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2009 October 1

Runway Reviews

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Rochas Spring 2010 Rochas Spring 2010
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(PARIS) Rochas
Marco Zanini's second effort for Rochas was determined to bow on a runway, and so it did last night, inaugurating Paris Fashion Week at the Musée de l'Homme at Trocadero. The beauty of last season's presentation, of course, is that it offered a close-up view of all that great scissor-work and textile research and immediately identified Rochas as a relaunch to be reckoned with. (Especially when a cursory walk through Barneys' second floor revealed that, amidst all that Ricci and Bottega, epic frocks could be had for around $1,200.) Zanini's Spring 2010 collection didn't feel quite as revelatory--instead, it was a blossoming, a fruition, a modernizing of the ideas he appeared hell-bent on exploring last season. Most importantly, color and prints were meaningfully introduced. A cerulean double-breasted belted jacket (styled pantslessly; GaGa, have you no limits?) played well against a coterie of minidresses in airy white silk and moody red knit. Slips--and ways to wear them!--emerged as another cardinal theme, andwhen they're cut as beautifully as these, looking great is a relatively easy endeavor. Peek-a-boo underpinnings under transparent knits and silks provided a touch of retro kisch; same with the platform rope sandals worn avec socks. Overall, a tremendously wearable collection--and at these prices, why not give it a try? Looks like Franco Pene picked just the right man for the job.

Gareth Pugh
Did someone tell Gareth Pugh to lighten up? Well, it worked. For Spring 2010, the designer infused all that goth with a literal, diaphanous sense of the ethereal, as dusty grays lightened up all that noir bondage. The aftermath was a collection still heavy on the concept, but more bent on a real-world incarnation. Let's start with the striped knit and crepe long-sleeved rugby-ish dress on Snejana, or the full-length version on Karlie Kloss. Moody, sexy, and generally badass, this number has loads of retail potential and doesn't require a pop star's courage to wear. (Same goes for Pugh's epic bondage boots with skintight minidresses.) The slashed gowns were as striking as always--same with the pieced-together leather jackets for both boys and girls--but Pugh earned himself a new audience last night, one that loves a wickedly taut trou just as much as a belted lightweight trench.

Christophe Decarnin knows how to rock--and how to sell. His Balmain collections have been nothing if not directional, influencing the spirit of everything from Urban Outfitters to Milan. For Spring 2010, his hardened rocker-chick got a bit more burnished, with chainmetal and golden-tinged everything adding an air of the Grecian to the looks. Shredded denim, lace-up leather jackets with tails and, of course, minis abounded, in both shirts and shorts. The most sure-to-be-imitated item? The LGD, or little gold dress, that takes the old classic up a notch.

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