The CFDA has launched a new service-driven platform to support their member designers and American design houses this New York Fashion Week. These are the International Reviews as of February 10, 2013.
By: Vanessa Friedman
Date: February 10, 2013
View original article: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7314bc26-73ac-11e2-9e92-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2KY3FqSb9
New York: Day One
The autumn/winter 2013 womenswear season blew into New York with the blizzard. Half the audience was stranded in Europe, but the shows did go on. The schedule waits for no aeroplane.
Still there was paranoia as well as snowflakes in the air – how bad would it get? Would people be able to find transport home? Would someone break their four-inch Louboutins (and ankles) on the ice? All exacerbated by the Fear of Flu that is going around. So it was interesting to see that as the shows got off the ground (bad pun intended), designers were thinking, largely, of toughened-up, highly constructed, covering. The better to combat whatever might be coming – climatically or otherwise.
“It’s really about power,” said Jason Wu, just after his repeat win as the designer of Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown – Mrs O being arguably power woman incarnate. Mr Wu was talking about his parade of strong-shouldered wool-and-velvet-and-fur trenches and toppers, corseted black and white dresses, snakeskin-meets-chiffon separates and rubberised lace, but he could easily have been describing autumn/winter’s general opening theme.
Prabal Gurung, for example, had army/navy on both the mind and catwalk, with olive green and sea blue peplumed jackets over skin tight cargo pants, silk and “imperial brocade” (think warlord embroidery) cocktail numbers squared-off to show some skin, and florals sporting a Napoleanic edge. It was very “brass and buckles and belts, oh my,” but minus the munchkin cuteness, which was a good thing.
Then there were Louis Goldin’s quilted, ribbed geometric knits (think thermal underwear goes to the Star Trek boardroom); Joseph Altuzarra’s brass-buttoned black and white and beige 1940s Blade Runner suiting, all padded hips (not necessarily a bad idea, though problematically bulbous in realisation), nipped-in waists, and broad shoulders, sometimes topped by a “poly-leather” bolero, sometimes fox or mink fur capped, always punctuated by shiny metallic buttons and just this side of kinky; and Alexander Wang’s oversize menswear silhouettes and fabrications.
From grey flannel Eisenhower coats (very Prada A/W 2007), the seams marled in mohair, belts dropped to criss-cross at the hips, to fuzzy alpaca jumpers and satin cigarette pants under deconstructed tailcoats-turned-skirts, it was a marked up-luxing for the brand. If the materials, especially fur and leather, and the vague couture references (sac-backs to the coats; throat-swathing shawl collars cowled behind) were a territorial nod to Mr Wang’s new gig as creative director of Balenciaga. They also had a distinguishing street-y vibe – in your face, people who said he was just a T-shirt designer.
Perhaps a more subtle reaction to sceptical whisperings (granted, they could make anyone paranoid, bad weather or not), however, is that of Victoria Beckham, who has simply kept her head down and honed her aesthetic season after season, in a polite but unrelenting “I’ll show you” subtext that edges forward with its own very controlled momentum.
This season that meant below-the-knee skirts with a slight loosening of her signature lean line paired with silk blouses open low to add a touch of salt; sleeveless neon yellow or electric blue menswear-inspired overcoats tied on the hip; long-sleeved drop-waisted 1960s geometric shifts in a collage of materials; and tuxedo jackets sliced at the sleeve into capes. It was adult and elegant, but not at all ice queen. Who needs sno-melt, when you’ve got the occasional flash of skin?
By: Daniela Fedi
Date: February 10, 2013
Fuori 10 gradi sotto zero e mucchi di neve da tutte le parti: i resti di Nemo, la tempesta perfetta che per due giorni ha flagellato New York. Dentro una struttura a gradoni alta dieci metri con 370 tra ragazzi e ragazze disposti in fila su 5 piani per presentare la collezione Moncler Grenoble sotto la cupola di specchi della Gotham Hall, un’ex banca d’affari privata. E’ un colpo d’occhio impressionante, qualcosa che mischia i gironi dell’Inferno dantesco nelle illustrazioni di Dorè con una rappresentazione gotica del bosco incantato di Biancaneve. In più c’è la musica con il tema ripreso da Metropolis di Fritz Lang trasmesso in loop che scandisce l’arrivo della luce a sciabolate sui modelli per cui il colore di stagione è verde bosco. “Stile e performance” sintetizza Remo Ruffini, patron del marchio del galletto che nel 2012 ha compiuto 60 anni e che non è mai stato tanto di moda grazie a un’intelligente lavoro di marketing dietro allo stilismo. Così dopo il successo delle linee couture (Gamme Rouge per la donna disegnata da Giambattista Valli e Gamme Bleue per l’uomo firmata da Tom Browne) tre anni fa è stata lanciata Moncler Grenoble, linea tecnica progettata da un ufficio stile interno che utilizza con raro senso estetico materiali altamente performanti come membrane ultra-attive, tessuti waterproof, fodere e imbottiture ultralight ma super calde, traspiranti, antivento e chi più ne ha più ne metta. Anche da Alexander Wang, giovane designer taiwanese alla vigilia del suo debutto sulla passerella parigina di Balenciaga, il mood di collezione è molto da montagna incantata e freddo polare in città con grandi cappotti grigi chiusi da robusti intrecci tra martingale e cinture. Lo stesso tipo di allacciatura seducente e concettuale oltre ogni dire è stata lanciata negli anni Ottanta da Rei Kawakubo per Comme des Garçons, ma all’epoca Wang non era ancora nato e in ogni caso nessuno finora aveva rielaborato l’idea. Tutti i cappotti hanno interessanti giochi di materiali per cui se sotto c’è il lapin lo sprone è in alpaca e le maniche di pelle imbottita. Meno belli anche se molto volenterosi i capi da sera: Wang sembra studiare le linee boxy (cioè a scatola) che hanno caratterizzato Balenciaga nella visione di Nicholas Guesquiere, con il pragmatismo e tutto sommato la freschezza di un ragazzo americano figlio tra l’altro del re delle T-shirt di Taiwan, uno dei più importanti fornitori al mondo di Zara. Victoria Beckham fa un passo indietro rispetto al suo solito stile supersexy e superchic facendo un notevole passo avanti verso la modernità di una moda che non può più ignorare i cambiamenti in atto nella società. Finalmente anche le sue modelle filiformi e ultrapalestrate come lei sembrano affrontare i rigori dell’inverno con un’onesta sottana dritta sotto alla blusa tagliata a T e all’ampio cappotto allacciato a kimono su un fianco. Bellissimi i materiali (alpaca del tipo “spazzolino”, cashmere e gabardine) e molto scolastico anche se ben fatto l’uso del colore a blocchi: nero, tabacco e blu copiativo oppure viola, marrone e nero o blu-black. Molto divertente la sfilata di Altuzarra, venticinquenne (o giù di lì) designer con padre di origini franco-ispaniche e madre asiatica. Il classico americano di seconda generazione propone u abiti da sirena in pelle nera con maniche in pelliccia rasata bianca, pelliccioni di volpe con lo stesso accostamento black and white, spacchi assassini: uno stile alla Mugler.
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
By: Suzy Menkes
Date: February 10, 2013
From the Virtual Front Row
With the blizzard blowing away my hopes of getting to New York for the early Fashion Week shows, I did what so many other fashion aficionados now do: I picked up my iPad and watched the shows streaming live online.
That way, at least, I could get some sense of the clothes in motion — not just the still snapshots, front view only, which have become fodder for bloggers.
This first view of the winter 2013 collections had some upbeat moments. But I still felt uneasy about the difficulty of analyzing fabrics, recognizing true colors and allowing my own eyes to follow the pieces that interested me.
My frustration was compounded when I received, via e-mail, show notes from designers. Alexander Wang’s words arrived before I saw his sophisticated show, which looked less like the designer’s energetic sportswear and more like a preview of the Balenciaga collection that Mr. Wang, as the house’s newly appointed designer, will show in Paris this season.
The helmet hats (with a russet ponytail swinging at the nape), the sculpted dropped-waist coats and rounded backs all suggested that Mr. Wang had been studying the Cristóbal archives. But the 50 shades of gray, (described by the designer as “parquet, geyser and pumice”) were lightened with surface texture and occasionally replaced by rust. It made for a powerful show of luxurious uptown/downtown looks.
The surfaces were both intriguing and engaging: deep-pile alpaca, soft leather and shearling, mixed with velvet and some slithering, soft effects. Boxing gloves in fur — some growing from wrist to elbow — softened the pugilist accessories, while satchel bags had shiny surfaces giving open-envelope effects.
The notes told me things that I just could not take in as Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” lyrics accompanied the models crisscrossing the wide runways. Mr. Wang talked of “foil-printed threadwork” and of mohair knits given a sparkle with fragments of sunglass lenses.
It all added up to a change of pace — from New York casual toward Parisian couture — a good omen for the Alexander Wang/Balenciaga debut.
The first trendspotting came at Joseph Altuzarra’s show, where another round of fur mittens suggested a new season look. But the designer had done more than bend to a trend: he seemed to have moved his spirit from decorator to architect.
There was something graphic and über-sexy about fur and leather incisively cut, in contrast to the languorous ethnic elegance and decorative effects shown in previous Altuzarra collections. As the models strode forward, their legs stretched through the side-split skirts, I realized that yet another young New York designer was walking the uptown parade and on the edge of couture. Padding at the hips, to give almost a caricature of femininity, took fashion back to a 1980s gender clash but with modern fabrics and attitude.
Jason Wu called his concept “extreme femininity.” I would have dubbed it “tough chic,” with its cinched-in waists and belts galore, its lush fur trimmings and lace effects bonded on jackets and dresses.
Toward the end of the show, Mr. Wu made a smart hybrid of streamlined tailoring and flouncy dresses by inserting pants into the equation for evening. The tailored trousers, giving an urgent, masculine energy to floaty dresses, offered something new and modern.
I was particularly pleased to see the cover-up, because my first impression of the show on screen was of knobby knees and bare, skinny legs braving what I knew must have been a freezing winter temperature outside. The rest of the outfits were short and sharp with flashes of scarlet and other sophisticated combinations like a mud brown coat trimmed with black fur. The more covered offerings seemed to come in a familiar, uptown way. It seemed a pity that the pants could not have had more play for daytime. But Mr. Wu, sophisticated beyond his years, seems determined to give fresh polish to uptown girls — the first lady included.
Polo shirts changing color digitally, different shades bleeding across the body of a hip young thing — after looking at Lacoste’s futuristic film on Facebook, I was intrigued to see how the “crocodile” brand would celebrate its 80th birthday in New York, where its shows have been staged for a decade.
Lacoste was bought out last year by its long-term investor, the Swiss retail group Maus Frères, valuing the house that René Lacoste built from the tennis court at €1 billion, or about $1.3 billion.
I had imagined that the creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista would make a major statement at this historic moment. And in a way he did — using modern, digitalized patterns in shades of gray on white to give a futuristic effect to silhouettes that, in their big, round shoulders, harked back to the 1980s.
My surprise, as I waited for the live streaming, was that Lacoste seemed to have made no effort — cheesy or otherwise — to celebrate its landmark birthday. Even if Ralph Lauren has pried the polo shirt away from being a unique Lacoste signature, it would have been a smart move to project that futuristic on-line film as a backdrop for the collection.
Instead, the set broke open into geometric shapes to reinforce the message of graphic cuts and super-clean silhouettes. Semi-sheer, rubbery rain coats, with shadow patterns for both men and women, underlined a sense — difficult to judge on screen — that fabric research was key to the collection.
The way that colors were introduced — a touch of scarlet at the neck, pine green or blue and white — looked modern. So did the shapes of sporty dresses, their rounded upper halves as if drawn with the whirl of a compass. Sometimes curved zippers would snake their way across the body.
But where were the polo shirts, the proud emblem of sport being absorbed into fashion by the stylish Mr. Lacoste back in 1923? And what about the crisp white cotton piqué and the stretch version that became part of the company’s heritage?
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
By: Suzy Menkes
Date: February 10, 2013
View original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/fashion/victoria-beckham-goal.html
Victoria Beckham: Goal!
Sophisticated, stylish, with Parisian polish. Has David Beckham’s move to play soccer in France already had an effect on the fashion style of his wife, Victoria?
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, but it is about fabric, texture, British heritage tweeds and knitwear from Scotland — and I took a lot of inspiration from men’s clothes,” Victoria Beckham said, squatting down to polish the pointy patent leather tips of the models’ ankle boots.
The well-focused show with a clear V.B. signature may have ended with a riff on the famous Saint Laurent tuxedo, this time with the arms cut away into a tailored cape. But the show opened with English checked tweed: straight coats and slim tops and skirts, lightened with pony skin that had a surface sheen.
Significant were the midcalf hemlines, with only a few shorter skirts; and also the colors: bright blue, canary yellow and violet set off against gray, sand and black. Techno fabrics updated classic knits.
Ms. Beckham is at her best when there is sensuality in her look, rather than straight, side-tied wrap dresses. And there was nothing more soft, squishy and sensual than the bags, yet another way that the V.B. brand is being extended, both into smart accessories and to knits.
The collection aimed for a confident and womanly look from a designer who is growing up with her collection. She hit goal.
By: Carine Bizet
Date: February 11, 2013
View original article: www.lemonde.fr/style
Prêt-à-porter automne-hiver 2013-2014, New York
Défilés et effets boules de neige
Alors que la semaine de la mode américaine s’est ouverte sur fond de météo polaire, tous les regards sont tournés ver la nouvelle superstar locale : Alexander Wang
Blizzard, tempête de neige, avions-et donc presse et acheteurs-retardés: la saison des défilés hivernaux a débuté dans une ambiance chaotique mais parfaitement raccord avec les collections présentées. Un atout supplémentaire pour les designers, un concours d’obstacle pour un public de professionnels rarement équipés pour une excursion en poudreuse. Il y a celles qui ont sortis les « pneus neige » (comprendre les souliers à semelles tout terrain) et celles qui patinent en stilletto dans les congères de 40 centimètres qui habillent encore les rues. Le spectacle est divertissant mais le but reste d’assister aux défilés. Et de ne pas manquer LE show de la saison, celui d‘Alexander Wang. A 28 ans, l’américain était déjà très coté grâce à son label en pleine expansion et son style cool et moderne. Son arrivée à la tête de la création de Balenciaga en a fait une méga-star. En attendant sa première collection parisienne, le mois prochain, son défilé new-yorkais a tenu ses promesses. Mieux : il montre qu’il est un excellent choix pour la maison parisienne. Drapés qui sculptent élégamment la silhouette, variations de coupes et de proportions sur des pièces classiques croisées avec du sportwear subtil, fusions de matières entre cuir et mohair (une acrobatie textile ultra chic devenue une signature de Wang) : tout signale une maturité maitrisée. Mais qui garde son esprit urbain et son énergie très new yorkaise. Le designer est en train de définir une vraie allure, celle d’une nouvelle ère globale pour une femme qui a une vie matérielle et intellectuelle, pas seulement un vestiaire. On sent déjà comment sa marque éponyme comme Balenciaga vont bénéficier d’un échange stylistico-culturel à double sens. Confirmant son statut de créateur le plus attendu de la saison, il focalise l’attention sur Balenciaga et oblige les observateurs à tout regarder avec un filtre, celui de l’héritage laissé dans cette maison par Nicolas Ghesquière (que l’on espère revoir bientôt). En suivant le travail de jeunes marques comme Tibi ou même Altuzarra, on mesure combien le style expérimental, mi intellectuel mi futuriste du français a laissé des traces sans doute inconscientes. Ces créateurs gagneraient à se décomplexer, à s’extraire de l’influence européenne –y compris celles des consultants avec lesquels ils travaillent parfois-pour laisser s’exprimer leurs talents. Même un designer confirmé comme Derek Lam n’est pas immunisé : ses manteaux de fourrure sans manches et ses cocons d’épaules rappellent irrésistiblement les créations de Phoebe Philo pour Céline. Ces capillarités esthétiques échappent au grand public, mais les acheteurs professionnels ne manquent pas d’en tirer les conséquences et préféreront toujours un produit original et bien fait à une offre qui fait doublon avec ce qu’ils proposent déjà. Marquer sa différence est donc une obligation. A ce jeu, Felipe Olivera Batista qui dessine les collections Lacoste s’en tire bien. Ses volumes arrondis aux imprimés « glaciers » et ses mélanges de matières mixent esprit sport cher à la marque, effets futuristes à la Courrèges et « touche Batista », celle qui s‘exprime le mieux dans des robes zippées sculptées dans le cuir. Mais la reine de l’allure distinctive féminine et glamour reste Diane von Furstenberg. On retrouve ici ses fameuses robes croisées qui flattent toutes les silhouettes, les blouses à col cravate se portent avec les pantalons étroits à ourlets évasés, les jupes culottes de cuir croisent les combinaisons pantalons aux couleurs qui claquent. Les brushings sont bondissants, les lèvres laquées de fuschia; on sent une volonté de retour aux sources dans ce vestiaire très seventies qui ranime l’esprit de la décennie flamboyante où son auteur à fait ses débuts de créatrice. Il donne envie d’être une bourgeoise américaine bohème de la 5ème avenue, cultivée et sexy, celle qui fait se retourner les hommes dans la rue. Et faire envie demeure un des devoirs majeurs de la mode.
Made, l’usine à talents
Depuis 2009, cette association de bienfaiteurs démontre que la mode américaine n’est pas qu’un poids lourd du luxe mondial. Ses fondateurs, membres de longue date du « style business », ont bien compris que les jeunes designers assuraient la survie et la croissance cette industrie créative. Les soutenir est donc essentiel pour préparer l’avenir. Depuis huit saisons, ils procurent à des talents prometteurs une structure de promotion organisée au millimètre. Lieux de défilés et de présentations (aux studios Milk ou au Standard High Line), sons et lumières, équipements audiovisuels, possibilités de diffuser le défilé en streaming sur le net, sponsors maquillage et coiffure, soutien logistique et management : tout est prévu de manière très concrète pour faire exister des marques naissantes et les présenter aux professionnels de manière optimale. Au fil du temps, le projet est devenu un véritable bouillon de culture transversale ou les créatifs de la mode rencontrent réalisateurs, vidéastes, musiciens, et artistes en tout genre pour des collaborations dynamiques qui enrichissent chaque participants. Ce réseau unique qui fonctionne grâce à des sponsors (comme American Express, Lexus, MAC Cosmetics, Google +) a déjà contribué à l’épanouissement de nombreux labels qui font de la scène mode new yorkaise un vivier international comme Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Pamela Love, Peter Som, Ohne Titel. Cette saison, Made permet à plus de 50 défilés où présentations d’avoir lieu ; son site internet est devenu une plateforme qui compte. Défilés en streaming, vidéos backstage, informations et mini reportages etc : milkmade.com est un outil de communication et d ‘expression ouvert au public, typique de l’ère internet. Un des meilleur du genre et particulièrement utile cette saison puisque la tempête de neige a rendu difficile voire impossible pour certains l’accès à la Fashion Week de New York. Et comme Paris n’est pas un exemple d’initiative en matière de soutien à la jeune création, Made s’exporte pour la première fois cette saison dans la capitale française. Selon le principe appliqué à New York, l’organisation investira un lieu : l’hôtel Salomon de Rotschild, et permettra à des designers talentueux mais en manque de moyens de présenter leurs collections. Anthny vacrello, Gareth Pugh, la créatrice de bijoux Ligia Dias, Olympia Le Tan, Damir Doma, Julien David comptent parmi les heureux lauréats de cette initiative désormais internationale. Thank You, Made
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
By: Luke Leitch
Date: February 10, 2013
Victoria Beckham has an infallible weapon when it comes to bewitching the hard-nosed Manhattan fashion crowd: the sight of David chasing their 18-month old daughter, Harper, through the backstage brouhaha before this show was enough to ignite a Twitterstorm of approving coos.
Yet even without the famous, photogenic family Mrs Beckham has done quite enough to merit the fashion industry’s close attention. Her in-her-own-image range of sleekly fitted luxury clothes is now an established commercial success. And this collection should have excited the department store buyers every bit as much as the presence of David (who sat for the show alongside US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, prompting another Twitter eruption).
Once the lights came up, there were A-line skirt-shapes, wicked heels, drop shoulders, new trophy handbags (two of them) and plenty of lean but not-quite-tight, narrowly-belted and sophisticatedly slit dresses that saw her stay true to the fundamental Beckham fashion motifs.
The shoes, as per usual, were by Manolo Blahnik (these included a batch of fold-over patent-shine ankle boots that were stranded by snowstorm Nemo in Italy, and delivered to Beckham with only hours to spare).
Yet there was novelty too, notably her first-ever knitwear – more sleekly sexy dresses – in double-faced cashmere and some perkily yellow high-shine vinyl panels in gamine Mod minidresses.
Other fabrics included herringbone, checked tweed and camelhair which, alongside some wide Windsor collar tuxedo-inspired blouses and long, notch-lapel overcoats introduced a new, masculine element.
“I prefer the word mannish, ” corrected Beckham. “I wanted to translate those shapes into a feminine silhouette, so there is volume in the coats and that tuxedo shape, but turned into a gilet.”
Beckham’s clothes are all made in Britain, and this collection’s introduction of traditional, British-milled woollens partially came about, she said: “because I am spending a lot more time in England now. And yes, I have become a bit of a material nerd.”
The Beckhams recently relocated from Los Angeles to London, where her design studio is based, a development she said “that has made things a whole lot easier.” She now works from the office, and has been known to recruit her husband to deliver wine and takeaways when her team are working on weekends.
So despite David’s new job playing for Paris St Germain, Beckham added that there are no plans to uproot the family again: “Although I’m going to be in Paris for sure – probably not for fashion week, sadly – but I’ll be going back and forth from London.”
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
By: Luke Leitch
Date: February 10, 2013
New York Fashion Week: Alexander Wang autumn/winter 2013
Folds, flourish and 50 shades of grey at Alexander Wang’s final showcase before his Balenciaga debut.
Courtesy of Nemo, Team Telegraph’s Virgin Atlantic flight to New York Fashion Week didn’t depart Heathrow last night – boo. But – hurray! – courtesy of the wonders of live streaming we could nonetheless sort of witness Wang this evening, all the way from London.
This was the CFDA wunderkind’s final standalone show before his first collection at Balenciaga in Paris next month, and you could tell. Wang has built his reputation on functional, high-production sportswear chic, glammed up via a fashion patina and the odd flash of flesh through mesh. Here, suddenly, he went all artsy-fartsy: there was an emphasis on silhouette (bulbous at the back T-shirts), drape (Viennetta undulations on caped, open-backed blouses) and fold (complicated at-the-hip gatherings as origami-like as the most Haider-ish of Ackermanns). The colours were a spot of white, a smudge of black and 50 shades of grey; or as the notes termed them “pumice, geyser, parquet, asphalt and down.” Yes, Wang stayed faithful to his central, sporty instinct by teaming boxing shorts with those complicated tops, and starting with a series of fetching grey alpaca hoodies that featured clever little holes at the nape of the neck designed to allow the models’ Cabernet-tinted ponytails to swish unmolested.
But there was an anticipatory, pre-Paris feel to the 1st arrondissement gloss of his uptown, fur-effect capelets and all that contoured complication. Wang is about to inherit a marque made famous by Cristobal Balenciaga, a man who may seem grandiosely old-school now, but was at his post-war peak as revolutionarily disruptive as any designer in fashion history.
And because he will continue to design this own-name collection, Wang suddenly finds himself in the same happy situation as Marc Jacobs: he can present a show both at the beginning of the fashion calendar in New York and, in Paris, at its end – thus casting two bookmark shadows of influence over us, the highly suggestible fashion audience.
Although an incredible opportunity, it must be just a little nerve-wracking too. Wang, though, should not too radically recode that signature, grungy sportswear message for his new French masters. We can’t wait to see his Balenciaga debut – although, sadly, the view might again have to be via a stream: apparently The Telegraph might have been banned for irreverence. Perish the thought.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
By: Luke Leitch
Date: February 10, 2013
Rag & Bone autumn/winter 2013 from New York Fashion Week
Brit boys Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone present an accomplished collection of sleek (and weather-appropriate) separates to a hip crowd including Drew Barrymore.
Despite the Sex And The City myth, nobody in Manhattan strides the sidewalk in a tutu. New York’s streets teem with women whose dress code is as much about pragmatism, comfort and ease as it is ostentatious display. All of the city’s most successful young designers – such as Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, and Phillip Lim – understand this. Of all these new-generation proponents of practical fashion, however, probably the most successful of all are Marcus Wainwright and David Neville – two thirtysomething Englishmen who first met at boarding school in Berkshire before striking out across the Atlantic.
Their Rag & Bone label, one of the first to show its autumn/winter 2013 designs at New York Fashion Week, has gone from start-up to fashion sensation in little over a decade. This collection, watched from beneath a fedora by Drew Barrymore, exemplified why.
Yes, there were plenty of eye-catching details – from the quilting on pale green split miniskirts to the black zipper that incongruously intersected the hood of an storm-ready orange bomber jacket. A slightly oversized houndstooth miniskirt came with a thickly piped black leather V-neck, and two pockets in the same material. Panelled in that same pale green and ambulance orange, a drop-down miniskirt had something Mary Quant-ish about it, especially teamed with the models’ 1960s hairstyles.
Long leather overcoats had tough, biker jacket detailing, there were glimpses of stocking aplenty (unshocking, but undeniably eye-catching), and what looked like a leather-piped waistcoat in camouflage pattern peeked from beneath a Burberry-worthy winter trench.
Comfort, though, seemed equally as important to the designers as making an impression. A soft, houndstooth, snuggly cocoon of an oversized polo neck came with a collar so generous it would effectively double an inflight neck pillow. The look was later lustrously reprised in a black, fleece-lined lambskin. Flat fronted, one-pocketed, ankle-length trousers – perfect day trousers remain the holy grail in womenswear – came in a zingy blue, dark taupe, and ever-reliable, fall-back black.
Wainwright, the designer in chief, does have a great feel for colour – for who knew that deep purple and angry orange were so complementary – but never resorted to blinding his core, cool customer. The collection opened with a long refrain of all black looks before a six-outfit pale green aside that, only eventually, gave way to those more playful purples, oranges, and blues.
By: Jess Cartner-Morley
Date: February 10, 2013
View original article: http://www.guardiannews.com/
“Impeccable” was the word Natalie Massenet, chair of the British Fashion Council, chose after the show to describe Victoria Beckham’s latest collection at New York Fashion Week.
Impeccable is the right word. Not just for the sharp lines of the tailored cashmere coats, elegant tuxedo suits and graphic intarsia knits, but for the masterclass in brand strategy which the label has become. The distinctive sleek, sophisticated, body-conscious dresses of Beckham’s early collections have proved to be a mere springboard for a fully-formed fashion house, one which is now holding its own at the highest level of fashion.
Enormous care is taken that every aspect of this label is executed at the highest taste level. The trays of English Breakfast and Japanese popcorn tea, and the Diptyque scent emanating from the candelabras in the New York City Public Library show venue, all set an elegant tone. With every season in which the assembled fashion industry enjoys the spectacle of Anna Wintour engaged in an amiable front row chat with David Beckham, another nail is struck in the coffin of the ex-Spice-Girl tag.
Victoria Beckham’s customers have a voracious appetite for dresses which allow them to feel they are buying a piece of her lifestyle. (David might not be taking you out to dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s – but hey, you can wear the dress) Her challenge is to balance that with the industry’s desire for newness, and the need to be seen making a contribution to the wider fashion conversation which is essential for the label to be seen as a fashion, rather than a celebrity, brand.
For now, Beckham is working this creative tension to her own advantage. Where once the models on the catwalk looked like versions of Victoria herself, now their look is quite distinct – but note that this season, they are all carrying large handbags tucked under their arms, which is how the designer herself is always photographed holding hers. This collection was on-trend in its emphasis on separates, soft volume, and menswear influences in fabrics and patterns. But Beckham always dresses to look sexy as well as stylish, and this mindset could be seen in the slim belts which added shape to tunics and the side splits in the midi-length, kilt-style skirts.
Backstage after the show, Victoria Beckham enthused about the impact of her family’s recent move to England. “This is a big collection, hopefully with a strong fashion message, and that reflects me being able to be hands-on, every minute of the day.” Traditional British fabrics, from windowpane check wools to Scottish cashmere sweater dresses, were “the influence of coming home – but done in a sexy way,” she said.