Monday, June 30, 2014

Organic By John Patrick.

Weds. 02/05/2014.

Fall 2014 took John Patrick to The Moon and Back with his Organic collection and in his Compact edit showed a Crisp and Cozy collection with plenty of pieces to keep the modern gal looking chic and in no way spacey! The opening exit was perhaps a trifle too literal, Looking very much like an astronauts Space Suit in Jumpsuit form, Though it will with the right girl wearing it translate into every day life. So early in the season, it seems that the All-White trend might still be a viable option going into Fall, especially with Patrick showing a good quarter of the collection in the Colour! 

An empire belted Fur coat at Exit No. 5 Looked Chic as can be and Cozily earthbound. A Toggled Fisherman's coat in Ivory at Exit No. 7 was also City ready in any corner of the globe. On the flipside, Some of the quilting effects made the outfits they were applied to look like the Thermal Linings that keep Delivery Pizza's hot and came off much more awkward than need be. 

John Patrick gave a quick and effective treatise of his aesthetic and in the midst showed some strong and directional pieces that will be well remembered among the throng and showing that he surely this season has... The Right Stuff.

That's All.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

First Up. Josie Natori.

Weds. 02/05/2014.

Josie Natori.

After a Confident and Stylish Spring offering, Josie Natori is confirming that that showing was no fluke with a Strong, yet Subtle collection. It was not as compelling as Spring, But was full of Sumptuous clothes to keep the chill at bay. Inspired as she was by the somewhat overdone hoary chestnut of Old Russia, Natori strayed away from that theme to begin with by showing off some Delightful Steel Grey pieces including the opening Top Coat paired with a Matching top and skirt. Exit No. 3 was also noteworthy with it's cropped Jacket with fold back lapels and paler Grey lining.

After this sober opening, the Russian themes begin to fly, from the Furs and Elaborate Ornamentations to the Fur Babouschkas and Constructivist Red. A simple Blood Red coat was given a little bit of embellishment with some Black Lace and beading on the side at Exit No. 25 and was paired with a Ruby coloured Velvet skirt and was a Classic look, but timeless.

Sometimes things got a little bit away from Natori but she kept her reins tight when she needed to and gave us a Stunning Close with a Quartet of Gowns that were Quiet while still being Dramatic! Especially the Last Strapless gown in Black Fine Wool with an Empire bodice and full skirt... Brill! Natori is showing that despite her many many years in Lingere, She is quite the Apt Student in Ready-To-Wear. She can only continue to Bloom and Grow from here!

That's All.


Friday, June 27, 2014

To Fall 2014 And Resort 2015.

Fri. 06/27/2014.

Dear Readers.

Thanx for sticking with me, I have to now be on my damn toes and get done with Fall 2014 and Pick and Choose the Resort 2015 Shows I will review before the Spring 2015 shows begin in September! OH MY GOD! This has been Exhilarating and Exhausting. Please Stay with me and I hope some feedback and comments will come my way soon, It would be truly helpful and give me the critical input to help me be a better Blogger and Writer. Somewhere in here I am going to Finally put in a Profile of myself to tell you who I am and What I am all about. But until then, Remain Faithful, My Dear Friends! I depend on you to keep me relevant and by this time next year, hopefully I will be getting myself ready to board a plane to NY to cover the Spring 2016 shows IN PERSON! One can Dream!

Thanks, As Ever and Be Well, One and All!

That's All.


Zuhair Murad Haute Couture.

Weds. 01/23/2014.

Good Old Zuhair Murad. He's been quietly doing his Haute Couture thing for years and never really pressed himself into the spotlight, more than happy to outfit his large clientele with the exquisite, if not thoroughly groundbreaking, Haute Couture he's been doing happily for years...

But... Times, They have Changed! In the last Couple seasons, Murad has begun to strike out and make his name more well known beyond the Premiere Circuit and The Red Carpet Runways of Awards Shows and such. This Spring 2014 collection proves that he is still stuck somewhat in his 90's approach to Couture but is on his way to becoming more than just a Hidden side fixture on the Couture Calendar! This collection showed that he and his fellow Lebanese Couture Master, Elie Saab, Were travelling in the same circles for Spring. with Majestic and Regally oversized ballgowns with trains and Lavish Embroidery, they both showed these confections in abundance for Spring 2014. They also both had a sweet tooth for Lace. Where Saab has been doing this for a Shorter period of time, he has grasped the rules on how the big boys play, Murad is a beginner and this showing, although miles ahead of his previous work, still retained a bit of the beginner flavour, But that is most assuredly because he is still catering mainly to his clients taste and not to the Couture masses...

Within saying all that, it wasn't a bad showing, perhaps a little too derivative, but still full of Exceptional work and Pretty, PRETTY Clothes. Those Ballgowns were beauties no matter how you looked at them and on the young starlets of today, more than one of them would be a Red Carpet Success! One in Cafe Au Lait Tulle with Black beading at Exit No.19 had an Oscar De Feeling to it but was nonetheless a Stunner and the Strapless Black Beaded Beauty that followed was also hitting all the right notes! The best was a Strapless Ice Blue Tulle Gown at Exit No. 30 with Pink and Purple Sequined and Bead Flowers all over... MARVELLOUS! 

One last thing, Murad already has a leg up on Saab in that he showed, Albeit only a paltry number, they were still there, some Deluxed up daywear! It gave the collection much needed air and breathing room from being suffocated under the weight of all it's confections! His Wedding Gown, also was a Scene Stealer, Even as it was a Gargantuan Powder Puff of Beading and Embroidery and Silk Flowers and weighed seeming a metric ton... it was still SUMPTUOUS and a Beguiler of the Highest order!

With rumours of More visibility in the American market and a Forthcoming endeavour into Fragrance (That Magical Cash Cow) The name Zuhair Murad might become more than a Celebrity Go-To Name! And if he begins to modernize his Couture yet keep his personal view, he will rightly be a Name to be reckoned with in the Chambers of Alta Moda. Here's To Your Success, Zuhair! 

That's All.


Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture.

Tues. 01/22/2014.

Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture.

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are in desperate need of Austin Powers to help them get their Mojo Back. In recent seasons, it seems as if they have, in an attempt to broaden their appeal, lost all sense of what was essential and unique to them and have become, boringly commercial. No one can blame them for trying to modify their Arch, Highbrow Arty sensibilities into a business that can make money, although they do have all that money pouring in from their Perfume, "Flowerbomb" to stem that tide somewhat and now that they have something of a hit with their Male Counterpart "Spicebomb" Maybe they should focus on getting back to the Subversive ground zero they started from.

Sadly, Their Spring 2014 Haute Couture show was not showing that they were pointing (Pun intended) the right direction. It was, for WHAT It was, an interesting and offbeat showing. Dancers from the Dutch National Ballet, with Hair that was Equal Parts Grace Coddington/Myrtle Snow (American Horror Story: Season 3) and Flower Child and the Dancer/Models flitting all about "En Pointe" in their Ballet shoes... it was surely not the Kind of show Karl Lagerfeld would put on, But effective for the message Viktor and Rolf were trying to get across.

Horsting and Snoeren showed full Bodysuits with Latex pieces attached that looked like Tops and Skirts and Dresses, one even, In Deep Mauve at Exit No. 13 was INGENIOUSLY made to look like a Blazer that had a self sash wrap waist with Gathers... Masterful! Otherwise, there were Ribbons and Bows and little Birds embroidered on the dress that looked like tattoos or at times, like they were draping and gathering the Latex or being held aloft, Disney Cartoon Style, by the Birdies Beaks and were staying there by Fairy Godmother magic!

With only 21 Exits, there wasn't much meat to this recipe, but it handled it's business in a Esoteric and Quixotic way! It wasn't the work we expect from the designers of their heyday, Perhaps it was a transition. Perhaps the pair have grown up and don't need all the Intellectual trickery of Ye Good Olde Days... Or maybe they are more canny than we think for the end of the show was quite telling... as the models/dancers made their passes across the stage and got into final formation for the appearance of the designers... the set went dark, and when the lights came back up the backdrop held a huge picture of the new Advert for their latest Perfume, Bonbon.

Maybe, Snoeren and Horsting know when to Hold back the tricks and do a good Marketing Job and when to flash forward and give the people something to talk about, Let's hope that Bonnie Raitt Moment is next on the playlist!

That's All.


Valentino Haute Couture

Weds. 01/23/2014.

Seeing as Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have had an Operatic approach to Alta Moda at the house of Valentino from nearly the get-go. Once they settled into their niche that Operatic connotation has never been stronger, so it would beg little thought that the Valentino Dynamic Duo would finally seek out that exact forum for Inspiration for their 2014 Haute Couture Collection. Chiuiri and Piccioli's Minute attention to detail was brought into vivid relief here in obeisance to the theme, but it also caught them at times making too much of the grandiose gesture and some of the outfits simply were weighed down under the mantle of their own munificence!

Starting out with something more refreshing rather than hearty, the opening gown in gossamer White Tulle and Organdy, was embroidered with the Score of Puccini's "Tosca" announcing with the utmost fanfare, that the Duo was channeling The great Italian Tradition of Opera. In Fifty-Five Exits Various Operas were envisaged in Fabric, From "La Boheme" to "Aida" And more. Now, being that this was one of the Most Outrageously Beautiful collections the pair have conjured up, In it's excess it wobbled the line of Schizophrenia and stumbled more than once into the incoherent. Par Example, Exit No. 2 was, while inventive, Sexy, By Valentino terms, it was also Confusingly unwearable in the extreme! A Contrast to the Delicate, Fragile nature of the first outfit to be sure then comes Schizo Moment No. 1... Exit No. 3 was quite possible one of the most Heart Bursting pieces of Couture Ever Produced... there were other moments of this teetering back and forth betwixt Stunning and Head Scratching, Thankfully not too many, but enough to get one wondering...

Another lovely development today, The injection of some Bona Fide Day Outfits. There was an over abundance of Frilly, Frothy, Feathery and Sheer goings on... not a doubt, and the criticism of for the past few years of practically showing no Day outfits from a House like VALENTINO... which was one of the BASTIONS of Couture Day Luxe could easily be levied against the two head designers. Mayhaps they are tapping more into the heritage of the house now and have found their way... something though tells me not to count on it!

Firstly, the Day outfits were a couple of Coats in Deep Grey Felted Doubleface Cashmere with Animals and Flora and Fauna Intergrated into the material via Inserts of cutouts, Meticulous and Painstaking, I am sure. But achieved with a Deft lightness to be envied! Later, proper Day wear in Raw Silk in colours of Blonde and Ore, Some with Tassel Fringing worked into the mix. Then, more Schizo and a Moment of Utter Loveliness, A trio of Marocain Silk gown unadorned totally, All they had to show for themselves were their Immaculate cut. And, Oh Yes, Howdy, They were IMMACULATE! In Walnut, Carbon and Snow... They left one Breathless!

More Day Outfits followed in Animal Prints... As in the ENTIRE Animal, Lions and Leopards and Another Flawless unadorned moment on Grace Mahary in Khaki Green Cady at Exit No. 31. Showstopper! From here the usual Excellence plied by Chiuri and Piccioli was in clear, fetching effect! A Nutmeg coloured lace gown On Xiao Wen Ju at Exit No. 38, A Smoky Grey embroidered masterpiece in Duopion Silk at Exit No. 44, A Flutter of bare Blush Nude silk on Magdelena Jasek at Exit No. 47... And More Earthly Delights abounded in Chiuri and Piccioli's Opera Garden!

It was A Knockout affair, There were moments of utter confusion, but in the concluding notes of this Fashion Opera, The Valentino Duo hit the High C of Perfection with Clear, Clarion Voices! It will be exceptionally hard to top a Grandiose Spectacle such as this one, But... something tells me these Divas, Chiuri and Piccioli, still have some Exquisite Coloratura Arias Left in them!

That's All.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Elie Saab Haute Couture.

Weds. 01/23/2014.

Elie Saab is now a Standard Bearer for the tendency towards All Out Evening collections that have begun to dominate Couture. He is perhaps one of the finest practitioners of this craft, but this is also not exactly a thing worthy of celebration. I have said it before and I can and will say it again... Couture or High Fashion cannot be a Laboratory for confections alone. As Giddy-Making as those confections may be and also profitable, ultimately, they devalue the great skills that a Couture house has at it's command. Even more so in Ready-To-Wear, A designer cannot expect to be taken seriously doing Cocktail and Evening alone. If they believe they can, they are deluded! 

Saab is one of those designers who has hitched his wagon to the Star of showstoppers and has not looked back, and it has hindered him really from being seen as anything more than that guy that made Halle Berry's Gown when she won her Oscar and for producing prodigious evening wear. In his Ready-To-Wear, he has begun to include some beautiful Deluxe Daywear, Much to the betterment of his shows and work, but he needs to inject that same view into his Haute Couture, because as STUNNING as this collection was, and God above it was, STUNNING, It was also just another rather boring exercise in Evening, One we have seen far too many times before. 

Spring 2014 produced a bumper crop of Beauties from Saab, From the opening section of Shell Pink Stunners, which started things off with a gobsmacking bang! A Pannier sided Embroidered Ballgown On Maud Welzen at Exit No 5 was of Atypical Magnificence. From there we got the Absolutely Infuriatingly redundant Grouping of gowns by Colour following the opening section, First White, then Fruit Punch Red, and then a Bronze/Lichen Yellow, Blues ranging from Cornflower to Delphinium, and so on to the end, and that makes his collections an UTTER BORE! As if he designs in one colour until that colour is exhausted and then, POOF onto the next colour! It at the least makes his collections feel acadaemic. It's a habit he should really stop immediately.

An Antebellum Ballgown on Maria Borges at Exit No. 37 in Ombre Black to White with multicolour flowers embroidered in between neck to hem was a Qualified Jaw Dropper! Saab finished in Black and produced a Gigantic Meringue of a Wedding Gown that was Gasp Inducing in it's Extremeness and Exacting Beauty! In Conclusion, Saab produced a Barn Burner of a Beauty. It was a collection for the ages in terms of Beauty and Glorious Execution as well as Breathtaking Desirability! Still, Not Perfection, if Saab could have included some Deluxe Day outfits, this would have been arguably one of the best of the season, as it is, it's a Winner, But not the BIG Winner!

That's All.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Giorgio Armani Prive.

Tues. 01/21/2014.

Giorgio Armani is the KING of Hit or Miss. He is one of those designers so Firmly entrenched in his own Aesthetic that every collection just seems like a rehash of his greatest moments. That fatal flaw hinders his collections at their worse and elucidates them at their best! This Prive Collection fell Squarely into the Former Category... Unflatteringly So! 

Where was the Inspiration being drawn from is anyone's guess... 40's by way of the 70's with some "Game Of Thrones" Mixed in to muddying effect. The Colour Palette was the first failure, Drab, Uninspiring and Dull. Armani went to one of his safe places, Navy and piled onto that just the most Unmemorable shades of Metals and Greys that the collection devolved into the Blase and Anodyne. Couple that with Gloria Swanson Head scarves, Awkward hemlines, Pallazzo pants... BASTA! Where it suffered even more was that this just felt like we have seen all this before at Armani, And seen it MUCH better! 

Even Armani's Evening skills were off by a country mile... or Three! Where these would usually save him... here, they looked Heavy, Old, Fusty and Stodgy! Matronly is also a good word to use! The workmanship even seemed dated and archaic. All these elements conspired to drag down a collection into the depths of the irretrievable, And just proved Armani can, as with his Fall 2013 Prive collection, Knock it so far out of the park that it was banging off the roofs of the cars in the parking lot, or he can create a simpering mediocre mess of Gargantuan proportions... 

Guess which side of the line this collection fell on...???

That's All.


Chanel Haute Couture.

Tues. 01/21/2014.

Chanel Haute Couture.

The Cambon Club. The place where all the Chanel Acolytes want to be! A Sparkling, Streamlined, Space Age 22nd Century Boite existing for the sole reason of showing off One's Chanel Finery in the most Rarefied and Majestic space possible! That was the idea being conjured Tuesday morn in Paris when The Kaiser Himself, Karl Lagerfeld showed his indefatigable Brilliance at continually hitting the "Refresh" button on the Laptop that is Chanel and coming up at each new turn with something so Addictively Desirable that one would think the man in League with the Forces of Nature themselves! There is something Slightly Mesmeric, Merlin-Like about Uncle Karl... He Seduces, He Entrances, He Enthralls and all with a Deliciously Sharp and Bitter Wit and Insight that is at equal times Hilarious and at times as Prescient as any of the greatest thinkers history has had to offer, Part Stand Up-Part Philospher... All Magician! That's Lagerfeld in a Nutshell.

The set was... Glorious! A Intergalactic Space Station of Shimmering White and Mirrored Glass, Radiating from the center of the back of the set a Column of the same Glass that was as Inscrutable as it was Lofty, It positively promised something transformative, and Transform it did. The column began to rotate smoothly and the highlight of any good club slowly began to reveal itself... The Band! In this instance, it was French Pop Crooner Sebastien Tellier with a Mini Orchestra to back him up in the Center. Behind him, A pair of Staircases as sweeping any Gloria Swanson or Vivien Leigh might have Glided down in some 40's film. It also was giving as much Busby Berkely Musical as anything else! Standing astride the Balcony connecting the staircases was Karl Muse De Moment, Cara Delevigne, as ready for her closeup as Norma Desmond ever was! The fresh Silhouette that Cara was wearing was the signature of the show, An embellished (RICHLY) Tweed suit with a cropped jacket showing off the Wasp-Waist midriff created by the usage of a fully boned and laced Corset. Attached to the corset bodices, skirts that were articulated to look as if they were separate pieces but were part of the Corseted dress under the Jackets... Ingenious!

Now, This isn't the first time Karl has played his hand with the Corset being the central conceit of a Haute Couture Collection. anyone remember Fall 1994 Haute Couture? Lagerfeld back then coined the term for the Mini Corsets in the collection the "Wundercorset" a play on the at the time mega selling "WonderBra" and were worn under EVERYTHING in that show and as Karl explained back then, the jackets and dresses were sewn so small that if the women did not wear the corset underneath them, they would never be able to button them. He played with the Corset underneath the Coatdresses of the Fall 1995 collection as well, they just weren't as severely shrinking, more as in just limning the body. So, In essence, this is not the first time Karl has applied the Squeeze to his Silhouette Chez Chanel, But it is the newest reinvention of that idea and is one his most finely executed ideas in the history of the house!

The Cavalcade of Couture beauties began on Cara in a White and Pink Tweed and careened on from there into Multiple variations from that opening look. The collection was Rife with Miraculous examples of Lagerfeld's Craft through his Incomprehensibly talented Ateliers at 31, Rue Cambon. Take Exit No. 8, The most Chanel of all Chanel Signatures, The White Tweed with Black Piping. Without doubt, the most BRILLIANT Piece in the Daywear Section of the show. It was one of those pieces that will be as salient now as it will be decades from now! It was unadorned, save for a simple bow at the neck, and overflowed with Chic! That was one of the best moments of this show... The Suits/Day Wear relied on nothing more than execution of cut to show off the Skills of the Atelier. Whilst in the past Lagerfeld has made it a point to show Suits/Day Wear in his Couture Shows, the clothes in those collections were more examples of Lagerfeld's artistic and technical skills, laden with embroidery and fabric effects and manipulation, here... it was all precision cut and fit!

Other Gems... Exit No. 18 in Texture embroidered Lilac Tweed, Exit No. 21 in Coral unembellished Tweed with a Black Crystal encrusted Waist, or the Daring Do of a Slim fit Pink Tweed jacket with a pair of Slim matched legging pants at Exit No. 27! These were but a few of the standouts. It also begs remarking that save for Gym Shoes (as we in the Midwest Call them) which were quite a revolutionary turn of events at the House of Coco, Karl and his team showed virtually NO Accessories... EXCEPT Elbow and Knee Pads and Yes, Karl has Revived.... THE FANNY PACK! And never was it more Luxurious! These Added a Dash of Quirkiness to the show and an earthiness that the grounded nature of the Trainers bespoke of at first look! The Ethereal of Haute Couture brought down to Earth by the Trainers!

As for evening, Chanel Haute Couture is always a Playground for some of the most Fantastical Offerings in the Oeuvre... and this collection was no different, in fact it was better than ever! A soap bubble Pink Embroidered dance dress at Exit No. 38 was Entrancingly Pretty especially with the colourful Crystal Flowers encrustation! Exit No. 57, on Ashleigh Good in Champagne Pink was equally Impressive, but the Best was saved for Manuela Frey at Exit No. 60... a little Nothing of a slender column in Chiffon and Beads and Ostrich Feather Fronds! Mesmerizing!

When Cara reappeared at the end with Karl's Little Dauphin, Godson Hudson Kroenig holding the train of her Mariee gown... It was Adorable and Whimsical and also Luminous! The Gown was Spellbinding and Chic with a nod to the past and the future!

In the annals of Chanel Couture, This was one of Karl's most overwhelming efforts! It Overwhelmed with Creativity, Beauty, Innovation, Wearability and Addictive Clothes. Clothes that women are going to Dream about owning and aspire to Acquire! It was Damn Near Perfect! Well... Wait A Minute....??? What The Hell am I saying, Damn Near!? Perfect!

That's All.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Alexis Mabille Haute Couture.

Mon. 01/20/2014.

Watching Alexis Mabille's Spring 2014 Haute Couture show was kinda like going into a Diabetic Coma. The Sugary overload of Confectionery Evening Outfits was so Excessively overdone that the collection bordered on the Artificial. Mabille took for inspiration Greco-Roman Statuary and the Draping that goes along with such a Stimulus. Now, Draping of an Ancient ilk is a perfectly Acceptable and not unusual Inspire for Couture, it has been seen many times and in many incarnations, but here it was handled with such a Heavy Handed overzealousness that is unfortunately, Trademark Mabille, that it was weighed down with it's own Largesse!

In Couture, it seems that most houses have relegated themselves to being houses of Deluxe, Showstopping Evening wear, and in that it has revitalized itself and catalyzed it's own rebirth, Monetarily Speaking. But it now suffers from being just a showcase For Red Carpet Confections... and many houses have decided to Capitalize on this influx of money being thrown around for these Bagatelles that the art of REAL Couture is becoming more and more Lost. Mabille and others in this sect of the Milleu have ignored the Principles set forth by the Great Masters of Couture and show, albeit Beautiful, Irrelevant collections of Evening garb alone. Evening Garb Alone does NOT a Couture House make!

Mabille has found himself stuck in the Quicksand of this foolish consistency. It has, Unfortunately, never served him well, there is too much Juvenile Tomfoolery going on in any of his collections that they are bogged down by overreaching and puerile self indulgence, also there is a severe lack of Sophistication Chez Mabille that leaves everything looking for lack of a better word, Tacky! This collection was just another variation on that theme.

The Saddest point if this narrative is, that if Mabille Refined his Aesthetic and Honed his execution, He'd produce a collection of Maximum Impact, as it is, they just remain underwhelming achievements of Facile Grandiosty!

That's All.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.

Mon. 01/20/2014.

Short, Saucy and To The Point! In his rather Brash and In Your Face Sexually Charged Spring 2014 Haute Couture presentation, Giambattista Valli took his always Pretty Aesthetic and chopped it off well above the knees and came forth with some pretty Daring and Racy Spring offerings which were also more than a bit Provocatif! Twisting and Folding the Richesse fabrics in the lower halves of his dresses rendered something of the 80's work of Ungaro and Lacroix to the clothes but were imbued with a freshness and a steely Risque Edge that those designers were not prone to. Another point or remarking, Valli's usual taste for Delicacy and Romance were clearly Eschewed for something much more Tough this season, It was a bit of a Spark that was sorely needed. 

As cool as it was to see his woman Toughen up this season, She has lost none of her taste for the Refined and Romantic, view that nearly every outfit was strewn with Embroidered flowers or Beads and Sequins and Crystals... Valli's Roughed up vision of his Signature woman was still flirting on the Bohemian and Luxe side of town, just she was a bit more brazen in her attitude about it! Some Pieces that were of especial caliber, Exit No. 7, a sweet Strapless Black mini dress with Blue and Pink Flowers lavished upon it with it's brief skirt folded into scrolls of ruffles that dipped into a lower fan tail at the back. Or, the perfect little Number on Xiao Wen Ju at Exit No. 18 delicately embellished with Pink Crystals and Beads... Breathtaking! 

When the collection decided to Round Third and Head for home, The clothes Majestically Dropped to the floor with Fishtails and Trains and Peplum Scrolls... A Strapless Whisper Pink Tiered gown on Elisabeth Erm at Exit No. 29 was Ethereally Embroidered with fragile Dusky Coral blooms, While a Bougainvillea Pink Faille Number at Exit No. 30 was surmounted at the bodice with Electric Blue Beaded Flowers! By the time the show ended one was made well aware of the Sculptural influence in the clothes that the Runway Decor suggested and how Organically Valli entwined that idea into the Sculpted Folds and Whorls of fabric and communicated even with such Highbrow Hijinx, a sense of Ripened, yet Nuanced Sexuality! It was Bold and Daring, And for Valli, Revelatory! 

That's All.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Christian Dior Haute Couture.

Mon. 01/20/2014.

Tragic. Spring 2014 Haute Couture at Dior was just an Unadulterated Mess. Raf Simons' Showed his hand again at being Overestimated by the fashion Cognoscenti as Fashion Messiah with nothing of the talent needed to accrue such a designation. This Offering of Simons' Failed on ALL Conceivable levels and more so than simply being Esoteric to the point of Incomprehensibility it was most offensively, Ugly! Unwearable would be a good word to use as well. And however Influential the Fashion insiders will deem this collection it will never transpose these clothes into something relevant to any woman outside of those who find this kind of work desirable. Aside from those that work in the industry, I cannot believe that number is relatively High! 

This collection simply highlighted the worst aspects of Fashion Design and Fashion Hyperbole, While the so-called experts were cooing and salivating and singing the praises of this show from the highest mountaintops, that only revealed that Simons' is A Fashion Darling whom's virtues are extolled by those considered in the know, while the rest of the world just sees this as another Variation of the "Emperor's New Clothes!"

Firstly, let us start by saying that the Cutout Leitmotif that Simons' was so thoroughly enraptured by served no other purpose than to make already Distractingly Inelegant and Ungainly garments even more Distracting! If Simons' preoccupation is with bringing Youthful Vigour and Air into the Dior House codes, he is failing miserably on that front and also is forcing those codes into uncomfortable and disconcerting moulds. Secondly, Too much of Simons' work looks Nothing like Couture, More like Deluxed-Up Ready-To-Wear, which is perhaps the most Blasphemous Offence! 

Secondly, The proportions of many of the clothes were just God-Awful and Unflattering. The moronic shapes that Simons' Proposed would only serve to make a woman of less than Model Stature look Foolish and more importantly, Deranged! Whom is this mythic woman That Simons' is envisioning in these Horrid Conceptions? Bespangled Jumpsuits and Rompers? Bubble shapes jutting out from hips and deflated ballooning Shapes blousing out from the backs of dresses and coats... They were Devastatingly Hideous! It was a Miracle of the modern world that Simons' actually produced a few Wonderful Gowns in the last spasmodic Death Thrall moments of this Fantasmagoria of Shame. 

A tiered Pleated gown in White Organza at Exit No. 38 was Stupendous. Another gown of Couture Muster was the Black Gown that followed in Tulle and Chiffon with Sequin Centered Rosettes streaming down the surface. However, these and the few other Exits that were of a higher caliber only served to highlight the discrepancy between how lovely these looks were and how Tragically Misjudged the rest of the collection was. Simons' hasn't been producing work any better than this since his inception at the house as Head Honcho, This collection just seemed to be the worst so far. 

How this tale will play out in the future one can not know, The same slavish adoration was heaped upon the unimpressive and frighteningly dismal work that Ghesquiere did for Balenciaga with abandon, one can see the same Trajectory being traced with Simons' for Dior. The hope I have is that this Charade will be short lived and that Simons' will either get his act together or that people will see his offerings for what they are... Dreck!

That's All.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Schiaparelli Haute Couture.

Mon. 01/20/2014.

It was a Rousing start for Marco Zanini In his Maiden Haute Couture collection for the sleeping house of Schiaparelli. Rousing in the sense that Zanini showed Insight into the Secret Realms of Haute Couture with Dazzling Technique and a Mirthful Brilliance that many practitioners of the craft (Ahem... Raf Simons, Anyone?!?!?) Haven't the Slightest Grasp upon! Haute Couture is about exercising the mind of the designer with Intricacies that equally can be seen and are covert, Things that one can look at and know within a breath that it is something Stupendous but cannot pin down exactly why until the garment is seen up close and those secret abilities that went into achieving that Gasp-Inducing piece are fully bought into the light. Some designers play silly games and use Esoteric tricks and gimmicks to achieve this or just haven't the SKILL to do REAL Couture. I could name Names... but I will refrain. 

Zanini is no rank amateur and has taken to Haute Couture like a Duck to Water, Showing an Ingenious propensity for the Artistic with an Authoritative Dissertation on How Couture is done! His Premier show was filled with Whimsy and Sly allusions to the House codes and signatures that weren't bogged down with the history of the house. Zanini Channeled that Arch Spirit of the House matriarch into Brilliant Exercises of Couture magic! From the Phenomenal Finishing on the Reversible jackets seen throughout to the Fluffy Meringue puffs at the bottom of the sleeves of a White Bolero at Exit No. 7! Exit No. 8 felt to invoke the Spirit of Christian Lacroix to Brilliant effect in an off the shoulder puff deflated puff sleeve gown in Multicolour Polka dots on White.

The Exquisite Chrystelle St. Louis-Agustin shone Majestically in a Lavishly Embroidered Gown in Sterling Blue Crepe at Exit No. 11 that looked as easy as a Tee in front but was completely Backless! A Stunner in "Candies" print Chiffon was whipped up into a Camp shirt and Immense Bouillonne skirt using 110 meters of Chiffon pleated and stitched onto Tulle! HEAVEN! Or the equally sweeping Seafoam Green Cigaline skirt paired with a Bias pleated top in Dove White at Exit No. 18. They were Showstoppers of Magisterial proportion!

In 19 Unique and Charming exits, Zanini Cemented his Couture Skills with Aplomb and Abandon of a sort missing since the days of Christian Lacroix. In fact, there was that Magpie sense of the Esoteric and Eccentric that Lacroix Brought to the game of Couture that has been Sorely missing for some time. Let's Pray that the house of Schiaparelli realizes what a Jewel they have in Marco Zanini and Cultivate it for a long while to come!

That's All.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Atelier Versace.

Sun. 01/19/2014.

Donatella Versace proved she was a "Slave To The Rhythm" by finding her Muse in the Enigmatic and Flamboyant Model/Singer/Entertainer/Force Of Nature Grace Jones. It was a thrilling inspirational touchstone and one, that as fashion muses/inspirations go, should have been touched upon long ago. The Central Idea of the collection centered around the 80's era Jones in which she was often seen wearing a slinky YSL inspired Hood, however that didn't help that the collection from feeling like Donatella wasn't really operating outside of her comfort zone. This collection was, Yes, Gorgeous, but didn't feel in anyway Fresh for the Atelier Label. The Slinky, Sexy Body-Con Signatures of the house were rendered somewhat afresh by the Jones Inspiration but was also Predictably safe and devoid of any Risk! 

About those Hoods, They came off at times, Wonderfully so, Almost as much Arthurian as Jones-ian, lending a Medieval bent to some of the exits and bringing the Pique of Newness to the collection! In fact, it was the Daywear where Versace Shone the most, from a  Saucy pair of suits that opened the show to a Showstopper of a Day Dress at Exit No. 4 that unfortunately looked startlingly like R2-D2 with all of it's Silver Metallized embroidery! Other Stunners... A Tiny Ice Lilac number with a Surplice skirt (another collection Trope) and a Capelet back at Exit No. 8 or a Sharp White pantsuit at Exit No. 10.

A couple of Crystal studded Baby Blue Jersey numbers worn with Fox Stoles were Easy showpieces but the Winner of the whole show was Exit No. 13 on Icy Goddess Juliana Schurig, A most Arthurian White Fox coat with a Crystal studded hood that was giving Great Morgane La Fey! Sublime! The collection traversed the usual path to the end... Drapee Jerseys, Crystal Embroideries, Slinky Jaw-Droppers... all Stock and Trade Atelier Versace. And In the end, Donatella has to be commended for sticking to her guns and Re-interpreting her Signatures with seeming limitless innovation on those themes. But, one sincerely has to question the wisdom of such an exercise, At the very least it ventures into tedium, at the most, Boredom. One gets the sense that the Latter is the outcome that will be reached before the Former!

That's All.


A Review Of Spring 2014 Haute Couture.

Fri. 06/13/2014.

Dear Readers, 

I am going on a Brief Soujourn to write about my true Passion in Fashion, The Haute Couture Shows in Paris, In Which the Fall 2014 shows will start in July on the 6th. This will be a brief excursion, essentially because it is only a handful of shows to review, but those shows offer Maximum Impact! 

Hoping you enjoy my reviews and continue to read on. Spring 2015 is quickly approaching (the shows start in September, I WILL BE, PROMISE, Blogging live AND ON TIME for the Spring 2015 shows)  and I will be on course after getting the Fall 2014 reviews done. Stick with me, My Loyal Friends. I am working my ass off to get this all done and be up-to-date and current. 

Love You, One And All.


Terrill Lawrence Sanford.

Top 10 Shows Of Spring 2014

Fri. 06/13/2014.

Spring 2014 was a season filled with some of the most Rhapsodically Glorious Fashion seen in a few seasons. Designers were thoroughly on their A-Game and came ready to Make their mark on a season rife with freshness and possibility.

Some designers took that idea and ran Far, Wide, and Deep with it and put on perhaps some of the best shows of their entire careers. While there were as always Head Scratching moments (BCBG, Rag & Bone, J.W. Anderson) there were Sterling collections of the most Drool Inducing Majesty! Karl Lagerfeld's Gaga ArtPop Moment complete with "Pointilist" Eye Make-Up, or Dolce and Gabannna's Almond Blossom Meets Pompeiian Ruins treatise. Maybe it was Carnaby Street Via 7th Ave. at Ralph Lauren, or a Gem of a 25th Celebration for Donna Karan at DKNY! Maybe it was to be found in a Twisted, Rollicking Fare Thee Well for Marc Jacobs at Vuitton or the Daring Do That She Do So Well by Signora Miuccia at Prada! The accolades and congratulatory sentiments could be thrown with wild abandon and still not really justly praise some of the collections this Spring 2014. And That, Dear Readers, Is why this season was Truly a Trove of Treasures to be enjoyed by all!

1.   Chanel.

Call Him Karl Gaga! Lagerfeld Did his own version of "ArtPop" for the Spring 2014 Chanel Collection and won the Hearts, Minds and Intellects of all who witnessed his Magical Diatribe of Fashion's Contextualization in the realm of Art. Two halves that should usually not meet were synthesized into a Majestic whole of Staggering proportions! From Pantone Paint Prints to Tweed Jackets with no Fronts or Jazzy drop-waist dresses to "Earphone" Pearl Necklaces and Visor Sunglasses and everything else in between, Karl showed as always, he is the KING of the season with a Backdrop of Art pieces envisaged by the Maestro himself (All 75 pieces of "Art" were conceived in the Brilliant Tornado of a mind that is Karl) which coupled with almost 90 outfits, The mind reeled from the Vertiginously Dizzying heights that Lagerfeld Scaled this season! By Far, One of the most Spectacular Spectacles of Fashion to be seen in Many a Day. One that will be nigh impossible to Surpass. But Then again... This is KARL We are talking about!

2.   Michael Kors.

Michael Kors just continues with each season to float from strength to strength with every collection, And this season he floated himself into perhaps one of the best collections of his career. Channeling equal parts Lauren Bacall, Kate Hepburn, Ali McGraw and Jackie Onassis he whipped those iconic almost Mythical heroines into a Pastiche of Epic Envisioning! The simpler he kept things the more Rich and Luxurious they seemed! from a Desirable White trench that would work in any corner of the globe, to the Schoolmarm Simple Striped blouse in Blue and White with a Khaki button front Pencil skirt. His Starlet worthy Finale trio of Gowns were stunners of a Glorious Magnitude! It's Kors' destiny, it would seem to speak to every woman and all womankind and seduce them with aspirational clothes that embody the very Zenith of Desirability, This collection was like an award winning Thesis on that concept. In Kors' Clothes, anyone will be ready for their Close-Up!

3.  Dolce and Gabanna.

Sicily. The ever Fertile Plain which the Design duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna revisit like Superman and his Fortress of Solitude. Bringing them more and more in touch with their Oeuvre with every Soujourn. This Spring 2014 was an apotheosis of that Inspirational wellspring that drowned in such Luscious almost Painful beauty, it nearly caused a physical ache of Sublime Gorgeousness! Almond Blossom prints and embroideries were the real kick up the ladder in the Bellissima quotient, but the Roman Coin and Column prints were also whimsically striking. With Equal Parts Smoulder and Cheek, Dolce and Gabanna Captured an Ephemeral and Deeply Feminine moment, Something that they prove time and time again that they have The Midas Touch in!

4.  Ralph Lauren.

Yeah, Baby.. YEAH! Ralph Lauren went all Austin Powers for Spring 2014 and the results were Categorically Marvellous! In a benchmark collection for the house that Ralph Built, Lauren Got Groovy with a Modish approach to His formula and reaped the richest rewards. A 60's inflection to his vocabulary right from the Get-Go informed the audience that Ralph was going to go Full On for Short and Saucy with Clean, Clear Focus on Black and White in the first half.  Joyous, Bold, RIOTOUS Colour came to the fore afterward. Firehouse Red, Cool Lapis Blue, Creme De Menthe Green, Carrot Orange... It was utterly Blissful! Lauren has always known how to tap into the Aspirational desires of his clients and that was no where near more evident than in what is most likely the most DIVINE Gown of the entire season, His closing Opera Gown in that scorching red, with the most dramatic Cape Back showing of miles of shoulder, It was a Drop Dead Moment if there ever was one, Just like the entire collection!

5.  Gareth Pugh.

The Most glorious surprise of the Spring 2014 season. Gareth Pugh's Peerless collection was one of those shows that give the kind of Frisson that others of British Pedigree back in the days of yore could only achieve, Galliano, McQueen, Berardi, Chalayan... and poaching ideas from pretty much all of those names yet focusing it into something Magical, Fantastical, Startlingly Original, AWING! That was what Pugh Accomplished Handily and with Genius Facility! Taking the 90's era Slip dressing movement and Jetting it eons into the future it would seem to make a whole new concept of it in a startling way, coupled as it was with Strict, Futuristic Pieces that complemented the Bias Liquidity of the Pieces. Pugh is no amateur and this was not the collection of a young man Finding Himself, No! This was a Throwing Down of a Gauntlet, so to speak and letting the world know, That Pugh is Ready to take his place in the Fashion Star System!

6.  Oscar De La Renta.

Oscar can always be counted on, season to season, to produce THE Collection that will have Women Gasping and acting like they are in need of a good stint in Rehab! He never forgets that a Woman always wants to be Beautiful! And with the Spring 2014 collection in her closet, she'll achieve that Handily! Spring always seems to see De La Renta in Full Flower, and this was no different, The Colours, The Exuberance, The Fancifulness! It reeked of Sophistication and Glamour but was also so Spontaneous and easy to wear... The Mind reels! From the Spectator Navy and White Opening looks to some of the most Delicate White dresses in a season replete with marvellous White dresses! But it was with  De La Renta's go-to Evening Fabric, Faille, that he won the Evening game this season. From Aqua to Rose Pink to Citron, If a woman did not have a ball planned on her spring agenda, these will send her in search of one just to wear these Bouffant Treasures! One could say, it was Par For The Course, True! Yet, when you are De La Renta, The standard that has been set for that Par is already Monumental!

7.  Gucci.

Frida Giannini's Spring 2014 Effort for Gucci was in essence, Studio 54 for 2014! Taking the elements of now and repurposing them in a backward glancing way that channeled everybit one from Farrah, to Liza, To Bianca and Even some smatterings of Halston. Giannini proved herself a Quixotic Mix master, Throwing in her Cuisinart of Mode, Kimono tailoring, Arte Nouveau Erte with some Alphonse Mucha thrown in for good measure, Sportif Dressing Via Basketball shorts and Athletic Mesh and Pureed those Disparate elements into something Startlingly Electrifying! It was a Unusually provocative collection for Giannini, one more suited to Former Gucci Helmsman Tom Ford, Sensual and Frankly SEXUAL at times! It was Refreshing! It was Also, Quite Brilliant!

8.  Tom Ford.

Tom Ford found his muse for Spring 2014 in the Futuristic and the Classic, Classic for his Deft YSL Allusions were as classic and finely honed as anything the French master ever fathomed, and Futuristic for his Cyber Disco Mirror embroidered dresses and Caramel Leather pieces with ribbed quilting! On the YSL Front, a Belted Safari Pantsuit in Glowing White or a Powder Puff Fox Chubby Bolero with a see through blouse and High-waist pants all in Black! On the futuristic frontier, Fritz Lang "Metropolis" like Android women in Kaleidoscopic Mirror Encrusting and Sean Young/Blade Runner Replicant Hair! Ford was working at a high pitch of perfection for this collection and was charming his clientele and future Devotees alike!

9.  Lanvin.

Alber Elbaz goes Heavy Metal. Spring 2014 was an exercise in the wonderful world of Lame! In Elbaz's Expert hands that fortunately did not devolve into a Discotheque Nightmare, Instead we got Whiffs of the best of Disco, (Bianca, DVF, YSL, Halston...) mixed with hints of the 20's, The Dynasty 80's and all matter of Elbaz-isms along the way! The brittle sheen and Lustre of the Lame gave the outfits a tougher edge than usual Chez Lanvin but achieved in Liquid and Fluid fabrications they had nothing but intentional stiffness to them. The major miracle here was Elbaz's ingenious use of Colour in his Metallic Administrations. There was an almost Saint Laurent mastery to the colour combinations and that served to jet this collection into a new echelon, But then again that's Alber's Stock and Trade and it didn't fail him this season. But, Then Again... When Does It?

10. Derek Lam.

A Revelation! Derek Lam's Spring 2014 collection came off like a Sublime Breeze across the ocean! Modern and Classic all at once, the show was an evocation of Low-Key American Luxe! Derek Lam has carved his niche in the Market of Classic American Sportswear that has as it's prime exponents luminaries as The Superstar Michael Kors and Newcomer Wes Gordon and Lam's place with this collection is cemented by the fact that this showing was a Commanding essay on how modern women dress and look Amazing doing so. From the All-American Gingham opening outfits, to the Exquisite use of Denim, Most especially in an ASTOUNDING Trench Coat (Maybe the Piece of the Entire Spring 2014 Season) to the Liquid Loucheness achieved by a Strapless Butter Yellow Stunner! Lam is striding forth Boldly and shows no signs of looking back, the path he is taking can only reap more riches as evident this season!

So, Fair Readers. These are my picks, let me know what you think! Be Well and Keep Reading! :-D

That's All.