Saturday, March 21, 2009

Milan Fall Collections

First of all, no one and nothing is any longer immune to the ongoing unravelling of life as we once knew it. The Titans of business in all areas have been brought to their knees and reality has driven a wedge , and in some cases a spike, into the heart and soul of so many. IT Holding SpA, the holding company for Ferre, Just Cavalli,VJC Versace,Costume National and Galliano labels filed for the Italian equivalent of Chapter 11. So no one and nothing is really safe from the wolf at the door. He's just circling , gnashing his teeth and waiting. So with this news flash at the beginning of Milans's Fashion parade the shows started.
Some good , some not and many just as we all expect. Gratuitous trend whoredom is excruciatingly boring and in poor taste:Everything from Cavalli.
Armani. Well that about sums it up. His secret like Lagerfeld's is that he found his niche 30 years ago and stuck with it. Hence superstardom. Albeit, typecast, NEVER changing but just what that customer wants. Enough said.

Prada/Miu Miu are an intellectual's paradise. Beautiful mixed up clothes. Texture , color form nature or shot through with chemicals. All sorts of functionality. And then there's STYLE. Nothing was uncool, and more importantly, these are clothes that suit all ages sizes and types. You can pick and choose or be a total victim and pile the whole thing on ,shopes ,bags, all of it and still look uber-cool. It is unassailably MODERN. Too expensive? Unfortunately. Honestly, and truly a wise investment for the long haul: Damn STRAIGHT.
Raf Simons's Jil Sander collection was artistic, technically inspired and very compelling. The shapes, very architectural and plastic in their manipulation was refreshing and provocative. Super cool. He is a designer pushing the envelope in a steady but still intelligent way. The rhythm of the collection went from quiet ,classical super clean shapes to abstraction. The progression was so subtle you didn't realize you'd been transported until the air was suddenly thinner and the view more fantastic. He keeps his audience right there in the cross hairs and it was very exciting. Others like Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens have more of a "Mow them down" aesthetic that leave me cold. There is real thought with a sense of referencing the past that make s his poetry understandable. Even when you don't get a word for word translation, you get the meaning. His dress is the one shown.

Then Bottega Veneta showed. Thomas Maier is a fantastic designer. A qiuet storm. The collection is thought provoking, hip and essential. It's as though you're in the dining room, the smells from the kitchen are making your mouth water and you can't quite catch what is cooking. When the dishes are served it's not at all what you thought. It's better. These clothes, lots of dresses in delicious colors,his use of leather and fabrics,and shapes are of the moment and ahead and have something for all women and men. I constantly find that I want to wear it all and to see women in droves dressing in these pieces. His imagination, technique and eye for proportion is razor sharp. He's my hero and I, his champion.
Gucci is tired. And by extension/extinction ,so is Tom Ford. His legacy is one that has not stood the test of time. Next:
Dolce is just that. A riot of candy. Great , over the top candy, but in the end there's rotted teeth and sugar shock. I'm still of the mind that all is not well in the kitchen.....
Lastly, Ferre was inching it's way down the kitty walk. The 2 guys(Tommaso Aquilano andRoberto Rimondi) did their best but the elizabethan theme was not exactly fresh or interestingly rendered. It takes time to find one's way in a house with such history and reputation. I think it will get better as they go. Clearly, they possess taste, skill and a point of view which will ripen over the seasons. I hope they are given the chance to realize it.
For those I didn't mention, go to and look for yourselves. Same goes for the ones that I did mention. shows the complete collections that shouldn't be summarized in one specific look.

Enjoy, discuss, dissect!

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