Monday, September 1, 2008

Fall Collections: Abete to Fendi

Don't ask me what drugs I was on when I mentioned something about putting the RTW collections up, but I have finally started picking through everything from New York's Fashion Week. Here's the summary...colored and patterned tights, lots of sheer fabrics, grey like a motherfucker, military styling, plaid everywhere, fabulous coats (WOO), detailing and patterns, menswear styling and giant necklaces. That being said, here are some of my favorites actually from 3.1 Philip Lim to Fendi, but if I didn't particularly like anything in a given collection, I am not going to include it here.

Bear in mind that these are simply things I like...some because I would love to wear them and some because I enjoy them as pieces of art. I'll try and do the best I can to explain which is which and why I like things, but your opinion may differ.

Abaete...Lop off the inexplicable socks-with-heels combo and the medieval headgear, and there's a really lovely dress here. While it's in greys, which by the end of this little review session I was completely bored by, I think the sweet weaving effect is extremely sharp and looks great. The variety of greys helps it from being too drab.
Alexander McQueen...I think these dresses are absolutely stunning, and the detail work is just masterful. A season or two ago, someone - I think it may have been Gucci - put out this beautiful collection with all kinds of Russian influence and there were a couple of articles about how Russian influence was going to be the Next Big Thing, so of course I got all overstimulated, and then pretty much nothing happened. Stupid mass market. That being said, this has clear Russian Imperial (and/or ballet) influence and I for one hope it keeps coming.
Andrew Gn...the draping on this is beautiful, with just enough ornamentation, and the subtle pleating detail really makes it something special.
Aquascutum....Aquascutum was FULL of fantastic coats, as usual, but I thought these were particularly spectacular. I love me a dramatic patterned coat, and the metallic effect on the yellow and gold coat is perfect. The exaggerated lapel on the black coat differentiates it from the ordinary. Finally, I just loved the color combo on the dress on the end...I would have been tempted to make the grey part black, but it's beautiful the way it is. I also am loving these shoes with the caps on the front for a little bit of color and interest right at floor level.
Baby houndstooth coat from Baby Phat. Most of the rest of the collection was the same feel as usual, though I think it was a little more sophisticated this season. Kimora having a paradigm shift?
Balenciaga...okay. Here is my thing with Balenciaga. Every year the house turns out to be THE stylemaker, and every year I look at their RTW collections and think about how I would never in my life allow it to appear on my person. This thing above? Might be a scuba suit. I don't know. I haven't decided. That being said, I KNOW that in a month or two, I will see some crazy Balenciaga stuff on someone and be all "I LOVE IT." I wish I could understand this phenomenon better, because frankly it's a little disconcerting.
BCBG Max Azria...what does one even say about BCBG MaxAzria anymore? Everything that comes out of them is graceful and elegant. This outfit is no exception. The one fluted sleeve was used throughout the collection, but I think this shows its best affect. The skirt is pretty standard, for me, though sweet, but the shirt is really the highlight of the outfit for me.
Bill Blass...the color on this jacket is just fantastic. I love the exaggerated collar and lapel, and the whole outfit is just chic all over the place. The blouse on the second outfit is so lively and sophisticated. There are a LOT of geriatric, gross, flaccid white ruffled blouses out there, but this is anything but. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see a different pant with the blouse...while the black is classic and beautiful, I think the outfit would have been more interesting with a pant in a color or a glen plaid, etc.
Burberry Prorsum...I like the interesting shape of this jacket, and it displays the quilting that refuses to die and is rarely used effectively, but here it's simple and perfect with the plain solid slacks. Then, the rich color of the pants adds interest, though for GOD'S SAKE can we start tailoring pants properly? I am all for long pants but it is time to accept that people have FEET. I also enjoy this...necklace? Chestplate? I am a big fan of taking things completely over the top to make them really rock, and this necklace certainly fits the bill.
Byblos...I didn't know anything about Byblos, and I am glad to have come across them. I enjoy the futuro-chic of the grey suit, and particularly of the jacket, though I would have liked to take the collar a little higher. The funky huge gauge sweater is cool as hell, though I do not think I personally have the balls to carry it off. I really love the feathery, leafy effect of the fabric on the lavender dress. Okay, yeah, I also love the country music hair.
Carolina Herrera...Herrera's whole collection had a kind of hunting vibe to it, lots of leather and feathers and things of that ilk. I usually like her stuff, even if I would not always wear it. This dress, though, I think is just so unusual and breathtaking. It lives in the intersection of her elegant formalwear and her more casual lines, and the effect is fantastic.
Chado Ralph Rucci...not a fan of the dress on the left, but the sort of duster over it is just phenomenal. I love how delicate the little feathers are, and I bet this looks amazing when it's in motion. The dress on the right, however, I think is really well done. Rucci used this swirly effect throughout the collection, but it's most dramatic in this piece. I even like the gloves in this...I am not sure if they have solid bands on them or if they're just scrunched up, but either way the effect is unusual.
Charles Nolan...another designer I wasn't familiar with, but MAN do I love his stuff. All of it has the same classic but bold effect that you see above. The red coat is so gorgeous, and I love the subtle military styling with the buttons and the epaulet-ish thing on the shoulder, and combined with the boots I think it's a showstopper. The other outfit is very dramatic as well, with the big blowzy neck bow. I have been trying to figure out what the hell could make that weird sailor pant situation tolerable and non-hokey, and the answer is SO just needs a detail that can compete! This blouse definitely fits the bill. Stunning.
Chloe...I didn't care for most of Chloe's collection, but I thought that this was absolute art. The play of texture and depth is so well excecuted, and I particularly enjoy the use of negative space in the bodice. I would print this out and frame it on my wall.
Christian Dior...let's just all agree that the makeup is ill advised. In fact, let's take it a step further and agree that ANY makeup or other beauty effect that makes you look like you need an institution is ill advised. (Advice = on the house) Loved the rich colors throughout the Dior collection, and as usual, Galliano has added beautiful detail. I really love the interesting cut of the lemony-limey-chartreusey suit on the far left...the notching on the bottom of the jacket and the emphasized center panel of the skirt. The teal dress, I just have an instant, positive gut reaction to, and I admire the ruby dress for being strong enough a statement to make sure that the bow at the center of the waist isn't too twee.
Christian LaCroix...Love the clean colorblocking of the left hand suit, and the cut of the jacket is impeccable. The real beauty of the skirt is in its versatility. You've got it in this outfit for fall, then you could pair it with a nice silk sleeveless top and some sandals for summer, a light floral blouse and some cute mary janes for spring, and really, you could even throw a nice dark colored top over it with a cardigan and some boots for winter. That is a LOT to get out of one white skirt. Less versatile but super goddamn cool is the outfit on the right. I often see this kind of harlequin print used in milquetoasty, trite outfits that pass for "edgy" in a certain demographic, but the leather jacket and the black detailing (I presume beading) really kicks it up and makes a traditional print much more interesting.
Christopher Kane...this is one of the outfits I wouldn't necessarily wear, but I think the use of these outsized paillettes is just amazing and must look SO cool on the runway. I highly recommend checking out the collection to see how he uses the same effect throughout. I think it's really interesting to see the ethereal light fabric contrasted with the solid, but very fluid paillettes. They're basically just solid enough to contrast with the fabric, but their movement keeps the whole thing very floaty and light. Beautiful.
Collette Dinnigan...I hate the styling on this model SO MUCH (Question: when can we just STOP with the zombie models of doom?), but I think the dress is great. I love the top fabric with the little dots over sheer. One of the great hazards of the infamous Little Black Dress is the liklihood of it turning into a boring column of black. (Memo to the World at Large: A Little Black Dress is only essential to a woman's wardrobe if it fits well and is interesting. The reason the whole Little Black Dress phenomenon got any traction was because women were wearing different, well chosen black dresses, not because the color is magic. Please stop wearing boring ass dresses to FUCKING EVERYTHING.) This dress handles the boring column of black hazard gracefully with the sheer overlay, with great success.
Comme des Garcons...ah yes, the house that will never stop using zombie models, and did so before it was cool. The styling here makes me want to go take a shower, but I think the effect on this dress is really dramatic and bold. It's so easy for white dresses to be overly virginal looking or too damn bridal, but this has a nice edge to it.
Cynthia Rowley...okay, so I'm not ready to sign off on pantaloons. This BLOUSE, however, I am TOTALLY signed on for, and I would actually love to see it in different colors. How dramatic!
Derek Lam...this makeup scheme was pretty consistent throughout Lam's show, and it's only really in this outfit to the left that I really love it. The coat is so well cut, and I love the way the collar pulls the outfit all the way through to the face. The outfit as a whole is so elegant, and that pop of color in the eyes and lips really sets it off. The black dress is just stunning. I love how the bodice is worked, with the high line and the ruffle at the top. I also enjoy the detailing at the waist and exaggerated hipline. All these details, in conjuction with the flared skirt, make looking at this a very active experience, keeping your eye moving all along the outfit. Another Little Black Dress made exceptional. D & G...ohhh, Anglophile, ACTIVATE! I love the kind of English countryside feel to these, and I even love the mixing of plaids in the one to the far left. Again, loving the big ole neck bows, and I think they're particularly effective paired with the waspy waists on these outfits. I am in total stupid love with the orangey leathers used on the bags and particularly on the boots in the middle. I love the retro feel of the brown suit on the right. I will be shopping with these looks in mind in the near future.
DKNY...two dresses, two different vibes. I love the sweetness in the red's not too cutesy, but it's still young and light. I really like the colors, too. They are so close that I might not have combined them, but the result is wonderful. The gold dress, though, is badass. I adore the texture of the print, and the hints of black add a great edge to it.
Dolce & cool is this leather skirt? I LOVE the effect of all the circles, and I think it's just the right height AND length. I suspect that I love the shoes, also, but I can't quite see them well enough. I'm not that wild about the texture of the shirt, but the shape is beautiful, both in its own right and in the outfit as a whole. I am not sure I'd wear the ballgown, but I thought that the vaguely tree-bark-y fabric used on it was very unusual and interesting, and there's something really lovely about it.
Donna the drama of this coat. The cut is impeccable, and the height that the feathers (?) add really makes it an event. The color's nice and rich, too. Again, on the outfit on the right, we see the juxtaposition of light fabric with heavier detailing, and again, I think the effect is terrific. The pants are nice enough, and allow the top to take center stage.
Douglas Hannant...ooh la la. I am all about purples these days, but not that boring royal purple you see on the red hat ladies. This rich reddish violet is just gorgeous, and I love the seaming details along the body of the dress. The neckline ornamentation is so unique and interesting. I really think that the neckline is an ideal width for that specific ornamentation, too...any narrower, and I think it would look clunky and claustrophobic.
Diane von Furstenburg...Diane von Furstenburg, I freaking love you. This woman has the secrets, people. The shape of all of these outfits, but particularly the dresses, is just amazing, totally in tune with a woman's body. I love the print on the far left dress, even though I usually hate florals, and the one on the far right is amazing. It's so striking, and you can tell even from the still picture that it flows like water. The outfit in the middle is very old school French, with some modern twists, and the overall effect is awesome. I am still trying to decide how I feel about the belt-over-everything concept, but here, I love it.
Elie Saab...I think I need to know more about Elie Saab, because every time I look at their collections, I get all sigh-y and wistful and in love. The movement displayed by all four of these dresses is just majestic, and I simply adore the black and white dresses. I really recommend checking out the collection in whole. I think the bottom blue dress is the most fascinating interpretation of the menswear trend I have seen may not be able to see it that clearly, but there is a sort of cumberbund effect at the top of the skirt, and some tuxedo shirt vibe in the top.
Emanuale Ungaro...I really enjoy the way the detailing on the dress on the far left starts so tight and intentionally placed, then drifts down into loose, undirected fringe. What an interesting effect, and paired with the lovely neckline and great color, it really makes this dress a knockout. The contrast of the fluffy skirt and silky draped shirt is excellent, and this is one of the few asymmetrical necklines I have really liked. Ungaro used the funky knotting effect seen at the collar of the white dress throughout the collection, but it was at its most stunning on this dress. Something about the smooth color of the dress in conjunction with the neckline makes it absolutely powerful.
Emporio Armani...I am often lukewarm on Emporio Armani, but I REALLY liked these two looks. The grey pant is so dynamic and interesting, and the choice to leave the shirt and jacket in black is an excellent one, since it keeps the focus on the pants. The look on the right is so chic overall, and the little peeks of white along the edges of the jacket really make it unique. I would love to own this jacket.
Erin Fetherston...just a brief note on this, since as I have stated above, I generally do not like florals. Erin Fetherston did a collection for Target, which I found very juvenile and kind of gross, and upon checking her out some more to see if that was a fluke or if it was just her aesthetic, I was disappointed to find out reality was more towards the latter. I mean, hasn't the lolita thing been done? Therefore, I found her current collection very refreshing and much more mature, as evidenced by looks like this which, though not my style, belie a certain sophistication while still remaining young and fresh.
Etro...I thought the color on this suit was stunning, and the position of the print on the shirt adds a certain depth to the whole affair. I don't really love the pants or shoes, but the color and blouse are fantastic. The second outfit shows some cool menswear detail on the skirt...sort of like a reconfigured waistcoat. The top is a little hokily Wild Wild West for me, particularly given that damn tie thing, but overall the look isn't bad and the skirt is cool as hell.
Fendi...Well, this is pretty much the way of Fendi for me - some things I super 100% love, paired with things that kind of gross me out. Love every single one of these skirts...the texture is so damn cool, particularly the feathery one on the far left. The jackets, however, do very little for me. I love the one on the far left until it gets to the sleeves, I kind of hate the middle one, and I just find the one on the far right to be a snooze. But! The skirts! They are fabulous!
More hopefully starts this week (eeee!) and next weekend is the AHL Booster Club Convention (...near The Lucy, eeee!), but eventually I will get around to it.


  1. DvF knows magic, I'm telling you.

    Also, the plaids are fantastic. Too bad I will not be shopping for much plaid (or anything) this fall... Maybe a scarf?

  2. I've been looking at this for the past few days. The leather circle skirt from Dolce & Gabanna is still my favorite.

    I also love the Dior looks, and yes, Diane is magical.