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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

New York Fashion Week, Fall 2012: Marc Jacobs, A Détacher, Charlotte Ronson, Doo.Ri, and Helmut Lang.

Marc Jacobs
"Dickensian" is one of the adjectives I've seen bandied about with regards to Marc Jacobs' latest collection, although I'm not sure if I see much of that myself. The loose fit of the coats and the oversized hats may suggest the look of a Victorian street urchin, but I suspect that many of the Dickens comparisons are thanks to the fact that the runway show was soundtracked with extracts from Oliver!

Slightly suspect concept work aside, this collection was absolutely brilliant. Marc played around with texture even more than he has done in the past, to the point that it often seemed more couture than RTW. He clearly has no qualms about putting on a big show for the Fashion Week crowd -- sets, music, the whole shebang.
There was a lack of conventionality that one doesn't often see in ready-to-wear collections from major mainstream labels. The silhouettes were all wide-hipped, often ignoring the contours of the body entirely -- a brave step away from current trends both on and off the catwalks. On paper this wasn't a look that should have worked for me, but I found myself surprised and impressed again and again by the beauty and wearability of outfits that eschewed the waist entirely and padded out the hips to near-comical proportions.

Nothing was casual; everything was extravagant. None of the fabrics were background noise. Either they were heavy brocade, or oversized knits, or laden with decoration and detail-work.
Another unexpected highlight, for me, were the oversized shawls pinned around many of the models' shoulders. Some were stiff and boxy but others, such as in the outfit pictured below, fit in with the supposedly Dickensian theme: hints of Eliza Doolittle.

I loved the shoes. Incredibly costumey and unlike anything one sees in real life at the moment, despite their relative simplicity. Marc himself was wearing a pair at the end of the show -- black, with cartoonishly gleaming diamanté buckles. I hope some highstreet knock-offs appear in the near future, since they're about as close as I'm likely to get to my ideal dress shoe: 18th Century French mens' court heels.
The full catwalk show is well worth watching:

A Détacher
A stylish, body-friendly silhouette. I'm not sure that the woollen skirts would work for everyone, but in general this was a chic but comfortably seasonal Fall RTW show.
I loved the soft colour-contrast at the collar, here, and the boxy sleeves.

Charlotte Ronson
Doo. Ri
Twist-wrap shirts are so flattering that I wish outfits like this were seen more often in real life. Doo.Ri is a label that has worked a lot in the past with the draping and wrapping of fabrics, so it was no surprise to me that there were so many subtle successes in that department this season. Looking through the soft greys, blacks and whites of this collection, I realised that Doo-Ri Chung had managed to do something quite rare: create clothes that imply flexibility and mobility without looking anything like workout gear.

Helmut Lang
Lava was the first thing that came to mind when I was looking through Helmut Lang. The first few items are a strong, volcanic red. Later, the palette fades to ash-black and grey, and finally a more subdued shade of beige.

The collection was split between sleek, high-end urban casualwear, and slightly more experimental shapes. There was relatively little in the way of buttons, which are needless for the sort of casual wrap-dress outfits that look deceptively easy to wear but require an irritating amount of physical grace to pull off.


  1. Hey, comical proportions yourself; these are *exactly* what I need to put my hips into (not only am I fat, I'm very hourglass shaped ; my hips are 13" or 14" wider than my waist).

    Lots of really nice, really wearable stuff in this post! I totally want that first Marc Jacobs coat, and the grey patterned one seen with the green accessories, next to last.

  2. you should take a look at some of the other marc jacobs stuff -- there were a lot of really great coats in there! they just looked pretty weird when combined with the rest of the MJ stuff.

  3. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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