Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Collections: Gareth Pugh to Monique Lhuillier

There is an excessive amount of weirdness in the Pugh to Lhuillier bracket, including an appearance from a model who I have been wanting to include just so you can enjoy her zombitude with me. I bitched about the non-smiling zombie model phenomenon in the last round, but this woman is kind of the epitome of the situation. I don't know her name, but I find her abjectly horrifying in pretty much every single collection I have seen her in. Enjoy.

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THAT? I'll admit that the freaky upside-down-umbrella-cum-neck-brace-with-cowl-neck-features situation that Maison Martin Margiela has her in doesn't help, but seriously, people, if I saw that shit coming at me, I'd run.

I feel so much better now that I have shared her existance with you.

Now we can move on to the collections from houses both new and old, including the exciting new designer...Maison de la Gwar!

Gareth Pugh...okay FINE it's just Gareth Pugh but I thought this was too insane to leave out. While I kind of like the structure of the outfit on the right, I can't really explain anything happening in these pictures, so I'll leave it to those with better descriptive abilities (and maybe a sci-fi novel in the works).
Gavin Douglas...the boots used here are kickass. I could certainly live with them being knee height, but they look great as ankle boots, too. I have been LOVING the covered platform trend. The sort of diagonal pleat on the dress on the left is striking, and I like how the fairly sharp lines of the pleats contrast with the twisted stippling around the waist it creates and the lightness of the underskirt. I like how the varied lengths of the handkerchief detailing on the dress on the right add interest to a somewhat tired trope. The sleeves are cute on both, and I like the twist of adding a bootie to little cocktail dresses.
Giambattista Valli...I just adore the watercolor effect created with the textures on the black, white and grey dress. It's a simple silhouette, but those fabrics add something really special to it. I understand that some people might not dig the shoulder mantle situation on the red dress, but I think it's cool as hell.
Giancarlo Ferre...vindication! I wore a navy and black outfit a couple weeks ago and was a little paranoid about whether or not I'd made up the combo's appeal in my head, but damn, this looks great and I LOVE IT. I would also like to say that I made a mental note to buy a white scarf to add to the outfit for the next round, and again I say, vindication! This just looks so chic and French and fabulous....I love the contrast of the loose top and fitted skirt.
Giorgio Armani...I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but there is some absolutely beautiful color on the blouse in the left hand picture. I like the overall look (less the flats, perhaps) but it's the blouse that really clinches it for me. On the right...well okay, let's talk about fur. I am uncomfortable with the concept and am not into animals being killed for their fur exclusively. That being said, I do own a coat with a fur collar, but it's a vintage piece and that seems less problematic to me. Maybe that's a copout, but I do think that the look of fur is striking in a way that very few things in or out of nature are. So that's fur, I guess. I think this look is just phenomenal. I realize most people don't ascribe political concepts to clothing (and why not?), but to me, this is what feminism looks like. It's strong, it creates a powerful reaction, and it banks on the female form without making it forcibly sexual. Right on. Power, ladies, POWER.
Givenchy...the Givenchy collection was full of necklace action like this, with lots of fairly thick strands. The dress is pretty but simple, and the boots..frighten me a little actually, because I think maybe they're based on a stanky old ankle brace I used to have, but I love the effect of the drapey, bold necklaces against the black. The golden goddess over on the right is spectacular...the shoes are hardcore, and I love the crazy detailing on the dress with the superfine ruffling. I kind of want to wear the gold dress to...well, pretty much to life, but a cocktail party would be acceptable as well.
Gucci...FINALLY, THE RUSSIAN INFLUENCE I WAS PROMISED, IN CASUAL WEAR! Let's have it said, the McQueen dresses were magic, but THESE I can wear in everyday life. I am in total stupid love with the military inspired outfit on the far left. Boots with whippy things on the side? Yes, please! The jacket's color palette is so rich, and the detail is just enough to really make it exceptional. The print on the shirt in the center is wonderfully intricate and features JUST enough gold detail to snazz it up and add interest. The last outfit is modern and hip, and I kind of appreciate that Gucci's collection wound up being kind of a Russia Through The Ages exhibit, starting (in the center, poor planning on my part) with the use of traditional patterns of the region, moving into the more heavily militarised history of Russia, and winding up with the look of the super-rich New Russians of today.
Heart Truth...I think this Heart Truth collection was some kind of promotional thing for the Go Red people at the American Heart Association, because it was modeled by celebrities. Frankly, most of it was boring as shit, but it appears to be for a good cause, so I'll allow it to live. That being said, I do kind of love this dress and the shiny shiny shoes, even if I do want to grab her dress in the armpittal region and yank violently upwards.
Hermes...Hermes is another house I kind of have angst with, because I can appreciate them on a certain artistic level but can't quite get to a place where I'm ready to wear them. Despite that, I adore these boots, with the kind of flamelike pattern on them. The rest of the outfit is fine but the boots are something truly special.
Herve Leger...welcome to what Herve Leger does - bandage dresses. I'm not necessarily anti-bandage dress, but they tend to be cut too short and then ride up like crazy, which makes the whole thing look completely hookeriffic. I do love the effect created by the use of color in the dress on the left, and I absolutely covet the navy and black dress. The former looks much less restrictive, and the sheer panel along the neckline lends it a delicacy that keeps the dark look from being too severe. I would ditch both the weird head thing and the heinous bangs, however.
House of Holland...there's a certain category of fashion that is woven out of pure dementia and sewn together with delicate strands of schizophrenia that I none the less am a total fool for. My standby in this regard is Heatherette, and I was all sad because they did not appear to get a fall show together. THEN, I came across the House of Holland, and while it did not replace the glory of Heatherette (really, there's no matching the spectacle and mayhem of a Heatherette show, not least because of the presence of the delightfully nutty Amanda Lepore), it certainly made a game stab at it. I saw the shirtless, becardiganed, flood pantsed, inexplicable beach bagged outfit first, jumped up and down a couple times, then a couple clicks later saw the all over logoed pajamas WITH GIANT CLOWN BOW TIE, and then died a little out of sheer happiness when I saw the model with ANTLERS. Well played, House of Holland...well played.
Isaac Mizrahi...I saw Isaac Mizrahi on a TV show at some point (I think it was How To Look Good Naked), and he is just one of those great, lovable personalities. I have no doubt that he has complete mastery over the Bitch Arts, but he just so clearly loves fashion and most of all, people, that I find him completely irresistable. He outfitted this one woman in a stunning dress, but more importantly, seemed to understand that just the experience of shopping in a designer's studio and trying on beautiful clothes was even more essential and ego-boosting than the final dress itself. I don't find the majority of his clothes particularly revolutionary, but they are always skillfully made with gorgeous classic lines, and these two are no exception. The red dress is so easy and light, and the idea to combine menswear fabrics with a ballgown is kickass and pulled off to perfection on the right.
J. Mendel...this isn't revolutionary, but I love the movement in it, and the detailing is masterfully handled. The way J. Mendel blends pretty funky details into a very classic silhouette is very unusual and beautifully handled here.
James Coviello...ooh ooh ooh HATS hats! I don't know if I have mentioned this in this space before but I had kind of a fashion revolution this summer and somehow it involved the purchase of hats intended to up my fabulousity quotient. I am VERY excited about these hats. I love the Casablanca feel of this, and the luscious fabric of the skirt keeps it from being overly trite and tired. I would wear this.
Jason Wu...I am so into classic prints the past couple years. I bought a houndstooth coat this past winter, as well as some assorted twills and pinstriped items, and I just want more, more, more! I particularly enjoy the modernity of this outsized herringbone, especially when contrasted with that awesome purple. Very chic and easy.
Jasper Conran...I appreciate this mostly as a work of art. As clothing, it's kind of eh, but the sculptural quality of the wrap is so graceful. I love it.
Jean Paul Gaultier...I am not quite ready to sign off on the printed pants we seem to be dealing with, but in the far left picture, I would CERTAINLY authorize the deployment of printed tights with the same feel. The coat is a great cut and the scarf adds the perfect exclamation point to the area of the face. I also love the coat on the far right, though I wish I could see more of it. It has the same appeal to me that the Hermes boots did earlier...a kind of swirling, delicate pattern against black. The middle outfit, well, okay, I know it's batshit insane. BUT I LOVE IT. Oh my God! I totally do! I think it's the coat.
Jenny Packham...well the middle dress, that's just pure drama. I don't know how these designers make ruffles have so much life. With the other two dresses, I just loved the effects...the marbly effect on the right is supercool, and I LOVE the ebullient sleeves. I fear that if put in a room with someone wearing this, I'd wind up creepily touching them. The dress on the left makes excellent use of the trendy sheers of the season, though I could use a little more excitement on the neckline. I feel like the fun stops mid-boob.
Jeremy Scott...oh. My. God you guys. FINALLY. Finally, my prayers for clothing that draws from Batman villains, Roman architecture and sublime tackiness have been answered! Just in case you were wondering, you ARE in fact looking at a.) a jacket emblazoned, Riddler-style, with dollar signs, b.) a sweater made to look like a gold credit card, and c.) a dress that is an homage to a GODDAMN IONIC COLUMN. Best collection ever? I won't say no! (PS - yes, they are wearing masks.)

John Galliano...ah, Galliano. The preceding four looks are from the Master himself, though I broke them up into pairs so the detail didn't get lost. I really enjoy the teal coat, because you expect a trite brocade and instead have a pretty floral. I fucking love the orange dress with purply-blue tights...not only is the color combination bang on, but the fluid style of the dress is totally chic. Adore the movement of the fringe on the purple and red number, and the SHOES are spectacular. I completely covet them. Finally, the green dress...oh, the green dress. I'm not sure how he managed to take the tacky grossness out of retro dresses of this type, but the new generation seen above is pitch perfect. I even love the crazy hat/feather action. I just love the easy glamour of the whole look. Galliano FTW...again...forever.
Jonathan badass Philo prof from last fall (who I am taking again this semester, eeee!) used to wear these black boots pretty frequently, and at one point told us about a conversation with a colleague in which she'd said that if she was going to be short, she may as well wear fascist boots to compensate. Fascist boots! Awesome. I think these definitely qualify, and they are stunning. The dress is a really unique study in the contrast between structure and light. I find the effect here to be really fantastic.
Just per usual, there was a lot of wackness on the Just Cavalli runway, but I thought these looks were particularly wearable and cool. The peach color makes for a great effect in the suit, though I kind of hate the bag. I covet the center outfit...the leather coat and neutral palette are fairly classic, but the leopard tights add a little kick to it, and the shoes are hot as hell. I mostly like the flamingo tights on the last outfit, but I certainly wouldn't kick the dress and hat out of bed. Cavalli really GETS over the top, but I often love his subtler stuff just as well.
Kenzo...I love the graphic on this first dress, but I really do wish that it was emblazoned on a slightly more interesting dress. I just don't like the sleeves on it. The shape of the middle coat, however, is excellent, and the use of two different prints adds a ton of interest. There is something very romantic about this whole collection, but particularly in these two coats. The color and print on the last coat is pure magic...I would wear it in a heartbeat.
Leonard...I just liked the print on this. That's really all I have to say, since the cut of the dress is fairly standard...the colors are deep and wonderfully matched, and the intricacy of the print only draws out their assets.
Louis Vuitton...I love all the shoes, I adore the chunky necklace on the far right, and the dress in the center is beautifully rendered, but...DUDE, THAT'S A DEVO HAT! There was a TON of weird hat action going on in the LV collection, but I think the example on the far left is a prime example. Louis Vuitton and I have a weird relationship...I love most of their logo bags, even though I am kind of grossed out by the whole conspicuous consumerism aspect of the most recognizable fashion brand maybe ever, but their clothes rarely do much for me. While I LIKE the dress here, it's not blowing my entire mind.
Luisa Beccaria...I just thought the ruffling effect on this was spectacular. It's really a shame that this dress fell victim to the oppressive greyscale of the fall collections, because I think it would have been absolutely exhilarating in a stronger color. It's not that it's awful now, I just think a different color would have brought it to a whole new level. I am constantly in awe of the things these designers are able to do with fabric. The ruffling here is so meticulously done, and so fine it almost looks like feathers, and I love how that one band at the waistline is enough to balance it enough that it's wearable.
Catherine Malandrino...ever since she judged the couture challenge on Project Runway and was fucking BRUTAL on the contestants, I have been in total love with Catherine Malandrino. Her clothing is just graceful and effortless, and these two pieces are no exception. The draping is masterful, and I absolutely adore the interplay of the light and dark in the blouse on the right. Note to self: win lottery immediately in order to buy complete wardrobe from Catherine Malandrino.

NB: The two looks I hated least from the two Marc Jacobs collections, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc, were here originally. I included them because I know Marc Jacobs is supposed to be totally fabulous and feminine and On The Pulse and everything but you know what? I think Marc Jacob sucks. I think his shit is either excessively twee or boring as hell and frankly the most exciting things I found were a black pant and white shirt with a modified admiral's hat and a pink houndstooth dress that was a pretty standard shape. Sorry, Marc, you're just not up my alley. I'll stick with your perfume., I didn't think of this before, but isn't the black dress sort of a beautiful manifestation of the Louis Vuitton Devo Hat??? Weirdly, I mean that in the best way possible, because I would shank someone for this dress, but it totally does, right? I just love the dynamicism of the various layers, and while I usually take a knee on asymmetry, I think the effect is great here. The black and white dress is just visually arresting...I love how it ends in the feathers at the bottom with a kind of cut out effect. I think that the print sits somewhat awkwardly on the hips, and the bodice is a little bland right at the top, so it's not perfect, but I think the impact of the print itself overcomes most of the problems at hand.
Max Azria...I love the combination of the structured bodice and the long, loose ruffle over top of it. I think the rest is fairly plain, but I really do love the contrast between those two aspects.
Michael Kors...Michael, we have to talk. Love your work on Project Runway, adore your snark, adore your stubborn adherence to wearing your uniform of black teeshirt and blazer with jeans AND your reasoned decision for doing so. But here's the thing....I usually think your stuff is boring as hell.
I know, I know, it troubles me too, because I love your personality so much, but I find most of your collections to be overly safe, boring, or at worst, the refuge of the elderly denziens of Boca Raton.
I'm sorry, Michael. Can we still be friends?
Oh dear. Well, there is SOME good news...I think these looks from your collection are stunning, rich and beautifully presented. The fur collar with the tweed and the gorgeous color palette is a real knockout, and the center dress fits like a dream and amplifies the 50s-ish secretary vibe, with a fabulous coat. I love the color and interesting cut on the green dress, and wish I didn't have such problematic shoulders so I could buy it immediately and wear it all the time, even when not appropriate.
So are we cool now?Good.
Monique Lhuillier...okay, the makeup is kind of horrifying. With that out of the way, what a cool fucking sleeve on this suit! This is one of those things where I want to have an article of clothing, desperately, but don't really know how it works. I mean...I work reception. Can you imagine the havoc that sleeve would wreak on day to day operations? I am just imagining myself trapped in the mail room, the sleeve sucked into the postage machine, yelling for help...but feeling fucking fabulous. So I guess it would be okay? However it works, I love it, and I want it. I also love the effect on the skirt of the evening's so unusual and fluid.

No comments:

Post a Comment