Suzy Menkes at New York Fashion Week


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Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were the darling buds of New York fashion when they launched their brand near the turn of the millennium.

They have kept their freshness and enthusiasm for the rare and the raw. But this season was the last of the duo's shows in America before they move lock, stock and hand woven, laced-leather dress to Paris.

Meanwhile, as I tried to grasp whether what I had seen was mostly leather or included some plastic, Lazaro bear-hugged Raf Simons, who has moved in the opposite direction across the pond. The Belgian designer has come via Paris couture to take on the role of chief creative officer at Calvin Klein in New York.

The show might have been expected to be a dashing last hurrah, but between the weird lighting and the criss-cross runways, it was hard to tell if the pair had moved far outside their comfort zone.

Proenza Schouler shows are always about craft, with the techniques and effects becoming more sophisticated each season. This time, wrapping was on the agenda: a cream top that caressed female curves with the effect of a marble sculpture. That classic piece was worn with a pair of trousers fastened deliberately askew.

Other dresses were as if bandaged across the body, creating slithers of other materials and colours and sometimes an opening to reveal flesh at the midriff or hipline. To match the drape and shape of the outfits, sandals were tied on with ribbons binding toes and ankles.

The Proenza pair seem recently to be stuck in the same position - able to make clothes with intriguing effects, like the swirls and rivulets of fabric. Yet at the same time not really inventing a singular look that stamps their name on the clothes as effectively as "Proenza" was printed on a shearling, plastic-covered zipper jacket.

Maybe the competitive Paris arena will oblige them to up their game. But in the meantime, there were many fine pieces in this show, from a perfectly simple grey woollen jacket to a navy double breasted coat - both garments illuminated with fluffy white shearling collars and silver trousers.

I quizzed Jack about the fabrics and he explained that to get "an industrial vibe", they had "plasticised" shearling coats and given "guipure lace a plasticised coating".
See More:AdoringDress.co.uk
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