Mugler: Man of Action
Thierry Mugler’s new collection, Mugler, priced about 40 percent below his signature line, is part ski patrol, part “Star Trek,” part preppy and all Mugler. Every one of the designer’s favorite elements were present, from his suits with seamed-in sex to aviator jackets to racy renditions of ski and jogging wear. The most striking pieces were three smashing coats, a navy blue aviator number and two short trenches, one in beige covert, the other in gray mohair and lambswool. There were a number of pretty suits, such as the one in gray wool covert trimmed in corduroy, along with handsome red or black military jackets. The most directional looks, however, were his ski jackets, shown in solids or graphic patterns. Wholesale prices for the collection, which has already been bought by a number of stores, including Neiman Marcus and I. Magnin, range from $40 for a sweatshirt to $650 for a suit.
Liza Bruce: Sunset Season
Get ready for Rising Sun Chic. It first came up in Paris at John Galliano, and Liza Bruce brought it to New York with neon kimonos and sexy, shiny black tuxedo dresses over Ts emblazoned with Japanese markings.
Bruce also went back to the future — again. Her slippery cyberspace fabrics stood out in jackets and a long gray dress that was something of a cross between Helmut Lang and Madame Gres. But as for Liza’s bare-it-all, see-through thing — it may be futuristic, but it’s sure getting old. And while it looked newest in extra-thin yellowish latex, that particular material in that particular shade belongs behind closed doors — in either the bedroom or the gynecologist’s office.
Yeohlee: Coat Culture
Yeohlee has always been lauded for her great coats, and for fall, they were beautiful in cashmere and alpaca. And while the designer has proven she’s capable of much more, this season she often muffed it with fabric mixes that looked forced or gimmicky. What looked newer were her sporty brown tweed knit cardigans and toppers over bias-striped dresses or a short flippy suit in the same fabric.
Vivienne Tam: Split Personality
Vivienne Tam had a good thing going for spring. Why, then, did she have to hop on the trend bandwagon? Her pleated skirt and dress shapes don’t take well to red vinyl or black lamÄ, and the muffs — as big and fluffy as cheerleader pompons — were a bad call. There were some things to cheer about, however. Tam’s shaggy knits and nubby striped minidresses that opened the show were cute, and the mohair dresses over organza shirts had the delicate ethereal quality she’s known for.
Jeanette Kastenberg: Sequin City
Sequin queen Jeanette Kastenberg’s first tent show was well-edited and well-styled, replete with black nylons and trashy white spike heels. There were some sexy pieces, including the white fleece tunic with feather trim worn with pink sequined capri jeans. Kastenberg also explored such of-the-moment ideas as the satin tuxedo and the new knee-grazing length. What she lacked in quality, she made up in high energy and style.
The Next Generation: Streamlined
Cutting down the number of designers featured in the Next Generation show has made it much more palatable. This time the presentation — sponsored by the Polyester Council — featured five. Highlights included Donna Maione’s peluche baby-doll dress and Nathaniel Chastian’s patchwork and pinstriped Edwardian ballgowns. Michelle Bergeron’s marabou jackets, mohair jumpers and fake-fur dresses were fun, but Rose Marie Wolfe’s bustleback jackets looked outdated. And Donna Haag needs to make up her mind. Her mix of men’s wear, military and floral themes just didn’t make sense.