Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Best of Womenswear FW 06/07

Fashion week is over, the catwalk dust has settled, the emotions subsided, and after initial wows and eewws, I have analyzed and picked my favorites -- so let me know what you think and feel free post your favorites.

For me the real fashion week starts and ends in Paris. There maybe an exception here and there, but as a rule, New York is safe and bland, London is always almost but never quite there, and Milan is a decadent hooker with too much coke up her nose. Paris is creative, romantic, edgy and beautiful. To be sure, most designers who show in Paris are not French, but, c’est la vie.

This season was an interesting one. The reason I choose the word interesting is because for me it had as many absolutely fantastic shows as it had disappointments. Some of my favorites flopped. Yohji Yamamoto gave up on the female form altogether – whereas before he produced amazing creations that were voluminous, but retained a body contour, this time he sent out a series of potato sacks. Rick Owens is beginning to make me believe that he is a one trick pony – I LOVE what the guy does, but will he ever progress (he seemed to in his menswear)? Olivier Theyskens sent a series of sportswear for Rochas in some bland-looking fabric – is this the Rochas we know and love? Undercover wrapped those poor models in some fabric that looked simply amateurish. Yet, McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, and Hussein Chalayan produced absolutely stellar collections. So, there was a bit of ambiguity, ambivalence, and dichotomy in my reactions, but that is what makes things interesting, isn’t it?

1. Ann Demeulemeester – what can I say? Ann never fails my expectations. For this collection she has retained her signature silhouette, flowing, nonchalant, yet flattering, elongated, and absolutely, gorgeously feminine. She moved away from the straps and buckles that dominated the past few seasons, which is fine by me – I love either-or. I am grateful that, unlike for her menswear, she retained the romantic, yet assertive mood. Joan of Arc? I’ll take two.

2. Alexander McQueen – the eagle has landed, both figuratively and almost literally (judging by those headpieces)! I am glad that McQueen is back to basics, so to speak. His staggering talent has always amazed me. For years, he, Junya Watanabe, and Hussein Chalayn rotate the crown of the most talented and innovative designer – and this season Lee takes the cake.

3. Hussein Chalayan – ah, yes, the unsung genius of fashion. The one who pushes and pushes the boundaries and relentlessly innovates. Another fantastic collection, absolutely easy without being simple. The garment construction looks top notch. I can’t wait to see this in stores.

4. Junya Watanabe – punk is dead. Punk is so dead that you can buy it on every corner. Punk has been swallowed up and vomited out by the very culture it opposed. Who gets the last laugh? Certainly not the rich kids that buy their expensive punk gear on St. Marks and pay $50 for Rancid tickets. Punk is so dead, that these days if you want to do it in fashion YET again, you better be damn talented. You better produce a collection that is so impeccably and complexly constructed that it will FORCE the spectator to look at the clothes, and not laugh at the theme. Who else, but Junya?

5. Neil Barrett – surprise, surprise. Actually he was a runner up. My number 5 spot originally went to Bruno Pieters, but due to technical difficulties, I can’t find any pictures. Back to Neil – how often does it happen that a menswear designer starts doing better clothes for women? I like his masculine on feminine adaptation. No fuss, just beautiful, flattering clothes. And let’s face it, a skinny pant suit looks so much better on a woman (unless you are into Berlin rent boys that is…)


Anonymous Julie Fredrickson said...

Dear Fashion Critic,

Julie Fredrickson of Almost Girl here. I can't find a way to email you so plese forgive this comment!

This coming Friday I am launching Coutorture Media and I am inviting you to join me as a blogging partner. So please bear with me while I give you the who, what, where and whys of Coutorture in hopes that you might join me!

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We partner with other fashion bloggers, online fashion magazines, fashion forums, and fashion professionals in order to promote the online fashion community.

Blog partners share their content on Coutorture, enabling it to be shown on our daily front and section pages as well as allowing it to be part of the Coutorture Conversation’s community. All content will feature the blogger and link back to the site and any comments left on Coutorture relating to your post will automatically show up on your blog as well. Edgy, helpful, snarky, beautiful, wordy, gossipy, serious, literate, insider, outsider-all content is welcome at Coutorture. We welcome many varieties of content, including written, graphical, audio, or video. The upload process is automated using Dapper software so participating is as easy as saying yes I want to participate. We take care of the rest.

These partnerships allow us to organically drive traffic between Coutorture and our partners, insuring that the larger fashion community is kept vibrant, alive, and together. By making all content on Coutorture subject to feedback and community input that content becomes more dynamic and alive within the online fashion world. The interaction between Courtorture’s readership, current Partner readership, and the larger fashion community allows us to truly develop a stronger online fashion community that is engaged and responsible to us all.

For more details please check out Almost Girl (

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