Posts filed under 'Runway Reviews'

Spring 2007 Fashion Week Notebook | Perry Ellis

 Perry Ellis Spring 2007
Photo Credit: Coutorture

Key Takeaways
:  Simple, clean, and classy.  A nice range of casual comfort and handsome formality that epitomizes Perry.  The garments are airy and invoke a cloud-like attitude.  In other words, if there was a fashion show for all the male angels in heaven, this would be it.

Color Palette: Light and breezy tans, whites and browns kiss this collection with sophistication.  Modernized argyle prints and stripes also make an unassuming appearance.

Silhouettes: Fitted and tailored to a tee, with an occasional loose fit in all the right places.

Accessories Report: The collection is so clean that any type of accessory would distract from the pieces on the runway.
What’s Wearable: Almost everything is ready-to-wear.  For those climates that allow you to wear coats during the spring, the Perry Ellis outerwear is wonderful: the mid-length trenches, the banded collared windbreaker and best of all, the double breasted blazer.

What’s Not Wearable: The see-through button down is a look that not many people can pull off, so try that on only if you are fashionably daring.  The square cut trunks may be a little too revealing for American men to wear in public. 

1 comment September 10th, 2006

Spring 2007 Fashion Week Notebook | John Bartlett

 John Bartlett
 Photo Credit: Coutorture

Key Takeaways:  The brighter side of the Hamptons Gentleman – strategically placed lines and very soft characterstics that still stay masculine.

Color Palette: Bartlett turns the volume knob of autumnal colors up one decibel higher with tans, olives, grays as well as citrus yellows and oranges.

Silhouettes: A nice contrast of bottoms: loose-fit slacks and fitted shorts are very spring friendly. Complementing tops and savvy blazers broaden shoulders and torsos effortlessly.

Accessories Report: Leather travel duffels and Top-sider shoes are the perfect touch to this yachting gentleman charm.

What’s Wearable: Everything in this collection is fresh.  The separates make it realistic enough to translate from the runway to an everyday wardrobe for the man.  It’s casual, chic and most of all perfect for spring.

What’s Not Wearable: Two complaints – for one, we saw a baggy windbreaker reminiscent of that of the Members Only club.  I know the eighties have been coming back into style, but there is a line that needs to be drawn.  Also, the rolled up pants paired with blazers wasn’t necessarily appealing.  Unless you’re having a business meeting on a beach, we wouldn’t recommend.

1 comment September 10th, 2006

Gen Art San Francisco | Gytha Mander

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Key Takeaways:  Gytha Mander (meaning “A Gift From Me”) brings us a collection that fuses Rasputin-like tendencies with a Dsquared mindset.  Even so, his pitch-perfect men’s apparel exude a dark elegance that echoes equestrian regality with warm tailor-made suits.  His style seems to find that form-fitting nuance that seems to get lost in Western menswear.

Color Palette:  A mix of ruby reds, oranges, blacks, whites, teals, camos, blues, browns, purples, and a whole landslide of shades provide a warm hodgepodge of colors that compliment this collection.  All of them blend smoothly without taking away from the designer’s vision – especially the iridescent blue lined blazers.

Silhouettes:  Fitting each model to a tee, the mildly sharp, broad-shouldered blazers are juxtaposed with the autumnal skinny-fit trousers.

Accessories Report:  Ties are whimsically paisley printed and fancy with bold stripes, while scarves make an occasional appearance.

What’s Wearable: Nearly all of the outerwear is something all fashion-minded men would want to get their hands on – even the professorial herringbone jacket with leather elbow patches.  He switches things up with an alternative to the traditional button down shirt via the banker shirt.  The use of unique color perspectives and prints excel with the linings and stitching in the topcoats and blazers, while the trousers (even the denim) fit handsomely.   The overall contrasting textures make a lot of the pieces appealing and wearable.

What’s Not Wearable:
There was a recurring bib present on many of the tops.  They seemed more infantile than fashionable – but they are useful for those butter-dripping lobster dinners.  The trousers may have been
endearing overall, but there was one particular pair that drew unnecessary attention to the crotch area.  The pants looked like Brokeback Bon Jovi. Gytha Mander also utilized gun holsters in the collection (à la John Bartlett Fall Collection ’06.)  They make look cool on the runway, but unless you’re a prominent law enforcer, let’s leave this one on the racks.

Add comment May 16th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Custo Barcelona

Custo Barcelona Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Brothers Custo and David Dalmau showed a collection of back alley fashions suitable for rebellious hipsters raised with proper etiquette.  As expected, layering is in, and the hearty use of fur as an embellishment adds a bit of maturity to a vibrantly youthful collection.

Color Palette:  Basic blacks, grays and browns (both light and dark) coincide with fiercely rich reds, blues, purples and greens.

Silhouettes:  Relaxed, but not too baggy.  The slip-on high-waist dresses fit in a straight flattering line– which conveniently makes for an androgynous complement to the slim, narrow lines on the men’s pieces.  On the flipside, feminine poise is illustrated via emphasized waists, flowy fabrics, constricted skirts and torso-hugging corsets. 

Accessories Report: Printed stockings add a bit of whimsy to the pieces.  The thoughtful shrugs, ponchos, mutated boleros and capes are beautifully crafted and give justice to the runway presentation.  Different types of hats include outsized fedoras (or are they porkpies?) and the occasional use of varied handbags to add some zest.

What’s Wearable: The necklines, both engulfing and modestly plunging, are very appealing. The knit and fall-friendly fabrics are adorned with various graphics that include, but are not limited to, roses, Asian characters, cowgirls and the abominable snowman playing a drum set (at least that’s what it looks like).  The patchy pieces are very fun and the use of texture in the skirts, pants and tops are very conceptual – but still look good for the average Joe or Jane.  Eveningwear is a bit subdued and tangential, but sexy.  Overall, the use of old fashioned aesthetics (i.e. knits, ruffles, lace) is mixed well with modern day technique.

What’s Not Wearable: The pieces are both strategic and well made, but there is one piece in particular that was a simple eyesore – the hole-in the chest cat suit thing was too bohemian Victorian. It carries an "Interview with a Vampire” theme that is theatrically tacky. The biggest downfall of the piece was the unflattering pair of printed pants (they looked like stretch pants. Once again the mixed patterns began to be too excessive and eventually became less appealing and more epileptic.

1 comment February 10th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Marc by Marc Jacobs

 Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  The look was very Bobo (think Mary-Kate and Stavros in the Village).

Color Palette:  As if straight out of a Rothko painting, the color scheme was limited to blue, grey and black.

Silhouettes: Models strutted down the runway in layer upon layer of oversized clothing.

Accessories Report: Ultralong scarves (and necklaces for women), newsboy hats, logo duffels, knit ski hats for men, pins on lapels, suspenders, fanny packs.

What’s Wearable: For women, a capelet with oversized buttons; an oversized wool grey coat; slouchy leather bags. For men, fitted blazers with pin adornments on the lapel.

What’s Not Wearable: Colorless colonial-style dresses for women; for men, sleeves hooked to the thumbs.

Add comment February 10th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Trovata

Trovata Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: Inventive Swiss-inspired collection with looks ranging from a sporty equestrian to extras in the  Sound of Music to a 1920s-meets-preppy-schoolgirl outfit.  Key trends included: (1) Toggle coats for men and women, (2) short sleeved looks, (3) double breasted coats, (4) stripes and solids for men, (5) raised waistlines, (6) vests, (7) giant cuff bracelets, and (8) fair isle sweaters.  What did we appreciate the most about Trovata?  Even in the simplest of outfits (a v-neck sweater over a button down shirt and slacks), we saw clear attention to detail: the shirt sleeves peeked out from under the sweater a perfect amount–about 3/4 inch–just as they should when a man is wearing a suit blazer.

Color Palette: Neutrals with shots of mustard yellow, olive, burnt orange, purple, sky blue, and bright royal blue.

Silhouettes: Silhouettes were generally slim, but some looks paired a fitted top over a more generously proportioned bottom.  For women, we saw short sleeved dresses, fresh looking sailor looks–including a great pair of sailor pants with purposefully mismatched buttons, fair isle sweaters, short sleeved looks, boatneck styles, asymmetry, loose flowy skirts on dresses, cropped pants, striped tights, and sweatervests.  For men, we saw striped looks under jackets, plenty of plaid, suspenders, fair isle sweaters, peacoats, and of course, toggle coats.

Accessories Report: For women, giant charms on necklaces, giant cuff bracelets, scarves wrapped around the head Grace Kelly style, hoodie-like hats, knit caps with bills, furry hats, and tights (but of course).  For men, we saw untied bow ties, suspenders, and beanies.

What’s Wearable: Most of the collection was wearable, but we especially loved the toggle coats and sweaters for both men and women.  We also appreciated Trovata’s take on the nautical theme: a cropped blazer + a button down striped shirt with yoke + sailor pants with multicolored buttons.  

What’s Not Wearable: I would skip on the Sound of Music ensembles, but they were just for show anyways.

1 comment February 10th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Michael Kors

Michael Kors

Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways: It seems Michael Kors is also smitten with the color black so we suppose it’s staying put for a while. But thankfully Mr. Kors hasn’t overlooked important details like fur, thick belts, knit scarves, bows,and more. Both the men’s and women’s lines have an overall serious tone, but some Abercrombie & Fitch-like preppy stripes lighten the mood.

Color Palette: Black is back, but grey, white, beige, yellow, blue, maroon, and olive green make it in to the mix.

Silhouettes: Tight trousers, blazers, vests, cardigans, trench coats, nad turtlenecks for the men. For the women, airy dresses, slim turtlenecks, large coats, skinny cropped trousers, A-line skirts, knit dresses, and fur shrugs.

Accessories Report: The men sported yellow-tinted shades, skinny one-color ties, scarves, and black leather belts with a silver circular hardware. The ladies carried chain-link leather handbags, knit caps, long knit scarves, opaque tights, long boots, thick belts, and thigh-highs.

What’s Wearable:  The ladies can definitely rock the evening dresses, skinny trousers, fur coats, and A-line skirts. The men will look smashing and slick in the slimming suits and blazers.

What’s Not Wearable: I don’t know how enthusiastic men will be to sport the feminine-looking leather belt with the circle hardware. And some of the plaid long skirts make the gals look like they just stepped out of finishing school.

1 comment February 10th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Y-3

Y-3 Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  If there were inhabitants on the moon, Yohji Yamamoto’s fall collection would be a perfect fit.  From the street b-boy to the woman-on-the-go, this is the perfect metro garb for those who like to look stylishly sporty, but don’t want to actually get physical.

Color Palette:  A gravel surface of grays, blacks and browns are shot with a temporary dose of primary colors red and blue.  Colors may be sparse, but with the manipulated panache he adds, the basic shades become full of character.
Silhouettes: For the men – baggy, yet fittingly masculine.  For the women – clean shapes and appropriate necklines that have an emphasis on urban modesty, but still maintain a playful sexiness. 

Accessories Report: Hats of all shapes and sizes: beanies (with and without pompoms), ivy caps, paper boy caps, fedoras – they’re all there.  In addition, sporty knit scarves from the small to the gigantic drape well on both men and women.  As always, bags (for both men and women) complement the clothes and warm, knit gloves (with and without fingertips) exude street-smart charm.  There was also a recurring appearance of this clunky plastic bead jewelry that was surprisingly very chic—not cheap and toy-like.

What’s Wearable: Every single piece (layered or not) in this “urban moonwalker” collection is undeniably wearable.  It’s obvious that Yamamoto designs boil over with urban flair.  His pieces of outerwear like his trenches, blazers and even his shedding mohair woman’s poncho, seem very fashionable and functional. Their greatest attribute to his zip-ups is their two-way capabilities – very fashion-savvy, yet refined.  To go with his Adidas blood, he gives a nice set of tracksuits, which are great for any person.  For women, the trend of sweaterdresses continues.  Even though the pieces are fairly basic, they exude an extravagant texture – very thoughtful and effortless.

What’s Not Wearable: The sequin appliqué is tolerable, but the scalloped feather look was didn’t hit the mark.  Other than that, Yamamoto proves that you can never go wrong with simplicity.

Add comment February 10th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Heatherette

Heatherette Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  Sassy, sexy and striking – the only way designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains work.  An overwhelming amount of stylish deconstruction walks down a piano key runway as they pay homage to New York City.  There is a hodgepodge of fused looks included in this collection – think futuristic kabuki New York punk rockers sent back into time to retro 1960’s London.

Color Palette:  From daring uses of reds, greens and blues to the extravagant use of the French-inspired black and white stripes – if you can name a color, chances are it was included in this collection.  But the main palette lies in their use of loud patterns.  With inspiration drawn from such a major metropolitan area, Heatherette had a lot to work with.  The segmented pieces included: 1.) clean graffiti prints in playful reds, blues and greens, 2.) French-inspired black and white stripes, 3.) soft, yet confident, peaches, pinks and creams – and a whole lot more!

Silhouettes:  Much like their color palette, Heatherette’s silhouettes are all over the place.  For the most part, they are flirty (for the women) and slim (for the men.)  Slip dresses with high waists complement Fashion Week’s emphasis on the waistline.  Heatherette also includes a cinched waist on their wild debutante dresses, which are quite flattering and youthful (some of them are overflowing with feathers.)  On the flipside, they still remember that not all women are girly.  They provide quirky 60’s inspired street wear and bohemian avant-garde garments.

Accessories Report:  Standing out from their potpourri of accessories is their chain-adorned handbag – stylish and extremely functional.  Oversized circular framed glasses give a bit of quirkiness, while a landslide of novel head wear pieces include fedoras and mime-like berets.  For some of their more “formal” attire, simple clutches contrast with busy Chrysler building printed dresses.  They also add a couple of Chihuahuas in the mix for some Paris Hilton pizazz. 

What’s Wearable: All pieces are laden with Heatherette style: unapologetic and impulsive.  The primary wearable aspect from this collection is the loud prints.  City skylines, “big apples” and music notes give fun concepts for basic screen print tees and graffiti-based garb.  In addition, the veritable cornucopia of conceptual street wear ranges from Park Avenue gaudiness to the modishly trashy rock and roller.  When pieced apart, there are some things that aren’t too costumey.  For one, the vests support fashion’s current direction.  Same goes for the high-waisted dresses and knitted, down home outerwear. Although they are a bit busy, they are wearable.

What’s Not Wearable: Some of the debutant dresses are a bit “tacky 80’s prom” – same goes with their superfluous use of feathers.  Even if Naomi Campbell wore this purple ostrich monstrosity, it was difficult to take seriously.  The whimsical nature of Rains and Rich is very appealing, but sometimes it’s too convoluted and haphazard – especially with their mixing and matching of Pucci-esque patterns.

2 comments February 9th, 2006

Fashion Week Notebook | Cloak

Cloak Fall 2006
Photo Credit: NY Metro

Key Takeaways:  All in all, a well-edited "safe" collection.  Nothing too outrageous here.  Key trends included (1) toggle coats (love em!), (2) oversized detailing, (3) narrow shapes, and (4) fur trim.

Color Palette:  Completely composed of neutrals, mostly black and white.

Silhouettes:  Silhouettes were pretty narrow at Cloak.  Lots of slim cuts and "tailored" layering.  We saw narrow ties, narrow jacket lapels, and miniature collars.  However, we did see oversized detailing, especially on the coats and jackets.  Pockets, collars, and closures were exaggerated in size.  Other items we saw: chunky knit turtlenecks, sweater jackets, track jackets, motorcycle jackets, and safari-inspired jackets.

What’s Wearable: Literally everything.  We especially appreciated the toggle coats.  We’ve been pushing these for months, and we’re glad they’re finally getting the attention they deserve.

What’s Not Wearable: Our only recommendation–lighten up on the black! 

Add comment February 9th, 2006

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