February 28, 2012

Blumarine Fall/Winter 2012 RTW

In all my years of following fashion, never have I seen a show as horrible as this.  Lindsay Lohan's quick stint at Ungaro is comparable, but this, my fashion friends, makes Lohan's designs seem somewhat decent.  I hate to be mean because I have nothing against Blumarine and have never hated anything Anna Molinari has done.  Blumarine is bright, upbeat and fun, but Molinari always did it with class.  For Fall/Winter 2012, however, I'm just completely gobsmacked at the sucker punch she threw at us.  It knocked me out and now I can't see straight (although that could easily be caused by the blinding metallics and iridescent fabric).  One thing I do know for sure: let's hope nothing like this ever happens again.

The first couple looks were actually quite promising, with neon bright fur paired against stark white.  Strong looks which laid out the groundwork for a potentially good show.
What, exactly then, is making me wail in pain?  Precisely that Molinari thought it would be a good idea to introduce UGG-like boots which completely ruined the models' walks.  But I chalked it up to a minor mishap as she brought out metallic après-ski wear and some muted coats.
By now, even though I had forgiven Molinari for the slip, chances of me being impressed by this collection were slim.  And they became fully dashed when out came full silver metallic resembling bunches of tinfoil walking down the runway, and head-to-toe cheetah print (she's done full cheetah print before, but to much better results).
To my surprise, then progressed a couple of simple black gowns, but all hopes were again destroyed by the metallic snakeskin which followed.  And I would really love to know what is going on with those short shorts overtop leggings and those naval baring tops.  If I want to see Snooki-style, I'll watch Jersey Shore.  But that's exactly why I don't.
And here we are now at hip-hop/rocker girl gone wild.  Tacky, obnoxious and accessorized with pretentious hoop earrings.  I don't even think I need to explain what's wrong with this.
Finally, Molinari gave it one last kick with the evening gowns.  I felt like I was watching a high school prom, not the work of a respectable designer.
If you haven't got a headache by now, I applaud you, because I am not applauding this collection.  Surprisingly, this collection has been generally well-received by the online community for its upbeat optimism and cheeky message.  And don't get me wrong, I agree there is nothing wrong with a fun collection, but even fun collections can be done with a bit of structure and attention to good fashion (see: The Blondes).  Molinari had several fabulous pieces within her collection that she could have styled differently, but I stand firm on my opinion of this collection.  As a whole, I cringed more than I smiled.

Watch the entire show here.  It was the first time I ever considered not finishing a runway video.

Image Source: Style.com

February 26, 2012

Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 RTW

In my frantic attempt to catch up with all that I've missed these past couple months in terms of fashion, I have completely been oblivious to the news of Raf Simons' departure from Jil Sander after 6 1/5 years.  Coincidentally, I was looking through photos of the Fall/Winter 2012 collection on the day of its showing, and was planning on making a post congratulating Simons on a successful show.  Well, now I know why it was such a beautiful show - it was his last.  I am shocked and hugely disappointed.  I only first started following Jil Sander after Simons caught my eye with his fantastic, colourful burst of a Spring 2011 RTW collection.  And now the adventure ends shortly after.  It was exactly the same after I started following Alexander McQueen; the glory of discovery ends all too soon.  But fashion moves quickly, both for the better and for the worst, and the only thing you can do is hang on and hope that, in the end, there will be no regrets.

Certainly the bright side of this story is the return of Jil Sander herself, who will surely revitalize the label with her original vision and passion.  And Simons' official availability has some talking over whether he will take over at Dior.  Simons' last collection for Jil Sander drove his minimalistic point home, and Dior's decorative identity may provide an interesting, if not appealing, challenge.

The show began with models clutching unbelievably soft, pastel coloured cocoon coats with another colour peeking out underneath.  The dresses were just as cushiony and architecturally constructed, even with a bustier top.  It was as pure and seamless as a morning stroll through the sun illuminated gardens.
Just when the pastels lulled you into relaxation, Simons introduced navy blue and red to give the collection a little boost.
The colours ended, but the boost continued in the form of silky dresses underneath coats which were no longer clutched at the chest.  You've probably noticed by now the beautiful artistic blocking of both colour and texture on some looks.
As the show neared a close, black took over in stark contrast from the beginning, and was occasionally streaked, slashed or suffocated with glossy black material.
The show definitely ended on a darker, even more chaotic, note.  Lightness drawing to darkness, a dream dissolving to reality - the reality that this is the end.

Thus followed a standing ovation headed by Anna Wintour that lasted for several minutes, and tears all around.  The room may have been full of sadness and longing, but with the spark of hope accompanying Sander's return, I doubt there will be any regrets.

Watch the entire show here.  The music on this video isn't the original soundtrack, so just open up Fade Into You by Mazzy Star and Superstar by Sonic Youth in another window, and you're set.

Image Source: Style.com

February 25, 2012

Tall Drink

I'm no expert when it comes to predicting trends so early in the game, especially when I don't have the time to go through every single collection, but I do see a recurring piece that just might become a trend.  Boots during Fall/Winter comes to absolutely no surprise, yet if you'll remember, they still caused a stir when numerous designers decided to go thigh-high.  Here is what I've been seeing, and maybe you'll agree with me that boots are fighting for a spot on trend lists this coming Fall...

Alexander Wang
Bottega Veneta
Proenza Schouler
I could easily be grasping at something that isn't there, but designers might be calling for an order of tall, sleek black boots.  So if you have such boots in the closet, take them out for Fall!  Even if it doesn't end up being a trend, who's to say you can't turn it into one?

Image Source: Style.com