Unordered List

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pre-Fall 2012: Zac Posen, Michael Kors, Jason Wu and Donna Karan.

The frequently boring nature of Pre-Fall lines (plus my desire not to spam you with multiple tiny posts) means that most designers are not going to get their own post this season. Although Karl Lagerfeld decided that his Pre-Fall 2012 show could not be adequately displayed without banquet tables and a miniature gold Chanel-logo railway, most designers tend to show their Pre-Fall collections by standing a model in front of a blank background, telling her to pose like an awkward automaton, and photographing her in the accepted manner of "glum and weirdly unbending".

Michael Kors
I took one look at this and lost several seconds of my life to thoughts of Due South, the greatest Canadian Mountie-based surreal comedy-drama cop show of all time.

Seriously, the awesomeness of this show cannot be underestimated. So as to avoid me spending the rest of this post talking about the 900 reasons why Due South is incomparable in the cop show genre, I merely suggest that you find someone who has seen this show, and ask them what they thought. YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A NEGATIVE ANSWER.
pics from
While not too ridiculous, I'd still categorise this as a Zoolander outfit. It's got a pointless cowboy theme (ie, the most overused and least interesting theme ever, trotted out by at least one designer every year and seldom explored very well), plus the combination of leather dress over fabric t-shirt makes it look both awkward and slightly as if the model is wearing a butcher's apron. Sexy Hipster Cowboy Serial-Killer, anyone? No? (No.)
Cowboy assassin accountant?
Let's run through this one. The fabric is all slouchy 90s ladies' trouser-suit but the length and cut of the jacket (waistcoat??) indicate Matrix-style goth nerd. Then once you notice there's a short jacket over the longer one, the overall weirdness of this outfit percolates into your brain. And that's not even taking into account rigid stetson and Sam Browne belt: inexplicable Mountie accessorising.
I LOVE THIS. Warm, beautifully fitted winter coat, suitable for a range of figures and with an interesting enough touch (the wraparound lapels) that it's a conversation-starter without seeming agonisingly on-trend or flashy. This is the point of high-end designer clothing.
About a quarter of the Michael Kors collection had these skirts. Sigh. Very, very difficult to carry off unless you're going the cabaret/steampunk route, which these are decidedly not. This just looks cheap, and is most likely to end up as something a B-list starlet wears on the red carpet in order to get a quick and easy buzz of "oh look, she's on-trend!" without actually looking good. What we have here isn't a skirt -- it's an arse-cape.

Jason Wu
WARM COAT = A+. This outfit is kind of a mixture between Sherlock Holmes (book version) and Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. Who knew that was a look that works?

Donna Karan
There were several interesting New Look-esque outfits in this collection, but I felt this one was the simplest and most appealing. It makes me think of that narrow-waisted Henry Clarke photograph style. Interestingly, I think that an alteration to the colour palette (Hot-pink/orange/red? Mint-green/white/orange?) would turn this into one of those Jil Sander colour-blocking outfits everyone was raving about last year, albeit less shapeless. Look:
Jil sander, Spring 2011

Zac Posen
At first this dress looks very dull, until you realise that it's subtly ridged along the waist from right to left, with ribs spanning across the waist and hips and down the right thigh, mirroring the slimming effect of a wrap dress.
Another 1950s New Look silhouette! POWERLESS TO RESIST.
Perhaps it's down to the fact that the model resembles her slightly, but to me many of these outfits seem to be perfect for the character of Victoria Grayson from that show you guys probably already know I'm obsessed with, Revenge. There's a real "chic, skeletal ice-queen" thing going on with this collection.
A lot of the time super-formal eveningwear like this bores me. I realise that may sound odd coming from a fashion nerd, but I find that when it comes to these enormous strapless Oscar red carpet gowns, designers tend to go over the top and/or endlessly rehash "classics" without much visible thought. That being said, this navy-blue gown is bitchin'.

And finally we come to the best of the lot...
This, dear readers, is what Galadriel wears to the ball, circa the early/mid-20th-Century. MARVELLOUS. 


  1. I have been lusting after that Michael Kors coat all week and I don't normally care for his work. But those lapels are just hard to resist.

    The white Zac Posen could find its way into my wardrobe (although preferably in a different colour) and I would treat it well.

    Perhaps it's down to the fact that the model resembles her slightly, but to me many of these outfits seem to be perfect for the character of Victoria Grayson from that show you guys probably already know I'm obsessed with, Revenge. There's a real "chic, skeletal ice-queen" thing going on with this collection.

    They would suit her. By the by, I really disliked most of Emanda's outfits in the latest episode. It seems like the costuming department devotes most of its time and energy to Nolan and leaves Emanda wearing a lot of beige.

  2. The Jason Wu outfit is fabulous. I am a little obsessed with capes right now, but I can't afford to buy one retail and the thrift stores are only turning up long capes when I want a short one. I did find a pretty fantastic greeny-brown wool Loden cape from the seventies, though, which I am tempted to keep rather than passing on to the vintage store I consign at.

    You know, it's funny. I have read a metric ton of due South fanfic, and I have yet to see an actual episode of the show. Somehow I feel like it would be a letdown if I ever did.

  3. Seriously, Due South completely lives up to it. It's like no other show... you can re-watch an episode multiple times and notice something new each time, from weird humour to extras in the background with some silent subplot going on all of their own. SO GOOD. And the transition between the two Rays (the mountie's partners) is genius.

  4. You might be able to get a cape cheaply on etsy? Or make one, if you have a sewing machine or live in a big city where you can rent one from a sewing cafe, etc. A simple, short cape is literally just a rainbow/half-circle shape with fastenings.

  5. the michael kors coat is amazing. i notice that when i posted on tumblr, a bunch of people agreed as well... it's just really stylish without being ostentatious, i think.

    i'd prefer the white zac posen in red. because then it would be a star trek uniform dress. ;D

    imo, emanda's outfits are almost always boring and/or slightly ugly. revenge is nowhere near as interesting as gossip girl, in terms of ridiculous rich-people clothes. with the obvious exception of nolan, of course.

  6. Yeah, I have been keeping an eye on Etsy but nothing really perfect has turned up, and it has to be REALLY perfect for me to spend more than $10 on it. I don't have much of a clothing budget and I LOVE having new clothes, so most of my shopping happens at the thrift store. Which is okay-- I turn up nice vintage pieces pretty regularly, and I make some money from consigning. I'm actually hoping to open my own vintage store next summer.

  7. I have heard tales of the Ray Wars from fannish veterans. Apparently they were epic and bloody.

  8. I can assure you that there is no chance of a letdown from Due South. It is awesome in absolutely every particular, with added principles thrown in.

  9. omg that last dress. i can't decide if i want to wear it or throw it on the floor and have sex on top of it.

  10. i was never in due south fandom, but i have heard of the ray wars. i'm always kind of baffled by shipping wars anyway, especially ones where the ships aren't really canon-based. although i'd probably side with RayK because he's implicitly queer in some episodes, i think, plus the series ends with RayV married, and RayK and Fraser driving off into the sunset together to live in Canada. So. Yes.

  11. IKR, IT'S SO AMAZING. and shot from the back = *_____* !!!!!! it looks makes her look like a woman from an art nouveau stained glass painting or something.

  12. You're half right about Fraser and the Rays. RayV goes to Florida with a woman - RayK's ex-wife - but the show never said that they married. And RayK and Fraser were shown leaving on a trip via dogsled through Canada, but the show never said they ended up living together.

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