You know something is extra fantastic when you can only respond with Anne of Green Gables gifs. This is how it is DONE, SON. From the venue, New York’s fabled Ziegfeld theater where the art of spectacle was invented, to the presentation, with the girls walking the red carpet, being photographed by the paparazzi, and then walking the aisles of the theater as a band played, to the collection itself, this all works together perfectly as a wonderful tribute to Americana through out the ages. From vintage film actress dresses to bandstand festooning to Letterman jackets to Bowie-esque blue suits to motorcycle jackets and everything in between, Marc Jacobs showed all of these important pieces of fashion from the last century done his way, with a cheekiness and a delight that so many other designers lack. All this plus some amazing casting, including Beth freaking Ditto. I think my only complaint about this show was that the girls were all so unsmiling. If there was ever a reason to have some happy models, this collection was it. You can read more about the references to past icon fashion moments here, and watch the video of the show here.
As we near the end of one fashion week and gird our loins for another, let’s contemplate the variety of style offered to us in just one day. On one end you have Marchesa, perennial red carpet favorite and purveyor of throwback glamour, and on the other hand you have The Blonds, Amanda Lepore favorite and architects of themed corsets, nail art and accessories beyond imagination. This season, Marchesa presented some beautiful gowns fresh from a film noir festival where The Blonds referenced Ancient Egypt with ponytail headpieces and scarab jewelry. Overall, though, these are two rather restrained collections, which is especially surprising coming from The Blonds, who have achieved such glorious excess in past shows.
I am kinda horrified with myself right now. I actually liked? Liked, really? Yes, liked. In fact I maybe kinda loved both the Rodarte and the Jeremy Scott shows this season. WHO AM I EVEN? I haven’t liked a Rodarte show since those distressed knit dresses that looked so bloody that it seemed the last person who wore them was a girl in a horror movie. Since then I’ve found their collections to be poorly tailored, blindly slopped together,explosion-at-the-discount-fabric-store messes. This season definitely still had that, but amoungst all that unflattering garbage, there were these vintage, kinda goddess-y ensembles that look like the sequel to Love Story where Ali MacGraw is in heaven.
As for Jeremy Scott, ours is a love/hate relationship. This man responsible for so much of the horror that lives in Miley Cyrus’ closet, relies so heavily on referential material that sometimes it feels like cosplay. Yet I can not stop myself from loving things like his 80’s Barbie inspired collection for Moschino. Again, the vintage references in this collection hit the right, playful mark. With all star casting a la Hadid both Gigi and Bella, this is pure 60’s-vision-of-the-future kitsch, with big plastic bracelets and earrings, bright vintage TVs everywhere from the prints to the purses, and my favorite, a print made up of a page from a high school yearbook.
Well children, here we are back again for another round of Fashion Weeks. Let’s all hold our collective breaths that this season is better than the ugly, drab and weirdly proportioned pieces of Fall 2015 that have plagued editorials since their debut.
We start with Givenchy, showing at NYFW this season because Ricardo Tisci wanted to show this season in New York on September 11th, as well as this being his 10 year anniversary as designer for Givenchy. Tisci, with his army of famous BFFs, is like a laconic, gay, swarthy Taylor Swift who is into power bottoms. I have definitely fallen in love with some of his past Givenchy couture shows, and some of his pieces have gone on to be icon on the red carpet and in editorials, but there has been a long drawn out feeling of reductiveness. Instead of a new, inspired collection each season, there is a lot of referencing back to past ideas that have been popular.
This season he took this to a whole other level by literally recreating past couture looks, and not from the past ten years of his tenure, rather mostly coming from his Spring 2010 collection. The reason behind this isn’t exactly clear. In fact there is so much going on here, that no direct narrative seems to present itself. The show had a funereal feeling to it, but how lingerie references mourning in this sense I am not sure. I know he meant these pants to be a part of the menswear vibe, but to me, they look like slacks. Like the Tabi brand loose, poorly tailored black slacks that women in their 40’s wear to their office jobs in Hoboken, NJ. There were boys in this show, and as Bo says “male models, gross.” Also, two models, including the human embodiment of the letter S Candice Swanepoel and another lovely young thing both fell on the runway. The first girl completely bit it, falling down the wooden steps on her knees. What do you expect is going to happen when you make models walk on flats in stilettos, too long pants, trailing ribbons and dragging shoe laces. You could later see that the model who fell’s knee was bleeding. But her and Candice both got up and kept walking like nothing had happened because these girls are goddamn professionals and know that they must go on no matter what.
Amongst all the themes and references that were incoherently bumping into each other, two strong visuals emerged. The first was Jourdan Dunn in a black gown thick with moss-like embellishment. Through her fierceness alone, JD makes this rather awkward dress work, all bold lip color and sharp cheekbones. The other strong visual were the gem and lace face masks, painstakingly glued to the faces of five models by make up genius Pat McGrath. This is one of the few things in this collection that leave an impression. Grotesque in its reptilian like texture, beautiful in the details of pearls and intricately layered lace, they are like scars, of an expression made permanent by a trauma. Perhaps this is the clearest message from this show, the idea of something in the past still leaving its influence on the present.
These shows should come with a spoiler alert because we are most definitely going to see a lot of these dresses on Sunday on the Oscar Red Carpet. These two collections, however, are a great contrast between innovation on the ‘pretty dress’ vibe that so many of these designers are known for. Reem Acra’s dresses look like the glitzest Renaissance Fair ever, with leg-o-mutton sleeves, corset lacing details, velvet and jewels, and beautiful basques. Though likely to be toned down some, these are still dresses that are Oscar appropriate while being a little more than just a neutral coloured column dress with a slight train, which we will see times a dozen on Sunday. Marchesa has tried with this collection to be influenced by the past, with Gatsby ready flapper lines and cuts, but when it breaks down at the end, it’s still the same as before. But what’s your motivation to try new things when you’re one of the house’s designers Georgina Chapman and married to studio HBIC Harvey Weinstein and wearing one of these boring pretty dresses is a sartorial ass kiss.
Reem Acra Fall 2015
Marchesa Fall 2015