Friday, March 8, 2013

Elie Saab AW ‘13

by Rebecca Todaro

Elie Saab is keeping things classic and classy this autumn with a collection that was beautifully timeless. Everything was so elegant, it seemed to me like a reworking of what Grace Kelly would wear had she been a young actress today. Saab’s collection is hands down one of my favorites this season. Each piece was simply delicious. Well-tailored, and sharp lines contrasted with romantic and flowing skirts and capes which created beautiful movement on the runway. Cut-outs with lace and sheer details were also prominent. This added a sexiness to the looks while still maintaining a respectable modesty. The collection was dramatic but wearable. Classic a-line skirts, cinched waists, and fitted suits made for pieces that would be flattering on any woman. 

all images courtesy of

Saab, like so many other designers this season, plunged into the monochromatic trend, but added a little zest by injecting chartreuse, teal, and purple, proving that fall and winter don’t just have to be about black and navy.  With straight, slicked back hair and smoky eyes, the styling didn’t detract from the clothing, but really emphasized each beautiful piece.  The bottom line is that I would love to own everything put out by Elie Saab this season, if only to pretend that I’m a modern day Princess of Monaco. 

Stella McCartney AW ‘13

by Rebecca Todaro

The monochromatic bug strikes again with Stella McCartney’s fall/winter ready-to-wear collection which showed in Paris this Monday. With a palette of black, white, grey, and fuschia McCartney worked on bringing back the bulk of the ‘80s. Oversized dresses, loose-fitting coats with enormous lapels, and bulky shoulders dominated the show. I was a bit sad to see a lot of skirts and dresses cut just above the ankle, but that’s probably out of jealousy as a short person who can never pull that length off. McCartney also threw in some pinstripes and plaid which nicely broke up the overwhelmingly monochromatic collection. 

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The looks ranged from suits and jackets, to shift dresses, to evening wear and could outfit  any woman for the entire season. The styling was simple and fresh, and some looks were topped off with grey and black baseball caps, which I grew to love. Platform shoes added to the looks which somehow managed to stay chic despite the fact that they were indeed clunky. Such is the power of Stella McCartney— a power granted only to the daughters of a Beatle. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Comme des Garcons AW ‘13

by Rebecca Todaro

Things took a turn for the strange on March 2, when Comme des Garcon’s line by Rei Kawakubo showed at Paris fashion week. Models paraded out looking like hobos who had gotten caught in the world’s largest paper shredder. Maybe I wasn’t appreciating the art involved in the collection, but for the first seven minutes or so I was utterly confused. Why the comically oversized and ill-fitting suits that were intentionally torn? Why the bulging, geometric flower details that looked like tumors? Why the white Keds that looked like they were stolen from Pam Beasley (or perhaps rooted out of her garbage)? Then I remembered— this is a Japanese designer, and when it comes to weirdness, we tend to cut the Japanese a lot of slack. 

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So, slack was cut, and I tried to look at the collection through a different light. I liked the colors and patterns. Classic pinstripes and houndstooth gave way to burgundy and a zany harlequin pattern. I liked styling, except for the sneakers. The models all had  crazy plaited hair, sculpted around their faces which all bore a charcoal slash across the cheek. I also appreciate the architectural elements that went into crafting this collection. Like their hair, the whole thing is very sculptural and it is certainly interesting to see the incredible shapes Kawakubo was able to create with fabric. In the end, however, I still can’t get past the fact that I couldn’t find one piece that actually looked flattering on the model. The show was eerily romantic, but just left me feeling vaguely sad. 

Miu Miu AW ‘13

by Daniella Cuencas

The main theme in the Miu Miu Fall 2013 ready to wear fashion show was pops of color. For the most part of the show the clothes were focused on outwear and using small pops of color like scarves, purses, or shoes as ways to brighten up the outfit. Interspersed throughout the show were some brightly colored, striped, or polka doted outerwear. Bold colors and patterns mixed together with the severe makeup and hair styling looked like something you would find in a cartoon. This idea made me take the looks that were coming down the runway a little less seriously than other shows. Instead of trying to find the versatility in the clothes, I looked for things that would just be fun to wear or interesting to try to pair with different patterns. 

images courtesy of Monica Feudi

Something I loved were the accessories that Miu Miu showed for the upcoming season. The purses ranged in size and pattern that could make great accessories for a bland outfit or add some color to the cold months of winter. Moreover the cute scarves were tied like something you would see a woman wear in the 1950’s. The scarves are a great idea for an accessory and definitely under-used. Overall, the Miu Miu show had some great coats. They featured fitted black peacoats and knee length cinched at the waist parkas. These clothes were not as spectacular or showy as other designers this season, namely Dolce and Gabbana, but this show is worth a look if only for the accessories. 

Hermes AW ‘13

by Ash Ramani

The bibliothèque at Lycée Henri-IV, a prestigious Parisian high school was transformed into a runway, for the fall 2013 Hermès collection to debut.  In keeping with the venue, the collection had a collegiate vibe, with comfortable, yet structured fabrics, reminiscent of retro prep school uniforms. 

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Highlights of the collection included a black pencil skirt paired with a crisp white shirt, and an olive cloak, with a statement collar. Another covetable piece was a brown coat, accented with strips of red and black fabrics, reminiscent of elbow patches, and a lining that looked wonderfully warm and cozy. While otherwise well styled, I could have done without the leather fanny pack sported by the model, and might have suggested a more classic satchel to complement the look instead. However, this was remedied by a structured grey dress, paired with yet another sharp white shirt, and a pair of black ankle boots. The deep V-neck of the dress was accented perfectly by the slit in the neck of the white shirt, while the black belt, and soft brown cloak accessorized the outfit fantastically. Overall, this collection was classic, and sophisticated, starting the fall off on a high note. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chanel AW ‘13

by Jack Babnew

Yesterday at the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld proved once and for all that it is Chanel’s world and we are all just living in it. Funny, I’ve said the same thing of Beyonce. The fall collection was showcased in the typical grandiose Chanel style, but this time, something other than the clothing took center stage - a giant globe, featuring tiny beams of light to highlight the locations of the 300 Chanel boutiques across the world. Although the show wasn’t about “fashion domination”, but about “fashion globalization”, one couldn’t help but notice that this was a move so grandiose, it only could have been pulled off by Chanel.

First things first - we need to talk about the meggings. Yes men, the skinny jean is not enough for the fashion set any longer. Naturally, Chanel had to show a leather version of the man-legging - more fashion forward. And, as we all know, once Chanel shows it, it’s fashion law. The little black dress? The knit jacket? The iconic CC logo? I’d start raiding your girlfriend’s drawers now guys - don’t get caught without your leggings on next winter.

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Overall, I thought the show was excellent - although it did not have a specific motif or design point, like earlier Chanel collections, all of the pieces flowed well and will certainly sell. I loved the little leather knee-socks, something totally unheard of and totally chic. The strongest part of this show for me was the styling. Every look was spot-on; each piece had a moment, each moment had a piece.

Valentino AW ‘13

by Molly Wheaton

If Wednesday Addams and Adele’s 2013 Grammy Dress had a love child, her wardrobe would be comprised entirely of Valentino’s AW13 collection. With most looks built upon the foundation of black mini dresses and adorned with lacy accents, Valentino’s latest collection is for the woman who wishes to stay a girl forever— albeit with shorter, fancier, jacquard-ier outfits. 

Some stunners included a black sequined gown and a long overcoat with scalloped edges— two pieces I’ll bet we’ll be seeing on the red carpet. I could easily envision up-and-comers like Elizabeth Olsen or Elle Fanning in any one of Valentino’s flower-embroidered dresses, and steel-blue numbers reminded me of Kirsten Dunst’s eclectic premiere style. 

As for the everyday girl? This collection might come off as a little too precious— or, at the same time, a little too dark. Although gorgeous and innovative, Valentino’s latest collection may be just a touch too gothic to capture the attention of a feminine and modern dresser.  

Paco Rabanne, AW ‘13

by Ash Ramani

The 1960s played a central role in the Paco Rabanne collection, as the show veered between classic menswear inspired pieces, to futuristic chainmail, most of which was surprisingly tastefully done. Thanks to new creative director, Lydia Maurer, the collection paid homage to the brand’s aesthetic, while updating it to something more sophisticated, and dare I say, wearable? 

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The collection started strong, with a sharply tailored navy suit, reminiscent of classic aviation, showing just a hint of leather collar. The look was followed by a structured chainmail sheath dress, with a sharp collar, a look that nodded to the brand’s classic look, while not giving itself completely to it. Another standout was the black overcoat, with the studded collar, melding the old and the new, injecting some metallic glamour into the more subdued, structu

red piece. Despite a few misses, with the last three dresses that looked less ready-to-wear, and more nightwear, the collection included many covetable pieces, giving the brand a much needed update. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saint Laurent Paris AW ‘13

by Jack Babnew

Oh Mr. Slimane…. Saint Laurent Paris’ controversial fall show began with the audience (sans critic Cathy Horyn) rapt, hoping that Hedi Slimane would dazzle them once again. Dazzle he did, although most of them left scratching their heads. The collection was not Yves Saint Laurent at all - and as the international fashion world watches, Slimane is still establishing just what Saint Laurent Paris means.

As individual pieces of clothing I loved this collection. I would want to be best friends with the girl who wears these clothes (and steal some of the pieces from her), but I don’t think that this girl is a YSL girl. This blatantly is not the house that Yves Saint Laurent, and Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford, and Stefano Pillatti after him, worked so hard to establish. The clothing is completely unlike anything being shown today, and completely on trend - the 90s are back, and this collection was shrewdly both street-style and youth influenced.

Having this strong of a creative vision (whether it’s one that I think is “good” or successful or whatever) is something admirable in and of itself. Hedi Slimane knows exactly what he wants to do as a designer, and he’s doing it. I just think he’d be better served doing it at his own label, where, in my opinion, he’d make a fortune without the outrage. 

Chloe AW ‘13

by Daniella Cuencas

My favorite brand, Chloe, did not disappoint for the upcoming season. The classic and elegant collection had some great pieces including a cape, jumpers, and pencil skirts. One of my favorite pieces was a tweed type skirt with blue accents and a zipper up the side of it. The skirt struck me as something you could wear to an office that would be a little more on the trendy side of things. The shoes paired with this outfit make the skirt also stand out as something a bit more on the edgy side but still could be a classic staple of any woman’s wardrobe. Another of my favorite looks was this dainty white see through sleeve blouse paired with red pants and black boots. This pairing was both feminine and just plain pretty to look at. The mix of a bold burgundy with the clean and pure white of the top was a great combination and drew my eye immediately.

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My least favorite part of the show was seeing some of the awkward materials fabric cuts that were placed on the models. One of the outfits was of a model in something that looked like, well like this. There aren’t really words to describe how awkward this looks on the model. I still can’t tell if she is wearing a dress, skirt, or pants. While deciding what to wear it should at least be clear what the structure of the outfit is. Overall the show had a lot of dark blues with some white accents and a type of oxford heel. Chloe kept it simple this season, but that does not mean these clothes are not worth the look. As a matter of fact, the simplicity and obvious aim for elegance makes Chloe so unique.