2009 September 12
(NEW YORK) JASON WU
Jason Wu already has the name. Now, he’s looking for a "complete package." This season that included collaboration with celebrated event wizard Aex de Betak, an intelligent move to the St.Regis, and a confident collection that was really an exercise in fantastical momentum building. The designer hasn’t slept for three days and spent approximately four hours stitching each one of the looks to defend his price tag and baby Oscar status. He didn’t disappoint. His tweeds were restrained and mature while his dresses accented with ostrich opulence were jovial and uplifting. Wu shortened the length but didn’t sacrifice all the details, such as meticulously sewn crystals, veiled organza flowers, and layered skirts.
Lacoste may be known more for gator-emblazoned polos than couture, but that didn’t stop the sportswear giant from rolling out an over-the-top runway show. (When Alex de Betak’s on the job, what did you expect?) The show started, appropriately, with tennis whites: flippy skirts, slouchy cable-knit V-neck sweaters, and yes, a polo or two. But though the brand may be known for its preppy basics, the collection was surprisingly sophisticated. Wide-leg sailor pants, a Lacoste take on the harem trouser, head scarves, and both tailored and relaxed shorts made for array equally suited for a chic summer getaway as a tennis court.
CUSHNIE ET OCHS
When Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs competed against each other for Parsons Designer of the Year, the jury could not choose between these two. "We had them tied," recalls Linda Fargo. "And it’s incredible to see them do so well together." That result in fact bonded the two talents and with their third formal collection they’ve showcased a clear potential to enter the big leagues. "Peter Zimmermann was our foundation," they said. "We were really inspired by organic lines and shapes. Our collection is always a balance between hard and soft, but always clean." Well, that and inescapably sensual. The duo dabbled with color for the first time but stuck to their signature strategic cuts, peeks, and skin boundaries. Their models looks possessed with clear uninhibited confidence.
JUAN CARLOS OBANDO
Last season, Juan Carlos Obando’s collection was all about gorgeously intricate dresses and ladylike suits. So when the first models at his spring 2010 show stomped down the runway in leather pencil skirts and sharply-cut jackets—dusted with dirt, no less—the crowds seemed a bit confused. Soon, however, it was evident that this was our same JC, an impeccable tailor and master craftsman…just having a moment inspired by the wild west (luckily, one of his leather ensembles sans dirt will have a seriously chic effect). Not to worry, though: his stunning hand-sewn, pleated, twisted dresses did make several appearances—named "frontier armor" on the run of show. An inspiration reined in (no pun intended) perfectly.
Flora Gill and Alexa Adams, the designers behind Ohne Titel, are unofficial members of the unofficial cool-kids club (see also: Rad Hourani, Cushnie et Ochs, Elise Øverland)—and this season will surely keep them there. The collection was inspired, according to the run of show, by the "graphic lines, lush textures, and bold colors in Egyptian reliefs and sculptures," which translated into geometric decoration mixed with fluid drapery. The girls proved their technical chops with intricately embroidered dresses and skirts, and they cemented their status in the club with deconstructed tuxedo jackets and wrap-front trousers.
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