Monday, September 14, 2009

New York Fashion Week Pt. 1 -- Football and Hippies

It's Fashion Week! Let's not waste time with clever introductory copy, shall we? Let's get right to it!

Oh, everyone loves Alexander Wang. And by everyone I mean all the so-called "It Girls" whose professional lives seems to consist of posing, smoking, and drinking. And Anna Wintour -- she loves Alexander Wang, too. Me? Not so much. I suppose if I were 5'10" and weighed 117 pounds and didn't mind spending $245 on a t-shirt (I'm not, I don't, and I do) I would be more his target audience. Mostly I just find his clothes a mish-mash of droopy draping and minminminiskirts, with the odd 80's reference thrown in, because that's what you do these days when you are a hip 20-something. I theorize that a large part of his popularity is down to the fact that much of his style is very easy for teenaged fashion bloggers to emulate by purchasing great big t-shirts and sweaters at thrift stores and then strategically slashing and belting them รก la Wang. Sloppy, apparently, is the new black. I suppose it's possible this hipster wunderkind will evolve into an interesting designer, but I'm not seeing it so far. In his most recent collection he bangs on about how "his girls" want "investment pieces" that are "timeless and classic." Dude. If you can effectively copy a design with an old sweatshirt and a pair of scissors, it's not an investment piece. This is what you will learn, I hope, when you grow up.

These are the things his clients love -- super-short, skin-tight, and not particularly interesting except for the variety of ways they give the wearer to expose skin. Expect to see this dress many times over in gossip columns and out-&-about-with-the-In-Crowd reportage. There's already one standing in line at the Beatrice Inn.

This collection found Wang to be very inspired by, of all things, football, which is just weird. (It's not nostalgia on his part -- trust me, young mister did not play football.) Is this what he means by classic?

It wasn't all this literal, but it was all this dumb.

Moving on...

DVF is still working the boho/hippie chic thing that her last show did.

Oh. My. God. If I see one more droopy maxi dress I am going to run mad, I swear. I was really, really hoping this was a trend that would have run its course by the fall and crawled back to the rusty late 60's VW bus where it's been living. The flower-child head blossoms are not helping.

Good heavens! Too much stuff!! TOO MUCH STUFF!!!!

Gracious. That's... a lot of tiger.

I've been a bit disappointed with DVF the last few seasons because I feel like she's somewhat betrayed her customer base, which is folks like me. The original ethos behind DVF's work was to create chic, affordable clothes for grown-up women who needed workwear and daywear. But since the It Crowd (I'm really having a problem with the It Crowd today, aren't I? I sound like a 7th-grade girl whining about how she's not popular.) re-discovered her wrap dress a few years ago and business started booming again, she skews younger and younger all the time. And I've complained here before about how small she cuts -- you typically have to go up 2 or 3 sizes in DVF. I talk a good game about size just being a number printed on a tag, but still... Her size chart is disheartening.

It's almost not worth reviewing a DVF runway show, because for as many looks as she shows (43 exits for this one alone), there will be several times more than that making it to the retail floor. The woman must have an ARMY of design assistants working for her, and I do believe they continue releasing a full raft of stuff ongoingly every couple of months. So if you don't like these things, wait fifteen minutes -- there'll be more.

I do not want to like Victoria Beckham's clothes, I truly do not.

But it would be simple churlishness not to point out that this dress is really lovely.

This collection, which is Beckham's third, is small, and tightly edited. So far she's only doing dresses and they are predominantly evening wear. I have skewered, castigated and mocked Victoria Beckham many a time in this blog, but I have to admit -- girlfriend looooooves her some fashion and for that I give her credit. This collection showed a couple of silhouettes that varied from her usual skin-tight column thing and honestly? I really, really liked 'em.

Come on. That's just fun. And pretty -- really, really pretty.

I don't believe I've ever seen Beckham herself in anything this unstructured

but I'd wear that in a heartbeat. I LOVE that.

There has been a lot of noise and speculation about whether or not Roland Mouret is ghost-designing Beckham's clothes. Mouret himself denies it assiduously, although the two of them are friends and he cops to having introduced her to a lot of behind-the-scenes folks like pattern-makers to help her get her business off the ground. I don't know why they'd deny it if it weren't true, but there are a lot of things in this ol' world that escape my comprehension. Victoria Beckham, silly as she may have been at times, does not actually seem so ego-driven that she wouldn't have seen the benefits from having a designer as hot as Mouret attached to her namesake line as it was starting out and trying to gain some traction. I dunno. I don't care, really. I'd hate to see a designer not get credit where it's due, but if he's okay with it, who am I to quibble? All I know is, a good dress is a good dress, and this?

Is a good dress. That's a freaking GREAT dress, is what that is, and if fitted properly could be worn by lots of women whose bodies were not taut and shiny enough to do Armani underwear ads.

I love this one, as well. 'Cause it's red! And also because it's simple and elegant and classic (are you listening, Alexander Wang?) and beautiful and stylish without being gimmicky. There were a couple of missteps in this show and certainly more than one piece with Beckham's usual figure-hugging lines, but on the whole I really liked this, and I liked that she seems to be taking small steps forward.

There's more to come on Fashion Week, so stay tuned!

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Deja Pseu said...

I've been holding my breath waiting for Style Spy's Fashion Week commentary, and now I can exhale. Fabulously parsed, looking forward to more!

I find myself hating to love anything that comes from celebrity "designers" but yeah, you have to give Posh some credit for those lovely pieces.

Denise said...

I am so staying tuned! I've said it before and I'll say it again: really love your commentary.

tetedelinotte said...

There is something strangely compelling about Posh. She seems also to have toned it down a bit lately. I think she just tries too hard with the "public persona" thing and it ends up being grating. But when I've seen her in interviews where she's being more candid, she seems quite charming. I really like the dresses you've posted here and I hope she continues to evolve.

Plumcake said...

I rolled my eyes at DVF too and I've NEVER enjoyed Wang, but I do like Posh. I've just always liked someone with a sense of their own campiness, and she was SO much fun in Spice World where she gifted the world with her patented "point and flick" school of acting.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

Ha ha I saw Alexander Wang himself at a unpretentious dim sum restaurant in Chinatown last week. I can't wear his clothes either. Maybe it's my age? I don't know.

I've never been a DvF fan. NEVER. But Beckham, yes. Her clothes are chic. I'd wear them.

P.S. Love your commentary as always!!

dot said...

Amy! I just read every word of your fabulous post. I'm trying not to write the world's longest comment in response, but I so agree with you about so much: the boho look, (why has it not gone away!!?? It didn't even look good in the sixties!) and I keep forgetting that anyone knows who Posh is outside the UK (little known fact: she really did have to evacuate the UK because the press - and presumably, the public - were just merciless with her. All the speculation was 'Does she really think Americans are that dumb?' 'Will she take America by storm?'

And yet: I kinda like her! Apart from the fact that in a few years, that permanent pout is going to make her face impossible to fix even surgically, there's something so earnest about her: she tries so damn hard. And the bottom line is: whoever is making her clothes, I LOVE THEM!! I truly do. So hats off for her.

You are the sweetest thing to send me a virtual birthday present! I love it! It's quite expensive: you really shouldn't have, you know. But it's gorgeous and will go so well with my new Topshop sequin motorcycle jacket that I got for my birthday : )
(yes, you read it here first: I've given you the exclusive).

You really do the best running commentary, I agree. I'm going to give you a hat's off (again!) on my sidebar.

One last thing: I do disagree with you about Alexander Wang. Not that I'd be prepared to pay $245 on a tee shirt (I would, but Mr. Dot would kill me and then where would I be?) but I LOVE those football shorts! I mean, the sheer brilliance of referencing 1920s football, but not from the uniforms... from the leather ball itself! I wouldn't wear it with that top, but the shoes could stay.

Okay, enough chit chat. I've got to get ready for yoga. Thanks again, sweet (& sharp) blog-friend!


marjorie said...

LOVED this post. somebody's gotta wittily say what's what -- dewy young "investment piece" emperor, no clothes, yadda yadda.

StyleSpy said...

Pseu -- I don't know how much she's "designing," but I'm willing to give her credit for having sense enough to recognize they're good no matter who's making them.

Denise -- thanks so much!

Tete -- I agree. I think there's more to her than has previously met the eye.

Plummie -- There is no there there with Wang. Such a yawn.

StyleSpy said...

Thumbie -- your aesthetic seems too streamlined for DVF, I can see what you're saying. And you're definitely too classy for most of Wang's stuff.

Dot -- You're so sweet. And I cannot wait to see pics of the sequins in action!!!

Marjorie -- thanks! I just calls 'em like I see 'em!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lawd, cut that gray and black Victoria Beckham dress off at the knees, and pair it with Serious Shoes, and it would be one of the prettiest things I've seen in months. There's something about a severe gray dress that just speaks to me.

I'll join the chorus and say: I always love your fashion week commentary.

WendyB said...

I love your comments on Wang. Seriously, cut-off Levis and Hanes men's undershirts with cut-out armholes? Great for casually tarty teenagers, but I actually like clothes that make me look attractive and well-dressed. Call me crazy!