Sunday, February 27, 2011

Milan Fashion Week: Versace

Milan Fashion Week: Bottega Veneta

The shaggy mohair coat, opaque white hose, and T-strap sandals, not to mention Karolina Kurkova's bouffant-y 'do, suggested that Tomas Maier had something very different in mind from last season's sporty ease at Bottega Veneta. But if the designer's interest in knee-length skirts, trim little cardigans, sleeveless shifts, and sparkling semiprecious jewelry seemed almost Hitchcockian, the clothes were hardly prim. That's because Maier made use of unexpected fabrics—a pilly wool or a densely woven, three-dimensional yarn, say, for a pair of ladylike coats. And not only that, he was also quite adventurous with surface treatments. What at first looked like dust on Abbey Lee Kershaw's sweater vest turned out to be actual tea staining. All right, maybe that's not the most retail-savvy idea, but later on came clever, covetable dresses embellished with lace both real and virtual. (A spray-painting technique created trompe l'oeil lace stencils.) And the experiments didn't end there. The hems of a pair of corset dresses looked as though they'd been put through a paper shredder, swishing back and forth underneath overlays of that same black lace.

Friday, February 25, 2011

John Galliano, Suspended from Dior

Christian Dior suspended star fashion designer John Galliano on Friday pending an inquiry into drunken insults he hurled at a couple in a bar. Just a week before Galliano was due to present Dior's catwalk collection, Paris police were called to a bar in the fashionable Marais district on Thursday evening where they found Galliano barking insults at a couple after a drinking session, a police source told Reuters. Galliano was taken to a police station for a sobriety test that revealed he was over the legal limit. Police then escorted the Dior star home, the source said, without specifying the nature of the alleged insults. ``Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour,'' Dior Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said in a statement. ``Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities,'' the fashion house, part of billionaire Bernard Arnault's LVMH luxury empire, added. Christian Dior, which hired Galliano as its star designer more than a decade ago, is due to present its autumn-winter collection in Paris next Friday, March 4. A spokeswoman for the group declined to comment on whether the show would go ahead as planned.

Milan Fashion Week: Fendi

Karl Lagerfeld insisted that the painterly, Dadaist backdrop at Fendi's show today had little or nothing to do with the collection, but his co-conspirator Silvia Venturini Fendi had already described a picture of the woman whose spirit dominated the show: a buttoned-up-to-the-neck art teacher who was still wild enough to wipe her paintbrushes in her hair and unleash the animal within. Nice. If she was the raison d'être of the collection, kudos to her, because this was one of Fendi's strongest showings yet, in an escalating series of convincing fashion performances. Teach's style was strict but lived-in. She wore Mary Janes; her woolen tights bagged slightly at the knee. A decorous yet bold frill was pinned to the front of her blouse. She had incredible taste in cloth coats, one of which was appealingly detailed with a bow in the back. She valued comfort, as in the elasticated waist and cuffs of a skirt and pants. And her highly developed color sense was obvious in her layering of a rich blue coat over a teal skirt and yellow tights.

Milan Fashion Week: Gucci, Mens

2011 is Gucci's 90th anniversary, and Frida Giannini's men's show for Fall was the start of the celebration. There had already been intimations of Giannini's approach to the birthday year in her pre-fall collection for women, where she locked into a killer-chic, early seventies vibe with just a hint of rock-star sauvage, and here it was again today. The cornerstone of the collection was a lean two-button suit, its trouser flaring slightly over the shoe. With Faces-era Rod Stewart croaking over the sound system, the connection with a vintage Gucci moment was inescapable.

Milan Fashion Week: Gucci

Before Gucci's 90th anniversary show today, Frida Giannini cited a pair of influences: Anjelica Huston, as lensed by the photographer Bob Richardson, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine. That first reference point meant we were back in the 1970's again. Giannini's girls have traded in last season's harem pants, macramé moto jackets, and lean jumpsuits for culottes, pussy-bow blouses topped by snug sweater vests or velvet blazers, and shirtwaist dresses. Many of them wore fedoras with feathers in the brim, and some sported both a shoulder bag (an elongated version of the Jackie) and a mini top-handle frame bag. If that sounds like Giannini had pared down the glamour quotient, think again. There was fur and python and patent leather galore. The lattermost came in a sexy-as-all-get-out slim black pencil skirt worn with a silver fox chubby. What was most notable about the furs and pythons was their eye-opening colors, and the designer gave full rein to her penchant for mixing unexpected hues together in one outfit: Take the ocher coat with Mongolian lamb trim worn with a scarlet blouse and a bordeaux hat, or the amber python jacket with rust-colored fur collar that topped a lavender shirt and violet cardigan.