Saturday, December 28, 2013


Tues. 09/10/2013.


Being that I have never been on the Bus of followers that have lavished so much Praise up The Mulleavy Sisters, It's been easy of me to cast a far more critical eye on their work and not succumb to sympathetic softness.

This Collection Was Horrifying!

I have Never liked the Rodarte Label and Never found anything remotely pleasant about it to will me into liking it either. Laura and Kate Mulleavy are just Insider Industry Darlings that have had the Fashion Pantheon of Gods Deign them Worthy of being Deemed Fashion Royalty. They are Hacks. And that showed with the Utmost Clarity in their Spring 2014 Collection which was one of the most Indescribably Useless Pieces of Dreck I have ever laid eyes Upon! Ludicrous is too kind a word to ascribe to this Homely Mess.

Not only did the sisters Ape The "Balmain" Look of Decarnin AND Rousteing... But they Did it in such an AWFUL Way! This had none of the Sexual Bravado of The Balmain Look and while Channeling The "Chola" Look of Gwen Stefani's "L.A.M.B" Woman in the mix as well it just threw all of it into the Blender and Prayed it would Puree together into something Tangible and Tasty. It, Did Not.

Remarking on any of the Shamefully Idiotic Ideas that the Mulleavy's Paraded down the runway would be an Exercise in the Torturous! I cannot even say that there was ONE, O-N-E Plausible Outfit in the whole Mess. They Claimed the Inspiration was "Los Angeles" As Amorphous and Nebulous as that sounded the look did feel faintly like the L.A Hair Metal Look of the 80's or the Gang Girls Of the "Boyz 'N' The Hood" 90's However, where those Twains met was a Mystery to all but Kate and Laura!

I expect nothing more than this kind of Schlock from Rodarte. The Sisters are Industry Faves but for the real world... they don't even Register! Their Laughably Tragic clothes are not what Fashion Dreams are made of and they had better reflect on that before they produce another such Prodigiously Terrible Caper as Spring 2014 was!

That's All.


Vera Wang.

Tues. 09/10/2013.

What The Hell? That's all that one can be expected to think when Viewing this Astronomically Disastrous Mess that Vera Wang called a Spring 2014 Collection. 

It was Overwhelmingly Overdesigned and Appallingly Unflattering! I don't know what has Gripped Vera of Late, but this Furrow she continues to Plow of Atheltic/Sporty-Avant Garde/Modern Wear Has not only grown Tiresome and Weary, but has begun to verge onto, in the execution of the garments, The Grotesque!

Wang has suffered from the dedication to a style from the Polar Opposite end of the Spectrum of that of Donna Karan in her "New York" Collection but the results are Phenomenally the same... Redundant riffs on the same viewpoint and a continuing loss of Beauty, Style, Chicness and in my humble opinion, Credibility! Whereas Donna is Granola-Crunchy Desert Mesa Earth Mother Hippy Dippy, Wang seems to be Reductionist Athletic Sporty Glam Modernist Helmut Lang Wannabe! Whatever the case may be it strains the mind with the Incredulity of it all! 

It started, Like Most Tragic Stories, In a Good Place. Black On Black On MORE Black and felt Refreshing to the almost Rote succession this season of White on White. Here the Luxed up Fabrics were used in Innovative, Athletic/Sporty Combinations that had Built in Trickery but didn't come off Forced or Strained! It was all quite Sublime, Really. The Technical Mastery of these opening Garments was Formidable! 

However, the Boat Sprang A Leak at Exit No. 10... A Definitely Retina-Searing shade of Blue in a Filmy, Flimsy dress that began to show the overly tricked out side of Wang's Designs... she just began here and rolled smoothly downhill by adding on more and more design elements that served the clothes in no way but to make them totally unrealistic! Like most Leaks in a Boat, had it been attended to early enough and not let to fester... things may have been ok, but Vera Simply seemed to turn her back and continue to row further into deeper waters of the Eccentric. 

Intricate Interlays and Fabric Manipulations began to mount on one another and the clothes just suffered from their own insistence on being so Graphic and Technically Difficult. They Moved Beautifully, Yes. But they Looked less Diaphanous and more Haphazard! It was simply too much! 

Wang used to be known for Effortless Majesty! Her clothes looked  Easy but were Monuments to Exquisitely Excessive Technique and Facility! And they Looked Drop Dead Beautiful!! I don't mean just her Signature Goddess Gowns, I mean her Day Wear too! She has, one would surmise, lost her way in the thicket and has begun to make this her home instead of finding a way back to her True North. Maybe this Now IS her True North... 

Though, if it is, to be sure, she needs to limit the tricks and gimmicks and design REAL Clothes. Not Fantastical, Irrelevant Visions of Virtuoso Technique!

That's All.


Timo Weiland.

Tues. 09/10/2013.

It was a Sportif, Flirty Affair Chez Timo Weiland Spring 2014. Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein showed a Casual and Easy Collection with a little Modern Trickery thrown in to give it a Subtle Edge but not send it into Avant-Garde territory. It was Mostly Successful. Some Exits were a little to thin on inspiration and design but the stronger pieces held up nicely. 

Some of the winners included a Graphic Mixed Media Tank Dress in Black and White at Exit No. 4 that was very Sporty and Flippy in the same breath! A White Hooded Tunic with Black Banded welt pockets over a Flip Skirt in Black at Exit No. 7 also had that same Girly/Sporty Vibe going for it. Exit No. 24 gave us the best piece in the show... A Crochet Knit Sheer Stretch of a T-Shirt dress in Graphic Black and Red Was Fresh and Clean while still being quite Femme. 

There were some experiments in Cutouts and Color Blocking that looked Good but felt a little late to the game and came off slightly Askew! And there was the seasons requisite Mesh seen all over the place here and elsewhere as well as the Inescapable White-on-White trend that has came on like Gangbusters this season. And represented well was the Tiny Grungy 90's style Floral Prints that have been popping up without fail too. So, Yes. Weiland and Eckstein Captured the Zeitgeist of the season, and while there were some things that were pushing forward, the rest of the collection simply felt like it was playing catch-up!

That's All.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Badgley Mischka.

Tues. 09/10/2013.

Badgley Mischka.

I have said it before. I will say it again. If a Design House relies strictly on Evening Wear alone, it can never be truly a relevant force in the Highest Echelons of Fashion. The Redundant Sameness of one Beaded, Sequined, Embroidered frock after another strains not only the eye of the viewer but their patience as well. The world does not revolve around Sequins alone. The true creativity of a design house is a Well-Rounded serving of the full wardrobe of a woman. It's the same for the a house that does NOT offer Evening. The world has Occasions in which a Gown is needed in the utmost. It behooves a designer to not offer looks from Morning to Night.

Mark Badgley and James Mischka have been two of the biggest offenders of this design Phenomena and for those obvious reasons have struggled with their relevancy and the seriousness in which the Fashion Flock at large have taken them. It's ever so true that their mastery at creating some of the most Fanciful Evening gowns the world has seen is undisputed, No Doubt. But with that as a basis for a design company, Outside of their profitable Bridal Business... The fashion world has at once revered them for their Beauty Enhancing Gowns and pretty much ignored them otherwise as forces in the fashion industry. Are they comfortable in being seen in this role? One would be interested to know such things but if they truly matter is insignificant.

What DOES Matter is that the duo has begun to recognize (is there ever the case of too little too late in fashion,,, Probably not!) the Power of an offering of Daywear, Even if said Day Wear is of the most Glamourous Ilk! Influenced this Spring by French Photog Lartigue and the Moneyed Women of the Cote D'Azur whom he snapped pics of back in the 20's Lent a Luminous almost Moonlit Freshness to the collection. The colours were Inspired and Luscious... Lilac, Peach, Orchid, Geranium Red, Starlight Blue, Antique Rose. But those were all offerings after the opening of Solid Navy and White. Which had none of the Sober connotations associated with those colours, in fact it felt Blithe and Airy. The Opening Outfits gave the feeling of the models strolling along the Boardwalk at the Beach in Deauville or Marseilles. Of Especial interest was a Navy/White Tweed Effect Taffeta that was cut into a Stunning Wide Neck Fitted sheath dress at Exit No. 3 that had Couture Edge. A Sweet and Soignee Suit in the same fabric At Exit No. 6 was The Definition of Chic.

Exit No. 8 Epitomized Springtime Buoyancy in a fitted little Peplum top over a Flippy and Femme Polka Dot Skirt. From There after a few more Beachy outfits for day, we were firmly in the Badgley Mischka wheelhouse with one devastatingly beautiful evening frock after another. Even with the Overwhelming repetitiveness of one Gown after another, that didn't fully detract from the Exquisite Craft injected into each of these beauties. Some Standouts from the pack...

Exit No. 17 on Stunner Lais Ribeiro was a Simple Dream in Cadet Blue Crepe that would be Close-Up worthy for any Starlet or Social Star and gently touched with embroidery over the shoulders and capping the shoulders in the back it Twinkled more so than Glittered! The White Glam-Fest at Exit No. 24 Had The kind of Liquid Sensuality that would befit any Modern Day Jean Harlow with the Charming scrolled Feather Embroidery in beads at the Waist and Drapee Back. The Lavender Charmer at Exit No. 29, lavishly detailed in White Floral Lace Applique And Beading Was in just a Single Adjective... Remarkable!

There were some Clunkers that suffered from the exact Polar Opposites of Problems, Some of the gowns, while Gorgeous were amazingly Overworked and Overdesigned while others felt Underdesigned and Forgettable. Exit No. 40 Suffered from the Former while Exit No. 42 Suffered from the Latter. But when it was all said and done, The collection came off with such Exquisitely Effortless and Effervescent ease that one was happy to see the edit shaved of a few evening pieces and the smattering of Absolutely Divine Day Wear make it into the collection. Let's Hope Mark and James keep this up!

That's All.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

J. Crew.

Tues. 09/10/2013.

Jenna Lyons has Transformed the Humble J. Crew Label from Mall Staple for the Prep Set to one of the the most Current Up-To-The-Minute Labels in Fashion and Carved out a High End Name without the High End Price tags. J. Crew now has it's own Distinct Style of Prep Chic but without the Stuffiness and none of the Suburban Affect of Basic Basics in 101 shades of Blah! In The same way Banana Republic Arced it's trajectory for the future away from the Ubiquity of it's parent Company, The Gap, and pretty much left The Gap to Flounder in trying to find it's Identity as a Company with it's departure of Patrick Robinson, Banana has Created a Very High End look with The Low end of High End Price Pointing. J. Crew has swept in on that wave and made itself even more relevant by storming the NY Fashion Week with it's "Installation" Fashion Shows that are Equal Parts Defile and 60's-Style Happening!

Lyons' Design Director of Womenswear, Tom Mora, set up a Dichotomy between the Expertly cut basics and Whimsical and Covetous Special Garments that had scads of balance and never teetered too far to one extreme. Usually the mix was the message, and the message had a "California Dreaming" Feel by way of Venice... Italy... Not California.

High Points Abound, Look No. 2 was Sublime in all white with Slouchy Pants and a Relaxed top that exuded cool confidence. Look No. 6 featured a Perfect Staple with a Perfect cut, A Navy Blazer that adds Instant Sophistication to anything it is worn with. Here with Denim Shorts and a Printed top it took the seriousness out of the blazer and made it Fun and Whimsical and just a little subversive! A Navy coat with Black Sequin Embroidery thrown over skinny pants in a splashy tropical floral print was serving up a Super Cool Luxe Boho vibe at Look No. 9 and then a Stunning Riff on the LBD at Look No. 10!

Look No. 17 was A Highly Desirable Take on the Toggle Fisherman's Coat in Citron Green with Olive shorts and a crystal embroidered top. And the All White Shorts Suit with Black Tuxedo Piping at Look No. 27 was an easy winner and will be on most Women's "Want" List!

In the Grand Scheme... with offerings like this and the sharp editing eye of Lyons and Mora, not to mention an eclectic and personal Point-Of-View, J. Crew should take it's looks to the Runway and get some real Supermodels of the moment into the clothes... The company can only benefit from doing such, just like Kate Spade! Take it to the Runway, And Soon! The Industry will begin to see the house more seriously and not as a Cottage Industry success by way of Overhaul, instead it will be seen as the Powerhouse of Modern American Fashion that it is! And That could ONLY be a good thing!

That's All.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Tory Burch.

Tues. 09/10/2013.

Tory Burch has become a Success Story of the Highest Magnitude. From Humble beginnings and through tumult and strife she has kept herself focused like a Sniper on it's prey on making her business a Mega Success and a Worldwide Brand. All her planning is coming to Fruition in the best of ways... Her Highly Profitable First Fragrance Launch (which has the juice, IMHO, to be a Longtime Pillar for the Brand) Her Dramatic Court battle with her Ex which she came out of relatively unscathed and for the most part... Still Smelling of the Rose! And most importantly, Her Lifestyle Brand of Clothes, Accessories and What-Have-You, which in the Accessory department she is pretty much printing her own money!  But how does all this translate into ALSO being a Major player on the Fashion Landscape and running with the big boys Like Lauren and Kors and Jacobs and De La Renta and Herrera and all the other luminaries in the NY Star System? 

For Ms. Burch, Pretty Damn Easily! 

She has carved her Niche so Rapidly and so Definitively that the "Tory Burch" Look is already WELL Established. The Codes of the house are as easy to recognize as the Overblown Gothic Loge that nearly adorns all her accessories and have made them Coveted Status symbols of the Rich and the not so rich!

That "Tory Burch" Look was in Full Evidence in this collection... City Chic Bohemian with A bit of Tomboy Twist thrown in! For Spring 2014 with Romy Schneider in "La Piscine" as the inspiration, Burch Injected a little bit of "La Femme Francaise" into the collection which added a little Soignee Insouciance to the clothes and gave them some Parisienne Flair!

First Up. A Sweet little Dress on Ondria Hardin in White with a Naive Floral Rebrodee on the skirt that reminded one of a French Country Tablecloth... it was sweet and feminine without being GIRLY! And just the right way to start the collection. A couple more embroidered outfits and then a petite floral print bikini under a swing coat with jewel-encrusted cuffs on the sleeves had Monte Carlo Appeal for the Palm Beach Set. Most of the beginning of the collection was White or prints with a White Ground and worked surely in the favor of the Mostly Green and Blue Botanical Floral prints.

I could easily Rhapsodize about each and every outfit and many words could be spent giving these clothes glowing reviews, but brevity must be the road taken... As hard as it may be to choose some of the Picks of the Litter, I will Shine a light on some of the Best Of The Best.

Exit No. 13 was easily one of the best of the show and just radiated the Luxurious Ease of Southern France, it was Peerless and Pristine. Exit No. 22 had the Mod Thing down to a Science but felt as Fresh and New as the First Buds of Spring. The Web-Like Embroidery gave a Glam Twinkle and the Sleek Cut and Shape kept it Modern and Mod. At Exit No 29 Burch Gave us a Buckwheat Suit with embroidered Neckline that was the Epitome of French/American Hybridization. It had the Sportif Ease of American Sportswear with the Elegant Chic of French Suit dressing that recalled 60's era Chanel!

After that the colours warmed to Coral-ish pinks and grays and browns in the prints and defintely felt like a contrast to the earlier cooler colours. An Excellent Evocation of this pallette was the Absolutely Perfect Creme Coloured Pantsuit at Exit No. 35 with thick borders of Coral embroidery at the cuffs and a Shiny Shantung Shell underneath in the palest Antique Rose.

The collection flowed without fault to the Summery, Bohemian Finale and in just 40 exits simply affirmed Burch's Role in the New York Pantheon and as a Global Player in the Fashion Universe! It was literally, a PERFECT Show. Every Exit was expertly considered and moved from one strength to the next without repeating itself or being at all redundant. It was Smart, It was Covetous, It was... Masterful.

That's All.


Friday, December 13, 2013


Mon. 09/09/2013.


Just WOW! What A STUNNING Collection. One Of the Best of the season. I am floored by the Laser Focus and Scalpel-like Precision of this collection. It was a Brilliant Evocation of The Urban Warrior Woman. In a Blur of Icy White to start, the Collection felt like it was Brimming with The Most Studied Confidence EVER! Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco SMASHED It! Hands Down a TOTAL WINNER!

From the Start, It augered in the positive with a Home Run opening Exit In A White-On-White offering of a Linear Blouson top and Pencil Skirt in supple washed Leather. The procession of White just upped and upped the ante on the Clinically Reductionist Motif of these clothes with each exit. A Criss-Cross Top was paired with a Swingy A-Line Skirt and showed plenty of skin and was Classical and Sexy all at once at Exit No. 3, Exit No. 4 was one of the Pinnacle All White Outfits of the season. A Sharp Minimalist Trench with a Sheer Netting Back and paired with SKINNY Pants was a Triumph of Modernity and Sleekness. However, It was Exit No. 9, The last of the Snow Patrol that Was Tantamount to Sexual Climax in it's ACHING Purity and Sensuality! A Gown that would Give Alaia Wet Dreams and was so Expertly Sculpted to the body it looked as if it were an extension of the model...  Adjective Defying is what it is!

After White... Desert Like Nudes and Neutrals that Came at the Perfect Juncture to offer relief to the eye from all that Blinding White of the beginning... A Claude Montana Moment at Exit No. 13 in a Paper Bag Brown Burlap Linen Fit-And-Flare Dress was as Easy as it was Scalpel Sharp! Then a Pliant Safari Suede Trench Dress in Sand for Exit No. 14 was showing Kilometers of leg and was an exciting riff on the YSL Saharienne Look that has been popping up now and again this season.

Exit No. 19 took us to Bond Girl Sexbomb Territory with the Simplest pieces of a Bandeau, Short Shorts and a Loose, Comfy Knit Cardigan that OOZED Primal Sensuality! Then we were back in Kaufmanfranco Home Ground with a Couple Golden Evening outfits, 2 in Swirled Bull's-Eye pattern Plated Sequins in Shiny New Gold  and a Nude gown that covered from neck to wrist and all the way down to the floor in a Vined Floral pattern of Devore Panne Velvet also in Shiny New Gold!

After that Stunning Interlude the collection sailed home on One Strength After The Next... Touching on Black Leather, On Beaded Black Net, Hothouse Geranium Red Pieces and the Finale Of More Icy Blinding Magnificent White... Most Potent on Ms. Ajak Deng In a crossover slit front Criss-Cross Wrap topped Evening Gown at Exit No. 35. It was a Climactic Conclusion to a Breathtakingly Assured and Confident collection that was So Insanely Perfect That it's truly hard to put into words.

Kaufman and Franco with this collection threw down the Gauntlet and let everyone know... they aren't just makers of Glamourous, Expensive Evening wear...they communicated with POWERFUL Fashion that they are ready to take their rightful spot in the Spotlight as Designers with SERIOUS Skills and Exceptional Technique. This collection played like the dream of what every Svelte, Toned, Young in Spirit woman will want to dress like come Spring 2014 and this Blogger can Only, ONLY Hope that Ken and Isaac Keep up to this Gold Standard of a collection they just minted here... Because if they can, The Fashion Cosmos will have a couple of new Stars Twinkling in it VERY SOON!

That's All.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reem Acra.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Reem Acra.

I was hoping to "Love To Love" This collection and finish off with a Sweet "Love Hangover" But what actually transpired was that the collection just turned into a "Disco Inferno" of a "Tragedy" Let's put this in perspective... Reem Acra's Spring 2014 offering was plenty wearable and plenty beautiful. from the Moment the First model made her exit with her Gigantic "Mahogany" Curly Back Afro and Halstonette Makeup we knew Disco was indeed not Dead. But to be truthful... there have been better riffs on this recurring motif from multiple designers and one is sure that this season itself will produce stronger plays on the theme.

Reem Acra has a Very Successful Business in making some of the most Dreamy, Majestic, Fairy-Tale Wedding Gowns in the business, she is one of the masters of that universe. She has also for many years had a potent Evening and Occasion RTW Line that has done it's very best in keeping up with the bigger hitters in the lineup of New York Fashion Week. But the collection suffers in the EXACT same way that a Monique L'Huillier or Elie Saab or ANY Designer that their main focus is EVENING! The dulling monotony of One Evening dress after another after ANOTHER is deadening and removes any trace of excitement from the real showstoppers in the collection because they are in the midst of so much else that looks just like them! Without Daywear to break the Numbing Sameness of it all, the truly special pieces are drowned in a sea of redundancy! And NO Designer, NOT A SINGLE ONE, can truly be a GREAT Designer if they cannot have the wherewithal to include Sportswear and Day Pieces. They just can't truly ever be Relevant!

However that doesn't mean that the collection held no relevance... Some of the exits were positively Stunning. Though most skewed a little too Studio 54 in their look. A mix of Polka Dots and Blown-Up Houndstooth in a Side slit Figure Hugging sheath At Exit No. 9 was Modern in a Almost Balenciaga/Ghesquiere Way but ACTUALLY Was Wearable and Not a Hideous Costume. The rest was just one Diana Ross-Esque Disco Diva Glamour Gown after another... not that that is all bad, but it can be Awfully Laborious!

In The End... Reem has done better. The clothes here were fresh in their backward looking drama, but didn't feel at all like it was a statement that Ms. Acra needed to be making right now... or perhaps ever. Maybe had the context not been so Literal, which is perhaps the greatest sin of the collection, it would have felt more up-to-date. But as this collection came to a frothy end it felt far more like More Artifice and Less Substance had just been displayed.

That's All.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Band Of Outsiders.

Sun. 09/08/2013.

Band Of Outsiders.

Being That this was my first time paying ANY sort of attention to Scott Sternberg and his Collection Band Of Outsiders, I really Gotta Say...

Love At First Sight!

Sternberg's Spring 2014 showing for his label, Was Quirky and Fresh and managed to Balance a California Cool with a New York Swagger! Within that East/West Coast Yin-Yang Sternberg threw in Judicious amounts of Quirk and Humour that were not only Masterfully Incorporated, but also gave something of an edge to clothes that might have come off too Breezy and Decorous. The Sublime Freshness of a breeze off the Pacific could be Positively felt in the opening salvo of Long, Languid, Liquid Dresses. They Gave Beach Chic A WHOLE new meaning. Exit No. 2 Expecially... In a Twilight Blue that looked like the Ocean at the crack of sunrise with the Silver Embossing on the fabric replicating the first Light Of Day Sparkling on the Water. I MELT!

Next some Athletic Mesh thrown in on a Hoodie Vest At Exit No.8 worn with a Calf Length Skirt and A White Crop top gave a somewhat Sport/Bohemian Vibe while the White Embroidered Trench that followed with the Swiss Dot textured long dress underneath had a hint of Grunge. Sternberg twisted those motifs in this collection Masterfully... Bohemian/Sporty/Grunge and Pureed it into a Delightful Cocktail that was as Adventurous as it was Personal and Unique!

At Exit No. 10, A STUNNING Take on the All-White trend in a Smooth Linen Shorts suit that was as Viable an option for the Downtown Working woman as taking the Blazer and pairing it with a skirt or pants was as equally viable for the Uptown Gal! The colour palette to start was Muted and Dark and Moody, Yet Playful, but soon the Colours Amped up in Hue and we had VIVID Blocks of Pink and Red mixed Daringly With Ink Blue. Then, Even though it was only Three exits, there was a Major Crayola Yellow Moment, Most Desirable in a Chic Hooded Anorak at Exit No. 24.

The Colour Temperatures Cooled down afterwards with some Greys and Vibrant but cool aquatic greens and then Blazed back to a Boil in a Striking Lapis Blue Section that carried this TREMENDOUS Collection Home to the Finale of Virgin White ending on an Absolutely Extraordinary Note in the Most Sublime Evocation of the T-Shirt to be seen in some time as a Floor Length Languid slip of a gown that was Grunge Worthy yet, also California At Night Worthy... It was EXQUISITE!

Scott Sternberg in 37 Exits made this Fashion Devotee a Total Believer and Follower. Sternberg is speaking with one of the most Original Voices in New York and Crafting some Incredibly Desirable Fashion with that voice... sometimes Originality can come with some bumps in the road leading to the tempering of such Originality with Knowledge and Experience... if Sternberg has had such Foibles he has covered the tracks of them well for his Hand here was as Steady And Assured as an Old Master... And one is Eager to see where that Hand will lead us in the future!

That's All.


Saturday, December 7, 2013


Sun. 09/08/2013.


Where would be a good start to describe the Threeasfour Spring 2014 offering...???? Inspired. That's Good for it Certainly Was. Brilliant. That too, In it's own way, not everything was Brilliant but most of it, Yes. Quite Brilliant. Transcendant... Maybe they were reaching for that but it's a little hard to say if they achieved that lofty peak. In with the Inspired and Brilliant and at times, Yes, Transcendental... there were things that boggled the imagination and caused one to give a rather thorough scratching of the head. The team of Gabriel Asfour, Adi Gil and Angela Donhauser are somewhat like a Think Tank/Andy Warhol Factory Bunch of Artists wanting to design fashion and Vice-Versa. Their artistic inclinations sometimes get in the way of a good thing and Stirs up a lot of sediment into some otherwise pristine waters.

They have the Experimental/Shocking/Breathtaking Acumen and Showmanship of a McQueen or a Young Berardi Or Chalayan but seen far more sharply through the Focused Lens of an Artist. That can be a detriment sometimes when designing clothes and really... no one is going to say they have been Commercial Successes but they have kept themselves in Business and The fashion world is the better.

I look at this collection with the same eye that I viewed the Thom Browne Collection Earlier... Threeasfour isn't concerned with the Social Strata or the Everyday Red Carpet Starlet... they have convictions that run deeper than that facile aspiration. It shows in this collection in which they concerned themselves with only White and Then Black and Innovated how Clothes are in relation to the Human Form.

Does that sound like a whole lot of Pretentiousness... It can come off that way, but the earnestness that courses through this collection is not only Admirable, It's Exhilarating! Going into detail on this collection, as slender as it was in number of outfits... would require a Thesaurus and Pages upon Pages of Text... Suffice it to say... there was something decidedly Lee Alex About this collection, Even a little Sarah Burton. Mainly it was the Sinuous, Body Molded Shapes of much of the collection that called to mind Sir Alex of McQueen... The Armor like Paneling... It wasn't Nearly as Flawless as Alexander's Work was or even Thom Browne's Surgically Precise Concoctions... but it needn't be...

There was so much context in these clothes that they spoke volumes without having to be the most Scrupulous in their Construction! They Showed in a room at the Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side and as much as there was an Armor Like bent to the clothes there was something also Benignly Religious As well... Insets or overlays that looked like Angel's Wings... Bishop like volumes in sleeves... Islamic Tile motifs in the Scribbly Guipure Lace and Raised Embroideries on the fabrics... SO MUCH was going on at once and combined with the artful trickiness of much of the collection, there would have been, one would have thought, Stimulus Overload, but there wasn't.

In Fact, It was a Subversive, Yet Strangely Uplifting Collection. One that felt as if it were pulling all the strings of Faith and Devotion from all over the land and tying those strings together into one knot and in that conceit unifying all... Dangerously Overthought as that may be... The impression never the less was left that that was the Goal. Can Fashion actually Achieve such a thing... Well as they say in all Religions...If You Believe, Perhaps so!

That's All.


Review Catch-Up! Jill Stuart. Rebecca Taylor. Cynthia Rowley. Tibi.

Sat. 09/07/2013.

Jill Stuart.

Finally a Collection that gets the Pretty/Tough vibe Right. Stuffed with the Rocker Side of Urban Luxe Clothes Jill Stuart's Spring 2014 collection Rocked and Rolled along with a Hip, Sexy Glam Rocker Vibe. Not that everything flowed down the river of Cool, But when it was good... it was Quite Good.

First Up, A Crop top with Modern Puff sleeves worn over a Swirling Full Skirt that was as brief as the models legs were Slender and Long. It got the Cropped top Vibe going on elsewhere this season and carved it's own niche in the look. Exit No. 2 was of the Jet Set Ilk of Rocker... a Mini Caftan Shift in Ivory with little Black tufts encrusted on it, the look was Chic and Sexy and Spare and Effortless! Some Black and White Sweaters had that Street/Alexander Wang look to them but didn't scream His Name...

A Perfect Tank neck LBD In Sleek Black Leather at Exit No. 22 was Incredibly Hip, Cool, and Chic and would adapt to Numerous fashion situations, as well as Exit No. 24 Short sleeve top coat with Dolman Sleeves in Ivory with Black Accents was Stupendously Sharp and Classy!

The Collection pushed strong to the finish line and while it stumbled along the way It was mostly a Fluid arc to the end! Stuart Worked her Pretty with Grit vibe better than most, and reaped massive rewards. Some of the pieces are instant Covet and will be satisfying her numerous clients passion for Jill's Fashion!

Sat. 09/07/2013.

Rebecca Taylor.

Grabbing ahold of the many Pretty-Slash Collections going about so far this season, Rebecca Taylor decided to Grasp onto the Pretty/Sporty Mood Hanging in the air. Emphasis on the Pretty! The Opening Salvo alerted us immediately that pretty was in the making... An Exceptional Floral Lace oversized T-Shirt/Tunic hybrid over textured Shorts in a pretty shade of Dandelion was a positively lovely start to the collection.

By Exit No. 2 though, the Sportif mood was barreling ahead with a Super Cool Mesh-y Perforated Leather T-Shirt Dress with two zippers running down  the front that got the mood of Luxe Sport Just Right. As things progressed the Mashing together of Sporty and Pretty was evident in mixes of Mesh and Lace (I'll Stop The World And Melt With You!) and came in soft powdery tones that kept the edge off of the outfits but didn't distract from the cool!

The Next MAJOR Moment happened in an Altuzarra-Influenced Patching together of almost Utilitarian feeling Denim and Chambray in ticking stripes that was a bit more meaty and provided a Boyish Counterpoint to all the Sporty Girlishness. Best Out were Exit No. 12 (On new It Girl Binx Walton!) in a Cropped top (Ubiquitous, Anyone?) and Tapered Pink Pants... and Exit No. 15 in a Shift dress with side pockets that was giving Good Mod! This Combo of Denim came in Tops and Jackets and Pants and offered diversity amongst the throng of pretty.

From there things pretty much held the Pretty/Sporty Course and kept itself fresh by not being too much of either one... striking a nice balance of the two. A truly nice example of the pretty was at Exit No. 26 in a White Version of the Opening Look worn over a Long-Sleeve button-front Shirt that was worn like a dress in White also, but this version of the opening look was lavishly dappled with Embroidery and gave the collection a Luxe Thrust Forward!

Things took an Unfortunate turn in a B&B Bed Linen Floral in shades of Blue and Green and White that really was rather Garish and Unpleasant especially when splashed all over a Pantsuit. It was Headache Inducing. Better (MUCH BETTER) was the Dusty, Romantic Softer pink floral that ended the show. It was a Positive Note and A High Point for the print was absolutely Gorgeous! It brought the Show to a Sublime End and Gave us a very Flirty Vision for what Spring 2014 can be... Pretty, Sporty AND Romantic!

Fri. 09/07/2013.

Cynthia Rowley.

No need to waste too many words... The collection was a Tragic mess. Too Short. Too Junior. Little Style and Inexplicable Design, Rife with Folkloric Embroideries that neither elevated the Clothes from The Toddler Department of Old Navy nor lent any air of whimsy. And why there was the reliance on Childish Flouncy Dust Ruffles on some of the exits was a Mystery!

A couple winners were the T-Shirt Shift Dress at Exit No. 3 with an Embroidered Hawaiian Lei on the neckline that was An Easy Winner. As well the only time the Flounce Hem worked In Exit No. 9 which was giving Holly Golightly Chic in a pale pink Swing dress with a Giant Ascot Bow at the neck that was pure Fun! A Buoyant Full Skirted knee-length Party Dress with a Vibrant Pink Folklore Print At Exit No. 24 was Quite Stunning too!

But the rest... Forgettable and Moreover... Laughable. Not Fun, Nor Modern. And DEFINITELY NOT Good!

Fri. 09/07/2013.


Amy Smilovic gave us a Romantic Vision of Modern Spare Urbanity that was Light But Tough and Injected Fluidity into Rigourous Restraint. It was a Captivating and Focused Collection that presented the look of the Woman of Now in a completely Original light.

Smilovic Presented a Clinically Spare almost Ascetic collection. But this was Asceticism with a most decidedly Sharp Bent. There are all the Hot Button Trends of the season so far, Cropped Tops, Leather, Sporty Chic, Utilitarian... but it whipped them into Configurations Unique to the house. One of the newest aspects to be found was a Bohemian pulse beating in the midst of all this Street Smart Modernity.

After a Strong Opening in all black with a Sleeveless Jacket and a cropped leather sleeveless top with a calf-length skirt, The clothes only grew Stronger and more Adventurous! A Sleek Navy Trench with a cropped white top and BRIEF Embroidered skirt that showed MILES of LEAN Leg and was Equally Minimal and Sexy. A Delicate Floral Print on the side of the shorts of Exit No. 6 was paired with a Fluid T-Shirt in Snow white had a Touch of the the Opulent in a wholly Now Way! One must also Admit, Smilovic handled Fringe in a way that had absolutely None of the Cowboy Connotations usually associated with it.

Also Fresh to the Eye, The Botanic print that started at Exit No. 22 On Ataui Deng and was as Buoyant and Light as the Black/White floral earlier was Romantic and Wistful. And The LBD at Exit No. 33 was as exemplary an exercise in the milleu as any! Instantly Desirable!

Ms. Smilovic Handled this collection with one of the deftest hands in the business. As she said she built the framework of "Tibi" on Clean and Minimal and now is adding Femininity and Blending in more Luxe. Even though The Quiet, Lean Force of these clothes possess their own sense of Monastic Luxury it is nice to see Ms. Smilovic Spreading her wings and expanding her purview of what exactly The New Tibi Means... if she keeps reaping rewards like she has in this collection... Her name will be far more widely known in no time!

That's All.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

More Missed Reviews.... Rachel Roy. Rebecca Minkoff. Nicole Miller.

Fri. 06/06/2013.

Rachel Roy.

Nothing Much Need be said. Because mainly... Better could be found at The Juniors Section of Saks or Neiman's or for that matter Forever 21 or Victoria's Secret! Aside from a Pretty Wing Print and what could be seen as some Daring Cutout details the collection fell flat as board! Why Does Ray show even? Her clothes Barely register above Mediocre at best. It looks like a Stylist's Vision of a collection rather than a collection and that seems like an insult to Rachel Zoe who actually CAN Design!

The collection Bored... It Failed to inspire. It simply FAILED! No, This is Not HIGH Fashion that should be shown during NYFW... This is a Commercial Mass Market collection with little to no Spirit, Character or Signature. One Might as well be totally Anonymous in these Deeply Soulless, Styleless Basics!

Chillrens... This one just plain Tanked!

Fri. 09/06/2013.

Rebecca Minkoff.

Rebecca Minkoff decided to take a stroll down Mexico Way and come back with some Chic Chicas on her mind. While the spirit of Frida Kahlo hung lightly in the air... the clothes fell a little flat. Colourful and Bright with some Mexican Spice Liberally dashed through to give it Flair... but that couldn't save the collection from feeling too... Commercial.

There were some Peppy Floral Embroideries and Vivid Colours to give Buoyancy but the general shapes and Styling came across as Pedestrian. Nothing Captivated nor enthralled... It was primarily a A Cool, Slightly Edgy, Fashion Friendly Collection that didn't seem to be striving for greatness! It seemed to be content with being right Smack Dab in the Center of the Action and wasn't objectionable but also was not superlative!

There were a few Exits that showed a little Personality Plus... Exit No. 6 was a fun mix of the Sportif and the Girly looking like a Sports Jersey up top but was giving off great Femme Vibes lower in a Sunshine Yellow and Black Floral Print. Exit No. 17 was a perfect Exposition on the White trend going strong for Spring and was More edgy than cutesy and added much needed Bite! The Closer was worth the price of admission alone. A Diaphanous, Breezy Balloon High-Low evening gown (could this be another trend coming...???) in a Interiors inspired Floral print that was Simply In one word... EXQUISITE!

Even though the Accessories and Janelle Monae Singing live at the show were both Hotter than Hades the collection felt more Lukewarm and didn't match their heat! Not an altogether tragic outing for Minkoff but also one that did not quite live up to the Fiery Promise that the inspiration bragged on.

Good, Chillrens.... But not Great. And at this level, Great needs to be the jumping off point, Not the Finish line. let alone to not achieve the goal at all!

Fri. 09/06/2013.

Nicole Miller.

For Spring 2014 Nicole Miller was thinking "Vive La Revolution" and the taking of Versailles and how that translated into The Modern Woman's wardrobe and life. Her proposed answer seems to be slather everything in sight in prints and call that "Revolution" Yeah... not so much. What would be Revolutionary is if Miller Innovated her style beyond the Same looking outfits she seems to have been producing for the last couple decades. The Nicole Miller Signature is so Blatantly Obvious as to be Monotonous!

There isn't much to say... The Typical Nicole Miller Look was represented again without fail and some exits did quicken one's breath a little... A Floral print Trench coat at Exit No. 6 was RAVISHING and Masterful and only someone with Miller's tenure in the fashion Industry could produce something this Fearlessly Fabulous. As an aside... the prints Miller did use this season were Stunning. Just Spot-On Beautiful!

Also Worthy of mention, Exit No. 28 was Flat out EXQUISITE! A Bone Leather Embroidered Frock Coat worn over a "Revolution" Floral print Top and Tapestry Brocaded Olive Skinny Jeans hit all the fashion Marks and Was just a Forward, Luxurious and Gorgeous Outfit worthy of the Runway! And the Finale Exit, An embroidered Black Crepe Sheath Gown Spoke Effortless yet Luxed-Up Glam in a Dialect that everyone could understand!

Nicole's collection by no means was a Miss... nor was it A Hit. but it was filled with plenty of directional and wearable clothes that speak to Ms. Miller's Signature style in a satisfying and wholly Competent way! The only criticism is that, and it seems to be going round this season, is the lack of RISK! Taking a chance and moving out of one's comfort zone and trying something new... even if it's scary and maybe also not the best collection, but one can only get better at something if they make the first move to try!

Taken as a whole, This was a great Effort, But Chillrens... there is much room for improvement!

That's All.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Three Missed Reviews. Tocca. Escada. Ruffian.

TIn the fervour of Fashion Passion... Some of the shows have slipped through the cracks and I am going back and writing some reviews of the more important shows... the next few reviews will be these missed shows and will be back on track afterwards...



Ghastly. The only phrase that covers the entirety of this Mess of a Collection! Emma Fletcher took the Ballet Theme and ran Amok with it into the Wilds of the Inexplicable!! There was so much Going on and SO MUCH WRONG Going On that this offering was nothing more than Head-Scratchingly Incomprehensible.

The reliance on Panty like Briefs was not only tasteless it was lacking in any sense of style! The themes that grew out of the "Ballet" Theme also confused... there was 90's Grunge Slip dressing swirled about with Plays on the Girlish Woman idea that Peter Copping and Marco Zanini do So well at Nina Ricci and Rochas with NONE of their Sexy Glam Ease or Beauty... here it just looked Awkward and Wan and Plagiarist!

It was Inexplicable. Fletcher made no sense with this collection. It was Downright Silly in it's Intention and Execution. There were Pieces that could be disseminated from the Body of the collection and be wearable offerings... but those were meager at best!

Not An Auspicious Outing, Chillrens... Not In The Very Least!

Thurs. 09/05/2013.


The Storied House of Escada as of late has been trying to make itself more Fashionably Viable. Trying and Succeeding are Wildly Divergent things... And on the Whole of it, Success has been achieved! The collection under Design Director Daniel Wingate is not Pushing any Boundaries but then again the Escada Customer only wants her horizons expanded gently, not with Gale Wind force. Risk taking was kept to the Bare Minimum but taking that tack also left a certain impression of Dullness and Generality in some of the clothes. Pretty... Yes, Certainly! Pulse-Quickening... Not Hardly! There was nothing here that was going to steal one's breath with it's Brilliance of Innovation or Design but the women wearing these clothes will always be sure she is Fashionable and Well Appointed!

There was definitely a Beachy, Tropical Vibe at play here and was excellently conveyed via Splashy prints and Eye-Scorching Colours... Cardinal Red, Egg Yolk Yellow, And Electric Turquoise and Marine Blues... But those were balanced by a copious amount of Black and White. In fact the Spectator Palette was the most Prevalent, from Zebra Stripes and a Branch Ribbon Pattern.

Standouts abound in this Clean Smartly Edited collection... from The Simple Upscale Sleek look of a Black Piped White Blouse with a Brief Black Skirt at Look No. 5 to the Bold, Perfectly Cut White pantsuit at Look No. 9 with the Huge Splashy Red Floral Print! A Strapless Gown at Look No. 10 featured a Tropic Oversized Floral print that Made the look New and Fresh and Exotic! Also because the Colour Pallette had that Russian Constructivist Feeling to it! Also A Mod-ish Shift dress in Black/White Overscaled Giraffe print with Blocks of Turquoise and Egg Yolk At Look No. 22 was an Immediate Winner!

All-In-All... the road ahead for Escada looks Promising and Very Chic! One cannot ask for much more, Can one, Chillrens...???

Sat. 09/07/2013.


Back in the day... early in the years of the Decade that Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have been designing the Upper Scale Label Ruffian... there was much talk of them being new powerhouses in fashion on the Brit scene and their shows became must-sees by all the Fashion Cognoscenti... well...

Things have died down a bit and the hype has Assuredly been reduced to little more than a whisper... this Spring 2014 Collection might be proof as to why! Pretty. Well... Yeah. Inspiring, Um.... No. Fashion Forward.... Not even close! In what has become a Dangerous tendency amongst the designers of now is that they are perfectly happy imbibing in what makes them happy and not so much what makes them VIABLE and in the end the collections have been damned with the faint praise of looking... "Catalogue" and this is one collection that skews Catalogue Badly! There just wasn't much here pulse quickening. When Labels like J. Crew and Banana Republic... Hell even the Damn GAP  are producing Of-The-Now Collections with instant Appeal to Not only Editors of Glossy Mags and Fashion Insiders alike... that a BIG Fashion house would show this as their offering for Spring 2014... Not gonna Cut It!

Wolk and Morais worked a Pretty vibe with a slightly Tough bent that Skewed the Uptown Vibe Ever so slightly. It was welcome because mainly the show felt relentlessly... Femme! There were Moments of High-End dressing, However that brief glimpse of the Upmarket was wished to be be seen more! Those Black Dresses with the White Buttoned Plackets and School Girl Collars had a Bit of Whimsical Chic to them (Exit No. 7 and Exit No. 10) but looked too off the rack. Some Gritty Without the Grit Motorcycle jackets spiced things up but only the way a dash of Cayenne does, Not a full on Jalepeno Spicy!

Wolk and Morais would do better to show some risk in their collections in the future. I am sure their clientele will be eager to snatch up these... Pretty... offerings come Spring, but the relevance of those offereings, Chillrens... Isn't Quite as Prescient as it needs to be!

That's All.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Zero + Maria Cornejo.

Mon. 09/09/2013.

Zero + Maria Cornejo.

Insofar this season there has been a Deep resurgence of Urban, Edgy, Street Nomad Cool of the Helmut Lang Oeuvre, which in no way is a BAD THING, Mind You! But it can be a Tricky, Slippery Slope to navigate in Untested and Less than Confident hands. That exact unsteady hand has shown itself amongst numerous collections so far this Spring and has bogged down many a Designer who do not have the Language down pat to speak in this dialect!

Maria Cornejo is Fluent in this language and actually has her own words to add to the Lexicon. She is working The Urban Nomad Vibe without peer and in this collection for Spring 2014 showed her chops as an Edgy Modernist with an eye towards the Chic and not the Experimental. First out... a Softly Sculptural Cocoon Coat with Short Sleeves and Angled Patch Pockets in a Sublime Shade of Taupe worn with a Draped Jumpsuit underneath in a Makeup-y shade of Cocoa.  Over the next few exits This sublime combination Morphed and refined itself in magical combinations... Most Impactfully at Exit No. 3 in a Self-Belted Waist Jacket with draped Dhoti Pants... Now I particularly LOATHE Dhoti pants but these with their Attenuated Legs were Perfection!

Cornejo said she was thinking of "Deserts, Earthiness and Uniforms" And was quick to point out that it wasn't "Granola Earthy" She was envisioning! Good thing because Ms. Donna K. is mining that Territory for all it's worth and the results are not Pretty! So... One was happy that Cornejo didn't go that route. After the Dune shades of the opening outfits the Colours Transmorgrified into an explosion of Riotous Jewel Tones Inspired by an Exhibition in Paris of antique Mirrors. This then Transitioned Beautifully into Night in the Desert... Inky Midnight Blue and Black combinations that were Incredibly Sophisticated.

More Prints lay ahead as well as a passage in White-On-White (An Inescapable theme this season!) but one of Cornejo's Vision of this Theme was a Stand Out... Exit No. 17, A short sleeve asymmetrically buttoned Soft tailored jacket with Smooth sleek pants and a short skirt layered over the pants... Chic City Nomad!

But Cornejo showed her Uptown Tendencies in Exit No. 26... A SMASHING Bone Leather Caban Jacket with 3/4 sleeves over a black leather Mesh Empire top and Matching Smooth and Mesh Leather Skirt. It Embodied Fresh, Modern, Urban Chic while being Luxurious and Innately Stylish! Also, Worthy of note, Exit No. 32... A SUPER Sleek Offering in a LBD of Sensual Simplistic Brilliance with Textural surface appeal and Aching Sexiness!

The show finished VERY Strong with some Bi-Level dresses for evening that redefined the Bi-Level Dress... not an easy task to accomplish! But accomplish it she did! And moreover... She accomplished designing a Collection of Epic Strength and Immense Innovation and Style!

Ms. Cornejo Enraptured me with this collection and stood far out from the pack this season with a Stellar Lineup of Fashion! One that has hooked me and I, Chillrens, Am left wanting MORE!

That's All.