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!
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!
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!
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