October 31, 2013

Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2014 RTW

Recap: For the past couple of seasons, Raf Simons has been hitting the archives and really dissecting the core of Christian Dior - clearly defining each aspect and presenting it in its purest form.  No fuss, no frills, just plain Dior.  This season, Simons doesn't lose touch with quintessential Dior, but begins exploring the edges of what define this historic label.  There were little details that stood out and turned traditional pieces into on-trend must-haves: a button up that buttoned around the body, diagonal pleats on skirts, and racerbacks with straps of uneven thickness.  The unexpectedness of detailing is most strongly displayed in a very traditional bar jacket that packs a punch from behind: flouncing floral pleating all along the back.

Verdict: Finally, a collection I like!  You're all probably tired of hearing me lament about Simons at Dior, and so this is likely a refreshing verdict.  No, this wasn't the perfect collection, but at least I was intrigued by the unique detailing Simons inserted into each look.  Even my conscious attempts at finding an obvious flaw were thwarted.  When the bar jacket came out and I thought, "Simons, I knew you just couldn't help but put one of those in there!", I was rendered speechless (and frankly, impressed) when the model turned around and I was confronted with the floral pleating.  Keep it up, Simons!  Really looking forward to once again feeling that sense of excitement before every Dior collection. 

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: Style.com

October 27, 2013

Prabal Gurung Spring/Summer 2014 RTW

Recap: Despite the shockingly bright colours, there was a cold mechanical feel to Prabal Gurung's Spring/Summer 2014 RTW collection.  Models walked deadpaned with their lips painted as perfectly as a mannequin's.  It was as if the models were robots made to seem more human through their clothing.  They stood in two stiff lines behind a wall of glass, which resembled storefront windows, and slowly emerged one-by-one to parade in front of a group of shoppers.  This stark futurism was futher emphasized by the sharp cuts, severe off-the-shoulders, and bowties that weren't floppy, but rather cut to be as severe as a metal blade.  The (forced) infusion of life came in randomly placed feathers, screen-printed PVC, sheer panels and haphazard embellishment. Whether this collection was a comment on how clothing cannot conceal who we truly are inside, or a critism of the cold-hearted robotism of fashion, or done for just plain fun, Gurung's creativity is what really stands out.

Verdict: I first took notice of Gurung when he showed sheer pants with metallic purple "acid" dripping down the legs for Spring/Summer 2012 (I still want those pants so badly), and since then, I've been keeping an eye on him.  He lags slightly in his Fall/Winter collections, but his Spring/Summer collections are always strong.  There's a uniqueness in his designs that is so distinctly Gurung - bold, abstract patterns, unashamedly bright colours, and stark cuts and lines that work to befuddle the mind.  This season, he once again proves he has promising potential.

Watch the full show here.

Image Source: Style.com

October 26, 2013

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014 RTW

Recap: At first, it took a while to settle in, but once it did, realization came in floods. The set. Marc Jacobs' set for Louis Vuitton. It was a walk down memory lane!  There was the fountain from Fall/Winter 2010, the elevators from Fall/Winter 2011, the carousel from Spring/Summer 2012, the clock from Fall/Winter 2012, the escalators from Spring/Summer 2013, the hotel doors from Fall/Winter 2013, the print from LV's collaboration with Stephen Sprouse...but wait, it was dark; it was all dark.  This was not a collection of celebration, but a collection of mourning - mourning the departure of one of our most influential designers from one of the world's most influential labels.  The clothes themselves reflected Louis Vuitton's past 16 years with Jacobs: a mix of extravagance, and street fashion.  There were barely-there, sheer bodysuits and baggy, oversized pantsuits; grungy motercycle boots on the bottom and over-the-top ostrich plume headpieces on top; ornate jackets dripping (literally) with jet black crystals and slouchy denim pants rolled at the ankles.  Even before Jacobs walked out for his final bow, the audience was standing in preparation for an ovation.  And as he headed backstage, something happened that I have never before witnessed at a fashion show: the audience stalled for a couple of seconds before getting out of their seats.  Usually audience members are eager to run out to their next show, but this time, the audience lingered, trying to absorb the final, fading moments of Jacobs' overwhelming legacy.

Verdict:  If anything, this was an emotional collection.  It played at your heartstrings.  As each reference to past collections revealed themselves to me, I could feel the tears pushing at the back of my eyes.  The grand scale of the show brought shivers to my arms, and at times, I could do nothing but exhale in exhaustion from the formidable, almost emotionally draining collection.  Farewell, Marc Jacobs.  You will be mourned. 

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: Style.com

October 25, 2013

Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2014 RTW

So first I had my ever-ambitious Fashion Week Marathons, where I made comprehensive reviews of collections as they came out. Then I had my Fashion Week recaps, where I briefly commented on my highlights at the end of the season. And now, after admitting defeat, I am going to attempt a hybrid of the two: shorter, but more frequent, reviews of individual collections. Just going with the flow and adapting to my new hectic life schedule. Let's see how this goes, shall we? First up on my marathon list: Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2014 RTW.

Recap: In this high energy fashion presentation, the art of step dancing was brought to life by women from four step dancing sororities, all wearing creations that were hiked and slashed to provide optimal movement - a true departure from Owen's usual draped, somber attire.  But the clothing really didn't mean anything the instant the first group of women walked down the runway.  It was electric.  The scowls set in their face (used to intimidate the competition) radiated strength, and with each movement, power and energy could be felt pulsating through the room.  Each woman had her own personality, and you could see it in her dance; you could feel it in her motion. 

Verdict: This could have easily been the most memorable moment of Fashion Week.  It was a slap in the face - a slap in the face that fashion considers to be ideal and beautiful.  For once, a forceful fashion presentation that actually wasn't about the clothing, but rather the woman, her culture, and her beauty. Round of applause for Rick Owens.

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: Style.com

October 14, 2013

3rd Year and 18th Day!

So...school has finally gotten so busy that I forgot to mark my blog's birthday, hence the ridiculous post title. I would have almost written off my own birthday (which is 4 days after my blog's birthday) if it weren't for my amazing friends who surprised me with a dinner while I was in the midst of completing a group project.  So much love.

3 years.  It's not really a special number.  No one holds big celebrations for such an odd number.  But to me, it's another year gone by that I've stayed true to who I am.  Being in a business program, you learn a lot about self-marketing.  You're told to use social media as a tool, to network, to find those connections that will open doors...and I sit there and think, sure, I can do that, but in terms of my blog, I will never use it as a catalyst towards exposure and fame.  My blog is me, not a business.

If there's one thing that remains sacred, it's my blog.  I will not worry about SEO, I will not create numerous social media outlets for my blog, and I will not post to become popular.  I post for myself and I post from the heart.  Recognition may be a result, but never the driver.

Happy belated birthday, Red-Soled Fashionista.

Image Source: Birthday