It's 1221

fashion’s crown of thorns direct from japan fashion week
24 March, 2009, 9:41 PM
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While the folks around here are sporting beanies and hoods to fight the raw winds, the ladies walking the runways of Tokyo seem to be channeling Mexican boxers and the original JC. Similar to my perspective on the fashion industry, Japanese designers Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagit at Mintdesigns and Kazuaki Takashima at Né-net positioned Fall 2009 on the fashion battlefield. These designers are speaking Alexander McQueen’s language and presenting collections intended to challenge the way we think about and use fashion; after all the mindless consumption, it seems like these are reality checks and even go as far as slapping the industry in the face to “get it together.” Today, as I was attempting to find a few spring pieces, I fumed over the disposability of fashion (intended because it’s cheaply made and intended because in a month there will be new stuff to hawk and shop) and the price bubble that the industry pumped so full over the course of the last few years that the current climate necessitates planting two feet on the ground. The lightening fast turnover rate of new styles may be fun if you are waiting to snag a [insert high-end designer name] dress/shoe/bag for a teeny-tiny fraction of the price at [insert your favorite fast fashion mecca], but the process is cheapening everything. Today was my day to feel really jaded. I’m looking for something sustainable in fashion–something and someone with longevity. Boy, oh, boy, we not support longevity in fashion (or in music with flash in the pan acts hyped to death). This craze for the new is so damn tiring and it doesn’t end; yeah, it’s sometimes fun, but little reminders like staging a runway show in a boxing ring like Né-net or the crown of thorns at Mintdesigns reminds me that there’s a war to fight for whoever started in fashion looking for individuals voicing a strong call to arms. Clearly, I am hungry for a wide-scale fashion revolution. Meet me at the rally?

Né-net Fall 2009 

Mintdesigns Fall 2009

All photos: WWD.


Stella Steals From His Closet Trimmed, Tucked, and Embellished Ensembles
9 March, 2009, 10:41 PM
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McCartney presented an excellent range of day and evening wear, vegan-friendly and sophisticated without being stuffy. Never one to loose touch with her musical roots and faithful clients, McCartney’s collection is all about a superb fit carried off with a heaping dose of nonchalance.

Rundown: faux leather thigh-high boots, sumptuous knit coats, elongated clutches, mid-calf booties, pulled-back pony tails, super skinny belts, tapered trousers, mens’ blazers sized for the ladies, high-waist skirts and babydoll dresses

All Photos: WWD.

Ann Demeulemeester: Edwardian-inspired dark poetic musings of the modern-day anti-hero rocker
9 March, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Uncompromising construction details: drapes and folds, asymmetrical hems, narrow pants, embroideries, shirring, high-gauge chunky and fringed knits

Deconstructive Styling: seemingly haphazard tuck/untuck for blouses into pants, unbuckled leather corset with straps hanging, jackets buttoned non-linearly, earthy headpieces

All Photos: WWD.

Balenciaga: Frenchie-French-French exuberant decadence nice, not spectacular
9 March, 2009, 12:17 PM
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Construction Details: It’s all about the coloration and construction a la YSL and Ungaro-esque draping, the new skirt shape gathered to the center or the side, the razor-sharp Balenciaga shoulder.

 Styling: Rather straightforward, the shoes are very clunky looking and an unexpected pairing with the light-as-air clothing. 

All Photos: WWD.

Gareth Pugh: Blacker, Darker, Sexier and Larger Than Life
9 March, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Construction: A-line silhouette, wide-leg or slim trousers, folds in jackets, chainmail

Styling: quirky hats, cat eyes

Presented as a large screen projection, see images >>

All Photos: WWD.

Ciao, Bella! Marni’s Magic in Milan
5 March, 2009, 5:05 PM
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Nowhere else besides the quirky imagination of Consuelo Castiglioni can daring jewels, plaids, silk florals, textured tights, patterned knee socks, fur, brocade, and satin come together to produce one of Milan’s best fall 2009 runway shows. “Best” meaning interesting to look at and highly wearable. Unlike her her contemporaries, Castiglioni presented neither silhouettes for a tiny fraction of the female population to pour themselves into nor  a highly conceptual collection requiring a degree in rocket science.  I appreciate the boxy shape that she focused on, and I welcome the idea of dressing with personality. Combing pieces in this manner suggests nothing short of a woman confident in who she is. Brava!


we’re in a recession? i feel like richie rich.


When Angela Missoni’s collection for Mission fall 2009 debuted earlier yesterday during Milan Fashion Week, one could tell that the designer found her groove. Perhaps due to the past few years of shifting personalities, it seems Angela stretched her creative muscles and said, “Yes, this is me, this is Missoni.” What she presented was a marvelous celebration of the house’s famous knitwear. Let it be known that knitwear is one of the most lucrative niches in the fashion industry at the moment. The history behind Missoni and its retro influences truly differentiate it from what some of the younger designers are doing–especially true now after seeing London Fashion Week. 

The luxe layers and cardigans, the flowing fringed scarves, the scrunched slim pants (I would never call these leggings), fur accenting head wraps, big loops on sweater jackets in maroon, Prussian blue, gold, and burnt sienna, and salmon are mesmerizing. If there is a recession happening, it skipped over the Missoni house.  “‘I wanted to show Missoni has a passion for fashion,'” Angela told Suzy Menkes of IHT. Well said. Watch the interview here and here are some key looks: 


What happened at Armani? From one look to the next, the collection is at times glam and other times forced . If Giorgio is feeling his age and wanted to try to stick it to the rest of the biz, I would say he did far from stellar. The collection is flashy–even for a collection bound to end up at red carpets and chic parties–and can we let the ’80s be dead and gone? The patent leather newsboy hats tended to cheapen some of his looks. This collection left me on the fence; I do like his palette of greys, black and stone but let’s go to the pictures: 

first look with those hats is meh:



but it can be classy:

with soft, flowing hair and minimal accessories, these gowns would cause less visual overload:

what happened here? randomly placing two flowers and that braided belt/sash doesn’t add to the dress, looks like an afterthought:

but clearly, with minor tweaking, it can be better… why the throwaway looks?


The luscious folks at Wooster Collective sent this great video out in the latest newsletter; L.A.-based Robbie Canal is a street artist and activist, who brings a smile to my face when he talks about his art and, basically, perspective on life. Watch here>> 


Get the toes-a-tapping: Who Made Who “The Plot (Discodeine Remix),” Datarock “Give It Up (Kissy Sell Remix),” and Miike Snow vs Vampire Weekend “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance.”

And who can forget the first song “1901” from the highly-anticipated/I-cannot -wait-another-minute-please-Gawd upcoming spring release from Phoenix? 

Lisa Shaw has a new album Free out on March 10th, and while I love her background in the house scene, the new songs feature a lovely soul vibe. I heard her this morning on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and had to track down the woman behind the voice. Originally from Toronto, Shaw is blending musical genres and surmounting trends to present a decidedly unique and thus, refreshing sound.