Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting on with it

Life is all about moving forward. Forward motion whether we want it or not, but moving on we must. I've been feeling a bit stuck these days for a number of reasons. The past 6 months or so have been a lesson in humility. The universe has decided to spin on a whole new axis, one that seems to revolve in a slowed but multi-directional motion. No 2 days are even remotely similar. The whole static aspect we once knew of as "life as we know it" is a fast retreating memory.

Today is all about life as we've just discovered it. As people of the free world, we're faced with mind numbing shifts and altered states. You have it,then you don't ,then you might ,then you do, but the email you're reading at that very moment informs you that you don't , you didn't , in fact you haven't for longer than you thought. So what gives? Confusion is the only thing that's crystal clear.How does fashion work it's way into this narrative? I don't know....bear with me, I'm getting around to it, I think.

I took a rather drastic step the other day and went to a healer. A spiritual one. What a fantastic experience. I won't presume to speak for you, but my life hasn't been particularly satisfying of late. Not a lot of joy. Work is a mix of frustration and fear, my personal life is pretty sweet compared to most , but on my Crapometer the arrow is in the danger zone. So I thought that if I can't control or fix the world outside, maybe I can do some thing about my inner world, the one that ultimately counts the most. I learned a lot. The main realisation is that I have found ingenious ways of getting in my own way and making it nearly impossible to move forward or in any direction other than backwards and downwards. Those are not routes I desire. Sylvia made it pretty clear that I was standing dead still on a very blocked dead end. One without even a scenic view. The location of this dead end wasn't in a fashionable area, either (see I'm working my way around to it).

The experience boiled down to recognizing this un chic fact, getting my bearings and choosing to head in a different direction. One that pointed due forward. Letting go of the past and finding the thing that brought me so much joy and satisfaction not so long ago appeared to be the mission. When I realized how much I blame the world and forces/people around me for my unhappiness, it was all really of my own making. There was no smoking gun , no bad guy in the shadows with the controls, but just me.I'd venture to say that the same goes for more than just me .

Ambitious, passionate people are delicately wired and susceptible to the most insidious of malaise. As a creative sort, I'm unusually sensitive to and aware of my surroundings. My pillow and down comforter and so cozy bed have recently become my preferred surrounding. That's not a good sign when the sun is shining or the rain is pouring and you have a job to do. The world outside my front door may be unpredictable,troubled, even a bit dangerous , but it's the world I live in. Bad times come and then it makes a nice space for good to fill. I choose to make room for some good. Fashion is so much fun, so fascinating and such a compelling language to read,write and debate over. Thanks to my indomitable spirit, insane optimism and a woman named Sylvia I think I caught myself just in time.

I feel ready and willing to get on with it. I wish we all would. This landscape would look so different and so much better.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Twittering: I don't get it.....

Hey, What's up? I just cleaned the litter box and went for a facial and manicure...and a massage. how do I look ? Better for it all?

Concept : Followers...aka Fans!

As a rather novice blogger I'm a bit of a kitty with a ball of yarn. I play , toss, chew and on occasion hump this helpless toy not knowing it's real essence and value. Well , I know it's value, because next to this keyboard and a friend or 2 , it's the thing I like to claw and cuddle more than anything in my well stocked toy chest. Recently I had the pleasure of receiving my first official follower, MissWhitney T.. I'm touched and flattered that she took the time and energy to make this kind gesture.

I write as the spirit moves me. Some months I am moved a lot, others not as much. In general, I'm moved on a pretty regular basis. I do it because I really enjoy it. It's a release. When you live and work in this parallel universe called Fashion, it's necessary to make periodic visits to reality. The air is so thin there. Your brain and as a consequence your world view and values can get skewed.Writing about the comic and dramatic turns of the fashion screw is a way of letting go and letting God/Buddha/Reverend Moon....

My concern is that I'm writing something with some value, judging from some of the comments I receive which are consistent in content: "this should be required reading for people in the industry and those who want a balanced take on the business". When I see these comments, I feel like perhaps I'm doing something right. For this reason I'd love for this blog to be more on main street and not solidly on a back street. Don't get me wrong...there's so much more fun to be had in a dark back alley than under the glare of street lights, but you need them for more people to see.

So I guess the point of this is to invite you all to read , comment and add to the fun I have on an almost daily basis. The more followers/fans the better. We all need to feel that our efforts whatever they are go appreciated and so thanks for reading. The counter shows me that many of you have peeked , and for that I'm very grateful.

One Saturday night last march when I wrote my first post, I never thought it would become such an important part of my life. I'd never written more than letters as a kid and emails. No one was more surprised than I to see that this all took on a life of it's own. Now I can't imagine not putting my 2 cents worth in . The NYTimes blog "On the Runway" is one I follow and add comments to, but with it's clubby atmosphere it can be off putting. Here I have freedom to just be.

We all need outlets for our thoughts, opinions and rants. I'm glad I found this. Just last night , my mate told me blogging is over and now it's time to Twitter. I gave up alcohol and substances 14 years ago, so I'm not sure that Twittering violates my sobriety, but I'll certainly sniff at it. Meanwhile, I'm a dedicated blogger, whether in or out of fashion. That certainly is not a new concept for me!

Friday, October 24, 2008

what goes up must come down.

Something is happening and it's not a good thing.

Very quickly and slowly but steadily, some once very solid and powerful companies in fashion are starting to crumble. You can hear the sound of bits and pieces of things falling apart and shattering on the pavement. None of this is front page news, and hopefully will stay out of the papers for their sake, but there is a rumbling in the jungle and it's the sound of disbanding tribes.

Rumor is just that. The only problem with rumors are that they're too often based on undocumented fact or not so well kept secrets. The mill is grinding and some of whats spilling out is a bit surprising and in some cases shocking. The economy is in a downward spiral; one that will be gathering speed before leveling and starting a halting ascent. This is a fact that none of us really wants to accept. The unfortunate truth of this is telecast and written about daily in the press. One day the stock market is up up. The next several days it's down down, and down some more. The downs are outdistancing the ups. Do the math.

In former times, this sort of thing scorched those of us unlucky enough to be solidly stuck in the middle and others less fortunate. This time around everyone in some way is getting singed or fried. People I know at the top of the heap have lost large chunks of their fortunes, others don't feel a thing. Most people I know are suffering in ways they never have. From a lost sense of control, to a lost job, home, and worst of all, hope. When you add these factors into the volatile daily markets and then look at the place that the luxury market inhabits you start to see that there will be inevitable fissures that must form.

Today Oscar de la Renta opened a new boutique in Madrid. Smart move. The Euro still has buying power. Thank god the dollar is starting to crawl back and narrow the exchange rate gap between the two. Nevertheless, there are whispers that he will downsize his operation here. Namely, the design studio will be trimmed with several positions terminated. Oscar is one of the most successful houses on 7th Avenue. That isn't a good thing. Granted, it's probably prudent when you have more than you actually need, but this is a company with the means to carry some fat.

Bill Blass is all but a memory. It's not even news anymore. I saw Michael Groveman on the street the other day and said hello. I wished him well and he gave me a brave smile, but his eyes spoke volumes. The same could be said of several people exiting 550 7th on any given day. That used to have an aura of Mecca. These days people don't look quite as sure. The smokers smoke with a sense of urgency and unease. Expressions which were once blithe are more grim. One doesn't even see the phalanx of town cars and drivers double parked in front like 6 months ago. It's more ghost town than hot spot.

J.Mendel has layed off almost it's entire design studio. When you consider the beauty and exquisite collections of evening clothes they have developed over the last 5 years and consider that they have basically shut off the power , that's not a good thing. They have been one of the most visible and luxe collections on the scene and giving the old guard a run for it's money. So now what? Back to fur ,only? That's even more expensive and less accessible than their ever more expensive gowns and cocktail dresses. The spring collection was notably spare and looked cobbled together in retrospect........

There are persistent rumors that Ralph Rucci has been on the brink for months. No more couture presentations in Paris for 2 seasons now. Suppliers suggesting that bills are not being paid. Still these are some of the most expensive and extraordinary clothes to be found anywhere.

Most unsettling is the prospect of a powerhouse like Dolce and Gabbana pulling back the reins.I hear that they have not rehired the CEO who was let go. The NYC showroom is being seriously downsized and is moving to much smaller digs downtown . There is talk that the company is headed for a serious restructuring. Not good news.

What could be considered good news in all of this is that a reality check is finally in the air. Everyone is starting to rethink how life and work should function. Up Up Up is the Icarus theory. Fly too close to the sun and SPF2000 isn't going to protect you. The wake up call is ringing and Snooze control no longer functions. We all better rethink and regroup and re prioritize while we have the luxury of very little time to do it. I for one want to weather this storm. I would imagine most people would. Responsible decisions and actions were never more important as they are this very moment.

One would do well not to heed the siren's call and step away from the cliff's edge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fashion UN-Reality TV: The Undoing of an Industry

Tonight Fashion TV,which is hyped as reality television, scraped bottom. I've seen it coming for quite a while now with shows like Project Runway and America's Top Model and that bottom most feeding show til tonight, Kimora,Life in the Breakdown Lane. Tonight an all new low was dredged with STYLISTA. This is probably the biggest embarrassment of all. Elle Magazine has decided to cash in and flush their credibility down the collective Fashion Ave. john. Ann Slowey, editor in chief along with Joe Zee and other celebrity judges have decided to put a series of ego maniacal wannabe junior editors to the test. The grand prize being a job for a year at the magazine and an all expenses paid apt. and a years worth of uber- stylish duds from H&M.

I warmed up by watching the Top Model Tyra Banks and a bevy of unqualified "models" vie for a chance to become America's TOP model. That was enough to put me off cable for good. But Stylista made me want to toss my flat screen out the window. These shows prove that nothing is for the benefit of the misled contestants and all about self promotion for some questionable leaders of this suffering industry. Appalling doesn't begin to describe the 6 ring circus that ensued. It is embarrassing and depressing to see how these people who's success has been built in this business take it and toss it to the dogs. Fashion is or was an honorable profession. Not anymore if this is the new barometer.

Ann Slowey pretends to be the Anna Wintour of the Devil wears Prada. What was so pathetic from the very first, she was ridiculously overdressed, totally unable to walk in her heels in EVERY scene and acted cold, harsh and absurd. The criticism and qualities pronounced by her and her cohorts as to what makes a fashion editor was vapid, empty headed and false. What is most disturbing is this is the KOOL-AID the public now drinks. Scripted junk with naive sheep going to slaughter. As someone who is and has been apart of this industry for many years, I was in a complete state of disbelief. Actually, that isn't any longer true. I do believe what I witnessed and it made me want to get as far away from this business as possible.

Just because our economy and values in this country have gone due south doesn't mean we need to sell out , but sell out we have. The only reason for this vile display must be money. These editors and judges are already very well paid. They command the highest salaries in their fields, but still the greed is uncontrolled. The in fighting between contestants, their total lack of self respect or sense of proportion is out there for all to see. I for one can't watch. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Saddest of all is there will be no survivors. A deserted island is what Seventh Avenue has become. A dark,dangerous , booby trapped ditch filled with poisonous snakes and quicksand.

Not my idea of fun and certainly not anything with any redeeming value. My cable bill just got a lot less expensive. I cancelled my subscription to fashion hell. The reality is challenge enough without TRUMPED up offal to add such a nauseating stench.

CNN is looking better every day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sofia Coppola to design Shoes and Accessories for LV

This appointment was something almost has heart stopping as Obama getting the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Marc Jacobs , all the folks at LVMH and it's fearless ,feckless leader Bernard Arnault hit pay dirt when they signed on the would be design director and film maker .

I vaguely remember she ran a t-shirt stand with one of her girlfriends, Zoe Cassavettes or Paris Hilton, or someone highly placed. It was called Milk, or something viscous and white. If I remember correctly ,she didn't exactly hit that ball out of the park. Now as first friend of Marc Jacobs, the plummy assignment goes to her. One must wonder what the studio staff of assistants, let alone the design director of shoes and accessories must think. Kind of a puzzling turn of the screw.

It seems to be enough to be best pals ,show up at most photo ops dressed in Marc/LV and be somewhat mysterious. But I have friends like that who I wouldn't appoint as key players in my business or life's work. Even the ones who have a touch of notoriety.

Surely, this rant sounds mean spirited and petty, but these are huge responsibilities which people devote years of training and experience, then a celebutant walks out of the dressing room and smack into the front office. Marc Jacobs has become someone with somewhat skewed judgement. The Galliano factor has infected him, with Tom Ford complications. The main difference is that they remained extremely professional in their executive choices. Unlike them, Marc will appoint his dog walker,Colonic therapist and Vortex Healer to take on more of his responsibilities in just a matter of time. Already the collection shows signs of randomness. Guzzle enough non-alcoholic kool-aid and you'll be seeing stars.

The ad with Sofia and Big Daddy laying in the tall grass of Argentina with a Vuitton bag in the foreground, is so trite. Daddy's little girl laying at Pop's feet as he instructs her on writing a complete sentence. I fear he is giving her tips on what a shoe REALLY is....what the idea of what encompasses an ACCESSORY. The most disheartening thing in that photograph is that she wasn't taking notes. These are important details she NEEDS to remember.

Considering no one in these large organizations actually designs,only approves, tweaks and gives the green light....nothing seems to get the red light anymore, it's a pretty simple task. Lay on the pavement in some picturesque Parisian park with a pile of shoes tossed around and a film crew .
There you have it. Broad footed Francis trying on a few platforms and peeky-toes to show his approval and you've got SUCCESS writ LARGE.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Who needs Forever.

As much as we love to have really fantastic clothes,accessories, objects,shoes, toys and more toys, what is the real value? Well there's lots to value. Nothing is sweeter than the most perfect fitting suit or the most luscious alluring dress.Or a drop dead pair of shoes for that matter. I personally go crazy over a beautiful painting or pieces of ancient Chinese porcelain. I'd kill for an Egyptian Ibis with bronze legs, jeweled eyes and a body carved in wood ,still intact after a few thousand years. I'd take that to a coop on Park any day of the week. A flawlessly bred German or Dutch dressage horse less than 10 years old might induce me to sell some of the other goodies. But nowadays with things looking a little gray and not terrifically hopeful,why not settle for some of the simpler , less expensive pleasures?

For instance, how about taking maybe $200. and see how many steals there are at UNIQLO? That store was designed for hard times. I have the greatest cashmere sweaters in about 5 colors, a PERFECT Pea coat, the best fitting jeans and a couple of dress shirts . I swear I spent 2-225. tops. You can't buy a decent pair of good shoes for that. Now assuming you have a decent pair of shoes, everyone of those pieces will look like you spent a fortune. People will actually ask you where you got it. Quality does not have to come with a price tag that gives you chest pains.

Shopping is one of those things that give a lot of people a lift. Out of control shopping is not the answer , but after a particularly shitty week like this one was, it's nice to get yourself a little somethin' somethin'. A good long hot bath does it too, but once you're dry, what a treat it is to slip on something cool.

Shops like Uniqlo,Zara,Club Monaco and the great bastions of the MARKDOWN like Lehman's, I mean Loehman's and Filene's Basement and Daffy's have some amazing finds. Sure it's not glamourous like the A list but there is HOTNESS to be found. Just the act of the hunt takes your mind off of how much you sucked wind this past week,month...year. I am not a shopper as a rule. I know it doesn't sound like it, but when you eat ,breath choke on fashion as I do, stores are not always that appealing. I'm much to analytical and impatient in most. I want a zen my higher power led me to a pair of Prada loafers for 140 marked down from 425. Dealing with the bullshit of shopkeepers who think they are their clients is an exercise in annoyance. Finding things on my own is much more fun, and when it's a deal, then all the better.

Some of us do not feel the crunch.Those fortunate few can still shop on the street of dreams, no matter how nightmarish the expense, but more and more, folks are taking it a bit easier and slower, and cheaper. Fabulous investments, just fewer at a time. Shopping directly from designers is one route. It's a perfect marriage, really. Total selection from a collection at a fraction of retail. Second hand designer shops are a juicy treat . I just like my clothes to be mine, first and last. I don't love wearing something that already housed another soul. Who knows if they were nice people,smart people or even stylish people. You could be donning some tainted crap that looks fine to the naked eye. I'll stick to new, whether it's grade b,c or d.

So this little missive is just a suggestion. Don't get bummed if the 1200. Jimmy Choo isn't in the cards this week. take your shoes to a great cobbler, have the soles cleaned up, the uppers refreshed and cleaned and put together a new look. Something old , something new, something stolen, something GREEN! The party is far from over, it just switched location for a bit. A hot, sexy you is a happy beautiful you.

Forever is a silly idea with little variation. Let's keep shakin' it up. Who knows who or what we'll find?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Growing Pains: Narciso Rodriguez

How is it that so few medium sized design houses grow to the so called next level? I don't know. Do you?

Last week in WWD and the Wall Street Journal a story ran on the break up of Liz Claiborne and Narciso Rodriguez. This was a bit of a surprise. When they got into bed together,I think it cost them about 12 million to get him into said bed, the whole industry crowed over his great good fortune. Words like SYNERGY and DNA and HUGE GROWTH POTENTIAL were tossed around like usual in these "marriages". Narciso couldn't have been more happy and Claiborne was thrilled to have some prime designer beef on their menu. The talk was all about growing the brand and branching out into areas of great revenue building products. Licences for a bevy of things, the collection having strategic financing behind it so that it could blast off into Retail heaven and other parallel universes. Everyone seemed so satisfied with their brilliant business plan.

What I found confusing was why would a company so corporate and so totally devoid of creativity and imagination beyond dreaming up Haute Spread sheets, want to get naked with Narciso. The language barrier alone should have caused some concern. He doesn't speak CORP and they don't speak anything other than CORP. I don't think they have even decipherable hand gestures that could be used for communication..... Yet they got married before the first date and declared it a marriage made in Big Biz heaven.

I have always loved is work and think he's by far one of the greatest contemporary designers in NYC and the world for that matter. His business like many has it's financial struggles. NO CASH FLOW seems to be the malaise of just about every design house in New York unless you are an Oscar,Carolina,Donna,Calvin or Ralph. A few more roll along like Proenza Schouler with the infusion of 4 million or so from Valentino and Zac Posen does pretty well with the help of P.Diddy,aka Puffy,aka Sean John,aka Sean Puffy Combs, aka the Gangsta Designa!. Otherwise, everyone else for the most part struggles. Oh, Marchesa does ok with Daddy Weinstein at the rudder...... But Narciso was doing a pretty respectable job with a co. bringing in 4 or 5 million a year in revenues. So why get tied up with a faithless lover like Liz?

That is a rather facetious question. If you're offered 12 million for 1/2 your company,about 8 million more than it's actual worth , and you're tired of sweating the cost of overhead every week, you'd probably say YES, too. So I figure that that is what happened. The problem arises when you wake up the next morning and realize you've just been had by the big bad wolf. These realizations don't take months to become get the drift after the first kiss. I'm a strong believer in the efficacy of the first kiss. It better be great, it should be like sticking your finger in an electrical socket or no deal. Anything short of that and I'm up and out of there. Taste and technique , not to mention a pleasing smell count for a whole lot. Any of those components missing or all of them no where in sight signals a NO GO. Something tells me a company like Claiborne is not gifted in the art of romance. They are probably masters in the school of FRISK and CAVITY SEARCH.

That said ,I was not surprised to hear of the sudden divorce. The reasons were what knocked me over. I don't mean the lack of SYNERGY(duh) or missing chromosomes of the all important DNA(double duh), but the amount of money that was blown over this match. The numbers still boggle my mind. Claiborne lost 15 million dollars on 4 million dollars of revenue. What kind of Business Model is that? Sounds almost REPUBLICAN, even BUSHISH. What did they spend it on? Do you remember unusually noisy press on the branding of Narciso over the past several months? Did the collections seem anything extraordinarily different than before? Did anything about the 2 parties resound in your consciousness? Not mine.

So another brilliant marriage heads south. It's harder to get married than it is to get divorced. It's tougher to grow a business even when you're a star.. Fortunately he got his business back 100%. Liz may even have to pay him more money in the settlement. For that, I'd have to say, well done! Quick fixes just don't seem to work. Nothing easy comes without a huge price.
what is the lesson in all of this? If you're entering into an arrangement with a behemoth like Liz Claiborne or another industry GIANT, make sure you get in touch with the same lawyers Narciso has.

It will be a PAY DAY you'll never forget.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I was just looking at some of the things I've shared with you over the past 8 months and was a little tickled. It's pathetic to laugh at ones' own jokes, but there were one or two funnies I came across that honestly made me laugh. I forget how many things have crossed my mind that compelled me to write. I went to my profile to see what was written when this little hair ball of a blog was born. Precious little was there, so I decided to fill in a few of the spaces in hopes of giving some of you a clearer picture of me. Of the 2000 plus times many of you have taken a peek at my musings , only 151 of you have actually looked at my profile. Should this number increase , I thought it's a good time to give you a bit more 411.
I'm always curious about people and ideas, so I spend a fair amount of time observing what passes by. Whether animal, mineral or vegetable, I tend to take a long look. That's what makes and keeps life interesting. I'm not a writer , never was and have only come to it in this way out of a desire to share ideas, feelings and my opinion. I know that I can be irksome at times, but who isn't? I'm certainly not an authority on fashion criticism but have been around it long enough that I've formed views I feel compelled to voice. It can feel like talking to someone who's not there at times but isn't that a truth in life? A comment is always exciting, almost like a surprise gift. I have no idea what to expect until I open it and read. For those of you who've taken the time to comment, I greatly appreciate it. I'm not such an egotist to get total pleasure at the sound of my own voice. It would be nice to hear more from some of you, particularly those who who have read this more than once .
Who and what I am is not that important. The same goes for all of you. What is important are our views on life and what make us the creatures that we are. That's the interesting stuff. Writing has given me an outlet to exercise my mind and exorcise my soul. I'd recommend it to any of you with something to say. Probably , the thing that gives me greatest pleasure and satisfaction is when I find that I've made someone feel that they're not alone, that there are others out here who share the same feelings and have lived similar lives. Knowing I'm not alone is a huge comfort.
There are no revelations regarding me and this blog. Blogs are very popular nowadays, it almost feels like a trend I hit on long after it was new, but it's fun and keeps me focused and amused. It certainly beats smug self absorption. NYC is very big on that.....why do you think there are so many gyms in this town. I'm proud to say I'm a member of one for 3 years now and have gone about 3 times. As you can see, I'm still thin and in reasonably good shape, but when I start to grow hair and begin to gain weight , I'll probably start going more and writing less.
Have a good Sunday and thanks for your attention and interest. It's greatly appreciated.

Friday, October 10, 2008

There's an Elephant in the room.

Lately,how many times have you bumped into or seen out of the corner of your eye a full grown elephant inside, just a few feet to the left , right or just behind you? It doesn't make any sense. We're not at the zoo, on safari or anywhere where an elephant should be. The fact remains: there's one in the room and she's pretty big...actually, full grown and not all that quiet. You all might wonder why I bring this up, except someone needs to and it may as well be me.

I said weeks ago that change is in the air. Autumn blew in as summer burned itself out. Something blew in with autumn that was bigger than a stray oak leaf , or a bread box for that matter. That something is rather large , hairy and just a little off putting: an altered world with very little stability in a host of ways.

I have never been one to dwell on problems, it only makes me irritable and does nothing to seek solutions. The question is ,"How do we face facts , get on with life and still make the most of it?" Living in the past, thinking only of the future has nothing to do with TODAY. Today is the one given, the real gift. We all must try to be here in the moment and make the best of it. We can't do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is not in the contract. My solution is to make every moment count.

If we don't shop with abandon, then that's our choice. If we get things to make what we have work better, then great. To responsibly deal with the vagaries of life is one solution that makes perfect sense.

The antidote to trying times is not to spend without thought or control, but you can reinvigorate your appearance, confidence and keep the world turning. I'm going to offer you the very best choices and you owe it to yourselves and loved ones to put your best stylishly clad foot forward. Looking good may not be the best revenge, but it sure beats feeling bad. Do yourself a favor: embrace that elephant.She might be huge, but she's probably sweeter than you think, and would die for a new shade of lipstick!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beauty and the Beastly

The Paris Spring collections were far more interesting than what went down here last month. That is so often the case, though I don't really know why. It appears that the Americans are stuck in the morass of our times and the torpor of a stagnant puddle we've found ourselves in. That isn't to say that we didn't have some very beautiful and compelling collections to move us forward, but that there was a dearth of mediocrity than filled the runways.

Paris on the other hand had many collections that were full of ideas,both arresting and less so. There were a few that were downright off, but there are Waterloos to every collection no matter the locale. John Galliano's namesake collection was really the definition of sublime. Color, a lightness of hand,feminine and sexy . He was so free and joyous in his presentation. You couldn't help but feel lifted and hopeful just looking at what appeared to be a magical garden come to life on women who looked like they too were hovering somewhere between ground and sky. I was really moved, and that's a new one for me. Galliano in the past has felt forced and heavy handed in his fantasy. This time it was a dream made real. Dior is fantastic in his hands. An atelier capable of producing whatever he can conjure, but this collection seem to come from another place, from other hands more gentle and tender in their execution. It was a WOW moment.

Alexander McQueen also put out an incredible collection that left so many swooning. His brand of chic, of femininity is an acquired taste , but one that is undeniable in it's sheer force. I liked the technique, the thematic line that ran through the collection. It was a tour de force group of emphatic pieces in color color color. The rigor in the construction is a testament to his aesthetic which never wavers. I'm more of a romantic, so as much as I was blown away by. the whole picture, it was a little strong for my senses.....more of a bombastic Grappa where I would have preferred a more subtle champagne.

Chanel was just that, Chanel. The sets are beginning to compete with the collection. In this case I think the set got a 6.0 with the collection coming in with a very respectable 5.85. Lagerfeld is a master, the most prolific designer on the planet, but Chanel is like an orchestra of 140 instruments. They play the major works with confidence and virtuosity, but one longs for the subtlety of his treatment of Fendi. That is like a chamber ensemble of the most exquisite tone.
It was an intimate, and complex suite of clothes that charted new ground. Modern, harmonious and yet a totally original feeling. The artistry of that collection is still ringing in my ears long after the performance ended. I do believe the audience is still applauding.

YSL was memorable, chic and just right,as was Chloe . I don't see the big deal over Phoebe Philo having moved on and Ms. McGibbon taking the reins. Stella McCartney was dull and I think Phoebe is just maybe a little less so.

Valentino was disappointing, and I'd hoped the Fall couture would have given Alessandra Facchinetti a boost of confidence to really move the collection forward. Well for her efforts which were less than what a house of that magnitude demands , ended up on the chopping block. Another one bites the dust. This trend of barely chewing before spitting designers out by the powers that be has got to stop. It's unfair, unwise and unseemly. What ever happened to loyalty, support and nurturing? Silly question to ask the deaf, dumb and blind.It appears that the crux of the problem was an organizational one, or a lack of an ability on Alessandra's part to make the team work together and get the job done. That is a very interesting dilemma. It's very hard to bring so many layers and levels of workers within a couture house to work as one . Perhaps there was dissention in the ranks,egos wanting to flex muscles ,positions of power desired but not awarded. Whatever the case, she was summarily dismissed and found out as so many do by reading her obit in the paper. According to her, the people at the top have still not seen it necessary to speak with her or explain. What really puzzles me is even though it wasn't a stellar collection, there were some really seriously beautiful dresses and gowns . They felt like a development in the Valentino aesthetic. I'd go so far as to say they were young, fresh and very much hers. Not an archival exhumation. This habit of replaying the oldies is not a smart or interesting move on the part of new designers in old houses, but it seems to be what the bosses want. Confounding. Oh well,Ciao,Bella! NEXT!

There's so much more to talk about like Annie Oakley moment best discussed on a full stomach and after a good nights rest. The same can be said for Lanvin and Vuitton.One needs to consider the contributions of Rick Owens and the new kid, Gareth Pugh, but they both for different reasons were instantly forgettable. Wunderkinds like Pugh always give me pause. A bit like fresh meat in a worn out brothel.I know that is considered very uncool of me to be so dismissive, but UNCOOL is exactly what they are.

So we'll get back to this in a moment or two. Time for a comb out, then a quick cat nap.

Au Revoir!