CÉLINE PARIS FASHION WEEK

On Saturday night, Slimane introduced Celine’s new woman, and she is a woman chic, knowing and a direct descendant of a particular stylish archetype of years past. In a little fashion irony, Slimane always installs a modernist set. This time, his first model descended from on high in a big light box, emerging onto the runway in all her retro glory. Her look: the sort of confident, sporty élan that ruled bourgeois Parisian style, and emanated well beyond that sphere, in that well-dressed period from the mid-Seventies into the Eighties, before the latter decade turned hideous. The aura travels well, across time and through modern life.

As usual, Slimane employed a laser-sharp focus. His primary message: a great, often mannish jacket atop an easy skirt or some variation of culottes, some full enough to be called, in the language of old, a split skirt, others streamlined into walking shorts. Continue reading

CHLOÉ AFTER KARL

“Through Karl [Lagerfeld] is how I’ve known Chloé since I was a child,” said Natacha Ramsay-Levi, who selected six archival photographs and quotes representing the dearly departed designer’s 25 years at the brand and had them printed on postcards as mementos for every guest at Thursday morning’s show. “The clothes joined the personality of the woman rather than taking all the personality of a woman,” she said in praising Lagerfeld’s work, which was unstructured, weightless and totally feminine albeit of a different time. Her fall 2019 collection was less romantic romp than full gallop through the everyday wardrobe needs of today’s active women, featuring equestrian tailoring bent to a woman’s will. Chic without screaming so, it was all about wearability with considered details. Continue reading

ROCHAS COUTURE IN PARIS

Alessandro Dell’Acqua has been delving into the couture heritage of Rochas for a couple of seasons, as a form of antidote to the streetwear flooding luxury fashion. Or perhaps he was inspired by the launch of the house’s latest fragrance, Mademoiselle Rochas Couture, a bottle of which was placed on each seat.

For fall, he took the exploration in two directions. The first was fabric, with materials including a heavy speckled tweed, cloqué textures, and a jacquard covered in wool tufts that looked like tiny feathers. The second was cut, via trapeze and cocoon constructions that harked back to the heyday of post-war haute couture.

A roomy black collarless tweed coat was trimmed with a thick band of jet beads at the hem, while a pleated black cloqué skirt was worn with an oversize short-sleeved shirt in ultrafine glossy black leather. Elbow-length black gloves and skintight black leather over-the-knee boots gave the look dramatic bite.That edge was missing from some of the other outfits, like a duo of tent dresses in frothy tiered organza. Indeed, some teetered dangerously close to period costume, such as a hump-backed black skirt suit, topped with a saucer-like crinkled plastic hat by Stephen Jones. A striking silhouette, for sure. Wearable? Not so much. Continue reading

PATRICK McCARTHY DIES AT 67

Patrick McCarthy — who brought intelligence and wit to his former role as chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Fashion Group, overseeing WWD and W magazine — died Sunday after a short illness at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He was 67 years old.

McCarthy was well-respected in the fashion industry and the newsroom for his brilliance, wicked sense of humor and gregarious personality. An intensely private person with dashing good looks, McCarthy kept a calm exterior and was adamant about getting the scoop and getting it right. He not only instilled in his journalists a sense of aggressiveness and purpose, but created a lively presence in the newsroom.

BOTTEGA VENETA

Daniel Lee’s debut at Bottega Veneta was one of the most awaited events of this season. The need to regain another authoritative voice in the Milanese fashion week is stronger than ever, and this show reassured the Italian institutions.

The creative director of the house from Vicenza perfectly did his job for two reasons. On one hand, he didn’t replicate word-for-word Phoebe Philo’s beloved Céline style, the house which was the last stage of the designer’s notorious background.

On the other hand, a buzzed-about show like Bottega Veneta added an important player that amped up the international interest in Milano Moda Donna. The result was good: a boost of modernity in the traditional techniques of leather manufacturing, a simplicity, both feminine and tough, made with biker jackets, pants and boots together with catchy glittered outfits or light layered tulle dresses. Continue reading

MAX MARA MILAN 2019

The fall collection was an exploration of some of them, including monochromatic dressing, statement coats in wider, shorter, boxier silhouettes, leggy skirts, and thigh-high Wonder Woman-worthy boots that recalled the Nineties, while managing to avoid falling into the too-retro trap.

The miniskirt looked fresh, especially in nylon with utility zipper details, and worn with a blouson top. So did the long trouser skirt under a bomber jacket. Reaching into the archives, Griffiths created prints from past designers’ sketches for the house, including one from the dearly-departed Karl Lagerfeld, who worked for Max Mara for two years in the Seventies. And while the idea was certainly dress to impress, he nodded to the comfort revolution with a sweatshirt with utility pouch detail, sensible belt bags and a renewed focus on knitwear in the same spirit as the brand’s snuggly coats, namely fuzzy, oversized sweaters and animal-patterned sweater dresses. Continue reading

KARL LAGERFELD DIES IN PARIS

One of the most influential and celebrated designer of the 21st century and an iconic, universal symbol of style. There are no words to express how much he will be missed.

Lagerfeld worked tirelessly until the end, giving instructions to his teams for the Fendi fall ready-to-wear collection, due to take place in Milan on Thursday. The only sign of his declining health was his failure to take a bow at Chanel’s recent couture show in January.

He was most closely associated with the French fashion house, where he was couturier since 1983, engineering one of the modern fashion industry’s first and most successful brand rejuvenations and propelling the fabled French name from near obscurity to the summit of international luxury.

Lagerfeld was also the creative force behind the furs and rtw at Fendi for more than half a century, of Chloé from the Sixties into the Nineties and of his signature fashion house, which encompassed everything from designer rtw to jeans and fragrance over the years. Continue reading

SIMONE ROCHA LONDON 2019

Their head-held-high attitudes proved that Rocha’s collection of full-skirted belted coats and dresses isn’t meant only for girls.

Looking more closely at the clothes the organza see-through layers of trench coats, the bodices and bras caught in deshabille, the bloomers glimpsed in the back-views of skirts it was obvious that there was something deeper going on beneath the surface.

There was a something dark lurking within her research. The collection was an honoring of Rocha’s formative attachment to the work of Louise Bourgeois, whose themes in themselves were also a startlingly honest struggle between tenderness and sexuality, often expressed in fabrics and textiles. The spiderweb embroideries and prints Rocha used on her puffball coats and dresses were made in collaboration with the Louise Bourgeois Foundation. Continue reading

BLACK FAKE FOR GUCCI CEO

The Gucci ceo was in New York Wednesday evening for the Marvin Traub Lecture. What was meant to be an interview spanning his career and his tenure at Gucci became heavily dominated by talk of the fashion house’s recent faux pas a balaclava-style sweater that critics said evoked blackface.

“Gucci is often in the news for their extraordinary commercial success, but also for their commitments to communities around the world.
Explanation of what went wrong, telling the audience that the sweater was debuted at a February 2018 show, but “nothing happened” until it was recently linked to blackface on Twitter, which sparked the social media storm.

He admitted that when his team first told him about this, he didn’t know what they were talking about, which he puts down to ignorance on his behalf. Continue reading