Friday, February 20, 2009
Nuns and Poseurs
Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein is fast becoming what I consider a fashion Nun. His labored modernity, this worshipping at the alter of the Minimal is getting a bit too studied and ultimately tired. This is not to say that the collection for Fall is not without it's oasis of freshness, but the desert stretches on between sips of cool clear water.
The clever deconstruction and reconstruction of shapes with seams redirecting the eye is masterful, but at the end of the day( or 20 minutes or so) it starts to feel like a forced march. I love his eye, because it is so exacting. His use of felted wools and uber modern fabrics are a peek into the future but it never stops. It's a bit like Ralph Rucci with no reset button. They just go and go and go. After a while, as with Rucci, one owns the lexicon of shapes and one is forced to repeat their wardrobe or move on. Costa should consider this in the creation and editing of the collection. It's not a sin to throw a little hamburger in with the fois gras.
Exits#28 and #29 were beautiful jersey dresses with just enough twist to make them great and clearly Costa , but a roughly woven windowpane dress and suit with the asymmetric collar even looked like Rucci. The point that I make here is that these high tech fabrics for the most part are not people friendly. They wear you not the other way around. They are sharp ,hard and unyielding. The shoulders, elliptically shaped hips and bodies do not move with the body. they revolt against movement. They are at their best when viewed standing still. That isn't how I see clothes functioning on living, breathing people.
You be the judge.
Posers would be someone like Vera Wang. This is the hardest working girl on 7th Avenue. No one has tried harder to prove to themselves and others that they are a DESIGNER. Bridal gowns,ok. Clothing for the masses at Kohl's, maybe. Fashion for the discerning woman, NOPE. Season after season she cobbles together looks so unrelated and disparate that my eyes roll up in their sockets. Bottom line, she has a very strange eye for detail ,combinations of fabrics and pieces. It's so random that it becomes that:random. I've rarely seen a piece from her that truly made me stop and want to see it on someone. I rarely go places where I do see the clothes on someone. So why? This season was an homage to Peggy Guggenheim. I say like Peggy she should spend her fortune on art and shop like a maniac( which she does) and leave the heavy lifting to others. It's ok to have style and lots of cash, to also have a very successful bridal business, but designing fashion is altogether different.
I'm not convinced that she can.