Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Story with Dick Gordon and Fluff/Eric

Here's the story for us New Yorkers who will have a time trying to catch this! Hope you enjoy it!
Listen! http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_870_Eric_Gaskins.mp3/view

my best to you all,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fluff comes out on the Airwaves 29 Sept. 09

Tomorrow or today , when ever you see this, I am speaking out on a PBS sponsored program called: The Story with Dick Gordon. It's aired on about 100 radio stations at different times . Go to "thestory.org" and click on the heading that says "where to hear the story" and they list the times and states where it will broadcast. If you miss it during its airing tomorrow , just go to the same site and check the archive and hit play . It will be an interview with me, Eric Gaskins , but is all about Fluff and The Emperors Old Clothes. I hope you'll tune in, I had fun and it gives you a little insight as to me and Eric!
Enjoy and thanks for reading the blog. You all are wonderful friends !

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A.P. Social Studies: The Vogue Clack

No season is complete without Vogue Clack-watching. This season was was no less interesting than others except for it's slightly splintered quality. The players on the leader board are slightly altered. Those who used to sit at the right arm of the Mother Superior, Sister Mary Anna, have changed. Gone, for the most part is Monsignor Talley. He's been replaced by Sister Mary Grace, Father Hamish and a Novitiate, soon to be a full fledged nun, Novice Sister Mary Alexandra. Sister Mary Tonne was almost always in attendance.

Like the first three years of Catholic school that I attended, Saint Mary's, this movable convent was to the naked eye very strict, humorless and sober. They all conducted themselves as though they were the examples and we, the pagan masses, were to be educated by their stern example. As someone always interested in self-improvement, I watched closely to glean some tips on how to better myself. In doing so ,I learned a few valuable lessons on what to do and what not.

At the small handful of shows that the group appeared all together, they had a way of drifting in on what appeared to be a celestial cloud. Anna, the Mother Superior was often first, but never alone. She was either accompanied by Sister Mary Grace of the untamed long wild Red hair or with her body guard. Yes, a body guard who stood directly in front of her doing the body block. He'd move aside if someone important or a member of the press came up for a word. He'd move a foot or so to the left or right , but never strayed. He was the most unsubtle body guard I've ever watched. He was big on talking into his cuff and looking deadly serious when scanning the clueless and addled crowd. Sister Mary Anna sat staring straight ahead in her big dark shades at Secret Agent Doe's crotch. That's where her gaze seemed leveled. In dark glasses, you can never tell where one is looking.

Her expression was always dead with a few exceptions. If she passed a comment to here left or right to the members of her convent , they were passed without expression or animation. At Donna Karan she appeared almost angry, until I realized that it was the day of the Federer finals match at the U.S.Open., where she obviously would rather be. Before the last girl exited at the shows end, she was AWOL. Gone, gone , gone.

At Isaac Mizrahi, she was a lot more animated, actually happy-seeming and engaged, at least before the show. I can't say the same once the show began. When everyone was storming in, photogs were shooting her and her gaggle of anointed brothers and sisters. The body guard was smack in front talking to his sleeve or was it the heel of her shoe, I'm not sure. At one point Bill Cunningham tripped over this slab that was sitting in the middle of the runway to talk with her. There ensued a very animated exchange complete with laughs and hand holding, arms waving and general bon homie. It was kind of cool. I've never seen her so alive and cheerful. This happened with Bill a couple of times before the start of the show. Each time the exchange ended, the body guard stepped back into position.

Sister Mary Grace was most definitely the star of the group. People all around wee totally captivated by her. Some were cheering at her presence outside the venues as they would arrive and leave. But a lot of eyes stayed glued to her. She seemed very natural in view of the attention and unfazed throughout. What I loved most about Grace was as the show progressed she sketched the looks she liked from beginning to end. Her pencil never paused and I was close enough to see that he was drawing and not note-taking. She's passionate, truly engaged and passionate about her calling. In contrast, Mother Superior sat like a bored lump. Bored and unamused. Father Hamish looked to be in full chat with Alexandra and also sketching. I was puzzled by his sketching, but hey, at least he was engaged. His sartorial choices were impressive. The world according to Hamish Bowles is one to dress for. Everyday is a reason to wear your most extravagant Bespoke ,suit, shirt and tie. Finish it all of with an arresting Coat and hand-made shoes. I learned that one way to command attention and respect is to dress to Overwhelm. His wardrobe is staggering. He is certainly an example of a man having as much fun as a woman playing dress-up. He did a much better job than most women in attendance.

I think a poker face is a good thing to master at the shows. Looking bored, offended or dead do nothing but give people like me fodder to write about. Whatever happened to charm and good sportsmanship? Grace looks intrigued whether she is or isn't. Anna looks like she's got indigestion or an inflamed hammer toe. When the rain machine came on directly over that slab which almost sent Bill Cunningham flying headfirst onto Anna's lap, she recoiled in horror. It was inconveniently positioned just feet in front of her. Perhaps the water was splashing onto her bare legs. She recoiled and then looked up at the water works as though she could will the thing to stop. That seemed to take the joy out of the experience. Grace appeared to be amused by it. I certainly was. It was interesting watching her discomfort and the body guard, now seated on the ground to her immediate left, madly talking into his armpit.

The final insult came when Isaac sent out a golf cart with a model in the passenger seat and parked it right in front of Anna. I think it was Isaac's passive aggression getting the better of him. If he blocked her in the parking lot, maybe she couldn't bolt when the show came to an end. No matter, his well intended ploy slowed her for about 30 seconds. When the models came to take their final turn and Isaac walked the length of his considerable runway to acknowledge the audience's applause, Sister Mary Anna got up and tore down the runway towards the exit. There was no warning to anyone from her team, certainly not the body guard, who was forced to sprint after her. Granted, she had another engagement, it just didn't look good to watch the editor of Vogue magazine running as fast as possible from your show.

Walk quickly, but don't run. You may accidentally step on Rachel Zoe who's slithering under foot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Social Studies: The audience is as entertaining as the runway.

Rachel Zoe wearing Marc Jacobs!

The tents were rife with entertainment. We were there, or at least I was, to see the collections. Many invited guests and followers of the Fashion circus were all fixed on the collections. The tension and excitement in the air was thick enough to cut with a machine gun. Outside the tents where crowds gathered to watch the glittering throngs enter and exit was a strange scene. The whole star gazing thing has always been a mystery to me. That isn't to say that I'm not curious or occasionally captivated when I see someone of note a few feet away. I'll stare like the next guy/girl but it's not the thing I live for. You got the feeling that there were people there day in and out just to watch those few come and go for the sheer thrill of seeing"them".

Personally, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Part of me just wanted to say to the huddled masses,"It's really no big Woop". But that's easy to say when you're on the way in and others are not. Waiting in line to get your seating assignment is another experience. Impatience is a disease of the Fashionable. For some silly reason many people get very annoyed having to wait to get this important detail handled. I think it has something to do with a misguided idea that they think the world should know who they are and none of the rules of protocol need apply to them. Others use that wrinkle in time to preen. I watched countless men and mostly women adjusting their clothes, hair,and makeup. Two women, whom i spotted a number of times, kept adjusting each other's dresses and hair for each other. Literally, tugging on the dress, unzipping and re-zipping the others dress and adjusting bra straps. Like two blonde apes picking off vermin or in this case, rearranging the vermin to it's best advantage.

Once inside, it's a floor show of who sits where, who is who and who is not. I was fortunate to have a front row seat on a few occasions, and let me tell you, that is the best seat in the house. Best because you get to watch the high rollers, the "Whales" as it were, in all their glory.The photographers are stalking their prey and the players are doing their best to act as though nothing out of the ordinary is going on. If it were me and I was talking to a friend next to me and suddenly had three cameras on me at the same time all flashing within two feet of me, I think I would notice a slight disturbance. Not these guys. They all played as though nothing unusual was happening and either stopped to pose or just kept talking about whatever. Self consciousness is left in the Town car down the block.

When the two blondes came in in search of their seats a couple of cameras turned on them and started shooting. For the life of me, I had no idea who they were except a couple of women in strapless and one-shouldered cocktail dresses at 11:00 in the morning. A few ladies behind me were buzzing loudly about hearing that this one and that one were going to be there. They were on fire at the prospect of catching sight of this celebrity or that one and could barely contain their excitement. When the two inappropriately dressed she-apes came in they were asking each other who they were. It was a frenzy of questions. One tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I knew. Maybe they thought that a front row seat implies knowledge. All I could say was," I think they're two overdressed blondes !" Those ladies looked at me like I was insane. I guess I am.

The people I watched and enjoyed a lot were the teams from the major Department stores: the Saks, Neiman's, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys and Nordstrom's gangs. So much self regard,self importance and silliness. They looked as though they were scientists or juiced up entertainers. Lots of air kissing and chair hopping to and fro. The few who were interviewed by roving TV stations were animated and long winded until it was over then they sat back down with an expression of boredom. They seemed to live for those moments. When the shows started all traces of animation was shut off. Poof! Dead eyes with no traces of life. I guess that's the way it's done. That's why they make the big bucks.....

Who got the interview was just as interesting as who didn't. The really sharp people like the editors from the NY Times,Cathy Horyn and Eric Wilson or Teri Agins from the Wall Street Journal were more often passed over for some deadbeat stylist like Rachel Zoe or some past her shelf life socialite. I honestly don't think Jamee Gregory has much to bring to the table. Rachel was one of the most bored , sour pussed front row viewers at every show I attended. She's Runway Poison.

It was fun to spy on Rachel after having watched a couple of episodes from her "reality" show. If that's reality then give me reruns of Knot's Landing. Can she be as jaded and absurd in person as she is on the little screen? Actually, yes. Her expert eye was of more interest to me than her behavior which is graceless and obnoxious. Rachel likes to sit front and center with the biggest dark glasses on in the room. They stay on ala Anna even with a camera in her hand. I watched her at Derek Lam to see what would strike her red carpet fancy. Well, nothing seemed to. She sat staring scornfully throughout until the very end when the sparkly numbers trotted by. Sportswear designers rarely have a gift for evening clothes unless they are Michael Kors or Francisco Costa. These beaded numbers were either cutesy or plainly overwrought. When the most regrettable of the four came out, all gold sequins and cheap looking, off came the sunglasses and Rachel starting shooting. I laughed to myself because I knew she would hone in on the tackiest dress of the collection. But what do I know? I'm just a myopic cat without a clue.

I discovered that I'm not alone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Painful Posts....

Gang ,
I just posted a review of Peter Som and Doo.Ri a moment ago. It's dated Friday, but as you can see it's now Monday. That just shows you how hard it is sometimes to find something to say that's even remotely of any interest or value. I'm not convinced that I succeeded. It's the thought that counts but maybe some thoughts are better kept to onesself, just like some collections. Let's hope the others I still have left to share are less difficult births.
Always my best,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Peter Som: The Nana Diaries ...and Doo.Ri

Peter Som sent out a collection that was better than his most recent ones. It again was a styling project. A dress, top or skirt under a little coat was finished with a dollop of a Granny hat perched on top. There is something decidedly cool, very moneyed-hipster girl about these clothes. She's eclectic. Perhaps she went to Dalton instead of Chapin and ended up at Barnard instead of Yale. This girl wants proximity to the center of the action. She likes her fashion Lite. Well that's exactly what she finds in this collection. Lady-ish young clothes all put together in unexplained ways.

A very cute short skirt in a floral print with a top and coat was one of my favorites,very gamine in an insoucient sort of way. Beyond that the hats were the leit motif that ran through a collection of odd ball pieces. To make draped dresses in cotton or other relatively stiff fabrics doesn't register with me. Soft, fluid fabrics lend themselves so much easier to that task. This collection was rife with draping and all of it in cotton,with the exception of a few tops on georgette. All of them looked stiff and cumbersome.It had a down market feel to it. The sweaters and tops in striped knits and a few clean, sleek fitted dresses said it best.

This Pantie as outer wear instead of inner wear is way over my head. I can't see a woman actually walking around with a blouse, jacket and panties at a party unless that party has a theme. Tossing a draped snood on her head and sunglasses that were very vintage in design all added up to a thrift store look. I have to say Peter was one of the very few who didn't buy into the platform shoe directive. His choice of silver pumps and a shocking blue didn't add to the looks cohesion, but it was a step out from the pack.

The still life presentation is great because you can see the quality of the collection. His economy was obvious , but the same fabrics kept showing up in too many pieces.

My overall impression was that of cleaning out the closets of your favorite Nana and instead of donating them to the Church flea market they got sent down the runway. If in fact Peter hooks up with Tommy Hilfiger, I would guess it will be a good match. Their aesthetic will probably meet in the middle. But that remains to be seen and also remains to be announced.

Doo.Ri in contrast did a collection that seemed to have a similar target audience, only her aim was much better. The draping of silk jersey , which she's known for appeared here in very simple sexy wedge minis and in tops paired with skirts with a tiny flutter of jersey at the waist , or over shorts. The overall effect of her broader collection was young, sexy and straight forward in an artsy way. I've not been much of a fan in the past feeling that she churns out looks each season that are too similar. This Spring collection was clearly her voice but seemed to take itself a bit less seriously and looked fresh and interesting. The same sort of artlessness which Som attempted looked forced and self conscious in comparison. These were clothes that would translate easily to many body types and ages. There was a worldliness to it that I found compelling and beautiful.

One of my favorite dresses was a blue jersey fan pleated dress with just enough interest on the bodice and a soft easy skirt. Nothing about it was over-stated or coy. Another dress of draped lace over a silk under dress was also interesting in its use of an unconventional, abstract lace. I like unexpected versions of familiar fabrics, in this case, a chantilly lace that foregoes flowers for what looks more like a spider's web. The platform shoes looked a bit heavy and brutal for clothes that were essentially light and fluid, but that seems to be the law this season. Platforms everywhere, whether they add to the equation or not.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Proenza Schouler: The art of the Tank Dress

That says it in a word, though it's illustrated about 30 times, that's the message here this season. I would have expected there would be a bit more to sink my teeth into. Any dress,even a tank dress takes technique, but once mastered it's fine to move onto more challenging shapes. Beautiful fabrics abounded which was a welcome departure. As creative as some of these tanks were they overstated the fact. One after another they paraded down the runway. Some had cleverly attached asymmetric hems with bits of mystery peeking out below the hem. One dress, a baby doll of sorts was reminiscent of Geoffrey Beene, but that was as far as they strayed.I just didn't see what the point was.

A scuba theme was lost on me.Perhaps it was the prints which resembles the surfaces of coral and the skins of tropical fish. Sexy long sleeved tees over skirts and pants, I imagine were the illustration of this idea. I have to return to the fabrics, though. The colors and prints were a departure and were really eye catching. With their resources and considerable financing behind them I expected there would be more of a bravura line up of looks. I didn't see it.

Having just won the CFDA award for best Accessories wasn't reflected the other day, either. There wasn't a shoe or bag or belt that showed their prowess at supremacy in that field.There were basically two shoe styles done in different colors and 2 or 3 bags in a few different colors to compliment the looks they accompanied. This should have been a major show for them. The mini-film on their presentation of last season was surely inspiration to pull out all the stops and claim their place in the majors. If anything it felt as though they sat back instead of rising to the occasion.

The models were strangely bedraggled and spent looking. It takes a serious effort to make Carmen Kass look beaten and bored. She was still a little better looking than some of the other girls whose hair looked like it had fallen out between arriving backstage and hitting the catwalk.
Why the red rimmed eyes? The "party til you drop" look is not pretty and certainly not modern.There was one tank dress with an interesting drape at the neck that elevated it to Tank dress as High Art. There is a downtown cool to the collection but it's not one that truly separates them from other collections that play the hipster card.

Other than a tank or two and a couple of repetitive tee shirts over a skirts, the statement was made. These guys have ideas and something to offer, but their voices are muted behind the cacophonous hype that drowns their every step.

I'm still waiting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marc Jacobs: What is it I'm not getting?

When it comes to Marc Jacobs I feel depressingly out of step. Am I just stubborn and blind? Am I willfully sticking to a gun filled with blanks? Maybe like Anna Wintour says in The September Issue, I'm just part of that pack that denigrates fashion and its Stars because I'm not a member of the club, putting down those ones who are. Maybe so, maybe not. I've never been good at club membership and tend to shy away from them. I step to the side .

Watching this whole week of shows and the members take their places and strike their poses is a reminder that I'm still off to the side. It's where I'm most comfortable. To pretend otherwise would be a lie and I'm too old and seen too much towaste time fooling myself or anyone else.

Marc Jacobs collection for Spring strikes me very much like so many of his collections in the past.There are a barrage of ideas, references and such a profusion of styling that it's hard to grab a hold of what I'm seeing to make sense of it. There are several elements to this complex symphony that are tantalizing, even hypnotic. Beautifully cut coats and artfully draped dresses awash with detail. Ruffles that are so amusing, fashion that made me smile and laugh in a raucous, joyful way. Even simple confections that were like mere tinklings from a child's toy piano were magical. The sophistication and audaciously unapologetic presentation set it apart from everything I've seen. So why does it still escape me? I guess as much as I'd like to be, I'm just not that cool.

Seen separately there are many ideas that are creative and modern. Though steeped in the past with many reminders of the masters of only 20 years ago, Marc's vision feels jumbled and chaotic. There are certainly a plethora of ideas to fill the racks of so many hungry, desperate stores. I fear the customer will be left to her own devices. Perhaps it is a collection that is perfect for these times. You can buy one of these or one of those and not feel you have to have it all. Only the show was designed and built for us to take in the complete performance from its overture, through each movement and the final crescendo. It was all so much, so many instruments crowding the stage and so loud that I had trouble focusing. The pictures I've chosen are the looks I liked best. Jacobs has an amazing team he conducts and the collection is crammed with ideas. I just don't quite see the brilliance in it. If you send out everything you can think of and style it so nothing is left out something is sure to stick.

I will say this, he has a huge arsenal of ideas and fortunately a very powerful machine to fuel them. Perhaps that's good enough. It doesn't get much better than that for a designer, I would just like to come away from his show blown away instead of blown to bits.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rodarte:Road Warrior Princesses

Death Valley. Kill or be killed. Tribal fashion warfare. The dark forbidding lands beyond New Jersey. Oh, and war paint..... The line has been drawn in the desert sands and it's about the apocalypse. The Goth warrior princess Sheena, the she hellion, and her handmaidens are playing dress up for we mere mortals.

Well I for one lay on the floor of the taxi all the way home and immediately locked all windows and doors. I still don't feel safe and am sure not to sleep tonight or any other for that matter. The Mulleavy sisters need to come back to civilization. They are becoming feral cats , more dangerous than just designers. The vision they see for Spring 2010 is filled with the remnants of a civilization no longer in existence. It is a scavenging wonder in the guise of dressmaking.

I saw the influences of Madame Gres, John Galliano and Ralph Rucci. So many techniques were employed that remind me of these legends. That is not meant to diminish what they do, it's a compliment to their ability to draw from the past and present to make an aesthetic all their own.What troubles me about Rodarte is that these clothes are almost impossible to build a business that appeals only to the most insider of audiences. To construct these clothes for retail will be an exercise in frustration. Unlike Rucci whose clothes are absurdly complex there's a symmetry that makes the mathematical question solvable using a clear logic. Their most compelling and wearable pieces employed leather bands to create a fantastic web. Strands of rope fringe hang from under the bodice and are caught with a belt at the waist.

The frustration I felt watching one exit after the other was the sameness that eventually deadened my mind to what was coming next. The idea of costumes and one of a kind looks felt like Imitation of Christ at it's most ambitious. It takes a clever imagination, which is doubly rich between the sisters, but ultimately has little to do with a world looking for clothes that have multi purposes. The most obvious one are clothes that are wearable with staying power. These designs are clearly editorial looks and not meant for repeated use. Once seen, they have little that lends them to multiple wearings. One black evening gown which feels like a deconstructed Gres is one of the most beautiful seen on this season's runway. It's haunting and elegant and totally captivating. I wish more of the collection had it's weight and mystery. The single most wearable piece is a black pant.

I'm befuddled when I think of the deal they've inked with Target. Why would Target choose such limited , specific designers who resonate most clearly with a customer who rarely walks through those doors. Their notoriety and popularity is off the radar of the Target shopper. Isaac Mizrahi, they aren't. Jacqueline Smith, they will never be. So what do they bring to the Target table? It has to be the most diluted and derivative clothes that only resemble their own collection by way of the label that will say Rodate for Target. The clothes will have to be completely different and dumbed down to sell, if they sell.

I applaud their attempt to broaden their reach, but it's unfortunate that it will come with restrictions that will most likely not allow them to use their own voices. The money they will make to feed their eponymous collection is an end unto itself. Schizophrenia in design is a high price for two women who have steadfastly stuck to their guns, or in the case of this collection, their spears.

ChadoRalphRucci has a reality check of sorts.

This collection and Ralph Rucci are and endless source of fascination. His imagination is so fertile, so informed by art, culture,history and a dogged refusal to take the easy route. The energy and passion that goes into every single detail is evident in everything he does. This makes him, to my thinking,one of the most creative and original designers in this country and the world. This isn't news to anyone who's aware of his work. What is news is that with cataclysmic changes in the world and society, designers sooner or later have to re-frame their approach to stay in sync with the world at large. Sure, they will always have their loyal clients and some loyal stores but it's always going to be an exercise in drawing new interest and new business to stay alive. It's also a time where one must push ones own personal boundaries to stay current or even to move ahead of the wave. Spring 2010 is a dichotomy of that challenge and for the most part it feels as though he won a personal battle, or certainly made strides towards a more modern solution.

The very thing that sets Rucci apart are the things that ultimately pull him down. His excessive,neurotic approach to technique are the magic of his clothes.Not a soul on the planet has done more for the art of working out the most complex examples of fabric insertion,double face seaming and the manipulation of puzzle pieces to create a whole. They confound and seduce the eye and must be incredibly exciting for his clients to wear. When a woman enters a room in Chado , there's absolutely no confusion. This is a great compliment to his unique and recognizable style but also a limitation. After several years the look has stayed somewhat static and overwrought. Now is the time to confound and take the public off guard.

This collection in many ways seems to have done that or started the process. There were surprises from the beginning. The first exit was a black blazer, white blouse and trousers. Very little of it appeared to be overwhelmed with mind bending detail. A series of cocktail dresses with simple pin tucks and a fluid shape were simply beautiful and perfectly made. Elegant and modern and ultimately mysterious in their beauty. To see a dress on a woman like these one would just stare at her and not say,"oh, that's Chado...." There were a few sporty suits which consisted of easy, unfussy coats/jackets over sexy simple tops and skirts that just said ,"cool".

Cocktail and evening was also satisfying when he kept the fireworks under control. There were beautiful shapes with a mix of fabrics broken into bands from opaque to sheer and back to opaque that were young, smart and beautifully executed. Obvious quality and value is a beautiful thing to behold. If you have to pay dearly, you might as well get your money's worth. His prices are consistently so high that they've made it almost impossible for anyone to touch. Simplicity married to the best quality may be a way to bring the feast to a larger audience, if in fact that is his desire. I'm not clear on that, at all.

Long evening at it's best was very clean with only the lightest touches of brilliant , mathematical construction. It flattered the model in a way that made it seem accessible to a woman of taste and not just the inhabitants of the convent. The pyrotechnically infused pieces were there and were awesome to behold. They just don't have the same effect as they used to. It has become a recipe,a 5 star recipe but one that is predictable. If the show had been edited by 1/4 it would have been a perfect feast for the eyes and soul. His introduction of beautiful clothes with a restraint of details was the news. The war horses of which he is known could now be the staples left in the show room.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Posh Spice: formerly known as Victoria Beckham

Let's get this one out of the way so I can get a decent night's rest. First of all, what is she doing in fashion when her true art is in wearing it? The collection I saw was a mish mash of too many ideas with no center or thread holding them together. My first question to her would be: "Would you wear these dresses"? My second one would be:" Why"?

When I work as a critic with design students I often have to ask those questions. The clothes generally don't appear to relate to the designer responsible for them. Whether or not she has a big name designer ghost designing the collection for her, there should be something stylistically about them that echoes her personal taste. When every neckline is about 5 inches from the model's neck it begs the question, " What about breasts? cleavage? sex appeal?" Every photograph with rare exceptions , show Victoria Beckham with her "Bubbies" hanging out. There weren't any necklines in this collection that even approached the idea of being revealing. It was utterly chaste and dull.

Corny padded shoulder straps looked awkward. Degrade-dyed charmeuse wedges, even sack minis, with one awkward tuck were an attempt at artiness.The gowns, though often body hugging were strangely topped with poorly cut bateau necklines. The colors of most of them were simply unappealing. I kept asking myself why? If this is the best she can get out of Roland Mouret or whoever is in the kitchen? She really should rethink getting back her day job. The look of the presentation was sad. The models were sad looking and nothing about it looked authentic.There was only one dress that did the job and sais, "Victoria". The yellow stunner to the left.

Ego is a dangerous thing. Fashion design is even more treacherous. If you're going to put it out there make sure you've done the best you can and given it the most critical eye before you send it down the conveyor belt. With her experience in the world of celebrity and the first hand experience of wearing and owning extraordinary clothes what was she thinking of with this sad group, not collection, but group of frocks?

A name is only that. Sure, some hardcore clueless women will buy it, along with some equally jaundiced-eyed retailers, but in the end they will languish on the sale rack until they grow hair or are cut to 80% off. My money is on the hair.....

Donna does Donna like only Donna can.

What a cool space in which to show. What an interesting crowd, more arty than most with the exception of the usual suspects. Thankfully, none of the sad photo-op phreaks were in attendance with the exception of Rachel Zoe and her barely concealed angry pout. The Vogue team was in attendance with many people around me continuing the "Grace Gush". Anna at one point took her eyes off the runway and read her emails for 7 exits, not looking up once. At other times she looked away from the runway,even though the models were all headed straight for her. Curious behavior. It was again a major shoe story in the audience but augmented with some of the most captivating jewelry I've witnessed in one place. The crush was hard to take with photographers blocking sight lines with no regard for the audience, but that's fashion!

Having recently looked closely at Donna's collection from last season in so many humble fabrics like linen, cotton and silk jersey, the prices are anything but affordable. The accessories are the same. So much of it is so wearable, artistic yet friendly, but totally out of reach. Her embrace of all things indigenous and green is antithetical to the price tag, but call me square.

The first exits were all frayed-edged, scrunched linen jackets belted over skirts and slim pants. Colors were so washed out, they looked like air at different points of the day. A beige python suit slithered by that was way over the top deluxe, especially as it was cut so artlessly. The glamor of it was staggering. The draping of countless silk jersey dresses in clay, and pewter were dreamy in their off handedness. It was so sexy that probably every woman ached to wear one. My only hesitation was that Donna has a way of doing those looks over and over with little variation that it feels like and endless chorus of the same hymn. There were wrap dresses cut in circles and wedges with asymmetrical lines to the necks and hems and straps that gave things a very organic feel. Nothing was obvious. Everything was an unexpected creation suggesting one idea as it approached and answering the question to the contrary as it passed.

When the long evening looks appeared there was what appeared to be silver leaf applied to the fabric in a random way. Each a sea of grey that was very rich. They whispered more than spoke though their effect was more like a roar. Still,came more draping of decoupe silk velvet and silk jersey twisted and caught with the most delicate straps. It was a Donna collection done the way only Donna can. The jewelry shown, mostly necklaces were all about scale. What appeared to be an ivory bead necklace the size of eggs was probably re claimed carved mammoth tusks, all very correct, but wow! Talk about LARGE. Scale and the beauty of materials is the beginning and end of what made it all so luxe.

It was my first live outing to a Donna Karan show and was well worth having my view obstructed by a hulking mountain of a photographer. I look forward to the Fall collection. I can only guess how expensive it will be. The recession doesn't appear to be a concern of Donna's. Perhaps her feeling is that she can afford it, so the rest of us can, too. Before the parade of all the models, (what a fantastic line up of beauties) I looked over to take in Anna's reaction but Ms. Wintour had already left the building. Federer or Fashion...Fashion or Federer ?