So Zac Posen – largely known as purveyor of expansive, expensive ballgowns – is reputed to be helming Harvey Weinstein’s revival of the Charles James label – largely known for its expansive, expensive ball gowns. The perfect fit, right? Well, certainly a close fit. There’s a synchronicity between Posen’s output and that of James that has frequently been highlighted. He was the obvious choice to discuss the designer around the Metropolitan Museum show “Beyond Fashion.” He did so at the Met itself, with exhibition co-curator Jan Glier Reeder, as well as in an avalanche of articles (including one for me). He’s also the obvious choice to revive the label. Doesn’t mean he’s the best choice, though.
It isn’t Mothering Sunday until May in Italy – at least, not officially. But Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana care naught for that kind of stuff. The Sunday of every Milanese womenswear week is traditionally Dolce day, but this time they made it mother’s day, too. “Viva La Mamma” they called their show – in English, it translates oddly to “Hurray for Mum” – less Italian romance, more the post-war jolly hockey sticks Enid Blyton school of British children’s literature.
Peter Dundas ended his tenure at the house of Emilio Pucci pretty much exactly how he started it. We were in the Palazzo Serbelloni, the gilded Milanese mansion-house we biannually cram into, cheek to jowl, to watch Dundas’s prints, and furs, and beaded dresses. He even had a few of the models from back in 2009, Lily Donaldson, Iris Strubegger, some others. The clothes weren’t tremendously different either. Dundas established his signature at Pucci early on, and ran with it.
How do you define the here-and-now? Well, it’s tricky. In fact, as the Milanese collections unfold, it’s increasingly proving impossible. The contemporary is the untimely, said Roland Barthes – the fact he said it on a Gucci press release was quite something. What Barthes means is that the present is impossible to pin down – as soon as you say it, it’s passed.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, philosophers frequently question if it makes a sound. I pose you this: if we watch a fashion show, but it’s in the dark, did we really see it at all? Would be nice if such a question remained philosophical – but Thomas Tait decided to materialise it as an illogical staging concept for his autumn/winter 2015 show on Monday afternoon.
To avoid the publicity disaster of clashing with the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony on Monday – at least, when it comes to the all-important column inch – the savvy designer Tom Ford (who, please remember, was once up for an Oscar himself) shifted his show to Los Angeles. He’d already decided to do it last October; he told me he was going to pack his front row with celebrities and have a red carpet laid out front.
Tom Ford is a man of his word, and of bloody-minded conviction. At about three this morning, GMT, he did just that.
I couldn’t watch the autumn/winter 2015 Marc Jacobs show – theoretically, I was on an early flight back to London to attend the memorial of Professor Louise Wilson. In actual fact, I wound up sat in the airport watching it unfold on a computer screen, departure delayed.
It was a great show. The kind you regret not seeing.
You sometimes get the feeling New York makes a meal out of its fashion week – a super-sized meal, in the grand American tradition. The city stages 300 shows, twice a year, in a week which crawls on for longer than Paris. Which in itself wouldn’t be a problem, only you question how much of it anyone really needs to see.
There hasn’t been much meat to get your teeth into this New York, but there’s been some gristle, the sort of stuff that catches in your gums and makes you pause mid chow-down.
Peter Copping wrote a heartfelt note included on every seat at his first Oscar de la Renta show on Tuesday night. That’s a fashionable thing to do, especially when you’re taking over a label: Nicolas Ghesquiere did the same a year ago, at his debut for Louis Vuitton. Of course, Copping’s circumstances were somewhat different: as he terms it, “things did not go according to plan.” Oscar de la Renta – the man – passed away before Copping had time to work alongside him.
However, Oscar de la Renta – the brand – lives on, with Copping at the helm. His autumn/winter 2015 debut was assured, if a little predictable. Then again, the latter was not just expected, but demanded.
New York Fashion Week Winter 2015: Growing up is hard to do, at Altuzarra, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu
Growing pains. How’s that for a take-away from the opening leg of the New York Fashion Week shows? On the one hand, it’s a decidedly positive thing. At least there’s fresh talent gestating here. Alexander Wang’s business was founded a decade ago this year; Altuzarra launched his first handbag, an obvious development to emerge since the designer sold a minority stake to Kering in 2013. Oh, and Jason Wu had fine jewellery (he’s done the bag stuff before), as he also bagged a major investor last year via equity firm Interluxe. He’s scouting real estate for his first Manhattan store.
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