2010 October 1

Runway Reviews: Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens

 Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2011 Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2011
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(PARIS) ANN DEMEULEMEESTER
Black and white might feel like familiar territory for Ann Demeulemeester, but her take this season was dubbed "graphic abstraction," meaning the prints were less watercolor and more cubist and the lines were generally harder. Instead of her signature drapey oxfords and loose silk pants, Demeulemeester wrapped up her woman in a protective coating of leather and bondage. You may want to skip the breastplate at Barneys, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better jacket, especially the black and white wrap styles that were some of this designer's most flattering silhouettes in seasons. The overall looks repeated themselves, the leather variations offered the consumer plenty of choices. Even the new skirt shape—micro-mini on one leg, floor-grazing on the other—felt precise and directional.

RICK OWENS

The second designer of the day to focus on restraint, Owens' renewed focus on sculptural shapes resulted in one of his finest collections in years. Let's forget those leather jackets for a second and focus on the skirts. Billowing, corpulent structures in silk cotton canvas, they left plenty of emotion (and a little bit of fishtail) in their wake. Paired with ultra-lean, embellishment-free leather jackets, in spring-length shorter sleeves and sans the knit-fold hybrid that's inspired thousands of knockoffs), Owens created a look that almost any woman could relate to. The more daring will be drawn to a strunched-up minidress now-ified with a roaring sleeveless cape with a head-framing collar. But anyone who sports this stuff will make a maximum Spring statement.