Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Model Spotlight: Rick Genest

My latest model obsession is 25 year old Rick Genest who is also referred to as "Zombie Boy". The only reason I know who he is or why anyone in the fashion world speaks his name is due to Nicola Formichetti, the newly crowned creative director at Mugler. Formichetti took an interest in Rick and decided to feature him in his latest fashion shows at Paris Fashion Week and in his Mugler print ads. Formichetti is also one of the fashion directors at the Haus of Gaga and Rick was featured in Gaga's "Born this Way". Rick has subsequently secured editorial campaigns in Vogue Hommes Japan (photo above) and GQ Style. I adore Rick because he's certainly no pretty boy but is absolutely perfect for Mugler. He compliments the aesthetics of the rough and decidedly dark look that Mugler has and although I don't know if he'll be versatile enough to secure other campaigns, I've been seeing this guy everywhere so I suppose he's not too concerned about booking jobs right now. I guess you can say Nicola Formichetti has created a monster.

Mugler's Fall/Winter 2011 show

Spring/Summer 2011 issue of GQ Style

 In Lady Gaga's video for "Born This Way"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Paris Fashion Week: Highlights and Disappointments

Ahhh....Paris. THE city. When I go there, I'm going to spend 99% of my time walking into boutiques and touching and smelling the clothes. That's it. The other 1% will be devoted to eating bread, cheese and pastries. I might visit the Lourve. We'll see. But back to the fashion...Paris Fashion week overwhelmed me with fabulosity so I'm not going to countdown my favorite collections. Instead, I'll go over the collections I feel deserve recognition and that my devoted readers should know about (about 20 total), then discuss some of the biggest disappointments from designers I usually adore (about 10 of those). 

Alexander McQueen - I predicted this would happen. I knew that once Sarah Burton took over Alexander McQueen, her first collection would be a tribute collection that would mimic his work and then following collections would take elements from his look but start to fade into Sarah's personal vision. I think what we're looking at now is that in-between stage. You can certainly see a lot of Lee in this collection, I mean she was his right-hand woman for years. We're also seeing some new elements that could be distinctly Sarah. I'm pleased. I think that she's doing an admirable job and although I still don't get the same high viewing the collection as I did when Lee was designing, I still would say that McQueen is one of the collections I look forward to most in Paris. 

Alexis Mabille - I'm sure my readers are sick of me talking about how "in" jewel tones are, but here we see the deep ruby tones again with a 70s twist. 

Azzaro - Classic, clean, black and white collection. Nothing spectacular or ground-breaking but well-made trendy clothes that are truly timeless.

Balmain - A few seasons ago, the military-inspired jeweled Balmain jacket was the it jacket and this fall, I think the metallic fitted blazer is the new it jacket. I'm certain that many fashionistas will be wearing some interpretation of one of the Balmain metallic jackets. I will be one of them. 

Chloe - Chloe is a label I plan on wearing heavily when I'm a grown up. Effortless sophistication.

Collette Dinnigan - I thought this collection was clever in the way it revamped the lace trend that's been dominating the fashion world these past few seasons. The white lace blouse with the sheer sleeves was one of my favorite ready-to-wear pieces in all of the Paris shows. Very striking and wearable.

Dior - Sigh.....This collection was bittersweet for me. First of all, it was stunning. All of it. Of course it was stunning, it was Dior, it was Galliano. I sincerely cannot imagine Dior without Galliano. Nobody understands couture quite like Galliano and even his ready to wear collections for Dior are full of drama and glamour. I, in no way, support Galliano's behavior but the man is undeniably a genius and the fashion world already lost a genius last year, I would hate to see it lose another. I hope after he gets the proper treatment in rehab, he makes a full-fledged return to the fashion world. I'm sure he won't be welcomed back at Dior, but at least he still has his namesake collection. As for the fate of Dior, I don't even want to think about it. It makes me sad. So let's not talk about it until we have to. Until then, Viva Galliano. 

Elie Saab - Mr. Saab is painfully predictable. Every collection has the same notes, the same stunning gowns, but I hope you're not interpreting this as a complaint because I adore all of it. By all means, please continue creating the same gorgeous gown 1000 different ways, because I will always adore your designs. 

Gareth Pugh - Gareth Pugh is my absolute favorite "goth chic" label. I'm obsessed with this collection in particular. The gold accents makes the catwalk look like a battlefield with fierce armored women ready to pillage your town. And let's talk make-up. I don't always comment on the make-up or styling unless it is remarkable and deserves discussion. The ladies on the runway had gold and blue patches attached to their skin to go with the warrior look of the collection. FABULOUS.  

Givenchy - I had a hard time deciding if I loved or hated this collection. I'm still not sure, but for now, let's say I love it. The black panther theme was a little ridiculous but it was also kind of awesome. 

Haider Ackermann - This was a collection that was equal parts hard and soft. Edgy yet feminine. Karl Lagerfeld has mentioned that he'd like Haider to take over Chanel after he retires and I'd have to say, I completely support that decision. But Lagerfeld isn't allowed to retire. Haider can take over Chanel after Karl  dies. And I don't think it's been confirmed yet if Lagerfeld is capable of dying so Haider might have to wait awhile. 

Jean Charles de Castelbajac - I had no idea this label existed until this season but it immediately caught my attention due to its tribute to one of my childhood favorites, 101 Dalmatians. The tan dress on the left with the puppy is freakin adorable and I kind of need it. 

John Galliano - Another stunning collection by Mr. Galliano. Ugh....I can't. I just can't.....

Lanvin - Beautiful dresses, but honestly my favorite thing about this collection was the jewelry. Over-sized jewelry, especially large chunky necklaces are definitely in this season and the large rose pendant on the last look I posted was particularly fabulous.

Louis Vuitton - Take notes, Miuccia Prada, this is how you make fish scale sequins look chic. I was quite impressed with Marc Jacob's ability to churn out not one, or two but 3 fabulous collections this season. Bravo. 

Miu Miu - Ok, so Miuccia isn't completely crazy because this collection rocks my world. There are some 80s inspired trends like the large broad shoulders juxtaposed with some feminine details like the bows and furs. Overall a cohesive and fun collection.

Mugler - So Gaga has been rocking a lot of Mugler recently and she's pals with one of the creative directors so it's not surprise Mother Monster made an appearance at the show. And by appearance, I mean she stole the catwalk. Oh, and I love all of the ridiculous over-the-top looks in this collection. I personally would never wear them, but that's why Lady Gaga exists. To wear the bizarre clothes we love but would never put on. 

Viktor and Rolf - The red fierce make up made the girls look like little devils but honestly I thought it distracted from the clothes which were fierce on their own. The black coat with the pinwheel sleeves was genius and the detail in the draping in the gunmetal dress was remarkable. 

Vivienne Westwood - Another strong collection for Ms. Westwood. The final few looks with the embellished sheer nude designs were my favorite pieces in the collection that made it truly stand out from the other Paris shows. Looove.  

Zac Posen - Thank God, Zac Posen finally got it right! His last few collections had been disappointing so I was thrilled when I saw Coco Rocha prance down the runway in the stunning floor length blue gown. Welcome back to my Fashion Gods list, Mr. Posen. 

Now on to the collections that made me weep.

Balenciaga - As if the ill-fitting skirts and dresses weren't bad enough, Ghesquiere had to add insult to injury by throwing fishnet over them. Excuse me, but when did you start getting inspiration from Hot Topic?!

Chanel - Karl Lagerfeld is on LSD. I'm just going to pretend like his bad judgment is secondary to drug abuse. Because clearly he has to be hallucinating if he thinks these clothes would look good on anyone. It's odd because his Fendi collection was on point. Maybe he just slips into dissociative fugue only when he designs for Chanel. Or, he's on drugs. 

Comme de Garcons - I'm not really sure what this collection is. It literally looks like someone took a bunch of left over material and balled it up into random piles and ran a sewing machine through it. 

Emanuel Ungaro - So a few seasons ago, Lindsay Lohan was part of the Emanuel Ungaro creative team and everyone hated the collection they sent down the runway. To be honest, I thought it was adorable. It was certainly more youthful and fun than previous collections but the critics tore it apart. But the critics liked this collection, so I no longer care what critics think about anything, because this is garbage. 

Giambattista Valli - Hmm...not sure where to begin. The yellow fur trimmed dress is pretty awful, but so is everything else in this collection. The theme of this collection is "awful". 

Jean Paul Gaultier - I see what JPG was trying to do. He was trying to make Granny chic hot. Unfortunately, it's not hot. It's not clever. It's not cool. It's just plain ugly. And no bonus points for using Andrej Pejic. I love that kid but it's not cool to just throw him in one of your hideous creations and try and win me over. Not gonna happen.

Stella McCartney - Stella is a hit or miss with me. Sometimes I enjoy her menswear for women look and sometimes I hate it. In this case, I hate it. It's simply not flattering. And what was going on with the white polka dots at the end of the show? It had nothing to do with the early part of the collection. I am not a fan of collections with no cohesive thread. Without something to tie the pieces together, it's no longer a collection but a random assortment of clothes. 

Valentino - I am officially sick of the two punk kids that took over Valentino. I want Mr. V back. Come out of retirement and make your gorgeous gowns again, please. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Milan Fashion Week Review

The classic Italian fashion houses to me are all about sexy and chic garments that make women feel confident and desirable. This season, we've been seeing a gorgeous range of jewel tones, furs and jewel-toned furs at many of the shows in New York and London. Those happen to be my favorite trends from Milan as well. I'm going to talk about my 10 favorite shows followed by a few disappointments.

1. Gucci - This was definitely a collection that prompted the phrase, "one of each, please." Every single garment was rich with color and light as air. The movement of the garments down the runway was heavenly. I also enjoyed the details like the colored fur accents and petal-like capes. Frida Giannni stated that she was influenced by Angelica Huston from her days as a model in the 70s and Florence Welch from Florence and the Machines. I definitely see the connection since Florence is almost always in a floor-length, ethereal gown. This show celebrated Gucci's 90th anniversary and what a celebration it was!

2. Emilio Pucci - Again we're seeing the jewel-tone trend but what I love about Pucci is the hippy-chic quality the garments evoke. The dress that put this collection in the number 2 slot is the two-toned deep blue gown on the right. Juxtaposing the light reflecting off the sequins with the darkness of the cerulean material was magical.

3. Francesco Scognamiglio - Never heard of him? Me neither until I saw this collection last week. Apparently both Gaga and Rihanna are clients of his and I can see what draws them to his work. Drama, drama, drama. The metal flower shoulder pads in the white gown Coco Rocha was wearing was to die for and the long red dress was both original and exquisite. Consider me a new fan!

4. Roberto Cavalli - Cavalli has consistently made creations that I could actually see myself owning and wearing now. He has a unique youthful vision that many of his other legendary peers don't quite grasp. The gypsy meets rocker chick look is definitely a look I love and fits with my personal style so I'm always excited to see his shows to get ideas for how to layer and wear things I already have in my closet.

5. DSquared2 - This is another youthful label that always seems to come up with new and interesting ways to layer clothes. My favorite look was probably the middle one with the skinny jeans, white blouse, grey sweater, black structured jacket....and oh yeah, a flannel shirt wrapped around the waist. That should keep you warm. Warm and super trendy!

6. Fendi - To me, this collection was all about the fur. The clothes under the furs were irrelevant and boring, but the furs were fabulous. Well done, Lagerfeld.

7. Dolce and Gabbana - The last few collections the fashion duo showed were laden with lace, and while lace still managed to peek in here and there, it wasn't the main focus of the garments. Instead, the theme this season was stars. The long sheer yellow gown with the black stars was my favorite look and I also am crazy about the long gold sequined jacket on the right.

8. Moschino - The show started off with the fuchsia jacket and black skirt combo on the left and I was instantly drawn in. The color is stunning and had my attention for the rest of the show. The floral dress worn by Coco Rocha at the end of the show as adorable as well. I love me my floral dresses! Overall a clean and wearable collection.

9. Salvatore Ferragamo - Massimiliano Giornetti (I love that crazy Italian name, by the way) designs effortlessly chic and classic clothes that women can relate to. The collection was mostly black, white and gray with classic patterns like houndstooth and animal print.There wasn't a lot of innovation but there was certainly many beautifully made clothes that many women would love to wear.

10. Jil Sander - I'm a sucker for floral so put enough of floral anything in a collection and I'll almost always love it. Case and point: Jil Sander. The floral jumpsuit was ridiculous but I died when I saw it. I kind of need it. The floral booties paired with the solid black dress were also a must have in my book.

The following are a few designers who I felt got it wrong this collection.

Giorgio Armani - Ugh....where do I begin? Ok. If you read my blog, you probably know by now that I am not a fan of velvet, especially when it consumes the entire look. The off the shoulder velvet jumpsuit was hideous and completely irrelevant to the modern woman. The rest of the collection had odd and unflattering proportions and textures. And that fringe! Why?! The gowns at the end of the show were almost pretty until you got to the bottom of the dresses and realize that there is a bubble shape to it. Again. WHY?!

Marni - One of the first looks was the over-sized hideous suit with that horrendous pattern. Who on earth would wear that? The rest of the show had more patterned suits that were painful to look at and a salmon pink dress with an emerald green fur coat? No. Just no.

Missoni - I've never been a huge fan of Missoni but th is collection was exceptionally tacky. I don't understand the half gray/half brown jacket that went over an ombre sweater worn with a floor-length patterned skirt. Does anyone understand this? Please explain it to me.

Prada - Ok. Let me compose myself a second. Ok. I don't even...Ok. So one of the looks is a fish-scale yellow jacket with fur trim paired with a red fish scale skirt. And she's wearing navy knee-high socks. What the what? And what is up with that ridiculous pattern in the first dress on the left?

Versace - Although I didn't absolutely hate this collection, I didn't care for it much either. I have enjoyed Donatella's previous collections very much so was let down with this show. That Big Bird dress at the end was awful though. I did hate that.