|Jason Wu Fall 2011 Collection|
(All photos Firstview.com)
Jason Wu’s fall collection was, in the words of his run of show, “inspired by the beautiful photos taken by Robert Polidori in his book “Parcours Museologique Revister”, which documented the detailed restoration process of Versailles over a period of 25 years”. Which explains the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the Chelsea Gallery where his show was held on Friday afternoon. It was all about high contrasts and juxtapositions, imbuing opulence and luxury with a modern vibe.
While the couture like elements, fabrication, dressmaking details, and feminine flights of fancy Mr. Wu has become known for were still in place (gaining him loyal fans like Anna Wintour and Michelle Obama), it was far less precious, ‘ladylike’ (of should I say, First Lady like), and colorful than in the past, and here was far more reliance on razor sharp tailoring and borrowed from the boys’ haberdashery, played out almost entirely in charcoal, black, ivory, navy, and nude with touches of burgundy, gold, silver, and cerise. (FYI, Anna Wintour looked like a caricature of herself in a cognac leather coat with a pale fox fur collar so enormous, it almost obscured her face. No wonder she feels the need for bodyguards).
Gone were the turbans, wide horizontal stripes, and full legged trouser pants from last season. In its place were trim lace trim wool coats and parkas (now fewer than 15 types of lace were shown throughout, and it was really all about lace), fitted wool jackets, wool tuxedo and cigarette pants, sculpted dresses in silk radzmire, and rock star worthy ornately embroidered wool anoraks. There were silk hounds tooth jacquard key hole back dresses with falling leaf lace embroidery, wool degrade and ostrich feather coats, frothy nude and black burn-out feather lace dresses, and some of the best examples of that seemingly simple yet timeless combo: a beautiful blouse and a ‘simple’ black skirt, which for Jason translates into a long sleeved nude silk chiffon blouse with black lace overlay, paired with a short black silk radzmire sculpted skirt with lace trim, and a nude feather lace blouse embroidered with Swarovski elements, which was shown with a floor length black lace evening skirt.
A gold lace paillette embroidered gown which was cut with the ease and simplicity of a tee shirt (but was not lacking in dramatic impact), and a cerise pink silk chiffon strapless gown with gold leaf embroidery had Michelle Obama’s name all over them. Actually, it’s easy to imagine the First Lady wearing many of Jason’s pieces, including the frothy ostrich feather lace dresses, to high profile soirees in the coming months.
Doo.Ri’s ‘Draped’ Wonders
|Doo. Ri Fall 2011 Collection|
I loved Doo. Ri’s inventive and highly personal run of show which read like a behind the scenes, intimate documentation of the thought process and planning that went into her fall collection, complete with sketches and rendered in her own scribbled handwriting. There were notations of inspirations (the work of Beverly Semmes), favorite fabrications (cashmere/wool jersey, double faced wool, angora, cashmere knit, nylons, viscose, leather, fox fur, silk chiffon); beloved silhouettes (long and fluid, elongated proportions), tailoring, blazers, oversized jerseys and outwear, cut away tops, linear structure, movement; and the use of the phrase, “city nomadic” (hey- isn’t that what Yeohlee called her collection several years ago? A collection that eventually became a museum installation? Actually, Yeohlee called it Urban Nomad). I always love that phrase because it sums up what longtime city dwellers always need and on the lookout for: clothing that not only looks good but truly functions.
Unfortunately, at times, Doo.Ri’s signature draping (and of course, what she is known for), seemed to get the better of her and the problem with much of the line, was that there was just too much fabrication, and at times, even the lithe tall models had their hemlines dragging on the floor of the runway. Not the most practical thing for pounding the pavement, getting in and out of cabs, or trekking up and down the stairs in the subway. And interestingly, Doo.Ri herself is quite petite and her own personal wardrobe staples are far more lean, pared down, and body conscious. That’s not to say there were not some beautifully cut pieces, played out in a tonally neutral color palette (from head to toe including the boots): jersey dresses with draped hems; oversized mohair sweaters and wool cable sweaters; a shirttail leather and wool jacket cut like a fencer’s jacket; a midnight double face coat with leather binding worn over a charcoal seamed jumpsuit and another, with a draped back, paired with satin straight pants; a fox fur and goat hair jersey jacket worn with lean pants; a tailored vest with leather piping over a black draped jersey gowns; and especially the finale comprised of 4 jersey gowns with macramé details (the dark blue asymmetrically draped number with a macramé embroidered sleeve especially stood out.)
FYI, both Jason Wu and Doo.Ri held their shows in the same far west Chelsea area, known for it’s art galleries. It’s an area used by many designers because the spaces are interestingly raw and large. That said, I don’t think there is any place in New York as difficult to get back and forth from, and it’s one of the hardest places to find a cab, especially on a freezing cold day in February. It’s great if you have a town car or limo at your disposal, but yesterday afternoon, I almost felt stranded, standing with dozens of other show goers, all of us trying to hail a cab, and was unable to. I eventually gave up and had lunch instead.
- Marilyn Kirschner
The Daily Bet by Rhonda Erb
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