Back when I wrote about the fantastical, confusing, reptilian shoes that Alexander McQueen showed for his brilliant Spring 2010 runway show, I remember thinking that the only person that I could see actually trying to wear the shoes in any serious way was Lady Gaga. Apparently I can predict the future, so if any of you would like to know if you should dump your current boyfriend, you know who to ask. (more…)
Between the half-shoes/half-claws shown by Alexander McQueen and Chanel Spring 2010 being show in a barn with smirking models, I thought I had seen every ridiculous thing that Paris Fashion Week had to offer.
And then at Louis Vuitton Spring 2010, creative director Marc Jacobs saw fit to attach furry tails to the bags. Yep, that happened.
As far as bags go, the show started…dreadfully. Most of them appeared to be made of dip-dyed cotton canvas in candy colors with coordinating fluffy appendages streaming off the back, which were sometimes bigger than the bag itself. After a dozen looks, I thought I was in for a very unpleasant show.
But after a little while, things started to look decidedly better. I’m not sure if it was just the fashion show version of Stockholm Syndrome, I guess that’s always possible, but things rallied a bit during the middle and end portions of the show. Instead of canvas bags with animal parts hanging from them, Vuitton returned to the leathers and embossed logos to which fans are slightly more accustomed.
Which is not to say the bags were boring – they weren’t. The opposite, in fact. And they weren’t entirely successful, but I appreciate the combination of colors, materials, and textures that Jacobs attempted in order to make something new out of one of the most recognizable logos in the fashion world. The collection was heavy on messengers, and the ones that combined logo leather with smooth in different colors were probably the best bags of the show, in addition to the duffel bags made of similar textures. Please, Marc Jacobs, if you’re out there: please give the tassel-covered bags a rest. Thanks.
The more I look through the bags from the last half of the collection, the more the eclectic ideas and influences grow on me, and I’m not sure what my final opinion will be once the dust of fashion week has settled. One thing is sure, though; adventurous collections like Louis Vuitton, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are what make Paris the world’s reigning fashion city. New York has some catching up to do. (more…)
In case you have previously considered the idea of wearing a $10,000 purse as a gym bag and ruled it out, Hermes would apparently like you to rethink that decision.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s entire Hermes Spring 2010 collection was a riff on country club chic, and enormous Kellys and Birkins as workout wear, replete with leather tennis ball carriers, were the icing on top of the luxe-prepster cake. Obviously the idea that a white travel Kelly should be slung around the local tennis court is in jest, but the aesthetic does work nicely with the ultraclean lines of Hermes’s signature bags.
Overall, though, I didn’t find myself nearly as blown away as I usually do when looking at a series of the world’s finest handbags. I have wondered before why Hermes doesn’t use more snakeskin in their line, and the oversized python Birkins and Kellys answered that quite nicely – it just doesn’t work. All of the snakeskin bags looked rumpled and, dare I say it, fake. Unless there’s a point that I’m missing, I’m surprised that Gaultier let them walk the runway.
Overall, I find myself a little underwhelmed. The exotic clutches were predictably drool-inducing, and the tennis influence that found its way into the accessories line is very appropriate for brand whose customers probably all count themselves as members of various country clubs. But with the resources and craftsmanship that Hermes has at their disposal, I was hoping for a bit more. (more…)
Like the rest of Chanel‘s Spring 2010 collection, the bags that we saw walk their runway (barnway?) were more rustic-chic than classic Parisian. Whether that’s your thing or not, Karl Lagerfeld certainly seems to believe in it.
The problem with Chanel, though, is that for better or for worse, they have a lot of aesthetic history to consider when a new collection is designed, and Lagerfeld usually chooses to acknowledge that history. What that means is that mostly, Chanel doesn’t innovate. They do something different here and there, and a lot of their bags are quite lovely, but rarely do we see them starting new bag trends.
I don’t know if that’s a positive or a negative – it just sort of is. If you like their aesthetic, then I’m sure you’re completely fine with what they do and how they do it. If you don’t, there are plenty of alternatives on which to spend your money. There are a few unexpected things in this accessories, but mostly it’s just the same bags we’ve seen with slightly frayed edges. I can totally understand if that’s what they want to send to retail, but I also can’t help but wish Lagerfeld & Co. would embrace the fantasy of the runway a little bit more in the accessories department. (more…)
I must disagree, strenuously and vociferously, with the reintroduction of the wood-bottom clog to the high fashion lexicon. Even when these particular wood-bottom clogs are from Chanel Spring 2010. I will not stand for it.
What I do like, however, is smiling. Models smiling. When was the last time that you saw model after model, looking reasonably happy and human, in a major fashion show. In the fashion show of Paris Fashion Week? And do my eyes deceive me, or was supermodel Sasha Pivovarova talking on a cell phone on the runway?
And is that hay? Did Karl Lagerfeld turn the Grand Palais into a barn?
Yes and yes.
Quite honestly, regardless of the clothes (which were reasonably fabulous, but not the best of the week. Like I said in a previous post, Alexander McQueen already won), Chanel’s show appeared to be the most joyful. At my college, we had a saying: our team may occasionally lose a football game, but we’ve never lost a party. And that’s exactly what Chanel did this week: they won the party. I mean, they even had a live band! With Lily Allen! Was there a keg? If there was a keg, I bet it was really nice beer. (more…)
Unless you weren’t already convinced of Alexander McQueen‘s dark genius by the pictures of the clothing from his show, we submit to you: the shoes.
What we got from this collection (among other things) is perhaps the most ostentatious, progressive approach to footwear that we’ve ever seen from a major designer, at least in recent memory. The shoes were, on average, a full ten inches tall with huge platforms in the front to make them at least somewhat functional for walking. I pray for the models’ poor little ankles, but it was worth it to see these looks in their full form.
They came in three main varieties: first, ultra-high booties that looked more like prosthetic lobster claws than shoes you might see on the racks at Neiman Marcus, in keeping with the apocalyptic-aquatic theme of the show. These came in exotics, smooth leathers, and a variety of exterior embellishments, including shards of turquoise. The second type were booties that looked like something a resident in Wall-E‘s post-apocalyptic Earth might wear. The heels were covered in an amalgamation of industrial metal, creating perhaps the most wearable shoes of the collection. The third type were intricately carved porcelain platforms that were reminiscent of a coral reef, held on to the foot by clear plastic straps.
These are the shoes that a mermaid would wear, if a mermaid had feet. Luckily, the ones in McQueen’s show did. (more…)
Alexander McQueen. He wins. He wins at innovation, he wins at Paris Fashion Week, he wins at life. His collection was so mesmerizing, so totally awe-inspiring, that I don’t even need to see the rest of the shows to declare him the victor.
McQueen titled his show “Plato’s Atlantis,” and the aquatic, amphibious influence was clear from look one. Other designers this season have shown us visions of the world, post-apocalypse, but this collection may be the most fully realized of any of them. Not only do the clothes depict an eventual devolution from woman to sea creature, but so do the towering, sculptural platform shoes (more on those in a post later today), the prostheses that were applied to the model’s brows, and the molded, horn-like hair looks. When McQueen tells a story, he goes all out.
Regardless of the story, these clothes were nothing but mind-blowingly beautiful. The prints were some of the most interesting I’ve ever seen at Fashion Week, and they also represented a step towards fashions technological future – they were digitally designed. In greens, browns, teals and blues, they formed sculpted, architectural cocktail dresses that were unlike any you’ll find at a store near you.
The attention to detail that was paid – the ruching, seaming, pintucking, and beading – was worthy of any superlative that you can imagine. McQueen brings a decidedly couture sensibility to his pret-a-porter, and he continues to lead the way in innovation. This collection embodies what fashion can be, on its best days – fantastical, experimental, full of ideas. (more…)
If the clothes of Christophe Decarnin’s Spring 2010 collection for Balmain were the costumes for a movie, that movie would be Beyond Thunderdome 2: In Da Club.
The clothes are straight from the closet of a post-apocalyptic party girl; they’re equal parts grunge and glam, which continues and builds upon the half dozen or so trends that Balmain single-handedly spawned with their Fall 2009 effort (if you’ve bought any daytime sequins or hard shoulders for fall, thank Christophe Decarnin).
This season was another one filled with military jackets, glitter, epaulets, and deconstruction to the point of near-demolition. But these garments were less glam-industrial and more dystopian-fabulous, which means we got them in shades of gold and bronze instead of silver and graphite.
The glittering tanks that looked a bit like ultrafine chain mail were a standout under the types of jackets that have come to be a Balmain classic under Decarnin – lots of embellishment on top of statement shoulders and a militaristic aesthetic, smart shrunken leather blazers, and a vague marching band vibe here and there. And it sounds ridiculous, and it was, but also incredibly brilliant.
And if you don’t like it, well, too bad. Much of chain retail is going to be ripping off this collection in every way imaginable in a few months, and you’re going to be hard pressed to find something on-trend that doesn’t look like it came from this runway. (more…)
If you don’t think that John Galliano is a mad genius and we’re just all lucky to be living in the same world with him, then you haven’t been paying attention.
For Spring 2010, his collection for Christian Dior connected beautifully to the retro-and-structured-underthings look that he had showed earlier this year during Haute Couture week, and the 40s film noir looks were exactly what you would expect a dizzy dame to wear when walking into a smoky private eye’s office.
Galliano knows his audience for Dior, and I could see them buying up these ultra-glam cocktail dresses and floating evening gowns hand over fist. And not only are they beautiful, but they so thoroughly inhabit the brand’s history and mythology while still incorporating modern touches like tough leather bombers. The past and present meld gorgeously into looks that are not only art objects, but are also impressively wearable, for the most part. You know, if you go to those types of events. (more…)
I’m underwhelmed, and I hate being underwhelmed. I’m not a huge fan of Prada‘s Fall 2009 offerings, and I’m even less of a fan of Prada Spring 2010. So much so that it kind of makes my head hurt.
Memo to the fashion industry: no one wants clear vinyl bags. No one. You guys tried this crap a few seasons ago and thought it would be cute, and they all ended up on the sale rack at the end of the season, and they didn’t even move particularly quickly once discounted. A clear, architectural hard plastic clutch meant to hold three things for a night out, a la Fendi‘s Spring 2010 presentation? That’s clear done well.
But a vinyl gray-tinted clear satchel meant to hold the dreck of everyday life, like tampons and your ATM receipts? No thanks. Do not want. Ever. But that, with some jewels stuck to the top and a canvas tote or two thrown in for good measure, is basically what we got. Since Prada does such a big bag collection for every season, this is probably only the tip of the iceberg and several other non-runway mini lines will eventually surface, but if this is any indication of what’s to come, I’ll take a pass. (more…)
Anyway, yes, the bags! Some were amazing – the new soft leather Peekaboos with wood or clear plastic handles were among my favorites, and the addition of exposed stitching, combined with the different handle textures, gives the shape a sense of style that it was missing in its more staid initial iterations. The bags look touchable and a bit vintage, just like the rest of Karl Lagerfeld’s breezy, Parisian collection for the brand.
Other standouts were the Perspex beveled clutches, some completely clear, others with slight tints or exterior studding. The bags were, of course, shown with nothing inside of them, and putting anything in them would be kind of a shame, but how else are you supposed to carry them? They were beautiful and a tad whimsical as art objects, and if the stuff you carry inside your clutches is very beautiful, they might be a workable choice.
And on the other hand, some things just didn’t work at all. We saw leather totes in a variety of colors with an odd, pansy-embroidered snap-on linen cover that was not only puzzling but also not particularly attractive, and Fendi would have done well to omit those completely and add more of the delicious Peekaboo styles, along with a few of the other wood-framed clutches and bags, to the collection instead. They were almost distractingly bad, but ultimately the preponderance of beautiful bags won out. (more…)
I look through a lot of fashion shows and various accessories presentations. It’s an occupational hazard, particularly at this time of year, and it can be a little hypnotizing after a white. Click. Belted shift. Click. High-waisted trousers. Click. Oh, a cropped jacket. Click.
If the show isn’t wow-worthy, it can be easy to flip through Style.com without really absorbing what I’m looking at, much like I did with my textbooks in high school (and, let’s face it, college). But I looked through Gucci Handbags Spring 2010 twice, with rapt attention – not only is this Frida Giannini’s best collection of clothing since her era at the brand began, but it’s also the strongest lineup of accessories that I’ve seen from the brand in years.
The collection’s clothes have a way of being minimal and ornate simultaneously, and that’s the only way to describe the bags as well. Even the lean, angular clutches are fashioned out of candy-colored crocodile skin that makes me want to say “I’ll take one in every color,” hand over my credit card, and not look at the total on the receipt.
And that’s just the beginning. There’s texture galore by way of exotics like crocodile and python and Gucci’s signature logo embossing, and a few of the company’s classic details, like bamboo handles and horse bit hardware. The collection was varied and nuanced, containing a little bit of something for everyone; it was perhaps the most wearable, beautiful bag collection I’ve seen grace the runway in several seasons. (more…)