Thursday, 24 September 2015

Fall in love as I did with Proenza Schouler

It's official, I'm obsessed with Proenza Schouler. They have achieved huge success with accessories for such a young brand, but the duo behind the label has never been known for having the same touch with shoes. Sure, Proenza’s footwear has been notable from time to time, but they’ve never had the sort of breakout hits that make shoe lovers flock to them season after season. Some people in the industry think that the shoes from the Proenza Schouler Spring 2014 runway show are set to be a turning point.
Since bringing on hotshot American fashion investor Andrew Rosen, Proenza has sought to diversify its revenue opportunities, which is just a fancy business way of saying they’re looking to make more of the types of high-margin products that help a young business turn into a powerhouse. For nearly all fashion brands, that includes shoes, and the brand revamped its shoe line two seasons ago in hopes of accomplishing that goal. They’ve yet to score a true hit.
After the brand’s excellent show on Wednesday, though, my Twitter feed was abuzz with editors and bloggers waxing poetic on the collection’s wooden-platformed huarache-style sandals. They’re bold, for sure, and the carved heels are beautiful in their careful striations. They have enough personality to become an It Shoe within the fashion industry, but are they marketable enough to move Proenza into the public’s eye? Check out the photos below and let us know what you think.

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Monday, 21 September 2015

#m a r c [Jacobs]

I arrived in New York that Friday night only to hear that Riccardo Tisci’s 9/11 Givenchy show was contemplative, or at least set out to be; the good news was that it was totally open to the public. The bad news; I didn't attend. I got the scoop  though. That'll be a different post!
On the hand a week later Marc Jacobs’s show was a vociferant, exuberant affair. Both got the public involved: It’s still hard to score access, but the shows are less and less an insular, insiders-only experience. 

Circumstance forced Jacobs out of his usual venue—sometimes the Army needs the Lexington Avenue Armory. He said he jumped at the chance to show in the Ziegfeld—as a native New Yorker, he grew up seeing movies at the famous theater—and that the innovative setup was custom-fit to the special location. “Marc Jacobs: One Night Only!” blazed the marquee. Inside, there was popcorn and fountain drinks; cigarette girls offered candy; and ushers dispensed Playbills (not a mixed metaphor, the original Ziegfeld showed musicals, not movies) as they led celebrities like Bette Midler, Winona Ryder, Sandra Bernhard, and Sofia Coppola to their seats. Oldies and goodies! Outside, models including Bella Hadid, Guinevere van Seenus, Emily Ratajkowski, and the singer Beth Ditto walked the length of a red carpet that stretched for half a block, stopping for a picture at the Marc Jacobs step-and-repeat, before they made their way up the stairs and into the theater, where we watched the street-side happenings on the Ziegfeld’s giant screen. 
The show was a love letter to the movies, America’s greatest invention; to America itself; and to a New York City that’s all but vanished. The Ziegfeld is the largest surviving single-screen theater in Manhattan, and trumpeter Brian Newman and his band played punk progenitors the New York Dolls’s 1973 song “Trash.” Nostalgia is the most powerful force in Jacobs’s work. This season he indulged his insatiable, catholic tendencies: High culture (Maria Callas as Medea), low (showgirls), and things in between (Janet Leigh in Psycho) mingled on the runway. You couldn’t help but think that Andy Warhol would have appreciated it, not least of all because some of the prints were suggestive of the Pop artist’s silkscreens. 

It’s the kind of collection that will reward an up-close look—dense with detail and hidden meanings, and totally irresistible. 
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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Homeless at a high price - Y E E Z Y 2nd season

West worked with performance artist Vanessa Beecroft for the second season going. Like last time, street-cast models mixed with professional ones, and Kylie Jenner, the designer’s sister-in-law, put in a cameo. Unlike last time, West and Beecroft made the military metaphor literal, enlisting real drill sergeants who called out formations. Platinum-blond, fair-skinned models came first and marched to the end of the runway to pose for pictures. As the show progressed, the clothes shaded from beiges and taupes to browns and blacks, and the models’ hair and skin tone got darker, with the darkest models and clothing coming last. At the finale they arrayed themselves front to back, white to black.
In a year in which racial injustice has occupied the headlines, it was a potent tableau, seemingly loaded with meaning. But if West was making a statement about inequality in America, he chose not to address it with this reporter. When asked about the casting, he said, “It’s just a painting, just using clothing as a canvas of proportion and color.” 
We’re not sure if we buy that, but if West wants to put the focus on his fashion, not his politics, then we’ll play along. The Yeezy vibe is a consistent one. Sweatshirts, leggings, outerwear, and boots remain the backbone of the collection. It’s still monochrome head-to-toe, and it’s still essentially unisex. Spring does feel less shaggy than its predecessor, but it’s just as streetwise. If West makes good on his promise at the VMAs last month and does indeed run for President in 2020, he’s going to have to get his campaign trail suits somewhere else. Hmm. Still xo. Still Yeezy.
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

r o d a r t e 'past is the future'

"Sometimes I feel like it’s futuristic to go into the past.” - fashion quotes from designer, Kate Mulleavy. She and her sister, Laura, spent the summer immersing themselves in Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, and Leonard Cohen, while listening to Electric Light Orchestra’s early synthesized, sparkly music. It seems to have put them into a kind of a ’70s-nostalgic trance from which their best collection in a long time proceeded—a kind of soft glam-rock tenderly sewn into immensely intricate ensembles trailing long silk scarves and an aura of Old Hollywood glitter in its wake.

It wasn’t all dresses. The floppily louche lamĂ© pantsuits were my favourite! This was a collection that achieved the range that has also eluded the Mulleavys till now. Did it move fashion on? Probably not. But as far as Rodarte is concerned, looking to its own past brought out what will stick in memory as one of the most soulfully authentic collections in New York.
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