Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fashion Week Favourites

It's too daunting at this point to approach Fashion Week coverage in any kind of comprehensive way; in fact, I don't even know why I feel obliged to. I used to try to devour as much of Style.com as possible, but now I just look at the designers I like or feel like might be doing something directionally relevant. For today, I'm going to forget about trends, "It" designations, collections and all that mumbo-jumbo in favour of just pointing out stuff I liked from shows I happened across for whatever reason.

Hardly ever look at Balenciaga but glad I randomly did because even though I'm really not a fan (too much futurism, too conceptual, too expensive anyway) I always love a good, ironic throwback theme, especially in the form of a B-movie sweatshirt.

Always always must look at Carven, on Style.com or on Outnet or any other shopping site. Flying sleeves, renaissance motifs, silhouettes that skim lightly instead of hug tightly... what's not to love?

Marant always looks so good on the runway, and then so random on the rack. It's really mostly about good styling, because you go to the store and it's all, like, plaid shirts. Two things you can always count on, though: great flouncy minis and must-have slouchy boots.

There's pros and cons to high-street collabs. The idea is to widen the brand's breadth and expose it to a greater audience. But now it's like every time I see Lanvin, I can't believe people would drop that amount of money on what I got at H&M. What I would actually like to see more of is properly affordable diffusion lines, instead of these one-off partnerships that essentially generate a lot of sound and fury, but signifying nothing in the long term. Lines like Etoile by Isabel Marant, T by Alexander Wang, See by Chloe, not the still-expensive Victoria by Victoria Beckham. But I guess not everyone can be Karl Lagerfeld and design 60 million collections a year.

Mary Katrantzou just keeps getting better, and what seemed like a one-trick-pony act when she did her interiors-inspired lampshade-skirt collection turns out to be a limitless source of ideas churned from transforming the three-dimensional into two. The fact that she works such innovation into her prints is only part of the appeal; she also regenerates the third dimension by squeezing out new clothing shapes, but always in a very wearable manner. It's a gift.

And speaking of someone able to spin new silhouettes from fabric, Sarah Burton seems to have impressed with her ability to take the McQueen house forward without its namesake's presence (if only the same could be said of Dior). Her figures are much more art than commerce, however. But when you cull the wearable from the showpieces, it's a woman's wet dream.

I think I will be needing a printed two-piece suit next season a la Miu Miu, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't look like I just walked out of Clueless.

Proenza Schouler was generally waaay too boxy for me to even pretend to like, but these were perfectly delicate little outfits (told you I'll be needing that printed suit!) Only issue is that Chinese people look kind of Suzie Wong in Chinese outfits.

Viktor & Rolf tends to be hit-and-miss for me. Often it's too literal, but occasionally they just really hit the nail on the head in spite of their over-designed philosophy.

Ending on Vionnet seemed like a good idea. These are so nice, I don't think I should ruin them with my typical verbal diarrhea. Although I suspect I've already done that my typing the words "diarrhea" and "Vionnet" in the same paragraph.

Images: Style.com

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