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Friday, 10 February 2012

New York Fashion Week, Fall 2012: Gary Graham and Tadashi Shoji

NYC Fashion Week is impossible to keep up with unless you have a Time Turner, even if you're actually at NYC Fashion Week, so here are my favourite two shows of... the first half of the first day. Likelihood of me being able to look at more than a two days' worth of shows before Fashion Week ends entirely: slim to none. 

Gary Graham
pics from Style.com
Gary Graham hasn't really been on my radar before, so this show seemed to me to have leapt out of nowhere: the ideal Ready-To-Wear line. Comfortable and wearable, but distant enough from current highstreet trends that it doesn't look like the jeans-and-trenchcoats collections so many designers churn out during RTW season. Gary Graham has created a collection of everyday clothes that look unusual without involving the full-on intensity of a couture collection.

I foresee a lot of digital prints this season. I'm no fabric expert, but the variety of patterns throughout the Gary Graham show suggested to me that his research must have been pretty far-reaching. It's too early for there to be much information available on a relatively minor label's show that ran all of three days ago, but Style.com's review claims that Gary Graham looked to "Manchester International Theater Festival he attended in July, ancient Iranian wrestling tunics, and WWI naval "dazzle" camouflage" for his inspiration. I'm not sure about the dazzle camouflage, but I can definitely see some Middle-Eastern influence in both fabric and tailoring choices.

The looser jersey outfits edged towards the Etsy end of the urban-boho scale, but that's not always a bad thing. Individually each look is pretty eclectic, but the collection as a whole fits quite comfortably together, both in terms of styling and the warm Autumnal colour palette.
The hints of red and brown prints were the old-school luxury that buoyed up an otherwise quite casual, sporty RTW collection. Also: kudos on designing outfits that would work well on a variety of body types.
Graham's use of unexpected print patterns worked in his favour in terms of colour-choice. There were a couple of outfits that wouldn't have if the fabrics had just been colour-blocks, but the use of unusual patterns seems to draw the eye away from that. Veering away from traditional patterns -- polka-dots, plaid, floral, picture-prints, paisley and so forth -- doesn't work for everyone, but it certainly benefited this show.
Tadashi Shoji
Ladylike. So, so ladylike. It's not often that I give an unequivocally positive review to a collection so couched in old-fashioned prettiness, but Tadashi Shoji's "Golden Age of Shanghai" collection was chock-full of what I hope will turn out to be this year's Oscar dresses.
This dress gave the impression of being a surprise Mediterranean influence in a sea of vintage Asian gowns, but the bold patterns and simple styling saved it from being too outright frou-frou.

One thing I really loved was the balance between elegance and modesty. At no point did the show seem forcibly dated or adhering specifically to an early 20th Century theme, but the fact that most of the outfits covered the model at least from the neck to below the knee was unusually old-fashioned. Sleek but not tightly-fitted: a perfect combination for formal red-carpet outfits.
I want this so much.
The red gown pictured below was one of my favourite pieces. From the front it was starkly plain, but the back revealed a deep cut-out and more of the delicate lace that was used in several of the other outfits.
Photo source: Zimbio.

2 comments:

  1. Really impressed with the Graham. Not what I was expecting to see, either.

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  2. Stunning collections!!! i like it. buy designer salwar kameez 2011 from G3 fashions surat.

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