Thursday, October 9, 2008

Haider Ackermann Spring 2009

I think designers such as Ackermann, Margiela and Rick Owens are so important in the process of reshaping the perception of what is considered sexy and broadening the boundaries of traditional beauty. I admire Ackermann’s vision of a sexy woman; she is confident, strong and comfortable with herself enough to wear clothes which shift the eye away from a traditional ’sexy’ silhouette. Much like designers such as Margiela, he takes a different approach to enhancing the female form, by giving it a strong upper body. In the same token, his overall aesthetic is constructed to be so overtly sensual that the strong silhouettes work incredibly well to enhance that aspect. He strikes the perfect balance between structure and draping and the fabrics he uses are so rich and luxurious. I also appreciate the lack of range he presents in this collection… the look isn’t maybe something you could wear to work, and it’s not for everyone. However, you have to applaud the focus that was put in to creating one concise vision; it shows and the result is phenomenal.

Limi Feu Spring 2009

Another season, another amazing collection from Ms. Yamamoto. I was so pleased to see a lighthearted but conceptual and beautifully done collection from her this spring. The show seemed to be a good summary of her career thus far, yet not retrospective as she brought in many new elements and concepts in addition. There was a significant amount of color, from bright reds and blues, to bold pastels; great accentual pieces amongst the monochromatic scheme of the majority of the collection. She has a knack for constructing over sized garments with such a thoughtful – but not overt – amount of detailing so that they’re still very feminine; they always fall nicely on the frame and avoid looking boxy or masculine. Her clothes are not for the faint of heart, but in the same token are so well thought out and comfortable to wear. Her garments are often really dynamic and multifunctional as many of them include very large pockets, which could hypothetically replace a handbag for many women.

Limi’s styling is beyond refreshing amongst so many other designers who have the same boring, traditional visions of how a woman should look and how she should be clad. I like that not only does she challenge conventional views of sensuality but she also lifts many of the stereotypes and presents her girl in a more playful and nontraditional way. Another great thing is that she casts wonderful models; different heights, different ages and different builds. These women wear her clothes, the clothes are not wearing them. I think this makes a large statement… that her clothes have the ability to speak for themselves, but through the wearer’s voice.

The models wore headphones constructed of faux braided hair, a la Princess Leia, and were seemingly functional as they were plugged into iPods. As usual, she had great androgynous footwear and accessories, such as black-soled boots in a variety of colors, as well as neck ties and suspenders.

Bernhard Willhelm Spring 2009

Bernhard Willhelm killed it once again with his newest collection. It was a bit understated compared to what I was anticipating but, of course, it’s so gorgeous and amazingly well done. I guess it makes sense that during a season when so many designers – from lesser known to some of the biggest design houses – are having their way with vibrant colors, patterns and silhouettes, that the master tones his aesthetic down a bit… meanwhile further perfecting the things that he’s known best for. The outstanding shapes and silhouettes were there in full effect, in true Willhelm form.

Brilliant colors strategically placed and plenty of his infectious hand crafted prints filled the runway, as did an air of maturity. Not to say his aesthetic lacks maturity, but rather the woman he is dressing seemed a bit more refined this season. The clothing is eye catching but perfectly comfortable and has a certain ease about it… a very relaxed feel. The styling was amusing; the models were decked out with Sharpie-esque written words and drawings on their faces and the accessories had a culinary theme. Rarely do I like leggings, but what can I say… he does them right. Also really great thigh high stockings make an appearance as well. Overall, another visual delight from Willhelm.