Friday, February 27, 2009

Jil Sander Fall 2009

Milan’s fashion week kicked off and as usual it’s slim pickings, but at least it means we’re one step closer to Paris. :p

I am pretty happy with this Jil Sander collection overall, despite a few mishaps (most of, not shown in above collage) which are all too reminiscent of Raf’s FW09 menswear and obviously that is not a good thing. The odd cuts and neon patches aren’t doing it, Raf… give it up, man.

Anyways on to the positives, because, to be fair… there are indeed many! I see a lot of classic Jil here; many of the signature silhouettes and classic, sleek cuts that the brand was made famous for. A lot of the looks I pictured above are just the ones I liked the most and are not representative of the collection entirely but I think there are enough great looks to make the collection a really good one overall.

The fact that it is very no frills is appealing to me. It seems stripped of trends and gimmicks and lets the simplicity speak for itself. When Raf wants to go minimal, he can do it so well, so I wish he’d ditch these gimmicks he’s had going for a few years now and stick to classic and refined pieces because I think that’s where his strength lies currently. It seems like he’s sort of rebelling against that truth sometimes with the extras he adds on… when indeed he’s just detracting from the beauty that already exists in the minimalism.

Always a fan of longer jackets with a fitted trouser, I am definitely loving the proportions on most of the looks. The colors are amazing as well and I adore how he styles navy blue with black, because yes, that combo does work, and it works beautifully. The plays on different silhouettes is really cute as well, particularly the shorter black dress. Long skirts are always a win with me but gawd, the dashes of color on the linings underneath really ruin the asymmetrical skirts for me here… loving the cuts and length on them, though.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Number (N)ine calls it quits

Number (N)ine designer Takahiro Miyashita apparently sent in a letter saying that the fall 2009 collection he just showed is set to have been his last. This news is definitely going to be pretty tragic to many, myself included, especially after such a magnificent collection. Miyashita’s been hailed as one of the most important Japanese designers and regarded by many as one of fashion’s great visionaries and unique talents. However, when an artist feels that they should cease their output… I can’t say that they’re making the wrong decision. I respect these decisions much more than designers who stay in the game when they’re uninspired, for the sake of money, like many choose to do.

I had no clue he was going to stop releasing collections but upon knowing, it definitely reinforces the feelings that the F/W09 collection emits. Underneath and all over the beautifully crafted designs, all of the detail and styling… the collection as a whole really had such a somber, paranoid, and utterly lonely feel to it. Like a man sort of going insane, clinging to the last bits of everything he knows – even down to his hotel’s upholstery. And in a way, I guess it makes sense now; perhaps the fact that it feels like a culmination of all things beautiful and bad, is perhaps exactly what it was meant to encompass.

I don’t know the guy personally but I can only assume the decision he’s made is the best one for him. He will be missed by all of us who are and have been fans of his beautiful work. :)

Rodarte FW09 details

Yes, it’s another Rodarte entry, because I finally got some detail photos from catwalking and… wow! They are what I was hoping for and more. Those bondage boots are not only so cool but I love the fact that the bondage element is hands on. I thought they were pre-strapped, but the fact that you actually have to bind them up manually is not only awesome but the styling possibilities are so endless.

The textures within the garments are even more intricate and experimental than I was anticipating. And what’s better than the experimental aspect is that they’ve actually pulled it off so well; the juxtaposition of materials and the composition they create with them is so inspiring and lovely. The only thing I’m not a fan of are the belts, but then again I’m not a belt person. The gloves more than make up for them though, they’re so good. :)

Margaret Howell Fall 2009

After such disasters as Charles Anastase today (ok maybe not a disaster but I didn’t like it as much as I anticipated I would), Margaret Howell’s collection was absolutely a dream. Not only by contrast, however… the pieces are lovely on their own, as is the styling of the show as a whole. I love the color palette so much; the clean tones are really refreshing. As always her flair for using menswear influences in her designs is my favorite part. The influences are not overt to the point where the clothing becomes androgynous but none the less, the menswear influence is apparent still, and I admire her ability to do this.

The proportions are one of my favorite attributes of the collection, as well. The fabrics she chose are perfection in this regard, as they give the beautiful silhouettes an air of ease, comfort and much appeal. The long white shirt-dress is so, so Limi Feu but otherwise no complaints really. I love that she offers up a lot of diversity within the pieces themselves and then further showcases this fact with the styling, as it showcases the great versatility of the pieces.

Oh, and speaking of the styling: it’s perfection. It’s definitely so refreshing to see simple but strategic styling which enhances the clothing’s aesthetics as well as functionality. The shoes are so adorable in their simplicity and suit the collection so well. Also I can’t not mention the hats before I finish. I almost really love the hats, but just wish they were very slightly less squared on the top as they resemble a cowboy hat a bit too much at the moment. I like the brim size of them, however… not small but not floppy either. All in all, this was probably one of the most all-around solid collections of the womenswear season thus far. :)

Rad Hourani Fall 2009

Finally, it was Rad Hourani’s turn to showcase his Fall offering and thank heavens for that as he did what he does best and delivered another distinct and beautiful collection. There are some things I like about this collection more than his previous ones but there are also a few things that feel a bit out of place to me. I like that he changed things up but the collection is still undeniably Rad.

I think the integration of a few colors was a good idea… if for nothing else, to help showcase the literal depth of his designs to the common spectator. Apparently some people write off all-black collections to a certain degree. Clearly these people should be hanged, but never the less, I think the color will be an aid in helping more people notice the unique details of his work.

As far as what feels out of place to me, some of the new cuts he’s playing with here, I feel are a bit unnecessary. What I loved most about his previous collections was not only his unapologetic use of black but the consistent, distinct, slightly awkward silhouette that was so prominent and which didn’t have many variations. While variety is often a positive, I don’t think he should continue to stray very much further from his original aesthetic as far as trying a ton of different cuts and silhouettes – primarily because all of these new shapes remind me of another designer… one who’s done it much better already. Of course this is a very minor peeve and by no means is meant to imply that I don’t want to own much of this collection. :)

Moving along, I am pretty thrilled about the pants this time around. I was almost a bit nervous to look at the bottom half of the models and see another stackfest on the runway… I was not the biggest fan of the inseams that seemed to be about 99″ long. This season they’re really lovely, however. Not only the varied cuts and fit but the fabrics he chose for them are all pretty nice as well.

Last but not least, one of my favorite things – yet perhaps the only element of this particular collection which is not entirely unisex – the footwear, is fantastic as well. We see a couple of different styles of boots, including of course, the mother of all shoes… the thigh-high boot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Y-3 Fall 2009

I swear I am not only posting about Y-3 because I’d rather be subjected to prolonged torture than to write about collections like Marc Jacobs or Alexander Wang. Even Preen, who I was looking forward to, sucked this season… so it’s nice that certain shows such as Y-3 were pleasantly surprising. Well, I have been glad with the progression of the brand over recent seasons now but I think this collection really shows the brand has come into it’s own. I mean, even I love it – and I have a severe to alarming fundamental aversion to all things sneakers and sportswear.

Of course, I have to mention first about these adorable children on the runway. I love that the clothes for kids are very sort of common looking overall – but where the Yamamoto genius lies is in the proportions and silhouette. The plays on volume and non conventional lengths but the clothing stays within a ‘friendly’ color palette and uses fabrics that are comfortable and easy to care for, so these designs are still completely feasible and right for the brand.

The rest of the collection was nothing to shake a stick at, though; I’d actually wear a ton of the pieces! I love how Y-3 brings the signature YY combined element of class and unusuality to even a genre like sportswear, which is usually hideous (hello, D-Squared!) and makes it look so slick. I am also loving the runway styling and I like the fact that it’s presented in such a way that blurs the line between the functionality and the aesthetics of the clothing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rodarte Fall 2009

Rodarte presented their collection yesterday and thank heavens for that. NYFW is such a dreadful bore save for VERY few designers, and naturally these two lovely ladies are on that short list. At this point I feel more than comfortable saying that the Mulleavy sisters not only don’t disappoint – but are also clearly striving toward new territories. This is so admirable because they don’t HAVE to do this yet. The last 3 seasons they sort of built a trademark and I definitely admire that they’re not confined within that. To be honest, I assumed we’d see another collection prominently lead by the deconstructed knitwear, which, you know… probably would have been fine, all things considered. But they are already moving along and aspiring to new heights – and while I see some strong influences here – I still think that’s pretty commendable.

These girls must have been working their tails off to have pulled this collection together and I have to say, for me anyhow, it was worth it. The silhouette and some of the bold detailing has not changed this season – but nearly everything else has evolved in some way. The textures here are nothing short of INCREDIBLE. All of the different fabrics intertwined give such a lovely effect. I admire a good print manipulator, such as Dries Van Noten. Blending prints and textures isn’t the easiest thing to do, but some people can just work it in that area and I think Rodarte have fallen into this category as well.

I mentioned above that I see some influences here, perhaps entirely coincidental, of course. The first one – and this was probably due to the boots and color palette – I thought of McQueen’s Fall 2007 collection. Also the textures as well as colors also brought Somarta Fall 2008 to mind, big time.

All in all, I like it. I like Rodarte. I support them a great deal and appreciate them, along with people like Rick Owens, bringing some credibility back to american design. I love that they’re exploring their craft instead of getting into a comfort zone. I can’t wait to see these girls in Paris. Someone make it happen already!

also – I will try to edit this post ASAP with detail shots and whatever else I can find because clearly with Rodarte, the details are where the magic lives. :)