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2009 March 9

Runway Reviews

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Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2009 Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2009
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(PARIS) Ann Demeulemeester
The Belgian brainchild returned to familiar territory for Fall, with a black-and-white response to her widely lauded Spring collection. The heavy crystal embellishment in stores now gave way to intricate textures that incorporated everything from heavy braiding to pony hair. The typically bunched-up shapes were relegated mostly to above-the-waist action, while a narrow trouser tucked into a bondage boot kept the look at least moderately streamlined. Leather breastplates with dangling buckles underscored the notion that this damsel's distress is mostly for dramatic effect--she's looking better than ever.

Comme des Garçons
Rei Kawakubo's runway shows are exercises in opaque storytelling. This season, her cast of characters penetrated one's unconscious so deeply that, among those who watched, cameo appearances could've been made by anybody--a French soldier circa WWI, a court jester, a floral curtain hanging at the Ritz, Alber Elbaz, a picnic in the Bois de Bourgogne in early March. No need to talk of rack action, because the show builds the mood and the foundation, but these clothes are really meant to create a story--to force even jaded show-goers to think long and hard and conjure up their own narrative. In every way, Comme des Garçons offers a transcendent experience. Happily, the stores will be full of shoppable stuff--this season as much as ever.

Lanvin
What does "timeless" really mean anymore? As designer after designer trots out the typical drop-crotch pant and heralds it as a "new classic," Alber Elbaz insists that the past is still valid, and that the clothes he makes today will have relevance far after this crise bottoms out. His show began with a bias-cut black sheath, worn simply but confidently by Magdalena. Other legit basics followed, including those Elbaz pioneered, like raw-edged dresses in silk and wool. The nudes were most heavenly, especially the floor-grazing charmeuse dress seen on Karlie Kloss.




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