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Monday, 23 September 2013

Spring 2014 Fashion Week: Victoria Beckham, Fausto Puglisi, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, and Chris Kane.

Previously on Spring 2014: Ralph Lauren, Theyskens' Theory, Duro Olowu and Tom Ford.

Fausto Puglisi
I love it when designers attempt to describe their new collection in one simple soundbite. It's Stonehenge meets The Hamptons! It's Hollywood meets Star Wars! It's Kraftwerk meets The Craft! Fausto Puglisi attempted to jazz up his first catwalk show by labeling it with the deliciously meaningless publicity soundbite of "Carolina Herrera meets Axl Rose". Thank you, thank you! These clothes are definitely just like a cross between an aging, unwashed douche-rocker, and a super-feminine couture gown designer. What a great description. (In that they are relatively normal-looking skirts and dresses, with a slight leatherwork element. NAILED IT.)
All images via

You may be shocked to learn that Fausto Puglisi is a man. He also seems to be somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of breasts. Like for example, this "harness bra" (LOL) may have been manufactured by Tuscan saddlemakers, but that doesn't mean it's very well-designed as an item of boob-regalia. Don't get me wrong! It looks pretty cool, in a bondage/punk kinda way. But there are some things that are just so uncomfortable-looking that, even as a fashion nerd, I have to take a step back and say, "Steady on, pal." First of all, only a tiny fraction of the female population are flat-chested enough for this whole harness bra idea to be a remotely plausible life choice. Secondly, why would you put a tight leather buckle strap directly over your nipples? I guess it would be slightly better if worn over a shirt, but I'm pretty sure that would be the socks-and-sandles of the bra world, and therefore kind of a faux pas.

Leather nipple-restraints aside, I was quite fond of all the wide, A-line skirts. It's a really fun and flattering look, and even the leather/floral print ones would look really good when paired with something a little more toned-down than a leather shirt. (Leather shirts are just a bad idea in general, really. Unless you're actually a medieval blacksmith or a member of a biker gang.)

Victoria Beckham
I mentioned already Victoria Beckham when I was writing about the Olsen Twins and celebrity fashion designers the other day. Despite the fact that she's been going for a few years now, I still get the impression that a lot of people think that she's not a "real" designer. Which is... really not true at all. Her label is not enormously innovative or experimental, but she's very good at what she does, which is producing minimalist, classy, office-formal outfits for thin rich ladies. And, yes, I realise that this isn't exactly a niche market in the fashion world. I can already feel you raising your eyebrows. But when I look at Victoria Beckham's output and then look at similar collections from much more established designers (CALVIN KLEIN), Beckham is clearly superior.
I love the little flash of pleated underskirt in these outfits. REALLY hoping that this look somehow makes it to the high street, because, well... none of us are ever gonna be rich and thin enough for real-life Victoria Beckham. I took a look at her website a while ago, and even the bland, loose-fit dresses from her B-label are selling for like £900 each. Nooope.
Horrible shoes, though.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label
There was a whole climate change awareness subtext to this show, as is often the case with Vivienne Westwood's Red Label. Obviously I'm in favour of climate change awareness, and I get that her heart is in the right place. But are mud-spattered models and Lily Cole performing an interpretive dance based on "The Red Shoes" really the best way to go about this? There's something pretty goddamn embarrassing about using a high-end fashion show as a platform to inspire discussion about the dangers of consumerism. This sort of thing is why, even a decade after it came out, Zoolander is still basically a documentary.

Chris Kane
A lot of the imagery in this collection was inspired by photosynthesis and cross-section diagrams of plants: a refreshing alternative to the unavoidable barrage of ~florals~ during Spring Fashion Week. If you're not acknowledging the fact that you have a weird obsession with the sexual organs of a useless decorative plant, then I ain't interested in your floral bullshit.

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