Tuesday, February 5, 2008

new york - women's fall/winter 2008 - day four


french eccentricity while rooted in a very personal form of expression, still retains a sophisticated level of taste. which is probably the reason why paris still remains as the capital of fashion. and it was in the city of lights that designer chris benz found his inspiration. after a trip to the french capital, benz's inspiration took flight while watching old parisian women go about their daily business. this is probably why the french interpretation didn't use the vocabulary of saint laurent or even dior, it went way before that. there were obvious nods to the gay paris of the twenties evident in poiret-like cocooning coats, pajama pant suits, almost shapeless cocktail dresses that brought to mind the flapper dresses of the jazz age. mixed into all these was the designer's own quirky sense of humor but done in a more refined hand and a tighter sense of control so that his designs never went too far out that it became unapproachable to someone not familiar with his previous works. it would do the designer some good if he studied the works of sonia rykiel, one who fully embodies personal quirkiness with a distinct parisian style and realize that the two can work harmoniously and still sell. let's just hope that as he develops and matures he never loses his charming characteristics.


having someone back your finances is a blessing only a few designers have the luxury of. since being acquired by the valentino group last year, designers lazaro hernandez and jake mccollough have not only use that resource to expand their fabrication and finishes, it also managed to expand their minds as well. free from the worries and constraints of money, the two designers have managed to exercise their creativity to astonishing results. after last seasons safari romp, hernandez and mccollough returned to new york city leaving their safari suits behind. their new collection reeked of new york sophistication. luxurious fabrics in luscious colours were folded to resemble bombast ruffles and gave the clothes a sense of architectural element the way the late gianfranco ferre did but without the obvious opulence. here the clothes retained their youthful spirit and sense of ease and comfort. not a big stretch from their first collections designing body conscious clothes. while these clothes might not be the slimmest silhouette, it is still based around the body of a woman. a fact that endears the two young designers to their loyal, young and wealthy clientele. a more experimental approach from the designers, but we've seen what money can do when it backs up designers who follow their own beat. look what it did for mcqueen and galliano. the boys at proenza schouler might just be included in that circle sooner than later.

photo: style.com

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