Spring 2013 Milan: The Good and The Bad

Ciao Milano!
The Italians have had their say for the season and let me tell you, it wasn’t much.
This entire season has been so middle-of-the-road, it’s unbelievable.

There was so little to write home about, that I only found two collections that made me take notice. Well one really, but I was so ready for some excitement that the second one barely eeks in. We’ll start with the latter.

THE GOOD

Gianfranco Ferre. This collection was good, not spectacular, but good. It had its flaws, but there were more shining moments than bruises. These three looks capture the essence of the house perfectly. The only thing I found missing were the brilliant white shirts that Ferre was founded on; however, I’ll let that slide if they can keep this creative pace up.

Moschino. This was the 30th anniversary of the house and it was so much fun I was actually clapping while I watched it online. They brought back all of their favorite modes, had a mini retrospective and even Gloria Gaynor belting out the house’s signature song “I Am What I Am.” It was brilliant. The current collection was sent out in pairs of good girls and bad girls and the cuts were the best of the best of the house’s legacy. All in all, it was a bright spot in a season of dark clouds.

THE BAD

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras. I normally love Marras’ clothes but this look had me confused.
Now, I have personally seen these curtains at a hotel in Mobile, Alabama so part of me wants to begrudge him a little slack…
Wait. That skirt is not a demo set of window sheers at a housewares trade show?
Oh, well nevermind then.

Dolce and GabbanaDolce and Gabbana. I swear, if Dolce and Gabbana go back to Sicily one more freaking time, I’m flying to Italy and storming their palazzo, sword drawn!!
At this point, you’d think they would have all but exhausted their well of inspiration from that little island, but alas, we’re stuck with yet ANOTHER collection.
This example looks less like an evening gown and more like a ginger-fied Cousin Itt’s sheared armpit trying on a wrestling belt.

DSquaredDSquared. Who knew that the thatched roof of the hut the Howell’s lived in on Gilligan’s Island would be such a source of inspiration for Dan and Dean Caten?

Fausto Puglisi

Fausto Puglisi. This is what a desperate cougar wears on a singles cruise.
I dub this dress the dumpiest “come hither” frock I have ever seen in my life.

MSGMMSGM. I always wondered what happened to the used circus tents that Ringling Bros. threw out.

prada

Prada. The press LOVED this collection.
I saw a goofy mix of bizarre prints, embellishments and clown clothes. Seriously, the further on this show went, the more bananas it got. I have NO idea what that textured bra thing is supposed to be or why she is wearing leg warmers, but I’ll say this, if you want to stand out for all the wrong reasons next spring, shop at Prada!

BONUS: if you squint and stare at the just the embellishments, it kinda looks like a confused clown face:Untitled-1Paris is the next stop on the fashion train!

G

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London Spring 2014: Good and Bad

London used to be a hot bed of ideas.
Season to season, you could count on a new crop of up-and-comers to dazzle the fashion world with a spectacle of innovation. Today, London is just as commercial and homogenized as the rest of the marketable fashion industry, and that’s a shame.

There were so few looks worth mentioning this season that I’ve combined them into one post.

Comments follow images.

THE GOOD

House of HollandI never thought I’d like a House of Holland garment in my life and, let’s face it, this is a rather innocuous subject, but there is something about the dark floral that works on something as simple as a shirtwaist dress. I also like the fact that the model’s tattoos surreptitiously morph into the greenery.

Temperly LondonLondon was all about prints this season and Temperly London nailed it with this look. The color is brilliant and happy. The cut, although a bit obvious, is clean and flattering and the styling is perfect. This is a good example of simple not having to be boring.

Westwood Red LabelIGNORE THE HAIR AND MAKEUP! Westwood’s Red Label is her more commercial line , but don’t ever confuse “commercial” with “simple.” Westwood knows what her customers want and she delivered with aplomb this season. This suit is a classic example of why no one tailors like Dame Viv. The lines should be convoluted, but follow the body instead. The color should be mediocre, but is styled to make it look desirable. Pure genius!

PreenI NEVER pay attention to the Preen collection, but this collection and look quickly stole my attention. I love the cut of the skirt. It’s clean and complicated all at the same time. The lines of the cut are mirrored in the bold geometric print of the top beautifully. The styling and accessories are perfect and the overall balance of this look is amazing. This is my favorite look of the London shows!

THE BAD

Mary KatrantzouWhy is this model, at the Mary Katrantzou show, trying to smuggle a beach ball down the runway? My God! it’s like they shoved an air hose up her skirt and tried to inflate her gut.

JW AndersonWords are failing me right now.
Congratulations J W Anderson; you’ve rendered me speechless.
You miserable bastard.

GIL_7531.450x675The Giles Deacon show this season was all over the place. There were beaded mouth embroideries (complete with gap teeth), bats and photo prints. Now, in an experienced hand, these elements would work together to form a cohesive story; unfortunately for us, Deacon’s hands were tied behind his back and encased in cement. I have no idea why any woman would leave the house in a giant, deflated hot air balloon printed with faces staring at her crotch, but hey, I live in the real world and tend to focus on not looking like an idiot.

Emelia WicksteadThis outfit from Emelia Wickstead is either:

A – A pair of little girl’s pajamas from 1985

B – An homage to Beethoven’s secret longing to be a designer at Lisa Frank

C – A pointless outfit that has absolutely no business on a professional runway during London’s fashion week.

Christopher KaneDear Christopher Kane, If by “flower,” you mean “toss this bad seed of an outfit in the garden and bury it under inches of dirt and manure and pray the aphids chew it up” then yes, this is a HUGE flower and I’ll need my shovel.

AshishHey everyone! I found the Queen of Bullshit at the Ashish show!
All hail her royal crapness!

Honestly, this entire collection was just a terrible Jeremy Scott rip off, even down to the Coke logos. You know, if you’re going to waste our time with silly and outlandish nonsense, you should at least try to make things that people want to buy and NOT look like moronic idiots in.

OK kids, we’re off to Milan next, then Paris.

G

New York Spring 2014: The Bad

I’m typing this with a clothespin on my nose because this steaming pile of rotten fashion stinks like a garbage barge!

No need to be polite about this, so let’s tuck into the crap!

Captions follow images.

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein. The last day of NY fashion week and we had to wait for this? Unless this dress is free with purchase, I don’t think any woman should fork out the 800 plus dollars for this unfinished simplicity pattern on crack. Seriously, who is still doing raw edges like this? The entire collection was raw. I get that you want a natural way of letting the fabric breathe, but couldn’t you do it cheaper than signature Calvin Klein collection?

Chadwick Bell

Chadwick Bell. God damn, that’s ugly. It’s like a mattress and a set of cheap motel curtains got into a fight then had angry make-up sex on that unfortunate model’s body.

DKNY

DKNY. I don’t even know where to start with this look; it’s like she’s wearing nine different outfits. Donna, sweetie, please pick a trend and stick with it. Nothing about this makes sense. From hair, to make up, to layers, to shoes, this one has ‘confusion’ written all over it. Hell, even the model look perplexed!

Karen Walker

Karen Walker. This young lady has given up all will to live and is walking towards the top floor of the Chrysler building so she can swan dive off the top. That or she’s a model in Karen Walker’s spring collection, one the other. But in all fairness, if I had to wear that in a fashion show, I’d probably want to end my life too.

Lisa Perry

Lisa Perry.
Dear Lisa, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
I await your response.
Thank you.

Peter Som

Peter Som. Well, that’s Som ugly crap you sent out this season.  What always gets me with looks like this is that it got designed, sewn, fitted and styled, then pushed out onto a runway without ANYONE saying “Damn, that’s hideous and unflattering.” Look at it. It’s not even a cute maternity dress. It looks like a giant air filter, with straps.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren. “I’d like a giant, medical green evening dress with an unflattering cut across the hips and raunchy ruffle choking my shoulder please!”… said no one ever. Shame on you Ralph Lauren! You have designed some beautiful gowns in the past, but you really phoned it in on this collection. This is just lazy.

Rucci

Ralph Rucci. Oh that poor model. First she was forced into a hideous strapless tunic and pants outfit, then run over by some kids on dirt bikes who spilled their orange flavored slushies all over her. Bless her heart! She still had the courage to walk the runway afterwards. What a trooper!

Vera Wang

Vera Wang. The lines make no sense on this. There are about eight seams too many on the yellow part. And that print! It’s like a YIELD sign gone terribly wrong. Stick to wedding dresses V, ‘cause your ready-to-wear is all jacked up!

Zimmerman

Zimmerman. I really have nothing against patchwork clothes. I love them actually, but damn, this one is awful. The hem is too full to support the proportions and the cutting is gimmicky at best. The sheer inserts do not help with the model’s skin tone and those shoes! Wow! The straps make them look like ski boots. And s’up with the sleeves?  All around, a colossal design fail.

***************************************************************

Well now, it is rare that one designer has two things on one of my lists. Usually I just pick the worst of the offending garments and go with it, but this time, one lucky designer has earned the right to carry two completely revolting looks on his own. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Zac Posen’s lack of evening wear design skills.

Zac Posen 2

Nana called. She wants her nightgown and inflatable bed jacket back sweetie. Oh and the bride of Frankenstein confirmed your appointment to get your hair set again next week.  Thanks.

Zac Posen

I’m thinking the design brief for this dress read something like this:
“Needed. Hideous gown that swallows the model, is made of the worst hue of mauve known to man and has a print that looks like water stains. Make sure it has plenty of unflattering ruffles at the bodice and one of the most confusing hems in the history of fashion.”
NAILED IT!

Next, London’s calling!!

Toodles!

G

 

New York Spring 2014: The Good

Well kids, New York fashion week is a thing of the past and with it got he hopes and dreams of a decent spring in 2014. This season, like several in its wake was a SNOOZE FEST! Boring doesn’t even begin to describe it. All of the heavy hitters took naps while designing this round. I get that designers like to slow down every now and then, but come on, there wasn’t anything to talk about this season… except these few entries.

Comments follow images.

CHerrera

Carolina Herrera. There was a huge play on graphics this season from several designers. Herrera did them well with minuscule lines that when layered, looked like undulating, optical illusions. This bustier and skirt sample exemplifies the look best. The details in the top’s cut and fabric compliment the skirts movement beautifully.

DVF

DVF. Let’s face it Diane von Furstenberg knows how to design smart dresses for smart women. This season was a bit of a sleeper for DVF, but a few looks blew away the cobwebs. This look is perfect for spring. It nails the graphic trend and is accessorized and modeled perfectly. This one is going to fly off the racks come next spring.

Gary Graham

Gary Graham. I love his clothes. He always takes an irreverent approach to design and comes out with winners each season. I love the simplicity of this cut paired with the richness of the beading. The colors suggest that this top has been buried in a steamer trunk in some forgotten attic for centuries and then found by a lucky lady who gets to wear and cherish it.

proenza-schouler

Proenza Schouler. Hole up. What the hell is Porenza Schouler doing on the good list? They make groupie clothes without merit; how did they get here? This must be a clerical error. That, OR, they kinda cleaned up a smidge this season, but JUST A SMIDGE! There is something terribly modern about his look. The layers and the length are fantastic and the color is unexpected for spring. DAMMIT!

Rucci2

Ralph Rucci. Oh boy, was this ever a yawn inducing season for Ralph Rucci! His usual sense of dramatic flare failed him, as you’ll see on the Bad List, but low and behold we did get a silver lining here and there. This copper pailletted dress is definitely one of those shafts of light. His signature, architectural lines are augmented by the graduated glitz of the ovals and the clean styling takes nothing away from this look’s brilliance. An absolute winner!

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang. WTF? WHY IS WANG ON THIS LIST!? I HATE HIS CLOTHES, LIKE, WITH A PASSION! I must be getting soft in my old age. Yes, it’s true; I like this look. I know it’s on the verge of too simple, but the contrast stitching is really good and the overall shape and proportion to the body is fantastic. THERE! I SAID IT! ARE YOU HAPPY??!! NOW GET OFF MY LAWN YOU ROTTEN KIDS!!

LUX_7400.450x675

Marc Jacobs. What can you say about a spring collection that was primarily geared for fall? It was actually very pretty, but the heavy fabrics and trims were belied by the even heavier color palate. I can’t imagine how this collection is going to fair in stores next to a season of acid brights and bone white columns, but there were some absolutely gorgeous pieces within it. This dress was one of several that aired on the side of Victoriana, but even with the somber wit and heavy attributes, this is a killer dress that needs to be highlighted.

OK, now for something different.

There were a few collections that I thought worked in their entirety. Don’t get me wrong, styling, and a few ill-conceived clothes are apparent within them, but overall, they worked. Instead of posting the pics I think work, I present the videos of the collections. Enjoy. I know I did.

Prabal Gurung, I NEVER pay attention to his collection, but this one really stuck out for me. I loved almost every piece in this pencil skirt forest. It was a salute to the 50’s with nary a poodle skirt pastiche in sight! Bravo!

Nicholas K. Yes the feathers are odd. No, I don’t like the headbands. Yes, there are a couple of potato sack dresses in the mix. BUT, the overall feel was that of a troop of nomads trekking across a barren wasteland. The mood was obvious, in a good way, and the collection felt cohesive and clean.

Thom Brown

Thom Browne. Now just wait a minute. Before you start to pass out from laughing, let me present my evidence on behalf of fashion. This collection is presented in a goofy, over-the-top manner that does come off as harsh and, well, insane. BUT, look at the pieces. When paired down for the stores, they will be insanely approachable. Yes, some of the cage things at the end were a bit confusing, but look at the techniques that created them. That level of construction takes a skilled hand. Even the shoes work with it. See, that wasn’t so bad. Was it?

(My blog doesn’t support this video so here is the link to see it. Go see it. it’s great!)

Well now that we’ve gotten the pleasantries out of the way, tune in next time for a butt-load of “what the Hell were they thinking?” moments on the Bad list.

Lates,

G

QUILTS!!

Quilting_cat

I got the word from Houston yesterday and Color Theory has won honorable mention in the wearable art division!
I am honestly shocked that it won anything. I really felt like I was rushing the construction on it and overall, I wasn’t too happy with its design, so here’s to judges with beer goggles! WOOHOO!!

Muniz_Color Theory_Back Muniz_Color Theory_Detail Muniz_Color Theory_Front

 I am MORE excited to say that my dear (and slightly crazy) friend Janet Stone received a divine call from on high and has won one of the top 8 prizes at the IQA Houston Quilt Festival for her quilt, A Letter bit of Baaltimore.  Clearly the judges were stone cold sober when they picked hers because the workmanship is stunning and she deserves every accolade for it!

Baaltimore

She ALSO won a ribbon for her quilt, Letter Carriers.

Carriers

I guess dinner is on Janet!

OK kids, my New York fashion review is coming up next week, so clench up because it’s going to sting!

G

Chapeaux Galore!

Well, I think we can all agree on one thing: I suck at photography.

Also, to my friend Kevin, sorry for the Pier I head.

OK, without further ado, here are your 2013 example hats for my fascinator class at Houston Quilt Fest.
Any of these hats are completely doable after taking his class; I’ll be teaching all of these techniques. Although, the fabric choices and trims that are going to be provided in class will be different.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.

Hat 1:

This is a silk/rayon velvet base with hand dyed, hand embroidered shisha and confetti veiling. it is secured to the head with a raised wire and headband.

Hat 2:

This is a devore, silk velvet base with tulle and netting poofs, feather clusters, flat,silk dupioni bow, wired jewel and plain veiling. It is secured to the head with barbed elastic.

Hat 3:

Wool suiting base with purchased flower, hat pins and horsehair crin. It is secured to the head with barbed elastic.

Hat 4:

Hand painted silk base with silk organza poof, raised, shaped still feathers, wired jewel and confetti veiling. It is secured to the head with a loose headband.

Hat 5:

Wedding hat with frayed, self fabric gathers, wired jewel and plain veiling. It is secured to the head with a raised, wired headband.

Hat 6:

Hand dyed silk taffeta base with fabric “feathers” and fabric flower. It is secured to the head with barbed elastic.

Thanks for looking!

G

IS IT HERE YET??

HOLY CRAP! IT’S SEPTEMBER.

QUILT FEST WILL BE HERE ANY SECOND!!!

I know it’s been a while since I updated, but I’ve been working. I PROMISE.

I’m doing a photoshoot this weekend to get better pictures of my hat examples – WHICH I HAVE FINISHED!! WOOHOO!!

(…and by “photoshoot” I mean it will be me, some foam core and a Pier 1 head)

I’m now going to be working on the instructions for my classes.

IN THE MEANTIME…

New York fashion week has started and well, this look from Honor just about sums it up.

Honor

YAWN!!

Do you have anything to add Wednesday?

WednesdayLooks like yet another snooze fest in New York this season.
I’ll do my usual good/bad post after we all take a nap and AFTER I post better pics of the hats.

G