Monday, June 29, 2009

Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme Spring 2010

Perhaps one of the most practical and smart, meanwhile undeniably appealing, shows of the season, Yohji’s Spring collection is definitely a great one. Not only because I’m insufferably biased when it comes to the Yamamotos, because that doesn’t always apply to YYPH collections (sometimes I just don’t like them), but because this is a really good Spring collection – especially for a time when we’re all looking to spend our money a little bit more wisely. I like the lack of a runway show and the humble presentation, the practicality and ease of the clothing. Aesthetically speaking, the collection is fantastic in this right as well; lovely silhouettes on overall comfortable looking outfits, comprised of loads of gorgeous basic pieces.

Damir Doma Spring 2010

I applaud Doma’s efforts to break out of his drapey-drape zone a little bit this season. While I still think he really needs to add a bit more structure and functionality to his works and incorporate some different materials as he progresses… this collection is definitely a move in the right direction. The Ann D-esque orangey red was a surprising twist to this season and I also like how he showcased some pattern work this season as well. He also showed a much wider range of pieces this season which is also great. Looking forward to what he’s got in store for us in the future!

please visit us @ for detail images from this show and others. <3

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Maison Martin Margiela Menswear Spring 2010

The menswear collection that Margiela bestows upon us may have a completely different aesthetic from their womenswear lines but they’re equally as great. There are few houses that can cut a jacket like Margiela do – whether for the severe womens line or for their more relaxed menswear and this season is filled to the brim with gorgeous ones. Cream and white is, of course, one of my favorite color combinations and I have been overjoyed at the amount of collections which utilized the combo this season; it is such a good look, particularly when coupled with other muted tones. I am so in love with the huge floral brooches as well as the dye work on some of the trousers aand jackets… can’t wait to see them close up. Maybe this stuff isn’t for everybody but the Margiela man is so sexy to me and I think this collection is just about perfect.

Ann Demeulemeester Menswear Spring 2010

Wasn’t sure what to expect from Ms. Ann this season, but as per usual, I love it. I admit, I was expecting something heavier, more intricate, given the roll she’s been on with both lines over the last seasons, but I was really glad to see that it is a pretty stripped down and definitely something a bit different. I mean a bunch of shirtless men, who is complaining? So on to the clothes which are there – the jackets look beautiful . The accessories are so amazing… I love these (what appear to be) leather headbands and I am pretty much dying over the thin, silver harness pieces; they look so good styled with structured pieces. Though I love when she goes over the top, it’s collections like this which prove that you can strip it all down to the essence of Ann and it’s still going to be great.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rick Owens Menswear Spring 2010

As per usual, thank heavens for Mr. Owens. It’s very recognizable collection yet still filled with many new and unexpected elements as well. Hmm, where to start? I guess with the vests, since they caught my eye first. The geometric cuts of the vest look great and provide a nice contrast to the less rigid pieces when styled together. It pretty much goes without saying that his outerwear and footwear are always very distinct and I adore how he’s transformed them for this season. The boots look to die for and I like that he switched up the silhouette of his ever-so-coveted trainers.

In fact, I’m glad most of his signature bits are switched up a bit from the past few seasons. I am thrilled he incorporated a lot of new materials, including drkshdw-ish denim into his main line. How long can one keep slgihtly altering the same few key pieces… especially while a ton of other designers are on his coattails, riding his trends? I definitely applaud this turn that he’s taken and I definitely think it’s for the best. His aesthetic just “is” and always will be – so, subsequently, there is no detriment in trying new things.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dries Van Noten Menswear Spring 2010

Day one in Paris and not too much to write home about, overall. Balenciaga was drawing far too many “influences” from others, Julius was along the same lines, Juun J. continues the struggle to live up with his hype and continues fail miserably – you get the idea. But then there was Dries!

There are so many amazing pieces here and the color palette is stunning. While I generally adore his nerdy, romantic and slightly quirky aesthetic and not to mention his notoriously amazing print work… I love the relaxed formality of this… it is comfortable but nothing looks sloppy; everything is so sharp. The relaxed fit and air of ease of it all is so beautiful for this season. Outerwear is amazing also, I love the materials and shapes of the jackets. Proportion-wise, for me, Dries is always a dream and this is no different; the awesome silhouettes are subsequent to his perfect cuts and the shapes they create.

His work doesn’t show the ugly ambivalence of trying to balance trends and frills along with his vision – because he doesn’t. This is especially relieving in a time where designers are increasingly rehashing and borrowing from one another’s concepts. With Dries, we don’t have to look at his works meanwhile making correlations or comparisons with other designers, or to wonder if there’ll be an entirely new look each season or anything like that. And without these distractions, we’re really allowed to simply enjoy his work for what it is… and what it is is refreshing and consistently good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Matthew Ames Spring 2009

I saw a couple of preview images from this last year on Ms. Pernet’s blog, but hadn’t seen the full lookbook until now. And I know it’s menswear time but I just had to post it… I am in love! Based on the initial images I’d seen, I assumed it was going to be a lot of minimalist, draped, slender-silhouetted looks, but the range of shapes here is nice and varied. I am dying over how the fabric is gathered and bound, as it completely stops the draping from engulfing the form of the wearer’s body. There are so many designers doing excessive draping, but it looks like crap unless it is done according to the form underneath. Ames really did a lovely job on this, not only with the silhouettes and effects but the actual pieces look brilliantly crafted and the fabrics look great as well. Can’t wait to get ahold of some of this stuff.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jil Sander Menswear Spring 2010

I like this collection a lot. Given Raf’s output over the last year or so, I was dreading neon color blocking over otherwise gorgeous suits or something like that – but this time we got just the gorgeous suits (as well as some non-invasive prints), so thank you, Mr. Simons! Speaking of the prints; they are a bit odd but I think they’re lovely. I love the simplicity of everything here. And while, sure, the collection is pretty boring overall, I think Raf is a little bit stuck between a rock and a hard place there. When he steps out of the box, it’s been about a 50/50 chance, in recent times, that it is either going to be a really good… or a really bad thing, so he’s a bit damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, in that way. But personally, I’m so glad this time he stayed true to Jil and himself simultaneously this time – because the stripped-down essence of both of their styles together has always been such a beautiful marriage. This collection has that; it is minimal, it is tailored impeccably and the colors are perfection.

Undercover Menswear Spring 2010

Milan, menswear, Undercover, day 1… what? Usually Milan is slim pickings and especially during menswear so you can imagine my delight at UC being thrown into the mix. Mr. Takahashi did a nice job of delivering the usual goods, while making it all very Milan-friendly; tons of his signature outerwear coupled with an endless stampede of narrow cu blazers, slim trousers and other various smart attire. A worthy successor to his intense and brilliantly dark winter collection, this one’s got lovely color palette in a range of muted tones, really nice plays on proportion and as always with Jun, a ton of practical, functional and inventive pieces. Lovely!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Katsuya Kamo x Junya Watanabe FW09

Though I posted this actual collection before and lauded about Kamo’s work before, but the more time that goes by since this showing, the more admirable it becomes. As is no secret, he is consistently brilliant, everything he touches turns to magic and he always takes whatever theme he’s collaborating with to the next level, but for this collection in particular, I really found his concept so special.

The way that he incorporated classic painting techniques into his makeup work here and subsequently created optical illusions on the models faces is so next level. When you look at the placement of the shading on each model’s face, they are all unique, veritably mophing their blank expressions into an array of emotions. The hair is so intense as well and I love how it mimics the designs themselves, surrounding the entire body save for the face like molten rock.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Anne Valerie Hash Spring 2003

I don’t usually post HC collections but this one is definitely one of my all time favorites. It is basically perfection. Not only had Ms. Hash had less than a handful of shows by this point in time but you’d never really know it by looking back on these works now. I think a lot of times couture is just so over the top and is couture for the sake of being couture… but when a designer makes couture basics, it is really special to me. Sometimes less is much more; it is easier to find the special details without all the frivolous overkill. AVH recieved a lot of Japanese designer comparisons in the beginning and this was one of the collections where she undeniably came into her own. I love how she kept certain trademarks and quickly learned to edit out the unnessecary elements of her work. At this point is when we really got the pleasure to learn who AVH really is. Everything here is just right; very practical but also very special and unique pieces.

Y's Red Label Fall 2009

Took me long enough to post this one, I suppose. The last few months have gone by too quickly. Aside from the garments with text prints, which I only included one of above, I really am smitten with this collection. The reasons are obvious, surely… she successfully was able to take the Yamamoto silhouette and really craft it to be her own version for this label and I was beginning to look forward to her output a great deal. Unfortunately, it was been going around that Ms. Suzuki has in fact resigned from the Red Label and subsequently – but so unfortunately – NONE of this gorgeous collection will be seeing the light of day as far as actually going into production and then to retail.

I’m unsure of her reasoning, as it was by word of mouth that I learned of her departure, but while she will be missed as designer of this label, I really hope that she will continue to have some sort of output for us to gawk at because her work is stunning and also I’d love to see what, at this point in her career, she will come up with when not under the confines of someone else’s brand.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Undercover Spring 2005

While we all know I am pretty Undercover-obsessed in general, there are 3 collections that sit high above the rest for me. One is the recent SS09, the other is the unforgettable FW06 and the other is this stunner here. “…but beautiful”, the second edition to be exact.

I collect pieces from these 3 collections whenever I have been able to over the years, and while say GuruGuru is much more in line with my usual ‘look’, these But Beautiful pieces are always the most precious, whimsical and fun to wear, compared to the other collections. And never has a name been more apt; the perfect way to describe these pieces really is, “strange… but beautiful”.

As we all know, Takahashi is a master of contradictory design, we’ve seen it so many times from him and it’s always done with such class, even if there’s also a heavy dose of irony or cheekiness involved. However, sometimes he just puts out a really dreamy collection which has all the elements of strange – but also an incomprehensible beauty that will both puzzle and entice us… but mostly the latter. This collection always really stood out for me in that way; it is just gorgeous, despite all of the oddities. The fact that all of the clothes, no matter how unusual – are completely practical and 100% functional. I have found from wearing some pieces. that the deconstruction work is mostly on the surface and does not ‘interfere’ with the garment’s form, from the wearer’s point of view.

The fabrics of this collection are one of it’s strongest attributes; it really feels like revisiting your childhood room, finding forgotten nightgowns, old doll clothes and a bunch of memories… reinvented into something you can wear as an adult. The runway styling is completely amazing as well as Kamo's genius hair. That aside, though, these pieces posses so much unexpected detailing that every single one is a work of art all on it’s own.