Tag Archives: designer

Rod-artandcraft-e

Hype can be a terrible, terrible thing.

Take Rodarte, for example. The brand boasts A-list fans, got a mention in The September Issue (Grace Coddington: “those poor Rodart-eee girls”) and received a glowing review from one of my favourite fashion critics, Hilary Alexander, for its F/10 RTW show at NYFW; but 97 per cent of the ensembles sent down the runway this week looked like they belonged to the homeless, environmental science students, hippie brides or the Tavis among us.

If only they could eliminate the arts and crafts element, trim the fat, pare it back a little and edit … then they would have a beautiful collection on their hands.

The other 3 per cent of the collection, however, was divine:

Rodarte F/10 RTW

Rodarte F/10 RTW

Rodarte F/10 RTW

(Please excuse my appalling math skills.)

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Jacobs’ Frank approach

A name that comes to mind when viewing Marc Jacobs’ F/10 RTW collection (from the comfort of my lounge room, via Style.com) is Anne Frank.

Call me crude, but had Miss Frank survived I believe she would have blossomed into one of the women Jacobs sent down the runway yesterday – demure, earnest, prim and of course ‘serene’ (a word the fashion world is particularly fond of this week).

In terms of colour, his collection was simple, made up of greys, taupes and creams. The silhouettes and finer details, on the other hand, were much more interesting. Mid-calf-skimming dresses, fur lapels, grainy fabric and bias-cut skirts added a sense of mystery and suggestiveness; a combination so many women fail to get right.

It’s as if, with the swoop of his needle-holding hand, Jacobs has reminded us how beautiful innocence and naivete can be – it helped that the musical theme to the show was Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

And to think, I’d started to lose faith in Jacobs’ level of taste!

Marc Jacobs F/10 RTW

A wide view of DVF

What in God’s name has Diane von Furstenberg been feeding her models to make them look so … wide?

I know they were eating “carbs galore” at Thakoon (thanks to The Cut’s regular tweets), but what was on the menu at DVF? Deep-fried Mars Bar pizza?

OK, that was a tad mean. And I am all for the curvy figure – I would be a hypocrite if I wasn’t. But several of Diane von Furstenberg’s outfits added inches to the waists of normally svelte models, namely Natalia Vodianova (my personal favourite), Behati Prinsloo and Erin Heatherton. All I can say is, thank goodness they have lithe limbs.

While I’m not suggesting a cinched waist is the be all and end all, von Furstenberg would’ve done well to shorten her blazers and raise the waistbands on her capris. Proportion, proportion, proportion people!

DVF F/10 RTW

DVF F/10 RTW

DVF F/10 RTW

Truly posh clothing

I hate that I love Victoria Beckham’s F/10 RTW collection. I really do.

Call me closed-minded, but, with the exception of the Olsen twins, whenever a non-designer embarks on a ‘design’ project I automatically feel nothing but disdain for them and their creations. So much so, that if I receive a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker perfume as a present I’ll return it the next day – and I’m an SJP fan for life. Yo.

However, Beckham’s latest endeavour has proven me wrong. The collection is so sexy, so slick, so Mad Men, so … Gucci circa 2006, that I can’t help but fall for it.

Despite consisting entirely of dresses, the collection is the most commercially-viable to emerge from NYFW so far (we’ve still got Michael Kors and Donna Karan to come).

Whether or not Beckham is the creative force behind the collection, who knows. But when the dresses make women look this good, who cares!

Judge for yourself.

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Beckham does lose points for lack of originality, though. Combine the above three dresses and what do you get? Keira Knightley in Gucci at the 2006 UK premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, that’s what.

Keira Knightley

Rebecca Taylor, naturally

Rebecca Taylor may not be the most radical of designers and sometimes she errs on the side of ‘safe’, but she also creates clothes that are sweet, feminine and realistic – and although that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it’s not.

I was underwhelmed by Taylor’s F/09 RTW collection, which I was lucky enough to see at New York fashion week last year (albeit from the back row!), as it seemed like the New Zealand-born designer was trying a wee bit too hard by layering floral dresses over woollen knits and then pairing the outfits with coloured socks.

Her F/10 RTW collection, on the other hand, is much more relaxed and natural – it’s as if she has created looks that bring together pieces from Lanvin, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Chloe; with her signature statements, such as delicate leopard prints and flower motifs, trickled throughout. What this says to customers is that you can combine one of Taylor’s knits, for instance, with a pair of slacks from Target and vintage accessories – and still look chic from head-to-toe!

These are my favourite looks from the collection, and the pop culture references that inspired them (well, in my mind anyway):

Inspired by: Rick Deckard in Blade Runner.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Penny Lane in Almost Famous.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Audrey Hepburn from the waist up.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Annie Hall in Annie Hall.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Tribute: Clothes fit for a Queen

Alexander McQueen, the provocateur designer who passed away yesterday, created clothes that transported wearers to a fantasy world. Whether it be the whimsical deep sea (S/10 RTW), an Indian palace (F/08 RTW) or the set of Dynasty (a grey patterned McQ dress I purchased in 2008) the man had a knack for theatrics.

As a tribute to Alexander, or ‘Lee’ to those who knew him best, I’ve compiled my top five McQueen Moments:

1 Cate Blanchett. Vogue. 2005.

Cate Blanchett does Vogue

2005 was the year I fell in love with Cate Blanchett’s acting prowess after seeing her in the small Australian film Little Fish. I knew up until this point she was good, but I didn’t realise just how good. It was also the year Alexandra Shulman decided to put Blanchett on the cover of UK Vogue wearing this Alexander McQueen masterpiece. Exquisite.

2 Alexander McQueen. Environmental conscience. 2009.

Alexander McQueen FW/09

Alexander McQueen explored “an ironic and illusory exploration of the concept of re-invention” with his F/09 RTW collection that had models sporting nylon dresses made look look like garbage bags and wheel rims for hats, and used past collection props for the setting. Yes it was ironic, but what made his statement so clever was how the clothes were still sumptuous, feminine and decadent.

3 Carrie. SATC: The Movie. 2008.

Carrie and the girls in SATC: The Movie

Seconds after Carrie stepped onto the screen wearing this dress I knew it was an Alexander McQueen number, thanks in part to Net-a-Porter’s strategic placing of it on their website. A dress that dreams (ones set in Mexico, no doubt) are made of.

4 Cate Blanchett. Golden Globes. 2007.

Cate Blanchett at the Globes

Cate Blanchett has made no secret of her love of fashion, and particularly her love of ‘out-there’ fashion – one need only think of that crocheted Romance Was Born monstrosity she was spotted in last year to realise this. So it comes as no great surprise that she’s been photographed in many a McQueen gown; like this one she wore to the Golden Globes in 2007. This is a personal favourite of mine, as Blanchett shows how black needn’t be boring on the red carpet.

5 Racquel Zimmerman. Alexander McQueen campaign. 2010.

Alexander McQueen SS/10 campaign

Raquel Zimmerman, the closest thing the world has to a supermodel right now, stars in this Alexander McQueen campaign for his S/10 RTW collection. This is one fashion advertisement I find myself staring at for stretches of time. Whether or not I’ll buy these shoes, that’s another thing.

McQueen of hearts

I think I may have found a dress that tugs at my heartstrings like no other dress has done before.

It’s an acid yellow number, with a tight-fitting bodice and full skirt. It’s sheathed in sparse black lace that looks like an intricately spun spider web. It’s from Alexander McQueen’s Resort 2010 collection and it’s utterley, stupendously, irrevocably (cue deep breath) … divine.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

What’s most uplifting  about the dress (and simultaneously depressing, as I’ll never be able to afford it) is that you don’t need to be a 6-foot Amazon to wear it – as you do with a lot of McQueen’s statement pieces. Drew Barrymore, with her petite 5’4” frame, is case in point. She wore the dress to the Whip It! premiere at the  Toronto International Film Festival last month.

Drew Barrymore wears McQueen to the TIFF

Drew Barrymore wears McQueen to the TIFF

Despite her chimney sweep hair, Barrymore looks spectacular in the dress. Her semi-curtsy pose demonstrates how the dress is making her feel – elegant, feminine, playful and unique.