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24-09-2004
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Left: Chloe
Right: Michael Kors


Left: Missoni
Right: Sonia Rykiel


Left: Louis Vuitton
Right: Miu Miu

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24-09-2004
  122
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Left: Miu Miu
Right: Carolina Herrera


Left: Versace
Right: Valentino

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24-09-2004
  123
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Left: Luella
Right: Calvin Klein


Left: Balenciaga
Right: Marni

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24-09-2004
  124
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Left: Behnaz Sarafpour
Right: Narciso Rodriguez


Left: Jil Sander
Right: Narciso Rodriguez


Left: Derek Lam
Right: Vera Wang

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24-09-2004
  125
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Left: Marc Jacobs
Right: Prada


Left: Viktor & Rolf
Right: Celine

Total: 27 looks

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01-10-2004
  126
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Topsy Turvy
Photographer: Nick Knight
Models: Gemma Ward, Maria Carla Boscono


Opening page: Christian Lacrioux


Both: Dior

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01-10-2004
  127
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Left: Christian Lacrioux
Right: Rucci


Left: Hash
Right: Saab

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01-10-2004
  128
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Both: JPG


Left: Valentino
Right: Chanel


Closing page: Christian Lacrioux

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11-12-2004
  129
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When the Jewel Tone from Autumn Fades in the Summer Sun* -- Looks of SS05
Model: Valentina
Photographer: Thierry Le Goues

*This is a quote I picked up on TFS. I am sorry that I am unable to provide the origin of this quote.

Spring-Summer 05 is a spectacular season. New York goes to California for inspiration and ditches the city's penchant for black for all things floaty and colorful. Milan demonstrates the most showmanship and out comes the most deliciously hued and embroidered gowns. And, above all else, personalities abound in Paris. The highlight of the season belongs to Lanvin, which under Alber Elbaz has had a flawless recent run, but outdoes itself with an ahead-of-the-pack Greek Goddessy collection that is likely to shift fashion's obsession from quirky vintage chic to something regal, elegant, and unabashedly beautiful.


Opening page: Lanvin.

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11-12-2004
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Alexander McQueen. It's been a rocky time at the Gucci Group, and I don't mean just business. Tom Ford's last two collections for Gucci and YSL were his worst, and the his successors missed the mark with their debut collection. Pokka dots (YSL) has had its time and is not due for a comeback until a good five seasons, and clingy, Indian-influenced dresses (Gucci) are at odds with this season's soft new look. Even worse, Stella McCartney made ill-fitting gowns that cost $3000 and hang like potato sacks. But McQueen was a showtopper. Granted, the collection would not please those who are practical-minded, and it certainly does not rank as one of my personal favorites, but I applaud McQueen's strength in bridging seasonal trends--psychedelic colors, funky details--with his own aesthetics. And staging the presentation as a chessgame with Elvis's "We Can't Go On with Suspicious Minds" sent a subtle but cautious message to his new boss at Gucci. Stroke of genius.


Balenciaga. The other brand under Gucci that has done well is Nicholas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga. Ghesquire is a master tailor and his designs are a tribute to subtlety and timelessness, but in the past three seasons or so he seemed to have gone onto a wandering path, favoring the avant garde to the tried and true. The results were eccentric and have not always been wonderful. Replacing his refined cigarette pants and disciplined leather jackets were a string of unwearable dresses that resembled the face of the Felix cat (AW04). But this season, he returns to form, and produces a blockbuster collection that no doubt will elate fashion watchers with its abundancy of strong coats and pants. Ghesquiere seems to have drawn inspiration from the Russell Crowe starrer Master and Commander and, using navy and white exclusively, captures the regality and wildness of the ocean all in a tightly edited presentation.

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11-12-2004
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Helmut Lang. Days following the announcement that Lang has sold his shares in his company to Prada, he put out what was arguably the best collection he's had in years. Lang's mantra seems to be that, If it ain't baroque, don't fix it. Adhering to that principle closely, Lang has cultivated quite a loyal customer base that swears by his matter-of-facted minimalism. Not that Lang has never ventured away from minimalism--last season he introduced prints--but this stand-out dress oozes an East-meets-West exoticism that is not seen often enough.


Rick Owen. Who would've thought that a fashion rebel fond of tough leather and raw edges could do pink, and does it so well?

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11-12-2004
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Louis Vuitton. It is a tradition of the house to present the collection in day time, but Marc Jacobs went for an evening setting this year. There are a lot of kitschy moments in the show, but this nurse uniform-cum-cocktail dress upstage the last.


Derek Lam. Asian designers are flourishing in NYC. Last season was Jeffery Chow's breakout, and this Derek Lam's. Sundresses are all over the runway this spring, but the retro print and beaded necklace make this one a stand-out.

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11-12-2004
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Valentino. It was an extravagent show with a decidedly hip-hop flair--accessories bearing the letters VAL, short for Valentino, were pushed to the front and center, indicating the designer's ambition to speak to a new market and a younger group of buyers. Alas, it was this simple outfit--a white Victorian-laced button-down with seersucker drawstring pants--that worked best.


Carolina Herrera. Since becoming the fashion fairy godmother to Renee Zellweger and Katie Holmes, Carolina Herrera's interpretation of what's feminine has evoked resounding praises. This collection is one of the most delightful for her as well as for New York and bears her signature stamp: youthful, atheletic, and elegant. Many designers have incorporated beachwear as an intergral part of their spring collection because the mood is so relaxed, but very few managed to look exclusive and relaxing at the same time. This swimsuit however strikes the perfect balance.

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11-12-2004
  134
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Roland Mouret's suit in lightweight tweed.


Proenza Schouler's printed peep-toe heel.

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11-12-2004
  135
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Chloe. Each of the looks in the collection could have been the Look of SS05: jewel-toned dresses with naughty cutouts, shorts or capris paired with croped jackets that have school-uniform buttons and details, punchy yellow stilettos, and sparkly skinny scarves everywhere. This look in particular sums up two emerging trends: the color blue (just as Balenciaga) and a bold, wide strip at the hem (Narciso Rodriguez does the same).


Narciso Rodriguez. Rodriguez made headlines in the fashion world when his new collection embraced a looser silhouette and a variety of candy colors. I didn't take this directional change too well and miss his razor sharp cut, but clearly Rodriguez felt the need to branch out, either for creativity's sake or business's. Despite the uncharacterstic use of color and looseness, some familiarities are evident: Rodriguez approaches a seemingly relaxed silhouette with the same architectual precision he's fine-tuned over the years. That explains why this dress billows in a certain way and seems to be able to stand on its own. Love the color, too.

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