Monday, September 17, 2012

Ellin's Fashion Week Diary Wrap-up


There isn't just one length. I know everyone will ask me, "So, what's the latest length?" And they will get annoyed when I say, "Which ever suits you best." But I will be annoying, sorry! If you have great legs and want to show them, go right ahead and wear short skirts, and for fun, skinny dressy bermudas. You can even wear "hot pants" as part of a dressy tuxedo or evening look. Just be aware of your age because they might look a bit silly on someone over 60. Might; not will. As for below the knee, some skirts look great right there, just grazing. Below or calf length is tricky, it works with full skirts but I think it looks very dowdy with straight skirts. I find myself mentally rolling up someone's skirt at the waist to shorten it if that dowdiness appears.

However, a great looking, young tall stalker can look devastating in that length. Study yourself in the mirror before you decide on anything! Actually, study yourself in the mirror whenever you get dressed, and if you can get a rear view ... do it. Sometimes it can scare you, but better to scare you BEFORE you go out than when you ARE out!
Clockwise from top left: Carolina Herrera; Michael Kors; Norisol Ferrari; Calvin Klein; Carlos Miehle; Ralph Lauren; Nanette Lepore; Tory Burch.
YOUR LOOK. Now that I have you checking yourself in the mirror, it also helps to check with your friends, escorts, or spouse, and ask, "How do I look?" Maybe he or she will answer truthfully. There is nothing worse than getting out of the elevator and having your spouse say, "I really do not like you in that!" Even if you think he or she is wrong, you will have a lousy time and feel uncomfortable. I confess that has happened to me and I was stubborn thinking to myself ... what does he know? Well he did, and is normally right! Developing your look is harder in this new world where there are no rules.

Clockwise from top left: Marc Jacobs; Ralph Lauren; Nanette Lepore; Michael Kors.
TRENDS. I know people will ask me what are the trends of the season? Sometimes it matters, and many times it doesn't, really. Yes, the American (New York) collections have just ended and I am going to give you a list of the trends, but London, Milan, and Paris are going to follow and very often their trends can be stronger than ours while changing some things.

With that said, the trends so far this Spring Summer 2013 season are as follows:

• Black and White (as seen in almost every collection, but starring in bold stripes and graphics at Marc Jacobs)

• Leather and suede and even neoprene (Oscar, Philip Lim, Ralph Lauren)

• Gold embellishments and trims

• Mixed media pattern: checks, stripes, plaids, houndstooth, and more stripes (Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore).

Nothing is understated: shorts of all lengths; yellow, coral, red; platform shoes (many with plastic straps); the shoe boot still around, up the ankle and still with open toes; but more flats on the runway than in the past; pants run from full-pleated trousers at Ralph to overalls in some young collections to tailored suits at Oscar; Skirts behave in the same way, going from pencil thin to flare to pleated to short culottes.

There is not just one thing!

Such a simple way to dress. Put on your bra and panties and a dress ... and you are done! No need to figure out what tops go with what skirt or pants with what belt and sweater. There were super dresses in many collections.

Hopefully some retailers will double expose them: hang them in the designer's area in the store, but also feature them in a dress area.

Reese, Lepore, Sui.
Take Reese, Lepore, Sui and many others. Before there were so many sportswear designers and brands, there were dress designers; but dull with very little flare. Now there are sportswear talents who do great dresses. Dresses will be a "must have" spring summer 2013 item.

This season is very commercial. There were no real clinkers, no real duds, no real excitement, but just a lots of great new clothes to brighten the way to a happy new year.

Did I have favorites? Of course, but not so it means that other shows were bad, so I prefer to plead the fifth. I am sure you could feel my vibes when I saw something smashing. I am just so fortunate to have been able to see a definitive new Marc Jacobs, a thrilling Ralph Rucci, a beautiful Oscar de la Renta, some great clothes from Michael Kors and Peter Som and Philip Lim, and Jason Wu, and Tracy Reese, and Nanette Lepore, and Anna Sui, and Narciso Rodriquez; and detailed researched treasures from Ralph Lauren and architectural simplicity and complexity from Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa!!

Thank you designers and all your kind public relations staffs.
Thank you dear readers and please let me know what you think!
L. to r.: A definitive new Marc Jacobs ... A thrilling Ralph Rucci ... A beautiful Oscar de la Renta.
On Thursday morning, September 13, the New York Times published Cathy Horyn's reviews of several Spring 2013 shows. She praises Narciso Rodriguez and Sophie Theallet. Then gave a nasty review of Michael Kors saying:

Back at Lincoln Center, the notes for the Michael Kors show said, "Bold shades of sun, palm and sky." Make that yellow, green and blue. No amount of spin could improve this flat collection of double-face shifts, preppy stripes and optical checks.

Narciso Rodriguez & Sophie Theallet. Michael Kors & Oscar de la Renta.
This was, in my mind, mean and uncalled-for.

In the same review she says, Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion .... The models' hair was streaked with war paint .... It was wonderfully cantankerous, a good bit of window-dressing for the gooey stuff that followed.

Now, Oscar de la Renta had just delivered his prettiest and strongest collection in years. The audience of customers and retailers loved it. It was beautiful and strong.

Then, on Friday morning, a full page ad appeared in Women's Wear Daily:

An Open Letter to Cathy Horyn from Oscar De La Renta

September 13, 2012

Dear Cathy,

This year I celebrated my 80th birthday. With pride, I can say that for more than 50 of those years I have been privileged to work in a profession that I deeply love, one that has given me tremendous pleasure. I have always considered that my role as a designer and as a great admirer of women has always been to make a woman look and feel her very best.

I respect and accept criticism because in many ways it does help us develop; I try to make my work better each time. What I do not accept is when criticism is personal. If you have the right to call me a hot dog why do I not have the right to call you a stale 3-day-old hamburger? My advice to you is to abstain from personal criticism. Professionals criticize the clothes, not the people.

I want to give Oscar a big hug and congratulate him. I have no idea what the personal vendetta is with Cathy Horyn; I only know that Mr. de la Renta has indeed made women look fabulous over many decades. He is a talent to be admired respected and treated with love.

Of course I admit to thinking Oscar is one of the sexiest men around, and the best dancer. Does that make me prejudiced? Perhaps, but not in this case.

Names you to know: Proenza Schouler. Designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollugh (how does that become Proenza Schouler?) are having a great year. Sadly I missed their collection but plan to run to their new Madison Avenue store to check them out. They are names you should remember. They produced what WWD called "a sharp, graphic and risky collection — with big returns." Here's a peek ...
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part V.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part IV.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part III.
Click here
for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part II.
Click here for Ellin's Fashion Diary, Part I.