No one would counterpoint that opinion... but they also propose that if any lady screws up the courage to be daring enough to wear these outfits and wear them in a way that would fit in with the accords of her life, she just might stand out in a sea of fashion blandness in a way that is Poetic, Eclectic and Downright Majestic!

Who among the fashion flock will fail to be moved emotionally by this collection, in either positive or negative directions...????  It Incites and Excites... It's begging for discourse... But also it simply charms in it's Abandon and Mania! Whatever shores of the fashion landscape you find yourself rowing your boat upon in reaction to this collection Chillrens... One can be assured, you won't at all forget the Voyage!

That's All.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Donna Karan New York.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Donna Karan New York.

Ok... I am going to be the one to say it...

I am SOOOOOO Done with this Zen Modern, Earth Mother, Granola Hippie Dippy Schitck that Donna has been Slopping forth on her Main Runway Collection for Nigh on too many years now. And this Downright DISASTROUS Spring 2014 Collection was so HUGELY Disappointing after her ASTOUNDING Spring 2014 DKNY Collection which was some of the best work of her career. It was just the newest collection in a LONG line of Truly Bewildering Collections from the house. This perhaps was one of the Worst.

Donna Could be, in the days of yore, called on to make women look Superhero Strong and Modern and SEXY! Sexy with a Capital SEX! Now... If Overly Complicated and Dishelved and Rolled out of bed looking is considered Sexy and Modern... I don't want to Know what Glamourous looks like!

It started off in the most unflattering and frankly... Unfashionable way. The clothes held no Sense of Sensuality or Modernity... they looked Haphazard and bound by no other thread than the colours and the persistence on wrap dressing. Which was not anything new for Karan, nor was it done in any way that she hasn't done in the past that was far more desirable. The Karan tropes were Familiar, Boring, and here appeared Dated and Ineffective. But more so... just Unappealing. No Woman, Not even the most Hippified College Professor at Berkeley in the 70's would want to look this.... Insipid!

What exactly was Karan trying to Accomplish? What was she trying to say? Throwing Garment on top of Garment... Was it Urban Jungle? City Safari? Multi-Culti Hippy? I cannot be sure, the waters were so muddied that any attempt at discerning a real KEY Point was lost! Hopelessly! An Awkward Khaki full skirt paired with a White shirt and a Khaki Washed Suede Cardi Jacket at Exit No. 19 held promise for it was one of the least confused as well as Exit No. 25 which consisted of a Burnt Orange Leather jacket that was Especially appealing and was matched PERFECTLY with a Cinnamon Wrap Dress. But aside from those.....

It is almost impossibly hard to point out anything but the bad in this collection and find something good. Each Exit just felt So EPICALLY Misjudged! This was not Style in the 2014 Mode... this wouldn't be stylish in any era!

If the collection started out with it's Phasers already set to Fail... things only Marginally moved up the ladder towards success in the Finale. As Pretty as Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls Exits at Nos. 32 and 33 were they were not even barely capable of saving this collection and then after that.. the remaining gowns just felt Massively Underwhelming and Redundant... We've seen this Donna... WAY too many times...

It was a Flat our Failure, Chillrens. Just Plain and Simple. Nothing here is going to Inspire anyone but the most Die-Hard Karan-ite, And even they will find a hard time discerning the Wheat from SO Much Chaff!

That's All.


Adam Lippes.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Adam Lippes.

Being the fan of Adam Lippes from Way, WAY Back, as I have been it was a true heartbreak to see him fall victim to the Investor Hijinx that plague so many a Designer... (Where are you Bryan Bradley and Tuleh...??? :-( ) and when his Label ADAM Adam Lippes was shuttered  I thought the fashion world had lost another Brilliant Luminary in it's heavens... NOT SO, Said Adam Lippes!

Coming back on his own terms and doing it from scratch, this POWERHOUSE Designer is back and Creatively, Better than anyone could have Possibly believed! He did in 20 pieces what many designers cannot achieve in twice or triple the outfits. His Collection Was Spare, Clean, Modern, Minimal In the most Luxurious Way and in a word... Perfect.

From the Beginning, It was a slice of Heavenly Ease and Clean Glamour. Exit No. 2 was Beyond Descriptors in it's Pure Perfection. The Cut was this side of Magical and fit like it simply flew in on a Breeze and slipped over the body of the model. It was a T-Shirt dress that was so much more than the simple term "T-Shirt Dress" That it bordered on Ludicrous! Then we were given Leopard in Exit No. 2 in the most Exquisite Topcoat... GENIUS!

There was so much here that was the Epitome of Modern Sophistication and Urban Sporty Chic that it was almost Shamefully Exquisite! The best pieces were Dripping with Quiet Elegance... Exit No. 6 was Possibly one of the best outfits I have seen this entire season... Giving a hint of Cheongsam Exoticism... the Sleek Dress in the most featherweight knit with a matching longer Cardigan was not only Original and Directional But, Timeless Also! The Next Exit Out (No. 7) was The Perfect Juxtaposition of Classic Shape with Of-The-Minute Fabrication in Creamy white Snake. Again... the T-Shirt dress never had it so good! That Snake Showed up more in the collection and would be in one of the best Outfits later in the collection!

But, First... one of the most Daring Outfits of the season in a Sleeveless dress at Exit No. 11 in a handpainted Lion Tattoo Print was SPECTACULAR and Impossibly Editorial! Exit No. 15 seemed to Coo with Sophisticated Ease... A Perfect Navy Crepe Duster Coat with another Snake Tee Dress to match! It was all soooooo..... EFFORTLESS! I cannot put into words how Powerful this collection Resonated with me and how it will with the customer Lippes is Cultivating!

I couldn't love this collection any more if i tried, Chillrens... It was a Damn Triumph! Easy, Chic, Sophisticated, Elegant, Daring, Modern, BRILLIANT! I Have ALWAYS been a Fan of Mr. Lippes... But Now I am one of the Devout Worshippers... with clothes like this he should take it to the Runway Next Season!

That's All.


Monday, November 18, 2013

3.1 Phillip Lim

Mon. 09/09/2013.

3.1. Phillip Lim.

Being a Fan of Phillip Lim's work for the entirety so far of his Career I have seen his collections Vacillate from being either Brilliant and Directional to being Bland and Blase. This collection for Spring 2014 gently hovered somewhere in between but closer to the Brilliant side of the spectrum than the Bland. It was filled with some Astoundingly wearable outfits and had a good backbone with it's inspiration but some of it was a bit Awkward and Ungainly.

Lim, perhaps is the most American in his sensibilities of the New Garde of Major Players in American fashion that have come onto the scene within the last 10 years... many and most of them Asian in fact, But there is something Resolutely SPORTSWEAR About his clothes and that's really a Great thing. Where most designers are trying to Carve their Niche in the Luxurious side of American Style... Lim is content with Plowing the Furrow of good ole Sporty American Separates.

Not to say he isn't LUXE, but his brand of Luxe reads more of the Approachable, Timeless Ilk than of the Hot-Button, Of-The-Minute Ephemeral Mode. His use of Embroidery this season was Particularly Luxe when he translated his inspiration of geodes and Rocks and Minerals into Craggy, Jagged patterns on his pieces... he even opened the show with those embroideries in a Sheer Net Bomber that would instantly update any piece in any wardrobe around the world. These were the some of the best moments of the collection, these Multi-Dimensonal translations of Mother Earth's Geological bounty... but there were many other moments that were just as Desirable.

On Exit No. 6, The Deep Curry leather zip front Bomber rendered Absolutely of the now with it's Grommet Stitching in which Contrasting white cord was looped through, keeping the "Seams" of the jacket together was INSTANT Covet and as it was paired with another "Geode" Embroidered piece it had all the bases covered beautifully. The Patchwork Metallic Suede and Leather pieces in Exits No. 12-14 were in a word... SENSATIONAL! The Vest of Exit No. 12 is going to be on most stores "Most Wanted" List in No Time!

A White Shift Dress at Exit No. 20 had all the right moves of the season and was memorable, even though there have been and will be plenty more white dresses this season... this one stood out Nicely and looked Clean, Spare, Chic and Modern! The Pieces in Blue and Pink Print were also Unique and Special, Especially a Zip Front Cropped Sleeve Caban Jacket at Exit No. 26... SUBLIME!

But as the show progressed, Lim began to indulge in some trickery in the Cuts and Shapes that were If not Exactly Unflattering were Surely Ill-Conceived... Keeping things Simpler would have garnered Much better results... The insistence on showing a Sleeveless Oversized Vest/Coat 3 times in a span of 4 outfits when it didn't work the first exit out was Baffling. It was a Totally Unnecessary Evoking of a Ghesquiere/Balenciaga Trope that wasn't needed nor was ultimately at all flattering.

But saving those bungles... the collection is going to be easy to translate into everyday life and easy to wear while also giving it's wearer A Distinct Fashion P.O.V. And Keeping her Current. More than anything the clothes will work with what's already in her closet and she can Update her wardrobe with Confidence and Ease. Not many Designers are Tapping that Vein nowadays, Saving the Icon that is Michael Kors...

If he Plays his cards right and Refines his vision, Lim may be HIS Generations Michael Kors... And Chillrens... That's a Goal to be striven for in the Utter Utmost!

That's All.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Two Short Reviews. Ohne Titel And Pamella Roland.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Ohne Titel.

I have always had a Soft Spot for Flora Gill and Alexa Adams, the designers behind the label Ohne Titel. Love their Architectural Style and Strict Discipline in the Womanly Yet Strong clothes they make... this season that vision was Muddled and Obscured by an Overly Sportif Mentality and a most decidedly overwhelming reliance on tricky Graphic and Optic effects that did nothing in the way of serving the clothes.

This collection was overflowing with touchstones so far of the season whilst also seeming like a play on the same Kinetic Art feeling that shone so brightly in the Carolina Herrera show seemed muddied and confused with so many other ideas... Urban Sport... Patchworking... Sheer Insets... Colour Blocking... White-on-White... So many ideas Jam-Packed into one slender collection with no one line or thread running through them all to connect them to a Cohesive Whole.

The collection was not inspiring nor flattering... Body Conscious it was but it was so busy with print and colour and optical printing that it all got lost in the shuffle! A very Pretty dress in Royal Blue, Black and White At Exit No. 9 was Quite Lovely but it was far betwixt and betwain to find another such outfit. One last mention... the Styling of the Makeup and Hair was AWFUL! Just Scandalously Terrible. Alexa, Flora... NO! Just Never Do that again!

In the End Chillrens... the Ladies of Ohne Titel would do themselves a great favour by not trying to pack so many ideas into one collection and focus their efforts on a few good ideas and do those well. This was not them at their best... and their best can be Pretty Damn Amazing!

Pamella Roland.

Pamella Roland offered a Pretty and Glam Collection that was highlighted by Feminine Colour and Elegant styling... but somehow, as much as I adore this collection... But it felt A little... Catalogue. It had High Fashion Quality, but it didn't feel... Fresh! It felt like in a sense... Oscar De La Renta Lite. Very Lite! Where Oscar always manages to find the Modern in his Classicism... Pamella's collection felt Derivative and Throwback.

The Floral Pink Fils-Coupe Dresses were very Attractive as was a Black and White Faille Gown a Big Winner... but on the whole this all felt a bit too much as Been There-Done That.

Perhaps for Fall Ms. DeVos will show a stronger push towards a Modern Vision, because Chillrens... this wasn't the best representation of the Pamella Roland Style.

That's All.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Theyskens' Theory.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Theyskens' Theory.

Olivier Theyskens has had many lives in fashion. From the Arch Romantic Neo Modernist he was in the beginning when Madonna Shot Put him into the Stratosphere of Fashion by wearing his Goth-y Romantic Dystopic Vision of Modern day couture all those many years ago... To when he became the Name on everyone's lips with his Re-envisioning of Rochas where he Ratcheted up the Couture Quotient of Ready to wear and gave even the Major Couture Players some sweaty brows now and again with his now TOTALLY Romantic and Spine Tingling Vision that was Equal Parts Hitchcock as it was Charles James.

Now... At Theory we witness the Further Evolution of Theyskens as he leaves behind all the Dark Drama of his namesake label and the Almost Ceremonial Pomp and Exquisite Couture of his Rochas Days and how has become a Post/Neo Modernist... the edge and downtown cool factors are all quite reverentially covered and the Talismans of that style are fully given their due, but there are traces of that Romantic Vision insinuating itself in this collection.

More so than any collection this season, Theyskens managed something rather Quixotic and in it's own way... Shocking. A new proposal on length that was not clumsy nor was it wholly unattractive. Yes, There were moments where the shocking newness of this idea was a bit much to digest all at once, but when viewed in hindsight, it's strength was formidable!

It Started somewhere at the most ungainly and awkward place below the knee, but in no way seemed either one of those! It seemed Fresh, Young, Spirited and Modern. Shorts started the rounds after Exit No. 1 and were layered and ultra cool looking, especially paired simply with a blousy shirt on top. Simply paired, yes, but those shirts were nothing near simple. There was also freshness in the longer layered looks that started at Exit No. 8. The Mesmerizing effect of long layered over long was Refreshing and Eclectic.

Going into prolix detail would be somewhat demystifying the magical quality of this collection but pointing out some High Water Marks of the show is always in order... Exit No. 10 in Black on Black with a Supple leather duster and long liquid layered dresses underneath was Urban Luxe in the Utmost... Quiet but Not Anonymous. Edgy but not Tricky! Exit No. 17 was a Study in Perfection of Movement... the Short Sleeve Crepe Top with it's Louche Proportions paired with a Long Sparkly striped skirt over an even longer Dawn Pink Organza skirt was Sinuous without being Severe!

Exit No. 18 was another Stunner brimming with Evening Possibility, Long, Lean, Languid in the extreme, it had the proportions to lengthen and elongate and slenderize while still looking Cool and Chic, not Athletic and Sportif. The Lithe Apron dress over Fluid, Glistening Inky Skirt  was Sublime, Sublime, SUBLIME! Exit No. 22 was the Home-Run of the collection. Brimming with Masculine Toughness and Elegant Femininty! It had Lightness plus it had a YSL Langour to it that was Sensual and Sexy even though it was doing all it could to sublimate those exact qualities! Describing it does nothing to truly evoke it's Brilliance. Just go Look at it!

This was a Brilliant Evolution of who Olivier Theyskens is... the Gothic Arch Neo-Romantic that he started out as on his own that transitioned into the Highest realms of Haute with his Neo-Classical Couture at Rochas and now into this mode... which seems to be finally coalescing into a Beautiful whole of the two halves... It's quite Entrancing to watch and one can surely feel that there is more Magic to come down the pike...

And Chillrens, I am gonna be waiting right there at the sidelines with my binoculars getting Myself a Good Old Bird's-Eye View!

That's All.