Thursday, September 29, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Dries Van Noten

There is a short list of sure things in my life. The swan boat ride that I will take at least once during the summer. The fact that I will, without a doubt, walk around any and every bookstore for 27 minutes holding at least five different books because I can't make a decision about which one to bring home. The certainty that I will spill something food-related down my front before an important event.

I take comfort in the good sure things. I try to slide past the bad.

Dries Van Noten's collections rank among the good sure things. This season the prints were moody landscapes. A spectrum of grays punctuated by sharp greens. The shapes, as they so often are in his shows, were tailored yet easy.

There was a direction and vision that could be felt throughout, but it was one not guided by the prevailing winds of the season.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Marni

Marni can usually be counted on for an eclectic show filled with prints and cool girl whimsy. This season, however, there was a certain amount of pulling back. It was a clean, restrained look.

One that referenced the trends of the season without being dominated by them.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Etro

The Etro show, like the Ralph Lauren show before it, looked to the 1920s for inspiration. But in this case, the people of that East Coast world of old and new money were traded in for a less serious bunch.

The shapes were evocative of that time. Swinging. Slinky. That taste of sex that would disappear once the Great Depression hit.

But throughout were the signature prints that are seen every season at Etro. They kept the clothes out of the realm of the costume and placed them in our time.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Prada

The inspiration for the Prada collection sprang from the American greaser culture of the 1950s. In less deft hands, the results could have been over the top. And not in the lovingly flamboyant way that the fashion world often praises. Outside of a few overt references, like the flames that licked the bottom of one dress, most of the story was told through her choice of fabrics and shapes. Leather skirts were paired with sweet cardigans. Luxe satin jackets faintly brought to mind those of The Pink Ladies. Hemlines primly grazed the knees.

And one was left with the idea that these were the types of girls who never got caught sneaking out past curfew.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Giles

There are few designers who continually inject lightness and fun into their collections. After a few weeks, it can seem as if everyone is obsessed with being overly serious. With explaining their inspirations in dissertation-length speeches. Or maybe it's just a bit of fashion-related fatigue that causes everything to appear that way.

The Giles collection shown on September 19th steered clear of such weightiness.

There was, as always, beauty and craftsmanship. But I was also reminded of long ago art classes and the fun that could come from uninhibited exploration and experimentation.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Marios Schwab

The shows of last spring and summer, especially those from New York, featured a number of plays on the transparency theme. Everything felt redundant, and by the end of it all, I was already looking to fall and the introduction of a whole new set of trends.

But for the coming spring and summer, Marios Schwab found a way to erase all of the bad tastes that lingered from the previous year.

With oversized perforations and sheer overlays, he found a way to show enough but not too much.

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Favorite of the Day: Jonathan Saunders

On September 17th, Jonathan Saunders continued to, as he does season after season, expose his audience and his customers to beautiful color stories. Blues and yellows bled and faded into each other. Muted beiges offset sky-like hues. All came down the runway in prim and proper hemlines.

Such an eye for color is a rarity. Innately possessed and hard to acquire.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Basso & Brooke

Whenever New York Fashion Week ends, I experience a bit of trend fatigue. I understand fully what I'll be encountering in stores next spring and summer, but I come to a point where I don't want to see them again until that time comes.

So after over a week of flowers, I was ready for prints of a different sort. Basso & Brooke proved to be a perfect palette cleanser.

A palette cleanser of the dizzying and psychedelic variety.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Ralph Lauren

Most collections start with an inspirational spark. A color. An image. A story. At times the end product departs so far from its origins that the inspiration can be hard to discover. In other cases, the references are painted on so thickly that one can't see past the noise to the clothes.

Last season, Ralph Lauren took everyone on a trip to the Far East. This season, his inspiration could be found closer to home. In East Egg and West Egg and a New York City long gone.

And even though the clothes told a very distinct story, I could still see them clearly.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Rodarte

As a child, one my favorite books was a biography of Vincent Van Gogh written for the elementary school set. I loved looking at the beautiful paintings and learning about his life. But mostly I was enthralled by his particularities, especially when it came to the meticulous way in which he chose his paint. I was already a rather picky child. One who was always concerned about how things were organized. About my pencils and pens and markers and crayons. About my books and my homework. It was a revelation to my little girl self that someone so obsessed with order could also let themselves be taken over by such waves of creativity.

All of that little girl awe came rushing back as I viewed the pictures from the Rodarte show.

And I wondered where in my mother's house that book might still be living.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Zero + Maria Cornejo

It takes a sure and steady hand to present a show that acknowledges the feeling of the moment while also speaking to the particular vision of the designer. To go too far in one direction can leave one with the impression that a certain line is only capable of playing a game of Follow the Leader. To go too far in the other direction can make a collection seem out of step and out of place.

In my opinion, Maria Cornejo has always been one of the best at walking that line. Her silhouettes always feel fresh and new. Her prints exhibit a use of technology that others shy away from.

But she also allowed the colors that have been all over various runways their moment.

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Favorite of the Day: Diane von Furstenberg

It wasn't until the 11th that I was finally shaken free of my contrary mood. Here and there, most notably at Peter Som, I had liked the candy hues and florals that have dominated the runways of New York this season. But it wasn't until the Diane von Furstenberg show that I let myself be taken in by them. Maybe it was the way that she made the colors pop by pairing them with neutrals in the brown and beige family. Or it could have been the mix of shapes that went from slouchy and menswear-inspired to 60s mod to slinky and sultry.

Or it could simply be that even with all of those disparate influences everything still felt as if it were part of one story.

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Favorite of the Day: Band of Outsiders

Most events are said to come in threes. Deaths. Births. Trends on the runway. So it should be no surprise that in my third favorite from the New York Spring/Summer 2012 shows, I continue to ignore the prevailing winds. It won't last for long. I won't continue to be quite so contrary and quite so stubborn as I play catch up on my favorites. But the Band of Outsiders show on September 10th gave me a reason to stay on that path for a bit longer.

After wearing sundresses and lightweight sweaters and various pairs of shorts for the past few months, the idea of spending next summer in clothes that so deftly mixed a frothy femininity and a restrained masculinity excited me.

Because they would allow me to be this and that all at once.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Favorite of the Day: TSE

After only two days, the trends of the new season are beginning to crystallize. I, however, continue to find myself drawn to pieces with more of a timeless quality. The stripped down. The pulled back. And, of course, the striped.

Waiting for its new creative director to take his place, TSE finds itself in a moment of flux. Oftentimes those periods can lead to a collection with no clear voice or direction.

But the well-curated collection shown yesterday betrayed none of that uncertainty.

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