Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cruisin’ Right Along

Monique Lhuillier Show

Because Monique Lhuillier strongly believes in making clothes that won’t go out of style from one season to the next, Resort 2006 is an evolution from fall/winter; and an evolution of the collection before that. And it’s certainly a harbinger of things to come for spring 2007 which will be unveiled at the tents during New York Fashion Week. The Los Angeles based new mom (baby Jack was born right before the fall shows in September) is not only adept at multitasking (she is finalizing licensing deals to do a collection of handbags, shoes, and perhaps items for home décor in the future), she knows her customers well and knows what they need and want. She has a consistent design philosophy and that is evident in the following observations (“It starts with something I wish I had in my closet and goes from there”, “It’s all about modernizing old world elements”, “I like texture and I like to play with fabric”, “You should be happy with the way the dress looks on the inside as well as the outside” (therefore, the linings are buttery soft, perfectly detailed with sewn in undergarments to make for perfect fit).

So, for this designer with quite a loyal following of celebrities and socialites (her ‘date’ for the CFDA Awards was Jamie-Lynn Sigler who wore one of her gowns), that by definition means a signature palette based on black and white (“black and white is a great starting point”) which is given a jolt through hits of color (for resort that happens to be an especially wonderful shade of chartreuse); a continued experimentation with volume (the use of couture like light and airy fabrics such as silk taffeta, silk organza, cotton pique, silk chiffon assures nothing is overwhelming or overpowering). As always there are what could easily be some of the most beautiful and refreshingly feminine white blouses on the planet (worn with one of her short black silk taffeta skirts that becomes the perfect ‘uniform’); new takes on the shrug or abbreviated bolero; ‘mini’ and entrance making floor length ball gowns.

The attention to detail is always noteworthy (there is pleating, ruching, bustling, knotting, and twisting) but Monique also adds new elements each season and this time, she’s especially proud of the hand painting on silk organza that turns up on a group of dresses in white hand painted with an off black abstract floral design. And in a season where many designers are going ‘dotty’ Monique translates this trend into a group of white cotton voile dresses and blouses with tiny black ‘raised’ dots.

The collection wholesales from about $1,000 to 3,000 and will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and specialty stores across the country. For more information contact Jennifer Nilsson-Weiskott at Paul Wilmot Communications.

Oscar de la Renta Show

Apparently not everybody who was going to the CFDA Awards on Monday night was primping and preening at about 1 p.m. on the same day, because many of fashion’s heaviest hitters were at the recently refurbished Morgan Library on Madison Avenue and 36th street to view Oscar de la Renta’s short and sweet 59 piece resort collection. Those filling the double rows in the beautiful high ceiling’d hall which boasted floor to ceiling windows (all the better to see the lush vegetation in the garden outside) included Vogue’s Anna Wintour (with Olivier Theyskens in tow), Andre Leon Talley, Grace Coddington; Elle’s Isabel Dupre and Nina Garcia; Allure’s Linda Wells; Harper’s Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey; Neiman Marcus’s Ken Downing; and former Bloomingdales chief Marvin Traub.

It was a perfectly elegant and civilized way to see Oscar’s very ‘Oscar’ collection which was predominantly white, sand, navy, black enlivened with hits of green, orange, red. Though most everything was femininely fitted through the torso and accessorized with waist defining wide belts, there were also his favorite voluminous shapes- full bell shaped skirts, trapeze shaped dresses- not to mention a handful of cuffed Bermudas and wide legged trousers. Folkloric touches refreshed classics; there was plenty of crochet and embroidery; soft, pretty blouses, shirt dresses, coatdresses, and shifts were given full attention; and that ‘uniform’ of a shirt and blouse is being offered again and again.

It all had an up-to-date, modern, and youthful vibe thanks to the models’ long ponytails which now replace the traditional bun, the body defining shapes, the perfect proportions, and the wonderful accessories - great oversized totes, big straw hats, and especially, the au courant wedge soled sandals that appeared in everything from metallics to straw to fabrics that matched the outfits. Speaking of which, the pattern loving designer made a statement with ikat patterned oversized totes which were made to match the ikat patterned skirts and dresses.

Oscar is apparently going ‘dotty’ this season - large polka dots in black and white or navy and white were proposed for both day and evening. And Oscar is apparently in love with backs, and wants his ladies to make as beautiful an exit as an entrance, as evidenced in the arresting backs on many dresses.

- Marilyn Kirschner

1 comment:

  1. These styles really do seem to have a timeless qulity to them.