Sunday, September 12, 2010

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK - THE MAYHEM BEGINS

Amongst the various tributes to 9/11 and launch of many tragic retrospectives New York Fashion Week dominated the hype in the city. Whether it was carousel parties thrown by Alexander Wang in a parking lot to Le Bain's after-party on a freezing roof top, the fashionistas were out in full force. I am really not sure whether fashion savvy peeps have become overtly tolerant or fear their demise on guestlists but some of the fashion on show was truly hideous. Whether in the name of art or self expression the clothes just looked like apocalyptic trash or conceptual fashion which will not have a long shelf life. Having said this there was very little intelligent or coherent comment of the actual collections but more hype on who sat in the front rows or who stood behind who waiting to get into a show. For me New York Fashion Week began with a slow and painful start of derivative lines. Let's hope the big punters like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Caroline Herrera, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Oscar De La Renta resurrect this orgy of bad clothes.

Having said that there was a collection or two, so far,  that stood out and are worthy of mention and to me they were Ohne Titel, Alexander Wang and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. Ferretti showed a collection that was abundant in colour and fused Oriental and Western themes right down to a new take of the Qipao dress and Chinese rice hats. Beautiful prints and fine fabrics.

Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Spring|Summer 2011
Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Spring|Summer 2011
Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Spring|Summer 2011
Soft palettes dominated Alexander Wang with elongated silhouettes that were fluid and somehow reminiscent of Rei Kawabuko's work.

Backstage at Alexander Wang Spring|Summer 2011
Backstage at Alexander Wang Spring|Summer 2011
Backstage at Alexander Wang Spring|Summer 2011

Talking about derivative did anyone not see the similarities or are people in NY just oblivious to what other designers are doing in the rest of the world? Z Spoke by Zac Posen was like a new take on Christian Dior's Spring|Summer 2009 Collection (and perhaps even Marc Jacobs?) and even Ohne Titel seemed to have a good bit of Balenciaga going on in that collection.............

This brings me to Camile Paglia's article in the London Sunday Times about Lady Gaga. It was interesting to note that she makes mention of a new generation that lives in a virtual world of tweets, posts on the internet and is consumed with a culture which makes no reference to the past. What of culture, heritage and history and the relevance it has to today's design world? If people are to forget collections from two seasons ago then it makes me think whether 'new generation' fashionistas are indeed slavish followers of icons based on a contrived presence........do they have any real sense of what's good or not in fashion or are they manipulated robots made to applaud on command? Is it any wonder that the USA has an average intelligent quotient of 98?

2 comments:

Manuela Cassuto said...

Interesting, valid take on NYFW. What did you think of Prabal Gurung's collection?

Gavin Rajah said...

It was an interesting collection and I loved the use of colour. The long evening dresses I liked but again nothing that Kors has not done and if anything the strongest evening collection so far has been from Christiano Siriano - whilst some of the tulle collections were not my cup of tea they still were new silhouettes. The pared down evening dresses also looked quite nice but again I feel it could have been better....Prabal's best item for me was the sand washed duchess trenchcoat. The cashmere colour blocking I just felt were too Sonia Rykiel at times.