A Thought for Fashion

A Blog for all Your Fashion Thoughts by George Fracasse

Tag: fall 2014

Chanel, Carb-Free: Fall 2014

Grocery shopping? In your gym clothes? It may seem entirely passé, but only Karl Lagerfeld’s infinite brand of creativity could conjure up such a spectacle for Chanel’s Fall 2014 collection.

I say brand because Chanel is a global brand, with a global reach that rivals that of many of its just as old competitors. They also have global money to play with, which meant that this season, the Grand Palais was converted into a Chanel grocery store. What could be better than showing a collection in a grocery store filled with Chanel branded products: Chanel pain grillé, Cambon Jambon and Coco Chocó biscuits (even Coco Carbone, a necessity for the most fashionable of drivers). Why limit yourself to clothes when you can have your Chanel carbs and eat them too?

chanel-fall-winter-2014-15-ready-to-wear-decor

But as always you can’t wear a set, and it’s just one facet in this gem of a Chanel collection. Beyond that was an interesting idea that toyed with grocery stores as a place to people watch, being a melting pot of rich and young, old and new, bright and dark, and commercial and exclusive. Commercial in the sense that this grocery store offered a lot of great ideas, exclusive in the sense that after all the pomp and circumstance, this is a Chanel show.

Chanel’s couture collections have a tendency to foreshadow their prêt-a-porter siblings. It was no surprise that the tightly corseted silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January teamed with sports-couture sneakers resurfaced today. It made a lot of sense: women don’t shop for groceries in stilettos. It also seemed tactical, as sneakers are a super hot commodity in the world of street style.

It started with an array of après gym shoppers lead by Lagerfeld muse Cara Delevingne. Leggings worn with matching cropped tops and billowing 80s sleeved tweed jackets were accompanied by matching trainers. It set the pace for the rest of this 78 piece collection.

1716

Next was the workingwoman, who wore a Carhartt inspired jumpsuit in a fantastical orange citrus tweed. Tightly nipped at the waist, the proportions were daring and fresh; a softer yet still powerful pink tweed suit that followed rivaled the practicality of that orange jumpsuit, however.

1514

The futurist shopper wore oversized jackets with matching, heavily embroidered pants or holographic metallic leggings, offering a cool aspect to the show. Not to mention the new Chanel accessory du jour: shopping baskets iconically interlaced with leather clad chain links for the most discerning of shoppers.

1312

The classical, preppy Chanel woman. Perfectly perched in her tan, dropped shoulder zip twin set with burgundy braid. Perhaps inspired by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are just as iconic as Chanel. As for the prep, check out her sneaker boots.

1110

The gallery girl modernist, with her abstractly colorful skirt with black line color blocking and a bright green jacket lined in a matching fabric, was the most modern and chic. Delicious is a word that comes to mind too, especially with regard to the faux candy necklace she was wearing.

98

The minimalist was the most striking aspect against all the excess: shown in quilted navy, the simpleness of a zippered shift dress and a swing top worn with a zip front skirt resonated as the most wearable aspect of the show.

76

Next, the woman who lunches, her driver carrying her Chanel shopping bags. The epitome of Parisian elegance in a matching Strawberry milkshake pink tweed suit, right down to the shoes. We’d get hungry too after the shopping spree she went on.

5

The gothic, music obsessed punk rocker, clad in a leather frock with red trim that riffed on the couture silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January. Equally raunchy was a leather look paired with matching headphones, quietly poking fun at a pearl necklace from the spring 2014 collection that looked eerily similar to headphones.

43

And finally, the evening girl, off to a soiree with a lover, remembering that she inadvertently forgot a last minute necessity for her night out. Like liquid silver, one of her dresses flared out with a small mermaid hem, the other resembling pink chain link with an explosion of strawberry shortcake hued frills spraying out from the décolletage, pockets, and hem of her dress.

21

It was a lot to take in, but at the end of a very serious and often boring fashion month, it offered and lot of life and a lot of fun. Without the guilt!

Advertisements

Present Perfect: Prada Fall 2014

It’s not uncommon for Miuccia Prada to employ foreshadowing into her menswear shows. In this case, we got a taste of what the Prada woman could expect back in January, when leather 70s inspired shirtdresses and fur jackets in jarring colors came into the mix of her unfussy men’s Fall 2014 collection. She called that Act 1. With Act 2, a more dramatic and sensual side is revealed to the Prada woman that is conspicuously readable as capable and smart.

 The antithesis to Prada’s wildly ornate Spring 2014 show, a simple black silk shirtdress over a black turtleneck opened the show with ease. A simple idea it was, but made entirely sinewy by a silk necktie, offering a mannish, gender-bending edge in true Prada form that was prevalent throughout the collection.

1

 Long, lean 70s silhouettes ruled on the runway, accompanied with oversized double-breasted blazers, their shoulders dropping off the wearer and squaring off the fluidity of sheer organza dresses, adding a sense of mystery to this darkly powerful show.

2

 And in a season so focused on outerwear, Prada offered the most imaginatively commercial jackets in a sea of competitors: leather coats trimmed in jewel tone colored shearling played nicely with a complimentary sea of silk dresses. It was just the right amount of wrong.

543

 Those silk shirtdresses also rendered a grand sense of sophistication to the often addlepated mess of oddly placed sheer organza shift dresses trimmed with thin metallic straps. They were an interesting idea, but realistically untranslatable for the consumer.

89

However, they also worked in a way that only Prada could get them to: they made the good stand out. Structured dresses done in wild 1920s Art Deco prints, with their thin metallic harness straps, seemed like a chic way to go in comparison to their sheer, often oddly trimmed in fur mates.

67

 That was another important aspect to this Prada show, print, as it is in any Prada show. Like an intriguing conversation with an old friend, Prada’s seemingly retired brand of 90s quirk is revived for a new generation of people looking to dress intellectually. The archived prints that established Prada as a house planted firmly in the now of the 90s seemed almost more relevant today than it did yesterday. Perhaps that’s because of how much broader Prada has become as a brand. Surely, brand visibility is a good thing, but so many lose their identity on the ride there. Thankfully, Prada is a house with identity planted firmly on the ground.

The 100 Word Review: Simone Rocha Fall 2014

Known for dramatically oversized silhouettes, Simone Rocha focused on the punkier side of colonial chic. Waists were lowered and attention was given to the idea of pannier dresses, embroidered with dense crystals and pearls.

12

Python coats received similar treatment; their giant ruffles impractically placed at the elbow. Cunning like a snake, but also bitingly smart.

3

The show took a turn for the intellectual sweetness Rocha’s known for. A pink frock in open windowpane check felt modern with an embroidered drop waistline panel, while the inclusion of jarring tartan became sweet against soft ruffles and embroidery.

45

The takeaway: abdicate boring.

The 100 Word Review: Christopher Kane Fall 2014

Ask yourself: would you wear a cropped garbage bag puffer vest accompanied with a black mini dress? No? Think again, because it’s the type of quirky utilitarian chic that only Christopher Kane could cook up.

1

 In classic Kane fashion, his bitingly sweet knits in bright linden green had a striking toughness poised next to the austerity rendered in his laser cut garbage-chic skirts.

2

 But it’s not all sensible: ribbon candy sleeves? Yes, please. Does it get any more delicious?

3

 It does?! Kane’s genius is again revealed in his 3D geometry lesson of frothy organza frocks.

4

 Kane’s message: see things differently.

Cloudy With a Chance of Chic

Marc Jacobs has brought us train stations. He’s brought us pastel carousels, fantastical paper castles and latex bondage rooms. For his Fall/Winter 2014 show, however, Jacobs took us to the clouds with a collection that was as ephemeral as it was focused.

 Arguably, the set to a Marc Jacobs show is equally important to that of its fabricated counterpart. This season was no exception. Marshmallowy clouds installed by long time collaborator Stefan Beckman hung from the ceiling of the Armory, casting an uncanny glow down the runway. The real message here wasn’t in the clouds, but revealed in Jessica Lange’s voiceover of “Happy Days Are Here Again”, the Depression-era song that Judy Garland invited a young Barbra Streisand to sing on her show in 1963. That too made for an important impact: the clouds over Marc Jacobs’ body of work have been firmly pushed out of the way, and happy days are indeed here again.

 And there’s a reason for that. His first collection since his departure as creative director at Louis Vuitton, a position he held for over a decade and a half, the idea of clarity seemed to resonate within the clothing he showed. Simple, but certainly not minimalist. Not only that, he’s no longer responsible for his younger line Marc by Marc Jacobs, whose recent stellar outing by design dream team Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier proved to be its own important entity.

 It started with stripping away the elaborate embellishment from last season and working with a clean, elongated silhouette. Often done in brown, tan, pewter, a light, dusty blue and the palest of pinks, the shapes were as simple as tank dresses, often worn with knit pants that pooled around sneakers or instead mid-calf boots.

12

3

At times they morphed into long sleeve tunics or henley style dresses, sometimes worn with a similar knit pant or matching skirt. They had a strong sense of emotion, but also of the future. With their pastel bobs cut perfectly square to the face and accentuated with a fabric headband, the models seemed to belong to some future metropolis of fashion robots on planet chic.

45

The best part of the show was the fur bomber jackets done in pastel dégradé that effortlessly mimicked a winter sunset. Worn with a slit skirt and a long scarf, they had the same vivacity as some of Jacobs’ earlier work for not only his own house, but also Vuitton.

76

 And if the embodiment of sophistication was ever present in a dress, then it was in the hand-painted organza ruffles laid delicately onto bitterly sweet dresses. They offered a nice, relaxed feel to the shows intense focus.

98

And without any effort, they summed up the show perfectly: onwards and upwards!