duuuuddee....the new i-d with kate moss on the cover is re-fucking-tarded!! after last months slap me in the face hotness with naomi on the cover and the punch me in the face and kick me in the nuts photographs of ms. campbell shot by mario sorrenti in all her buck nekkid glory, i wasn't expecting this double whammy. and with kate's rumored (please god in heaven don't let it just be a rumor) appearance in the next yves saint laurent campaign, this is one hella of a teaser.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
let's face it, the only saving grace of american vogue is grace coddington's dramatic fashion spreads she styles with all the good photographers. seriously, when the couture issue comes out, buy it! it's drool all over material. and the magazine costs half sometimes one third less than the magazines we all buy instead of groceries or bus tickets.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
anyone who knows me knows how much of a sucker i am for models. i mean i wouldn't even notice if bill clinton was seating beside me in a restaurant. but if i ever saw kate moss or yasmeen ghauri in person, i would probably have a massive asthma attack and cry like a twelve year old girl watching those high school musical losers in concert (okay not really, but i would probably pee my pants at least, just kidding). so here are my five new favorite girls from the recent collections.
sure she was only in two shows (prada in milan and miu miu in paris), but, to be the first girl out in a prada show basically means by next year you would probably have landed at least five major campaigns, a cover of italian vogue, will probably walk in over fifty shows next season, and have a ridiculous account balance. to be in the same group with daria, gemma, sasha, suvi, and irina, adina is in very good company.
its almost a given fact that every season there is at least one canadian girl that would carry the torch first ignited by linda, yasmeen and shalom almost two decades ago. this season, meghan is doing her country proud with editorials in paris and british vogue and a knockout italian vogue cover by steven meisel.
okay this might not have been her first season, she did do balenciaga, gucci, and louis vuitton for fall/winter, but i think this was her breakthrough season. she was fucking everywhere. and my eyes would like to thank all the casting agents who booked her.
when i first saw siri's editorial for numero magazine shot by greg kdel, i instantly found a new favorite. she kinda has that kate moss quality of being gamine, dark, sexy, and vulnerable at the same time. and her 10 magazine cover is bananas.
again, this wasn't anabela's first season. she was a prada exclusive in milan last fall and walked for miu miu, ysl, and nina ricci in paris, and starred in the prada, balenciaga, and the solo girl for nina ricci ad campaigns. this season though was her first full season and she was in every important collection. besides from vlada, i don't think anyone else was in as many shows.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
undoubtedly the most well received collection of the entire season. it was definitely, the feel good collection of the entire show season, proving that sometimes, the nice guy does finish first. although a brilliantly gifted designer, the road to alber elbaz's success has been a rocky one. picked as the successor to yves saint laurent's rive gauche collections when the monsieur retired from ready to wear to concentrate on couture, elbaz seemed like the perfect fit for the house. his humility and sensitivity to women and the saint laurent legacy earned him critically praised collections. when the house was acquired by the gucci group, elbaz was unceremoniously dumped and tom ford took control of the reigns despite consistent criticism for his mishandling of the saint laurent heritage. shortly after, elbaz was hired to design the italian brand krizia, but that union also did not last for very long. when alber was hired as creative director at lanvin, it seemed like the designer and the house have finally found each other's soulmate. although the house of lanvin has been around for almost a century, the only real enduring legacy of the house is the famous picture dress jeanne lanvin designed in the twenties. many designers have tried their hand with the brand but most was met with very little success, most notably claude montana during the late eighties and early nineties. what elbaz brought to lanvin is a highly sophisticated understanding of the french manner of seduction. his cocktail dresses, now a lanvin trademark, is both restrained and sensual at the same time. as one of the designers to re-explore the idea of volume, he made women realize that unfamiliar shapes and cuts that hide the body could be or even more so provocative than the naked flesh. with this collection, elbaz channeled everything he is as a designer and every beautiful exit during the collection created a sense of euphoria. these were not ground breaking clothes, they were the perfect example of the function of fashion, the pursuit of beauty. in a very french way, he showed ruffles, feathers, his ingenious use of pleating and draping, a master use of colour and a languid dance of fabric and body to make this collection a erudite example of how beauty can be attainable. and it helps when you have lanvin as a tool.
it's been almost a decade since the quiet young belgian burst into the fashion scene with his romantic goth influenced look that found the designer at the top of fashion's new maverick designers emerging at that time. unlike hedi slimane, nicholas ghesquiere, or hussein chalayan, theyskens eventually fell under the radar until he resurfaced with his critically lauded debut collection for the house of rochas that saw the designer suddenly as one of the most influential voice of the new decade. with that collection, theyskens initiated a dramatic shift in fashion and was critical to the new french revivalist movement emerging at that time. despite unanimous critical acclaim season after season for his collection for rochas, the house was closed down and theyskens was immediately scooped up by another classic french house, nina ricci when lars nisson decided to continue with other endeavors. after much anticipation, theyskens' debut collection left a lot of people somewhat confused. perhaps anticipating a grand romantic vision that dominated the rochas collections, nina ricci, asides from some resplendent evening gowns, were mostly clothes meant for when the sun was out and had a more ready to wear feel than the almost couture drama at rochas. with his second collection for ricci, one feels that the designer is looking to bridge his previous underground aesthetic, and combining it with classic french sophistication he mastered at his previous job. and has he succeeded? the answer is a resounding yes. blending street influenced nonchalance with luxurious fabrication and immaculate cuts, it achieved a genuine lightness and ease that in someone elses's insensitive hands, could've appeared cold and artificial. continuing his focus on daywear, theyskens showed a healthy option of loosely tailored jackets over light airy dresses or paired with loose fitting pants that tapered around the shin in reflective fabrics. for evening however, the drama returns with silvery fabrics swirling around the body with such lightness it is practically a halo. theyskens is clearly trying to evolve into a more well rounded designer, and he is succeeding without having to compromise one of fashion's most beautiful, heart achingly romantic vision.
the miu miu label has always been regarded as prada's little sister. but as the brand gets older, we slowly realize that prada might be the intellectual one who gets most of the attention, but miu miu is growing up to be an interesting, naughty, and slightly perverse sibling. maybe paris has had an affect on miucca. ever since showing her secondary line in the city of lights almost two years ago, the miu miu label has matured and developed a rather distinct identity from prada's signature line. the miu miu label has always been younger and a bit more experimental without prada's hyper-intellectual themes. and one also gets the sense that miu miu derives a lot of its influences from street culture on an international level. but for a few seasons now, the similarities between the two labels have been more abstracted and their references wider apart. the awkward, slightly school girl prada look was still here, but there was that almost vulgar french maid twist thrown in in typical prada humor with all the over sized bloomer shorts, a bombast peplumed waist that's almost a skirt, those sheer pleated or ruffled bibs on shirts, and the obvious blacks and whites. there were pajama-esque suits and stripe top and pant combination that were similar to miuccia's milan presentation. if miu miu contines in this direction and miucca taps into the creative flow that is surging with parisian designers, miu miu just might once steal the spotlight from her big sister.
to be able to combine american sportswear with french luxury and sophistication can seem like a daunting task to fulfill. but marc jacobs manages to achieve that with a brilliant sense of irony and humor, and bring about roaring and escalating sales figures. a designer who owes much to other mediums of art where he is always inspired by, he basically pioneered the growing popularity of designer collaborations. working with diverse artists such as the late stephen sprouse, takashi murakami, and this season richard prince, marc jacobs always manages to marry louis vuitton's august heritage, and a more street level sensibility that transcends all class groups. touching on the same themes as his controversial new york show, his louis vuitton collection shared some similarities in ideas with his signature line. there was that sense of deconstruction and japanese inspired references, the plays with transparency, and the trademark mix match of ideas that is synonymous with the marc jacobs aesthetic. the difference with this collection, which is the same with all his vuitton collections is that this collection always has that bit of french polish and the clothes where thoughtfully put together with a bit of french playful eccentricism thrown in. as an outsider looking in, he uses traditional french fabrics like tulle and chiffon and use it in a typical french flirty, playful way, but done in easy to separate pieces as a result of his american background. marc has all this freedom to play with widely juxtaposed ideas because being the first designer to ever design clothes for the house in its more than 150 year history, he is basically building the brand's archive. with no history to really live up to, he can modernize the brand and make it relevant to the present, and more importantly, the future.
after an unexpectedly restrained dior collection a few days before his signature show, the galliano magic once again resurfaced for another theatrical presentation. the twenties and thirties have been a recurring theme throughout john's career. it is the perfect way for him to showcase his mastery of bias cut dressing and those decades lend their sense of drama that works its way into the story he presents season after season. the difference in john's work now, compared to his works ten years ago is that with his experience at dior, he has fully married his creativeness with an ability to make them commercial. not an easy feat considering this is the same designer who sent down his models in cut-up cardboard dinosaurs with paint splattered faces many years ago. and ever since he started to again present his collection in a more staged setting, his vision and proposal becomes easier to dissect and understand. there is also a more focused emphasis on daywear that was seen in all black jacket and skirt suits that showcased his impeccable tailoring. but let's face facts, the true stars of galliano's shows are his evening dresses that summarizes everything he is trying to convey. the ruffles, draping, and the bias cutting have been seen before, and was seen in basically other designer collections this season, but nobody does it like galliano. this might not have been on of his more influential collections, but no one can doubt that he will go down in history as one of the most creative and visionary designers ever.
the chloe brand, under the creative direction of phoebe philo, became one of the most influential fashion houses during the 2000s. the chloe image became so strong and personal that when she left a couple of years ago, many wondered what would become of the label. putting on board paulo melim andersson as creative director was a risky move. especially since last winter's harder edge collection that was a big contrast to the easy urban femininity philo brought to the brand. but in many ways this is what the house needed. nobody could do what phoebe could do because while she was designing for chloe, she was designing for a woman like her. to imitate and carry on the philo look would have gotten the brand stuck in that place. although andersson's chloe woman is a bit more assertive, this season he showed a surprisingly gentle touch. he softened up his colour palette and the rigidity of last fall was replaced with diaphanous layering using chiffon and languid knits. the bold graphic prints that was first seen last season resurfaced again but this time, because it was done on chiffon, it was less severe and appeared more softer. the draping and layering effects were influenced by the designer's other passion, sailing. which translated to triangle shapes formed as a result of the draping of the fabric. in many ways, although andersson and philo have different visions, this collection was in many ways a truly chloe collection. you could tell it wasn't done by phoebe, but it had that chloe spirit. these are clothes for young, independent women whose sex appeal isn't in their provocative way of dress, but rather by how easy she moves in them. phobe philo might be a hard act to follow, but this season andersson proved that he can still design for the chloe woman using his own language.
following in the footsteps of someone who has had such an enormous impact can be a daunting thing. especially if you're the daughter of someone like yohji yamamoto. but daughter limi not only proved that she is in her own right a brilliant designer, she also proved that she is an individual one. of course there were some similarities between her and her father's aesthetic, the layering, use of volume, colour palette, and asymmetry are very much part of her father's vocabulary, but she used these elements and infused it with an edgier, punk like sensibility. while yohji's is of a romantic vision, limi identifies more with urban reality. of course the works of yohji and rei kawakubo will always have a deep impact with other japanese designers but the younger generation like limi, junya watanabe, and jun takahashi of undercover are finding their own voice. and a part of that voice is their personal interpretation with western youth movements like punk. aside from the obvious use of black and combat boots, there were various interpretations of bondage that appeared in coats with multiple buckles that sort of resembled a straight jacket. what she also does brilliantly well is a sort of androgyny that was accomplished with a sense of lightness and ease. good genes runs in the family.
it is a well known fact that isabella blow was the one responsible for discovering alexander mcqueen. whats not so well knows is how isabella felt under appreciated by him. since blow's suicide earlier this year, mcqueen, along with another blow discovery, milliner philip treacy, presented a show dedicated to blow, whose image is by and large, a direct result of their talents. depite the strained relationship between blow and mcqueen, she was in many ways, the living embodiment of the woman he designs for. totally independent, eccentric, and quintessentially british. the result was in many ways, a sort of "best of" collection. all the mcqueen trademarks were on display this season. the saville row inspired tailoring with the sharp shoulders and nipped waists, deep v necklines with stand out collars, trompe l'oeil prints, and kimono inspired sleeves. it didn't just stop with the clothes themselves, the jewelery also took us back to his more savage collections when he was still showing in london. and as for treacy's hats, it was the perfect compliment to mcqueen's beautiful, yet sometimes frightening vision. as a designer who is obviously battling with his own personal vision while producing a collection that is commerical, this proves that when he stays true to form, and combine it with the lessons he learned as created director at givenchy, he is capable of balancing his avant garde tendencies with commerce to appeal both to his die hard fans and those who wish to posses some of that mcqueen magic in their everyday, less eccentric lives.
it's been almost forty years and sonia rykiel remains one of the most prolific designers in paris. she's basically like the betsey johnson of france, sans the cartwheels. if you're looking for intellectual, ground breaking ideas, you won't find it here. rykiel doesn't design for that purpose. her's is to make beautiful things for the sake of beauty. it's that french "je ne se quois" that has been the secret to her success all these years. known as the queen of knits, she weaves nonchalant slogans, quirky little pictures to sweaters, dresses, and oversized slouchy cardigans that can instantly put a smile on anyone's face. but nothing beats the smile anyone can get when you see all the models at the end of the show running down the runway in nymph like gowns with an actual smile on their face. some fashion shows can feel like an ingmar bergman film and its a relief that sonia rykiel can make you fell good like you just watched billy elliot for the first time.
RUE DU MAIL
during the nineties, martine sitbone was one of the designers who along with helmut lang and anne demulemeester, was europe's answer to america's grunge movement. but out of all the european designers who showed edgier, moodier collections, martine's were the ones that were most sexually charged. a decade can do a lot to change a designer. with her new label, just one season in, it seems that martine is in a new frame of mind. her most recent show was lighter, and the hard edge was replaced with flowing chiffon and tulle. because she has been out of the spotlight for so long, she can afford to go in a different direction and appeal to a different, and younger clientele. but then again, she has been gone for a while so her older fan base might also have changed and her new perspective might just be as appealing to her as it was many years ago. but regardless, this collection hit all the major trends this season and is one of the younger, street friendly shows during fashion week. and if this was a collection cool young girls in their twenties can afford, it will guarantee to sell out. although i must agree with nicole phelps from styl.com, this collection was a little marni-ish. then again, what isn't these days.
YVES SAINT LAURENT
one of the most enduring legacy of yves saint laurent is how he revolutionized the way women dress in the outside world. not during glamorous balls or cocktail parties, but in every day working lives. after all, it was saint laurent who popularized the idea of ready to wear so that he can democratize fashion. stefano pilati has always been sensitive to the legacy of saint laurent. he's never tried to exploit it, disrespect it, or vulgarize it. pilati knows the saint laurent woman. one gets a sense that this is the woman he's always dreamed of designing for. which explains why with every collection, his sincerity is always so evident. understanding the circumstances of the modern woman, the designer actually concentrated on something most designers tended to ignore this season, work wear. this collection were full of jackets, some slim and long, others short and boxy, but the pant silhouette pretty much stayed the same, higher waisted with a fuller leg that slightly tapered at the hem that stopped just right above the ankle. despite all the options for day, there were also thirties inspired dresses with ingenious darting and draping and a star motif that kept on popping up anywhere from the embroideries on dresses, as a necklace, or a pattern in a vest made of plastic. saint laurent understood that the mastery of style is in its un-dating simplicity and its ease. pilati is doing the same thing by installing a luxurious elegance to minimalism, but he also has a secret ingredient that not very many designers have, a sensitive soul.
ANNE VALERIE HASH
anne valerie hash is a designer who made her mark in haute couture. while you would think most designers will try their hands at pret-a-porter first then expand to couture, hash is doing it the other way around. in many ways this works to her advantage. she has already proven that she knows how to cut clothes and even in couture, her's was a vision that was in a class all by itself. she proposed a modern take on couture. it was not as stuffy or bourgeois, her designs had more of a street culture sensibility. her challenge with pret-a-porter is how she can mass produce those ideas without losing the quality of her work. obviously these garments are not laboriously made by hand, but you can see her couture background with this collection. the tailored victorian shirts with the pleated bodice, the draping of the dresses and pajama pants, and just the silhouettes themselves. it had sense of construction but somehow moved easily. after all the movement of clothes when it reacts to the body is one of the most important things in couture. and since this season was all about lightness, hash's first ready to wear collection just happened to be a perfect fit.
after all the girly collections of white and pretty colours, it was refreshing to see some black. the belgian school is known for its moody, intellectual aesthetic, and ackermann is a textbook example of that. this collection had a sort of goth sensibility, which on paper seems far removed from the prevalent mood of the season, but the designer showed languid draping, strong tailoring, japanese inspired cuts, and volume, elements that are on point with this season's trends. it might have seemed out of place after the previous shows presented by the other designers, but this was by no means a less feminine collection. akermann just designs for a different kind of woman that some designers design for. his is a woman who is a bit more intellectual, someone who is more subversive with their femininity. she doesn't need little dresses to feel like a woman. which is probably why he was one of the few designers to show more than two pairs of pants on the runway. there were some beautiful evening dresses, but it was his suiting that was his strongest message. although at times this collection teetered too close towards rick owens territory with all the layering over draping, this was still a collection that was a thankful relief from all obvious prettiness. and a collection that will surely have people intrigued with what he will come up with next.
this is a perfect season for valli if there ever was one. in a season when "pretty, feminine, and relax" are the most over used descriptions of collections, obviously valli would present a show that was not only filled with "pretty, feminine, and relaxed" clothes, he would do it the most luxuriously. baby doll dresses, little peplumed jackets, ruffles, feathers, and kaftans in bubble gum pinks and sunny yellows were in abundance. he managed to not make it so old by using transparency, a lot of whimsy, and combining his couture techniques with some exotic middle eastern touches with all the vine prints on metallic fabrics to provide it with a youthful more modern appeal. with each season, valli garners more and more international clients and more hollywood stars are wearing him on the red carpet. with valentino's imminent departure from the fashion world, valli just might be tomorrows jet set designer.
nicholas ghesquiere is one of those rare breed of designers who can propose ideas that might seem out of sync with modernity, but when executed becomes something that is so contemporarily obvious. he has taken the balenciaga idea into every possible direction. to sci-fi futurism to global nomad to baroque, all the while maintaining the spirit of the house. perhaps it is because the legacy of balenciaga isn't so much its stylistic side, but in its harmony of design and craft that allows it to be malleable to various interpretations. like the old master himself, ghesquiere, doesn't just embellish for the sake of decoration, it is done with purpose and sensitivity. who else but ghesquiere can show robust floral prints in garments that are so well crafted and so exquisitely layered on top of each other in exaggerated shapes and not over do it. a departure from his last seasons easy to separate pieces, this collection was about achieving a total look. not the most easily approachable way of dressing for the average woman, but the collection he shows in paris is in many ways a continuation of the balenciaga collections in paris during the fifties. even more so with this one when it felt almost couture like with the embellishments, the corset like detailing, and the armor effect achieved through all the layering are masterworks in technique. the provocation of his shows is to move not just the house of balenciaga forward, but to move fashion itself. besides, there are many things in the showroom that is not presented in the show that will be more consumer friendly and approachable. but people come to paris and to balenciaga to be elated, be provoked, be inspired. mission accomplished.
COMME DES GARCONS
let's be honest, rei kawakubo has transformed fashion to such a degree than even when she plays like the psycho clown from steven king's novel "it", she will still have one of the loudest voices possible. which doesn't mean that she can do anything and just get praised for it, she has, for almost three decades, has shown us that even the most mundane influence can have the most resplendent effect. there was a nudge to her menswear triple layering she proposed a few months ago, but here it was a bit more delirious, not only with the clownish make-up, but with the haphazard prints and layering itself. imagine harajuku gothic lolitas mixed in with london's nu rave boombox kids. might be a hard image to swallow but this is where her brilliance lies. she is able to combine all these urban sub-cultures with a sophisticated eye that translates the cacophony of ideas and interpret it, individually piece by piece to something that is wearable, and ultimately as a whole, an influence that will eventually trickle down and be sublimated by the masses. there might be other labels out there who gets all the publicity, but rest assured, rei kawakubo is the woman all those designers are influenced by.
there is no one else who understands rock and roll in the fashion world better than anne demeulemeester. although many designers have used the rock and roll movement as an inspiration, it is actually the force that motivates anne's designs. combine that with belgian deconstruction and french luxury, you have a cognizance of someone who is quite literally the designer with the most multi-cultural view without sacrificing their own individuality. the layering, asymmetry, androgyny, and rock sensibility, that is all anne, something that has been redundant throughout her career but she somehow manages to make of the moment. to soften up things this season she forayed into an almost showgirl-esque look with the feathers and embellishments without making it look like a cheap costume. perhaps it is because she is so attuned to her own vision and the needs of the consumer she designs for that she can stay true to her personality without compromise. even in a season when colours tend to get softer and prettier, she stuck to her favorite black. because in reality, all those pretty colours might look good on the runway, but everyone knows that you can't look bad when you always match black with black.
the scion of the japanese movement, junya watanabe has some pretty big shoes to fill. handpicked by rei kawakubo herself as the next ambassador of the japanese aesthetic, watanabe accomplishes that by his innate understanding of japanese design and western ideologies. the deconstruction of western archetypes that the japanese are so known for are usually segregated to british ideas such as the victorian and punk sensibility. so it was a surprise that watanabe referenced coco chanel for this collection. the idea of the chanel iconography was so prevalent in this collection, especially chanel's iconoclastic tweed suit. however he paired those with asymmetrically cut voluminous skirts that maintained a more modern approach that refrained it from being too literal but more inspirational. watanabe also displayed his skill as a forecaster by sending out soft, architectural silhouettes with the asymmetrical draping with his cocktail dresses, flower prints and a more feminine colour palette that was one point with this season's trends. season after season, in both his menswear and womenswear collections, watanabe proves that the japanese influence is just as strong as it was decades ago.
since launching her eponymous label ten years ago, belgian designer veronique branquinho, like her fellow belgian designers, have acquired critical acclaim, yet at the same time, flying under fashion's prodigious radar. making her mark with exquisitely tailored pieces, for this collection, she adapted them to this season's lighter hand. to celebrate ten years in the business, branquinho showed something of a best of collection. she referenced her own archives with victoriana and edwardian ideas with shots of bright daffodil yellows, something that is quite removed from her usual palette of blacks and greys. it was interesting to see how the designer can morph her strong points with something that she is not known for. she accomplished that by her use of fabrics. instead of using fabrics that are known for their rigidity, she played with chiffon and jersey to experiment with drape and darting to accomplish and easier form of movement. although this collection touched on the main trend of the season, her tailoring is still the dominant focus of the collection. sharply tailored tuxedo jackets, pleated full length pants with the omnipresent dhoti crotch, and victorian inspired shirts where in abundance for this decade anniversary. it might not have been her greatest moment, but no one can argue that she is slowly managing to combine the current mood of the moment to her own personal point of view.
the belgians who show in paris are some of the most criminally underrated designers ever. margiela, who once designed for the house of hermes, is one such designer. a favorite amongst fashion's more intellectual sect, margiela has been consistently perfecting his craft and pushing the boundaries of fashion while managing to be avant garde and commercial at the same time. continuing his interest on the sharp shoulders seen during his last collection, for spring, margiela did something that was quite surprising, sex in the form of form fitting bandage like dressing. unlike other designers who have hopped into the bandage dressing trend, margiela infused it with a harder, more assertive, rock and roll sensibility. the belgians are known for moodier and darker collections and this one was a textbook case if there ever was one. the glasses that fully covered the eyes, skirts and dresses that barely grazed the thighs, and the shredded jeans, it seemed more like clothes for mad max's girlfriend than the modern woman. then you stop and think about the world today, and you realize that the only thing different from the world of mad max and ours is that now mel gibson is a drunk driving catholic fanatic who has two oscars and is a billionaire. and if you're a woman who isn't afraid of the outside world and all its going to throw at you, then martin margiela is the man for you.
it's been almost three decades since yohji yamamoto unleashed what is perhaps the single most influential force in fashion in the last fifty years. the japanese aesthetic the he, alongside rei kawakubo and issey miyaki popularized have affected every designer as far ranging as karl lagerfeld to newer designers such as michael herz and graeme fidler at aquascutum, to yohji's own daughter limi who debuted her own collection in paris this season. the impact that yohji has on the fashion world is so sublime and is now so rooted in our collective psyche that it is almost nonchalantly cliche'd. thirty years is a long time to be relevant in this business so the younger generation today dress in a way that is a direct influence of yamamoto and they don't even know it. but lucky for us, yohji manages to remind us every so often why he will go down in history as one of the most important designers of our time. and in a season when so many designers are referencing those groundbreaking ideas that yohji and rei proposed decades ago, yohji seemed right on point this season. amidst all the pretty, romantic look that we saw during the collections, there were a select few who tapped into that sort of apocalyptic theme that has been so closely associated with the japanese. all those draping and asymmetry so prevalent this season is a japanese idea. the only difference is that the west did it with a softer touch while the japanese did it with strict tailoring. in many ways, this collection was a crash course on all the yamamoto trademarks, but it was also a collection that emphasizes that like the classic french couture cuts of the fifties, the japanese aesthetic, like all good design, will never date, and will always be pertinent.
in many ways, christoph dercarnin seems to be the obvious heir apparent to pierre balmain's legacy. only a year in designing for the prestigious french house, decarnin has channeled balmain's independently elegant "jolie madame" of the fifties and transplanted her into the twenty first century. there is a sense of a free spirit in his clothes, almost like a deluxe hippie aesthetic that is undeniably french but international at the same time. like balmain, decarnin has a fondness for embelishments. after all, balmain was renowned for exquisitely embroidered gowns that he collaborated with the house of lesage that lead him to be the personal couturier of royalty like queen sirikit of thailand. the difference between decarnin and balmain is that even though they are designing for the same woman, decarnin is more interested in the edgier side of her personality. imagine catherine deneuve in "belle de jour", balmain would be her outfit for her public life, and decarnin would dress her for her secret life while she worked at the brothel. it's that dynamic difference that makes the young designer perfect for the house. like his contemporaries ghesquiere and tisci, decarnin knows that to move the brand into the future, he would need to erase the bourgeois-ness of the house and replace it with a more modern, realistic point of view.
for a designer who started his career in los angeles, rick owens certainly doesn't have any hollywood stereotypes when it comes to his clothes. no navel bearing crop tops or hoochie mini-skirts here. what he has become re knowned for is an almost goth like romanticism, similar to olivier theyskens, but a little less fantasy, more hard core reality. which doesn't mean that his clothes aren't beautiful, as a matter of fact they are. beautiful in a way a rainy day can be beautiful. it has that dreamlike element to it that is still grounded in the tradtiion of american sportswear. which means individual pieces that can be broken apart and incorporated to the rest of your wardrobe. his trademark draping and sombre colour palette is still present, but this season it had that extra sense of lightness. the heavy knits of fall was replaced by silks and jersey in a cocoon like silhouette that wrapped around the body in the softest way, yet still maintaining a strong punk like sensibility. he also used a more graphic pattern as a way of manipulating the clothes to enhance the woman's body. something that is very much a big trend this season. not the strongest effort from owens, but strong enough that his legions of fans won't be leaving his shop empty handed.
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