It’s been a while since DL has experienced any textual action, but with just a couple days until New York Fashion Week, I’d say it is time for our post-summer revival. The seasonal boat parties have docked and monochromatic-black has returned to the front our closets.
We aren’t the only ones revisiting our origins. Take a flip through any Bible-sized September issue and you’ll see authentic homecomings – Louis Vuitton returns to its subtly monogrammed traveler looks, while Dolce & Gabbana takes it back to the streets of Sicily.
It is time for us to buckle down, button up, and zip into what feels like a momentous season. We have a lot planned for the upcoming Fashion Week – and we promise these fast-typing, manicured fingers will deliver.
We're closing in on what is sure to be yet another fantastic MBFW at Lincoln Center, and we at District L are getting ourselves pumped in the best way we know how - stomping around Manhattan like megalomaniacal crazy people with scary electro from our "Runway" playlists at full blast on our iPods.
So yeah, sorry I came up behind you so quickly on the walk from the L last night - I'm not a rapistmuggermurderkiller, I swear. It's just that the sidewalk is so narrow, you're really slow, this Kavinsky is really head-banging, and I'm all cracked out on the Red Bull I've been drinking all day.
So what is District L hoping to hear in the tents this A/W? We'll tell you - without further ado, allow us to present our official A/W 2011 Audio Wishlist for runway!
…and no worries, it's not just a bunch of MGMT and Fischerspooner. It's 2011, you can relax.
1. Take Me Over - Cut Copy
Fun, dynamic, a good opener with a touch of doe-eyed innocence.
2. Little People (Black City) - Matthew Dear
Just the right amount of attitude, catchy but with some edge and mystery.
3. Make You Mine - Breakbot
Downtempo yet bouncy, reminiscent of Daft Punk without all the cliche.
4. Starlighter - Jupiter
Sexy - what could be more perfect than a song about a woman entering a room and demanding everybody's attention?
5. Motorcycle Boy - Mr. Flash
A solid "walker", with a twinge of roadhouse grime.
6. Empathy - Crystal Castles
We keep jockeying for Crystal Castles, and this is just the right song for the Mik Cires and Sally LaPointes of our world.
Creative Director Kevin Carrigan had the following choice statements to make about the CK Fall 2009 Collection on FWD.com...on March 27th?
“Subtly sexy"- the theme for Fall 2009. Okay, and we have heard this before....where? Oh, right. Every season from about 80 different designers.
“There’s a return to dressing up again...we’re calling it ‘refined eighties,’ with good fabrics that are softly sculptured, rather than linear and hard.”- How is he honestly parroting what every other designer has said about their collection this season?
“I wanted to launch a sexy jean for Calvin"- um, launch a sexy jean? Brooke Shields called- she said that nothing comes between you and your trite fashion one-liners.
I've always been a tad impatient with Calvin Klein as a brand, but honestly when their creative director can't come up with anything unique to say about their collection- especially almost two months after NY Fashion Week- it just looks bad.
District L has had a ridiculous weekend of work and play, and as we recover we thought we'd catch you up on what's been going down in the City of Lights this weekend. Of course you can also expect to read our thoughts on today's shows, most notably Karl Lagerfeld, Hussein Chalayan, Christian Lacroix, and Givenchy.
But without further ado here is a brief recap of the runway this weekend-
Comme des Garcons gave us a very tulle, very layered, very conceptual runway yesterday. "Wonderland," Designer ReiKawakubo called it afterward, "where nothing is as it seems."
Haider Ackermann won plaudits and praise for his signature leather jackets paired with sinfully fluid silk dresses. "She's coming from nowhere and brings her treasures with her...she's not androgynous, but there's that side to her and she's trying to bring it out," said Ackermann of his collection.
Coco Rocha caused a stir at Jean Paul Gaultier after getting into a catfight with another model towards the end of the show that took a whip wielding dominatrix to break up. In a show featuring S&M style bodices, leather cutouts, fishnet masks, and menswear inspired three-piece suits, who would expect anything less?
Jeremy Scott took mundane to mode with a poppy, funky amusement park motif featuring candy colored buttons and Mickey Mouse-esque gloves made into boa shawls.
Lanvin really shined with detail this season; while the silhouettes were on trend, construction impeccable, and fabric choices theme adherent, the irreverently techno-industrial detailing is what really separated them from the competition. Oblong beadwork organized into rigid vertical strips echoed circuit-board rigidity, and oversized brooches mimicked robotic chestplates a'la C3PO. The simultaneous incorporation of fur detailing and exposing sheer accents (i.e. human flesh) into many of these same looks created a pleasing tension.
Analyzing and interpreting dichotomies seems to be the fulcrum off of which many collections have been operating this season- the organic versus manmade world has emerged in the runways of several designers. Lanvin is among the first Paris designers to pick up on this theme that seemingly originated in Milan, with designers turning to more natural roots and creating dichotomies between organic and manmade. Fendi picked up on this with their nature-meets-industry themed collection; Prada turned to the outdoors with a more utilitarian, bare-minimum, survivalist story. Even Nicolas Gheresquiere challenged the balance between fluids and solids, upper body and lower body somewhat with the Balenciaga Fall collection.
What tempered the heavy industrial accents of the collection were the feather headpieces that accompanied many looks. Like a lost raven that stumbled into the factory, the last vestige of the organic earth in world run by machines. Headpieces seem to be emerging as a possible capsule-trend for Fall, with Dolce and Gabbana achieving the same effect in Milan with their mismatched glove headpieces.
Feiyue (pronounced Fe-yu-e), a footwear line that caught District L's eye today at Rendez-Vous, combines a modern aesthetic with traditional functionality. According to Raan Parton, creative director for Apolis Activism who was at Rendez-Vous today representing the brand, Feiyue got its start in 1920's China as a utilitarian array of footwear used primarily in Martial Arts.
"All along its history, [Feiyue] has been a reference among all Chinese social categories from the countryman to the politician, from the captain of the national soccer team to the famous Shaolin masters"- Overview Prospectus, Feiyue Shoes.
Feiyue's look is a mesh between the functional styling of Superga and the shape and detailing of Asics Tigers (Asics Mexico 66 is quite similar to their signature shoe; maybe Feiyue's influences stretches farther than we thought.) Check out some of the photos we snapped today and you can be the judge.
Check out Feiyue and be sure to pop into an Odin New York to get up close and personal. District L will definitely be picking up a few pairs.
"With the research skills and portfolios these kids have, there will always be people who want them. In fact, I know there are already. I just can't say who."- Louise Wilson, Professor and Mentor to MA Students at Central Saint Martin's, on the fears of graduating into today's delightfully energetic and totally unperilous job market (she isn't worried...neither are her students I'm sure).
The Central Saint Martin's show is always a sight to behold, and you can expect a full report so, so, so soon here on District L. I hate to make you go without, but be brave and hold tight. We can get through this together.
"I haven't been to Egypt, but it's one place I've always wanted to go," said Siriano. "So it was my interpretation of what I feel like it should be, or my fantasy of what I think it is...I wanted the collection to be powerful, but I still wanted it to be soft and still feminine, and still wearable."
Christian Siriano, on the inspiration for his Fall 2009 Collection, Fashion Wire Daily
Yes, I know NY Fashion Week has come and gone (sadly) but Christian Siriano has been doing a fantastic job of staying in the public eye, unlike most of the other Project Runway winners (Chloe Dao? What ever happened to her?). He's definitely the most successful-unlike Season 4 winner Jeffrey Sebelia and the live-action Bratz movie costume gig he scored.
Another New York Fashion Week has come and passed, but not without one last District L review of the week’s wild events.
Friday the 13th spelled bad luck for Yigal Azrouël who apparently did not want Ashley Dupré, Eliot Spitzer’s former call girl, in the front row of his show. Yigal claimed that when he reviewed the seating chart with Kelly Cutrone, this scandalous celebrity’s name was nowhere to be found. The fabulous designer concluded to WWD, “I’m not going to work with [Cutrone] anymore.” He then added, “I’m really not happy about it.”
Paris and Nicky caused a paparazzi stir on Monday as they entered The New York Free Library for Jill Stuart’s show. While I adore the fun-loving Hilton sisters, attendees found it annoying that they were fooling around for the duration of the show. This further reinforces my beliefs that, for the most part, Young Hollywood and New York Fashion Week do not mix.
Later that evening, guests were surprised to see Carine Roitfeld at the William Rast show. For some reason, Justin Timberlake and Paris Vogue don’t seem all that compatible.
On Tuesday afternoon, Behnaz Sarafpour was cut a raw deal. While his invites read 2:30pm, the IMG schedule said 2:00pm. The time discrepancy caused his venue to be half-empty at the start of his show (or half-full, depending how you look at it.)
The Armani store on 5th had its opening party Tuesday evening. Anna, Carine, Chace Crawford and the Beckhams were on the guest list. PETA protestors also made an appearance… outside.
3.1 Phillip Limshowed on Wednesday the 18th. Surprisingly, the show was not well attended and some standing room guests even snagged first and second row seats! On the other hand, Kanye and his entourage didn’t give up their first row spots. He strutted in just as the lights dimmed.
Richie Rich’s first show as a solo designer was also on the 18th. While Kanye didn’t make it to this show, 40-something sexpot Pamela Anderson was there to grab the spotlight. “She totally embodies the Marilyn Monroe of our times,” Richie Rich gushed. Really??
Speaking of Marilyn, Marilyn Agency celebrated their 10th anniversary at Rose Bar last night. There’s no better way to toast the end of an eventful Fashion Week than with a glass (or three) of Veuve.
…and that’s just what District L is about to do! Cheers!