ThreeasFour have designed a very grown up and wearable collection, thankfully devoid of it's experimental aesthetic that was consistently experimental. They have always struck me as a band of designers who dropped out of design school after not making the cut for a diploma. Contrived, self conscious collections designed for the hype machine and the victims who thrive on cotton candy.
This time around the spring 09 collection was a stark departure. One had the feeling that the rent came due and it was time to get down to serious work and show clothes that women could wear and actually want to buy. The shapes had a mature, elegant and still very creative look that made you dream .There was a real richness and uniqueness to the collection. A thread ran through it that made it look and feel thought out and cohesive , but obviously there's and no one Else's. I was impressed and encouraged that some out there are willing to make an audience focus on the real and not come away with an idea of whatwas meant to be expressed. Many many looks were superior to anything they've done in the past. A great collection!
Erin Fetherston was really a standout collection. Very young, modern couture. Her simple straightforward approach to shapes, both friendly and deceptively sophisticated. The slip dress done in light as air chiffon in shades that only hint at color were at once enthralling. The measured use of cut, lots of one-shouldered dresses with insouciant pouffed ,asymmetrical hems and then sparked with a touch of charmeuse as a tie at the shoulder made for just the right degree of elegant interest. A few looks: 22, 27 and 30 used this theme. They were so fresh, accessible and chic that it made other collections look forced. You could imagine look #30 as a bride in the most modern and clever sense. Her gowns followed a similar theme, but the pouffed flounces now divided the slim line of the skirt. I couldn't help but compare them to Facchinetti's couture offerings at Valentino, but with a lightness of hand that out classed that over hyped collection with effortless technique.The ombre chiffons were so soft and cut with such precision as to make them look as though no hands had touched them. this is talent. She really made it look easy, romantic and forward. Erin Fetherston is a star whose light will shine brightly.
On a less than inspired note was the show biz quality of Ruffian (left picture) and Alexander Wang (right picture). Lots of derivative shapes , fabrications and a dogged focus on looks of the past. It looked like a show of student projects trotted out to say," Look at us, aren't we cool?' Wang's message never moved forward which means it remained static or slid backwards. Ruffian did to their credit have some very beautiful cocktail and even dresses, which was a welcome contrast to the tired hippie looks of 4/5 of the collection. If they would work more at finding a voice of their own and not aping the cacophony of trends both tried and no longer true, I could sit still and not feel the urge to sharpen my claws on this computer screen. Perhaps a bit more time spent at work and less on self promotion and party crashing would give them the results they obviously crave: respect.
So there you have round one of the cavalcade of stars. The cloudy, fogged in skies of the past day or so may very well break and give us all a glimpse of design worthy of such a crowded schedule. Til then , I think I'll watch some tennis and hope the balls stay in play.