2009 February 18
(NEW YORK) Temperley London
Gathering her creative resources, London designer Alice Temperley decided to hold an intimate, two-day-long installation presentation in her showroom in Soho. With her son Fox crawling around and a small staff lounging on cushioned couches, the family feel was the perfect way to showcase her collection, inspired by the finery of the Orient. Rich jewel-tone colors, iconic Mongolian pompom-detailing, and harem-styled pants came straight from childhood bedtime-story characters.
While some chose to match the gloom and doom of the recession with optimism, G-Star Raw met it head-on with a moody runway show. A piano duet pounded out a solemn dirge that accompanied stone-faced models, whose stiff arms and stiffer hair seemed akin to the marches of troops going out to battle. Uniforms of somber coats in military cuts and drop-crotch pants with tough zipper details and faux-rivets sliced through the fog that washed over the runway. The show wrapped with a surprise poetry reading from Benicio Del Toro. "That last fatal hour," he growled as all the models attacked the runway for a final, dramatic walkthrough. When the house lights came on and the models disappeared, the audiences' pre-show giddiness had been transformed into one of solemn introspection--a tone that so many less-ballsy brands shied away from, but one that G-Star found necessary and relevant.
Baby Phat & KLS
Etched on the wall of Gotham Hall, where Kimora Lee Simmons showed her Baby Phat Fall 2009 collection, are the words "There is no gain so sure as that which results from economizing what you have." Perhaps not the most appropriate expression to look over this particular show, because although the price points of Baby Phat may be lower than, say, Hermès , economizing has nothing to do with it. Kimora's brand of fabulosity (and yes, fabulosity is her brand now) came through in over-the-top looks of fur, studded leather, pearls and jewelry galore, and no shortage of embellishment in the form of rhinestones and gems on jeans, tees, bags, etc.
Diesel Black Gold
Two titans of Italian fashion chose to open New York flagships on the same day: Renzo Rosso and Giorgio Armani. For Giorgio, it was a celeb-studded bash--but for Renzo, who recently had a blowout thirtieth anniversary for his brand, a celeb-packed front row at his Diesel Black Gold would have to suffice. Nicole Richie, Kate Bosworth, Roisin Murphy, and Common all took in a runway show that featured slightly undone grunge looks--for the girls, heavily based on lingerie and corsets.
Few designers draw the gasps that Dennis Basso earns each season, as he unleashes a collection so luxe that even the uppitiest of uptown types find themselves dreaming. There's fur, of course, with enough inventive takes on traditional sable and mink to keep them coming back for another...and another. But this season, Basso broadened his focus with a renewed energy in the eveningwear category, including some breathtaking cream gowns.
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