Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2009

Such a surprising collection from Ann this season! I love her but I am so glad she took on a re-invention of sorts this Spring. Her last collection was great, because her work is great, but it was getting to be very same-y without much expansion. She’s really outdone herself here… while breathing much new life into her aesthetic, she’s managed to keep the core of what, for many, Ann D. is all about (which is something many other designers could take a cue from). The color palette is really varied; I’m not the biggest fan of that orange but boy am I glad it’s in there. The stripes are always something I love to see popping up in her clothes because I just love how she works them. Accessories are also super fresh here; the necklaces are absolutely out of this world. The shoes are great although they remind me a bit of the lace-effect Alaia’s… though that isn’t a terrible thing. The menswear is beautiful as well; handsome and a bit refined but with much of her signature quirkiness maintained. Such a great collection… go Ann!

Undercover Spring 2009

I am absolutely blown away by this collection and presentation; it’s by far the most magical, all in all, than I have experienced in quite a long time. The room filled with sterile white mannequins donning sterile white clothing, coordinately colored jewelry and footwear. The walls are decorated with massive, mysterious UC photographs and provide a perfectly haunting vibe to the clothing. The collection may be all white but there is certainly no lack of beauty or brilliance. Each garment has mass quantities of thoughtful details to the point where I can barely get over it, it’s all just so lovely. Silhouette-wise it’s also a grand slam; not too fitted and not too loose.

I can’t applaud the presentation enough. Usually I’m not thrilled about showroom presentations to begin with – let alone ones with mannequins – as they usually do a large disservice to the collection, but this one is truly a treat and it all works so well. Honorable mention has to also go to the adorable cycloptic creatures perched on the mannequin’s shoulders… they’re so cute to begin with and the fact that they’re wearing such beautiful jewelry makes them all the more endearing.

There aren’t enough good things to say about this collection. Jun Takahashi is absolutely brilliant and if that fact wasn’t set in stone before, it sure is now.

Yohji Yamamoto Spring 2009

Although I adore his autumn shows, Yohji’s spring collections always seem to be my very favorite. There was a lot to live up to after last spring’s show and he definitely came through with this one. The black and white color palette always suits his work perfectly as there’s so much brilliance in each piece, that sometimes adding color is almost a distraction from his amazing work. Pale, haunting makeup on the models do all to enhance the great vibe of this show. Light, thin fabrics make the clothes wonderful for warmer weather and do much for the potential of layering.

His flair for asymmetry is always impressive, no matter how many times I see it in his work, it never gets old. He’s got the ability to do it with such class… it never comes close to looking juvenile. The long white dresses are incredible, in theory and in execution; they’re so new, but so Yohji all the same. I don’t even like sunglasses (save for the L’incognitos) but I can’t deny the appeal of these ones he’s used here… they’re really nice in shape and just interesting overall and not to mention they suit his aesthetic perfectly. The belts are also something to be spoken of… whether in an accentual white or in black, they definitely add a subtle but great statement to the looks.

Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2009 - Anniversary collection

This collection is a riot. It really is. First of all, happy anniversary to one of the industry’s greats! What better way is there to celebrate the most well-known recent works of one of our most beloved (and cheekiest) designers than to have a larger-than-life sized walking cake? We see a showcase of the things he’s been best known for in recent years: the extended and raised shoulders, the humor, the art, etc. I think perhaps it could have been slightly less humorous and he could have possibly put a new twist on some of his concepts – particularly since half the designers in Paris seem to be taking a stab at MMM shoulders – but none the less it’s a joy to look at if you’re a fan of his. The hirsute pieces are absolutely hilarious and I love the backwards styling and all of the props. Here’s to many more decades…

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rick Owens Spring 2009

Oh, Mr. Owens, can you do no wrong? At first glance, this collection may appear fairly minimal – well, in comparison to the last few, at least – but there is so much going on. The subtle variation and expansion of different takes on each look via different materials and detailing is really admirable. The details are truly where it’s at… particularly in many of the skirts, which look as if you could endlessly peel the layers away like the petals of a flower.

What has always moved me most about Rick Owens is his idea of beauty… which is, I suppose, that there should be no singular idea of beauty. He breaks down the conventional concepts of how women should look… but not defiantly. Rather, he demonstrates his own unique vision of a woman, and somehow, she couldn’t look more appealing.

His color palette, while not a surprise, never seems to get old. The fabrics he uses always tell a story of their own, as well. They’re full of integrity, potential, strength and luxuriousness. I love how he tweaks his silhouette with each season, but that his unique traits undoubtedly shine through. The presentation is wonderful; veiled heads and veiled feet, and nothing but the garment in between.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bruno Pieters Spring 2009

As usual, Bruno Pieters delivers a solid collection of powerful pieces. I’ll be honest, I was hoping for more of the over sized androgyny that last season had to offer, but that’s not to say this one was disappointing at all. One of the great things about Bruno Pieters is that, while you can definitely look forward to the aesthetic being maintained, you won’t be seeing the same exact thing two seasons in a row. The return to shimmering fabrics was a great one; it really enhances the signature structure and strong tailoring that the brand is notorious for. The silhouettes give off such an empowered feel but remain largely body conscious. I always love the direct presentations, as well… it’s always very no-frills but confident and beautiful none the less.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gareth Pugh Spring 2009

Paris… Paris is here!

And Gareth is there! It’s Mr. Pugh’s first venture into the world that is Paris Fashion Week and oh my, what a first impression to make. Pugh, who’s known for his boundary-pushing designs and unmistakable exaggerated silhouettes, absolutely WORKED the first day of PFW. First and foremost, he has proved in a large way that he does indeed have the ability to edit and restrain some of the theatrics, but most important – this collection is still undoubtedly his aesthetic. He’s taken some of the muscle out of the theatrics and put it into the detailing and what a fantastic shift it is. With a somehow robotic, Elizabethan samurai look… the pieces are each a work of art in their own right, yet they’re very thoughtful and actually quite body-conscious and have lovely accentuation. The color pallette is divine, but then again I am always a sucker for white/black/off-white, a la Tao S/S 07. There’s not a bad word I can say about this, in all honesty. If you know Pugh, it’s easy to recognize the work and the thought he put in to this one and I applaud it a great deal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Aski Kataski Fall 2008

I forgot to post this a while back but it’s definitely too good to pass up entirely, so, better late than never. I can’t tell you how long I stared at these photos when I first saw them, and down the line when I ended up seeing photos of the individual pieces, I fell in love even more. It’s clear I am a sucker for unique mixing of textures within design and this is one of those collections which can visually sum up why. The depth within the looks here is pretty stunning, all the clothing, even individually, has it’s own personality due to the unique construction and the way they’re all styled is so lovely. I love the worn-out, distressed feel that much of the pieces have, while others add just the right amount of structure. Most of the garments here are extremely multidimensional, which is hard to tell from the layered styling in the photos above, but the clothing is really unique none the less.

Jil Sander Spring 2009

By far the only collection from Milan worth drooling over… or writing about, for that matter. No surprises there, as MFW is always an endless barrage of tackiness. Raf delivered a stellar collection, in every aspect. Lacking in gimmicks and abundant in integrity, these clothes are simply gorgeous. Sure, it may not be the most exciting presentation in the world, but these are clothes a modern woman would want to wear… coupled with the fact that it’s a collection which is admirably suited to Jil’s original aesthetic. The monochromatic palette and the minimalist, yet powerful vibe make these clothes near perfect. The shoes are nothing short of incredible, which is also not a surprise, but they must be talked about. They are absolutely gorgeous; strong but so lovely in the same token… surely a must-have for all the fellow shoe-loving ladies out there. Overall I thought this collection was probably one of Raf’s best for Jil and that is indeed saying a lot. While I loved the ethereal feel that last spring’s collection had, it was very trendy all the same… however, this one if simply timeless.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rodarte Spring 2009

The Rodarte duo are really a huge breath of fresh air in the realm of American designers. The few so-called ‘top American designers’ couldn’t come close to these California-based sisters by way of creativity, integrity or just overall fabulousness! The details here are nothing short of amazing; from devastatingly intricate knitwear to the use of contrasting, interwoven chains… there is just so much to admire. The colors are so refreshing and the way they’re worked together is so lovely. This is another show where it’s not a complete 180 from last year’s collection, but instead is an amplified version which has even better technique and construction than the previous one. Aside from the craftsmanship, what I love about Rodarte is the DRAMA… the fantasy element. Fashion should be fun, it should make you feel amazing, and I feel Rodarte really can offer this to women, without it looking like a costume. The clothes are gorgeous but, hello… look at the shoes; they’re absolutely deadly, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rad Hourani Spring 2009

Hooray for Hourani! I admire him so much for always sticking to his guns, despite season and despite passing trends. Upon seeing this season’s collection, many criticized that the clothes look too similar to previous seasons. The Hourani silhouette is a strong one of veritable black armor and sleekness… and I, for one, am thrilled to see this look expanded upon and refined. Aside from the fact that there is a huge variety of different types of pieces, the garments themselves are much more streamlined and have tons of distinguishing qualities and details. I always love the fabrics used and the slashed pants are too awesome! The simple presentation is great, as is the casting of diverse models.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hidenobu Yasui Spring 2009

What a stunning collection, from the fabrics, to the volume, to the monochromatic color scheme… everything is really great. I definitely see a lot of influence in here from certain designers; however, it definitely has it’s own legs to stand on! I think the beauty really lies in the subtle detailing here, such as pockets on the elegant dresses or the unique pleating and the draping it induces. I would buy, wear and adore each piece of this collection, it’s really done so well. Another thing I love is that it is all so very “now”; it’s not some retro or futuristic inspired vision, it’s really just very current, gorgeous, comfortable and wearable. Lastly, I think keeping the presentation minimal… the clothing is really allowed to speak for itself, and what a great statement it makes.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Graham Tabor Spring 2009

I just came across this designer recently and had to make an entry about him and his work. The man himself seems really interesting, drawing his inspiration from archeology. From the aesthetic properties to the emotions the process invokes for him, he’s created his S/S 09 line based around this root of inspiration. I really adore the techniques used, the fragmented design and the sort of deconstructed, decaying aspect of it all… it’s well done and I think it gets the point across really well without being completely unwearable. The fabrics he uses are great and I think there is something to be said about the cuts and lines as well.

Better his words, than mine, though… here is what he has to say about this collection:

“I’m really fascinated by the anthropological aspects of archaeology—what the heritage cultures leave behind and how we collect that knowledge through the traces they leave. At some point, all civilizations (even our own) are reduced to cultural fragments. Those that come later are only left with silent partial objects and they have to create the story around them.”

Check more of his stuff out at: grahamtabor.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

fur fur Spring 2009

Much to my delight, the Spring 2009 Japan Fashion Week is upon us! Some of the brands to show on Day 1 were mintdesigns, mercibeaucoup, Mikio Sakabe and more. The one I adored the most, however was fur fur. Designer Aya Furuhashi showcases a whimsical but strong collection full of natural, earthy tones which give an overall really warm and comfortable effect. The styling is just amazing; layers upon layers of gorgeous fabric, flowers and stunning details. The clothing is extremely well constructed. Most of the individual pieces are oversized and drapey, yet not shapeless or overwhelming, even amongst the heavy layering in the presentation. The accessories are also made out of lovely flowers, including some great headpieces and incredibly elaborate necklaces. This collection is definitely an aesthetically pleasing treat and the craftsmanship is just as admirable… very well done.

Junya Tashiro Spring 2009

Day 2 of JFW has passed and with it, have some more wonderful collections. Predictably, but justifiably of me, Junya Tashiro was by far my favorite from today and it’s easy to see why. With endless amounts of asymmetrical ruching, pale colors and plenty of intricacy, this collection warms my cold heart. The silhouettes are remarkable; bold and brooding shapes created from such precious construction. As always, the presentation is a dream as well… the models have the classic soft makeup and hairstyles, but it’s contrasted well by dramatic, yet pretty, headpieces and necklaces. I was hoping to see some of the crocheting from last season carried over into this one because it was just divine… however, I have no complaints and barely miss the crocheting after seeing the result of this collection, it’s wonderful. Tashiro always delivers and this is no exception.

I’m really looking forward to Somarta as well… surprise, surprise! :p