Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WSJ: Style: Heard on the Runway / News From New York Fashion Week Spring 2010

Since I got boxed out of Fashion Week yet again, I thought I would provide you with a decent roundup from Christina Binkley at The Wall Street Journal:

Style: Heard on the Runway / News From New York Fashion Week Spring 2010
By Christina Binkley
16 September 2009
The Wall Street Journal

Marc Jacobs Air-Kisses the '80s Goodbye
Usually, you show up at fashion shows fashionably late. For Marc Jacobs, you show up a half-hour early. Anna Wintour was already there for the 8 p.m. show when I arrived at 7:30. The only person who strolled in looking unworried at precisely 8 p.m. was Madonna, her hair blown dry and poofed like a blonde That Girl.
Spread the word: Marc Jacobs is as punctual as a German train these days.
Jacobs brought us the whole 1980s power-clothes thing last year. Now, just as the rest of the world is getting in sync with shiny leggings, big-shouldered jackets and blouses pleated at the neck, he's moved on. His show Monday night was juicy and surreal -- and incredibly, laughably feminine. It was a circus of ruffles and frills, tamed by some 1960-ish men's trench coats and a touch of S&M wear. It was the opposite of power dressing.
Supermodel Jessica Stam wore a kinky black plastic (or patent) suit with holes cut out and huge epaulette-type ruffles at the sleeves. There were gray "Mad Men" trenches belted over lacy dresses.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the crazy styling of Jacobs's shows. This season, the models' faces were powdered white, and their hair was drawn up tight. They looked like cabaret clowns.
But look closely: Those fabulous "Mad Men" trenches were nearly vintage. A series of softly pink and mossy silk blouses could be worn in any boardroom. There was a nearly collegiate sportswear feel to some knitwear. The bags were rich-looking and the shoes mostly flat sandals, but they looked hard to walk in because the heels were several inches in under the sole.
Vera Wang Gets Personal
Vera Wang's clothes don't change drastically from season to season. There's an intimate quality to her work, as well as her shows. If you're a fan, you're going to find a satisfying consistency in her collections, which aren't the bridal gowns she's most known for.
This is the clothing Wang wears herself -- her personal style: black and gray silk sheaths, jackets transparent and light as a feather, and sculptural creations using tiny strips of fabric sewn together for texture.
A highlight at her Tuesday show was a black faille jacket and ivory-washed tank worn over a flanged skirt cut on the bias. Another was a series of prints -- lavender-colored flowers on a black background -- on which Wang had tacked each flower by sewing over and over a small square. It gave texture and richness to the lovely print and will be a signature as loud as her name.
Rodarte's Tattoo Theatrics
From the theatrical smoke on the runways to the mud-painting tattoos drawn on the models' arms, and the ragged, gauzy, vegetable-toned cheesecloth that draped the models' bodies, Kate and Laura Mulleavy's world is tribal and apocalyptic. It's Mad Max emerging from a cave, but dressed with the extraordinary artistic skills of two of fashion's most daring designers.
Their label, Rodarte, is becoming known more for artistry than sales. True to form, there was little in the collection, shown Tuesday, that could be worn to most offices. These are clothes for artists, special events and collections. It's hard to imagine that they could even be dry-cleaned. Yet they get you thinking.
Dresses were made from cheesecloth, silk linen and ruched leather, some covered with cobwebs of wool, which also wrapped the models' hair. Hand-braided belts -- some of the more sellable items -- encircled waists. There were macrame dresses with yarn hanging in strands. And in them, elaborately, were lace, velvet and leather wound and draped and stitched to look haphazard.
The audience was crawling with celebrities. Sunny Elijah Wood chatted with teen blogger Tavi beforehand. Backstage, actor Jason Schwartzman talked to model Madisyn. A spectacularly heavily made-up Courtney Love chatted animatedly. Kirsten Dunst sat in the front row.
As for the influential styles that will come of this show, I'm looking forward to a whole new trend in arm tattoos.
Stuart Channels Cher
Women of various generations flocked to Jill Stuart's noon show at the New York Public Library Tuesday. Teen girls watched while cameras trailed Leigh Lezark, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland and Peaches Geldof to their chairs. A bevy of Bravo's "Real Housewives" from the New York and New Jersey editions attended.
While last season's collection was softly feminine, with fluffy tulle skirts and puff sleeves, this season's collection was all aggressive sex appeal. Body-hugging dresses with revealing sheer panels and cut-outs suggested an '80s exhibitionist club girl. Most dresses were cut so ultra-short that models tugged at the hems, with a few inadvertent flashes as they took their runway walk.Stuart says this collection's "angel rocker girl" look was inspired by Cher. A silver mesh dress was cut so low in the front and back that it prompted the question about what underthings one would wear with it. "You can't," Stuart said with a laugh. "You have to be pretty risky to wear that."
-- Elva Ramirez

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