Calvin Klein: Francisco Costa’s got one of the toughest gigs in fashion. Not only did he succeed a major god, accepting the mantle of expectation inherent therein, he did so just after that god had cashed out to new owners with their own set of hopes, not the least of which is to push the bottom line, sooner rather than later. Then of course, he faces a third set of expectations: his own.
It is the role of any designer taking over a house to maintain its integrity while putting his own mark on its aesthetic. Klein created one of the most unequivocal viewpoints in all of fashion, and in his first three collections, Costa started from a vantage, if not of pure reverence, then at least unwavering solidarity. The fall collection he presented on Thursday revealed his first inclination to break ranks with the master in significant ways, at times even a bit recklessly. The effort pulsed with the essential ingredients of experimentation: surprise, mistakes, and most of all, confidence.
Either by design or accident, Costa chose to limit volume at a time when many other designers here are puffing up big time. While in past seasons he has favored fluid, even billowing proportions, this time he opted for stricter shapes, some with a Sixties Space Age look, until now completely alien to the house. A shirred mink coat flaunted a grid motif; origami decorations trimmed tops and dresses; shiny patent leather tiles and strips glistened from skirts and coats. It was, in fact, in this penchant for decoration — and a harsh moment in brassy citron — that Costa strayed most boldly from the revered Klein purity. And though a few looks felt too tricked-up, many were lovely, as when he wrought subtle havoc on men’s wear grays, with tailored patchworks of herringbone and wool lace. He also showed some graceful evening frocks and here he gave a nod to volume, most notably in a short, airy bubble of an evening dress.
Sometimes during the show, one felt the age-old struggle between art and commerce. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a designer’s job to reconcile the two. Hopefully, Costa will be allowed to do so in a manner in which tricks won’t overshadow the essence of the house.Vera Wang: As was reported in WWD just days before Vera Wang’s Thursday show, company president Susan Sokol referred to the growth of the luxury label as “fast and furious.” With a number of expansion plans on the drawing board for Wang’s burgeoning divisions (opening stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles), it’s a sound assessment. But finding success in the business of high-end clothing isn’t merely a numbers game. Luxury fashion can be just as much about evoking emotion as it is about the bottom line. The designer’s romantic fall show certainly did its best to tug at the heart of what women love about clothes.
Wang’s color palette was a gorgeous and painterly mélange of rich but subtle hues — mossy green and gray, cobalt blue, burnished gold, deep wine, to name a few — that practically required poetry to describe. She imbued dresses, tops and skirts with a wonderful fluidity using filmy tulles and chiffons, draped and pintucked into place, though Wang sometimes worked the details to distraction. Two standouts: a forest green and burgundy dress and a deep violet one-shouldered gown. On many of the dresses, a length of velvet ribbon or a jeweled band at the waist often provided a chic counterweight. On the more structured side, Wang worked pale brocades and stiff silks into skirts with softly ballooning hems. Jackets were also richly appointed, mostly in velvet and fur, and many were shown in abbreviated shapes to complement the stream of dresses. Although translating beauty into dollars is an inexact science, Wang and her team are on their way to a winning formula.
Anna Sui: Just when the midweek blues start to creep in, along comes Anna Sui’s Wednesday night show to chase them all away. “Last season was just so quintessentially Anna Sui — ruffles, prints, very girly,” the designer said of her spring cowgirl romp. “This time, I wanted to go to a different place.” Like many designers this season, Sui went indoors to the world of interiors. But not for her those fussy, Old-World tapestries. Instead she took her cues from the graphic patterns and colors of David Hicks and the textiles of Jack Lenor Larsen and Dorothy Liebes, whose work in the Sixties made groovy colors like turquoise, orange, brown and moss green a part of the decorator’s lexicon. Read: the colors of your childhood kitchen.Nevertheless, the visual and textural riot was still Anna’s party. She worked each look with a focused palette, from Day-Glo combinations of oranges and pinks to more reserved ochres and browns. Within each cohesive color scheme, she wove in a walk-in closet’s worth of elements: adorable dresses in Hicksian prints, skirt suits and coats in tweeds both roughly woven and flat, satin and Lurex bow blouses, knits both intarsia and bejeweled. As if that weren’t enough, the whole lot got topped off with matching printed tights, Erickson Beamon beads and Adrienne Landau fur hats. And if it was ever too much, Sui’s earnest spirit made it a show to love.
J. Mendel: There’s much that makes a J. Mendel fur so special, and it was all there in look number one: a white broadtail princess coat with a bullion-trimmed bib. Designer Gilles Mendel knows how to gild the lily better than anyone, this season with jewel or bullion trim on his precious furs. His program notes cite his youth in Paris and the effortless chic of Charlotte Rampling and Romy Schneider as his inspirations. And their influence shows in this collection that’s all about romance heightened with luxurious decoration.
There’s also the slim factor, which most women crave, no easy feat to achieve in furs. Mendel does it beautifully, managing to minimize the volume even in down jackets. His versions are down-filled sheared mink, showing that luxury needn’t always be so serious.
Mendel first introduced ready-to-wear a few years ago as an accompaniment to his furs, but he’s been adding more each season. For fall, he showed some terrific coats, especially the mink-trimmed gray tweed, paired with a charming silk corset top and metal-trimmed bubble skirt. There were also plenty of lovely evening looks, short and long, including a porcelain silk chiffon gown with bullion trim and the embroidered nude tulle Empire number. His ready-to-wear offering may not be considered a complete collection with its own voice, but it makes perfect sense for Mendel to offer his customers clothes along with furs in his New York and Paris boutiques. After all, you always need a pretty frock to go along with your drop-dead fur.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)