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Greasy Grungy Fall

Fashion Review Mondays:  Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015
This needs to begin with the disclaimer that this review is mostly full of disapproval and lack of admiration. Usually, I only post positive fashion reviews for Fashion Review Mondays, so I try to pick a collection that I actually feel positively about. But this time, I am sad to say that this collection from AWang left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t think it would. There are, in my opinion, some positive aspects, but overall I was not impressed.

I would highly encourage anyone taking the time to read this to go watch the actual show, not only to— most importantly— formulate your own opinion of it, untainted by another’s slant, but also because I’ll be referencing specific parts and times of the show. To start, the show opens with an all-black tailored blazer, little high-neck leather top, wide-leg gaucho pants, and chunky platform creeper-type boots. Hair and make-up: disheveled chic? I was confused right away. Let us start with the actual clothes. They aren’t bad; they just weren’t that impressive to me idea-wise. What’s ground-breaking? The high-neck leather top is simple, modern, and versatile. Nothing not to like. The jacket, again, isn’t bad… it’s just not that exciting to me either. And now we’re at the pants. I really have never figured out the allure of the gaucho shape. It is a style that simultaneously cuts every woman—no matter how fit, healthy, or slim— the wrong way and also is just an incredibly awkward pant no matter what outfit is built around it. Now again, remember that this is my opinion and if you love gauchos and think they are the bees‘ knees, by all means, wear them to your heart’s content. I am sure they are comfy (comfort is really the only positive I can mark for them). But as far as elevated and innovative shapes go, I’m sorry but I don’t think they cut it. The shoes. Oh my word, those shoes. I’m trying to think of a really forgiving and also eloquent way of saying they are HIDEOUS. And please note that this comes from a person who really does appreciate a good creeper, even a platform one. But these are awful. It wasn’t even so much how they looked, but how they moved. The models looked ridiculous. The way they had to walk to accommodate the shape and height of them made them look incredibly awkward. All I could think when I saw them walking was “chunky duck feet.” Too bad elevated height didn’t translate to elevated taste.

At 0:55 of the show, there’s this look that is a beautifully tailored jacket paired with the prolifically over-occurring gauchos and sky-rise creeper boots. This is one of many examples of a look that could have been so beautiful, had not the weird gaucho pants and platform duck feet held it down. The jacket is gorgeous, wonderfully constructed, has an interesting studded high-neck, and is undeniably a great piece. It’s interesting but a classic. But paired with these odd others, the look just looks silly.

Another situation with a similar issue is the coat-and-gaucho combo at 1:15. I’m all for nontraditional pairing and the shape isn’t what bothers me. Again, perfectly beautiful coat; the shape is perfect. But the styling turns this look around a hideous corner. That coat, with its perfectly curved lines and its heavy structure could have really stood out, but instead, I again could only concentrate on the awful greasy tousle and the awkward gait that was allowed by the chunky duck waddlers. I mean, if I may be so blunt, the model was walking like a caveman in those shoes. It just wasn’t elevation of taste. It made me want to look away.
I will say that there were some amazing bags in this collection. I especially liked the studded leather backpack and clutch. There were also some looks that, save for the awkward duck shoes, were completely gorgeous, like the quilted mini-skirt and coat combo at 3:30. The sweater underneath is an amazing Fall piece as well. I loved that look. It wasn’t all bad, just the majority was unfortunately a bit amiss. Sometimes, it was simply the styling and weird pairing that screwed up a look, not so much the pieces themselves.

There’s another huge issue with this show that I must address: the choice of hair and make-up. I’m sorry, but… what? I read a comment in the comment section that said ‘oh are we bringing strung-out cocaine-chic back?‘ which were really my sentiments exactly. I know what grunge-chic looks like and also what bed-head disheveled chic may even look like, but this just looked like the girls hadn’t showered in a couple of weeks, had been backpacking out in the wilderness and were an oily greasy mess, but they still had a fashion show to work, so they just walked out looking like that. Their hair is literally plastered to their faces. They probably all broke out instantly after the show. It didn’t even look remotely attractive. And I do understand that sometimes, the point someone might be trying to make via high fashion does not always include looking ultimately attractive, but all this said to me was that 12-day-old hair is now in; looking like a grease-ball is all the rage. I think a statement can be achieved without looking disgusting. Plus, I don’t believe he was going for a bigger statement here; it was just bad styling. It was grease-chic. And it wasn’t working.

The real problem I have with all of this is that it didn’t feel like Alexander Wang for me. While I was watching it, if I didn’t already know whose show it was, I don’t think I could have guessed correctly. He has always been an innovator of shape and androgynous character, but has always accomplished this in a perfectly polished manner. He could make a statement while still maintaining an extremely elevated taste and impeccable craftsmanship. But this show truly was a miss to me. Where was the elevated taste? Where was his signature polished flare? Nothing looked well-put-together or attractive. It was different, but not in a good way. I’m sorry to say that, this week, my review cannot not be a completely positive one. From a great AWang fan, I have to say, I was far less than impressed.

Christian Siriano’s Amazing Autumn

Fashion Review Mondays: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter 2013 Collection
By Olivia of WangGuk

Christian-Siriano-Runway-Fashion-Week-Fall-2013-Photos

This week, I’m reviewing a collection for the current season: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter collection for 2013.

From the start, I was quite impressed with this collection. But really, when I’m honest with myself, I’m always impressed with Christian. He’s just always known who he is and what he’s doing. He’s a master of detail, and this collection showcases that. The taste level was, for the most part, very high and all of the looks were detailed and polished without being over-worked or busy. I loved the collection as a whole— I mean, there were definitely moments when I thought “Well I don’t think I’d ever have the compulsive need to wear that” and others when I thought “Oh my word, I’m going to tear that off the model because I want that in my closet NOW.”

One thing I really loved about this collection was that the models Christian had walking in the show exuded such a powerful, strong woman. Like, she was a badass, you know? A well-dressed, expensive badass. The girls looked polished and sleek in their styling and they walked in a way that said “I don’t know who you are, but I know who I am— and you better just get out of my way.” The girl who is wearing all of these beautiful clothes is strong, confident, tough, and self-sufficient. I liked that. I liked that I felt that just by the way they walked in those clothes— I was able to imagine the girl who would wear all of these pieces, and that is so key in any collection. We always must ask “Who is wearing this?” and “Where is she/he going?”

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Another aspect of this show that is particularly noteworthy, and which all the more built the character of this tough, powerful girl is the track Christian decided to play: music by Brad Walsh, featuring mezzo soprano vocalist Ilene Pabon. It was gorgeous in kind of a creepy, eerie, mysterious way— which matches the girl who was being illustrated in the collection. I loved it. It pulled everything together— a perfect choice for the show.

As for design aspects of the collection, there were many things Christian explored and experimented with that I appreciated. As for shape, a traditionally feminine one was what most of the dresses and suits were based on. I notice that Christian often stays with this form— his shapes never really stray from this more traditionally feminine form. When I look at other designers like Thom Browne or Rei Kawakubo or Junya Watanabe, I think that a lot of their design innovation comes to play in terms of shape and fit— these are designers who are always playing with shape and fit and pushing the envelope in terms of new silhouettes. But Christian seems to play around with other elements, such as color or print or material, as in this collection.

I’ve heard many people say “Oh so much black” and “There was finally a little color at one point”— to which, I was kind of always like “Well yeah…like, do you know which season this is?” Yes, there is a lot of black. Yes, there is a lot of neutral golds and browns. It’s Fall. But I love black, so maybe for a person who needs the rainbow as their wardrobe at all times, this collection would be not as wearable. But I loved all the dark looks. That said, one aspect of the collection I appreciated was that he used a color that we don’t typically associate with Fall or Winter: hot fuscia pink. Perhaps there have been others who have employed this loud color as part of their Fall/Winter collections, but for the most part, I feel like I always see red or gold or maybe a bold purple of some kind during Fall. That is why the pink in this collection was so unexpected for me, but it was also refreshing for that reason. I happen to dislike pink quite a bit, and the first time I watched the show, I was like “Ew that color is heinous; what on Earth would posses anyone to wear it?” But I watched the show a couple of times over, and I realized that this color actually adds a lot of necessary dimension to the collection. Plus, all of the dresses in this color were fitted immaculately and looked super hot. So, I was okay with the presence of pink here.

Something I found to be gorgeous was his use of lace and sheer paneling. Many dresses in the collection employed this. The shorter, gold, modernized circle-skirt dress was one of my absolute favorite pieces, and I loved it for many reasons (the color, the modernization of the circle-skirt shape), but the main reason was the balance it contained. The sheer top is completely balanced with the heavier fabric of the bottom skirt part. The dress is perfectly proportioned. The lace becomes the epitome of chic and classic, where if it had been paired with a less-conservative bottom, it would have become tasteless and vulgar quickly.
The black dresses that follow this one (the ones that are I think around minute 8 in the show) are also some of my favorite pieces. The black with the gold detailing is exquisite— I can’t even tell you how beautiful they are. They truly speak for themselves as pieces. I loved the bolero dress; I thought that was very modern and chic and perfect for Fall. I loved the black dress with the gold detail shoulders with the shell of tulle coming out— it reminded me of Bowser from Mario Brothers… only chic haha (this actually was more of a shape innovation, and I loved it for that reason).  All of these black and gold pieces were gorgeously pieced and just perfect, really.

MG_1877           161304419    Christian Siriano, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, New York        christian-siriano-autumn-fall-winter-2013-nyfw27
The only part I will say that I did not particularly care for was the closing dress: all sheer lace with strategically-placed pieces of gold lace or stitch detailing that covered up all of the essentials. When I spoke of the gold dress before— the modern sheer circle-skirt one— I had said that the reason it worked was due to the balance. This final dress had none— the whole thing was sheer and I could see the model’s butt-crack (kudos for her walking with still such a strong, confident stride while she mooned the audience). I know that couture isn’t  supposed to be confined by the standards of a ready-to-wear look, but I just couldn’t really even appreciate the dress because of the vast lack of wearability. That aside, oh my word, the detail on the dress is, again, immaculate and Christian’s signature, so for that I congratulate him.

The cohesion and sophistication of this collection were astounding, and anyone who got to see it live is lucky as a duck because I would absolutely LOVE to see Christian’s amazing detail work up close and personal. He’s a genius. He always has been. And this collection is nothing less than incredible.

Video here>>  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNjI-1n_KmA

Still Photo Creds:

www.fabsugar.com

fashionista.com

coolechicstylefashion.blogspot.com

nowfashion.com

nyunews.com