Sunday, October 5, 2008


After a knockout season under his own name, Jean Paul Gaultier hit another home run with his Spring/Summer 2009 collection at Hermès, inspired by the wild, wild west.

While the public isn't too enthused about the collection, thankfully at least the critics can agree with me that this was exactly what we needed: it's joyous, full of life, and a great distraction from all of the bad things that are happening in the "real world" right now. At the end of the day, isn't that what fashion should be--an optimistic escape from reality and the pressures of everyday life?

I really hope the music at the show was "Personal Jesus,"
and maybe even "White Horse".....Suits it to a T, I think.

Here's what Sarah Mower has to say, via
It was only a matter of time before all the fringe we've seen this season went West. Sure enough, it was down to Jean Paul Gaultier to rustle it up in full buckskin glory, across the cactus-strewn desert sands of the Hermès runway. Naturally, this cowgirl is quite the chicest, classiest example of her kind ever to don a Stetson, and her fringe-swishing posse was led out by none other than Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.

Only a branded thoroughbred as sure-footed as an Hermès filly could possibly tread this trail with such a sense of fun. The kitsch risk was high, but Gaultier made it look natural: Hermès = equestrian heritage + sophisticated world traveler, after all. His quick mind for the crossover pun also found a way to twist the classic house scarf as a bandanna, and even to tame a poncho to supreme elegance, rendering it in square-cut cashmere knits and slinky jersey day dresses. And the accessories were all-out amazing: soft suede riding boots, mirrored aviators, driving/riding gloves, slim crocodile envelope clutches, handheld canvas-and-leather suitcases, and (whoa, ladies!) even a fringed Birkin.
I couldn't agree more. The collection, or at least 99.99% of it (I really wasn't feeling the one head-to-toe chamois look), was completely flawless....and each look could easily transition into the wardrobe of many a woman (or at least those who could afford Hermès) with a simple change of accessories. The key to successful dressing is all about personalization anyway; no one likes a fash-victim.

Everything in the collection, from the stellar floor-length halter-necked shirt dresses that will work everywhere and anywhere this summer, to the simply chic platform sandals, the fabulous sterling silver interpretation of the classic Collier de Chien bracelet, and the must-have slouchy suede flat boot are just mouth-watering. I want it all, don't you?


Accessories to die for

In closing, I have one thing to say--- Bravo, Jean Paul! I'm glad to see that you're in such good spirits...keep it up! ;-)


Friday, October 3, 2008


For the past few seasons I haven't really been too excited about Jean Paul Gaultier's ready to wear collections, but his Spring/Summer 2009 was a great surprise: a joyous collection celebrating the spirit and movement of dance.

All of his signatures are present: fluid jersey skirts and bodysuits--my favorite being a reinterpretation of his classic "cage," in a maillot worn with a long pareo-style skirt; his beautiful suiting, including a few pieces in leather, his usual take on the Le Smoking and an incredible jacket and trousers in wool with fine pinstripes of sheer mesh inset. Another thing I adored were the high waisted suspender pants worn with demi-sheer wrap blouses.

The collection itself wasn't really well received by the press, but I think it's absolutely beautiful and a welcome return to form. It's not as in-your-face as his work in the late 80s/early 90s, but it has the same spirit that makes me love Jean Paul Gaultier.

Of course, not only were the clothes beautiful but the shoes, as usual, are to die for... And I'd kill for the black metal mesh messenger bag. Hopefully it'll be under $1,000... I can dream, can't I?


Thursday, October 2, 2008


Riccardo Tisci is getting major flack from the press about his Spring/Summer 2009 show for the house of Givenchy, which he presented on Wednesday (1st Oct).

The collection, which he called "Western Bondage," was typical Tisci: primarily a black and white palate but this time incorporating a few abstract western-inspired "flame" motifs vaguely reminiscent of Felipe Oliveira Baptista's s/s 08 "Les Catcheuses" collection. He successfully did his own interpretations of mid-90s Gianni Versace bondage straps and also showed a few ready-to-wear versions of his one-shouldered, puff-sleeved, dresses from a couture collection 2 seasons or so ago. The only misstep he made was using the bane-of-my-existence tacky late 80s acid-washed denim (again a recurring "trend" in many collections, don't ask me why), however that was only in 4 looks so they can (and will) be easily forgotten and forgiven.

What lasting impressions I got from the collection were the sharply tailored, figure-flattering jackets for day (statement of the season), beautiful draped silk tops, and classic workaday trousers which were done in looser, more figure-friendly shapes cropped at the ankle to show off a statement shoe. Of course, the omnipresent second-skin trouser was there, too (and in leather, natch)... but what's new with that?

For evening he showed a gorgeous version of a man's classic tuxedo tailcoat, paired with a bejeweled silk blouse and zip-detailed trousers as well as a crystal-encrusted suede coat which is probably my favorite piece in the whole collection.

As far as what the "critics" thought of this collection, my absolute favorite person in the world (ha!) Cathy Horyn didn't hesitate to rip Riccardo a new one:
I don’t think the explanation for last night’s rambling Givenchy show is that Riccardo Tisci just has too many ideas and doesn’t know how to “focus.” I’m beginning to wonder if he has any ideas at least that are original.

There was not much design value in the clothes, and some things showed surprisingly little finesse, and I couldn’t help but wonder...if Christophe Decarnin’s Balmain had an influence. Those black and white flame leather pants? The crystal-soaked club dresses?

Looking at the mess tonight that is the spring Givenchy collection — a label that people covet — it’s easy to believe that mindless acquisition actually has a style. It’s not trashy. The designer Riccardo Tisci uses high-quality leathers, jackets feature such feminine details at puffed sleeves and a lattice of straps across the back, and there are minidresses in beige-pink wool with sheer insets that reveal yellow lace underneath.

But there is a gluttonous quality to everything, a lack of sophisticated design and standards. The collection simply asserts, in the most banal way, that there is a customer for stone-washed denim jeans with a leather crotch, a cape with a golden flame detail, and dresses gobbed with fat crystals. And despite the economic worries, she will gladly pay through the nose.

First off, saying that Riccardo would deliberately copy Balmain is not only insane, it's evil-hearted. I see nothing Balmain about this collection at all. Just because he decides to use crystals and leather? Please. Cathy H. has had a beef with Riccardo for a long time and she is always bitter in her reviews of his collection. I don't know what she has against him, but her opinion does not matter. He IS talented, creative and original; he has proven that season after season. Some people just won't ever get it. And what's with that last paragraph? I'm pretty sure she got her notes for Balmain mixed in with this one. It's befitting that collection, not his, especially since Givenchy doesn't even cost 1/4 of what Balmain does. Gluttonous? Proves that there is a customer for ridiculously overpriced mediocrity? You tell me.



Welcome to my blog. I don't really believe in long drawn out introductions, and I don't have a manifesto or anything (yet!), but if you stick with me you'll pretty much get a feel of what I'm going for here. OK, onto business...

Fashion's current darling, Christophe Decarnin (ex-Paco Rabanne ca. 1997-2005), showed his Spring/Summer 2009 collection for the house of Balmain on Sunday (28 September) in Paris.

If I could sum up this collection in a few words I'd say it makes me think of what Paris Hilton would wear if she were going to a costume party with a white trash theme. Or any shitty red carpet event in LA. Not exactly a great way to look, but somehow this colleciton is getting more critical acclaim than REAL fashion moments like, say, Yves Saint Laurent's final couture collection, or current-season collections by Jean Paul Gaultier or Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy (we'll get to that later). I guess everyone's vision has been forever impaired by the massive amounts of shoddily glued-on(!) crystals and disgustingly big pointy(!) 80s shoulders on every jacket and dress:

Just what the doctor ordered... A big-shouldered, fully-sequined jacket
straight out of 1988 via a Goodwill near you...
paired with (of course!) trailer-trash acid wash denim skinnies. Wewt!

Bar Mitzvah chic at it's best

Here's what the oh-so-lovely (NOT!) Cathy Horyn had to say about the collection, via her blog on
Balmain was this afternoon. Christophe Decarnin did Sgt. Pepper jackets with peaked shoulders (sort of like Margiela’s) with ripped, acid-washed jeans and sparkly high heels. Dresses made you think of early bondage Versace, mixed with a bit of Alaia.
This "makes you think of early bondage Versace, mixed with a bit of Alaia"??? Ej-q-mi? Is this bitch on crack? The only thing this "collection," if you can even call it that, makes me think of is how much I want to hurl after viewing it (and that was just the photos! Let's not even get into the video of the actual show, with its pathetic Into the Groove/Holiday medley!) And as for Gianni and Azzedine; please, you do NOT want to go there. Those men were geniuses and knew exactly what, how, and when the truly fierce women of the 70s, 80s and 90s wanted to dress, and they all felt damn powerful in their designs. Not like they were headed off to a theme party in the hills.

How much was Ms. Horyn paid to paint this collection up in such a lovely shade of gorgeous? Probably all the food that the models didn't eat backstage. Which is, of course, all of it.

To my dismay, even Suzy Menkes, a woman who I do respect (et tu, Suzy?), praised the glory that is Balmain. Her review, via
The infectious exuberance of Balmain is the card that the designer Christophe Decarnin plays. His sparkling show Sunday of hard chic with Grecian drapes was a take on the 1980s. Madonna was on the soundtrack and jackets had wide molded shoulders.

Although the designer talked backstage about "Desperately Seeking Susan," the show was not so much Madonna in trash glamour from the 1985 film as the glitter and studs of hot couture. From the first outfit of a jacket with military frogging in a glitter gulch of crystals, but worn with torn jeans and more glam slam for the shoes, the Balmain show caught a current fashion beat.

When the jeans weren't shredded, they were given treatments from artistic patches of stone wash to prints of passing clouds or stitch decoration to shape the legs. From boy looks to girly, without reducing the sparkle content, the designer sent out tutu dresses. Their tulle skirts bouncing below crystals at the waist looked fresher than the brief clingy dresses that have been the stock-in-trade of Balmain's youthful revival.
OK, first of all: again, the collection is painted as gorgeous and breathtaking. If someone were to read this in a newspaper or something without photographic examples, they'd be excited...until they actually saw the thing. But that's her job, of course. Plus, I'm sure she was paid off, too.

"...the Balmain show caught a current fashion beat" comes off to me as a sly way of saying "Christophe Decarnin is just taking shit that's already trendy and throwing it together." And how senile is she that she mistakes acid wash for cloud print?!!? Just because it's light blue and white does not mean it's cloud print. Learn the distinction, honey. You were alive and competent in the 80s and should remember the bad fads of yesteryear when you see them.

A few more highlights from this [as quoted via] "ferocious, sexy and unapologetically glamourous", "sophisticated and stylish" and "fierce!"(!!!!!) collection:

Perfectly suited to Paris Hilton...Teen Choice Awards perhaps?

The perfect finishing touch to any Parisian fashion collection...
A completely sophisticated and stylish gown in suede and crystals...

Balmain is infamously the highest-priced ready to wear label on the market right now, with the current collection boasting a 100% cotton crystal-bedazzled t-shirt at $1,200, animal print skinny jeans at $1,500, zipper-detaild leather leggings for $3,300 and viscose-blend, synthetic-lined tuxedo jackets (the "must have" of the season!) for a meager $2,875. The crystal-bedazzled micro-mini-dresses for evening start at a paltry $10,000.

Is this fashion's idea of a joke? If so, I'm not laughing. Well, actually I am. Have you seen the people wearing this?