Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Pringle’s first ever runway show was prefaced by an animated short produced for the Scottish house by artist David Shrigley. All about “jumpers,” “cardies,” goats, and Scotland’s rainy weather, the film was worth a good laugh. The show, more dark than comical, was equally captivating. It was nearly impossible to figure out exactly how many knitting techniques were used on the various monochrome textural layers. There were gauzy knits, big looped knits, cable knits. There was leather that turned out to be laminated knits. The woven suiting was draped in knits. And the felted outerwear (like one particularly amazing iridescent Donegal) featured ribbed knit panels. Pringle’s long time creative director Clare Waight Keller harnessed all the capabilities of the house to showcase just how avant a century-old craft (and company) can be.

There were no laminates at Versace; Donatella worked in nothing but the real animal stuff. In fact, she covered nearly every inch of her young, slicked-hair models with various leathers. Boots were patent and platform, or of the riding variety. Some employed six to nine monk straps. Jackets and tops were of animal skin, sometimes with cut outs, other times with embedded spikes just barely piercing-through the surface. The look was monochrome black and grey, motocross meets biker meets Sprockets meets Mad Max. There was even a hint of disco, like the sequin chainmail tanks and matching scarves. The energy and vitality were a welcome return to the Versace runway.
Speaking of chainmail, Alexander McQueen employed it as one of the dazzling prints in his show. Alongside the faux armor, kaleidoscopically imaged cable knits, skulls, and dripping water were laser printed onto suits, macs, vests, shirts, and ties. The layers were meant to feel constricting (some guys wore satin ski masks, or even gas masks). The final effect, amplified by Sting’s original soundtrack, was melancholy, enchanting, and staccato.
Thom Browne’s show for Moncler Gamme Bleu was perhaps the last few days’ most creative. As guests walked into the venue, all thirty or so models were fast asleep in matching nightcaps under matching blankets on matching cots. Suddenly, puffy-suited drill sergeants arrived and began blowing their bugles. The long john-clad models then awoke, made their beds, and put on their outfits. Every garment that could be down filled—chord bombers, bubble blazers, padded shirts, utility vests, cargo pants, puffer shorts, moon boots—was so filled. The drill sergeants checked the models before sending them with their runway marching orders. The individual pieces will be surefire hits, and had there been a Golden Globe for fashion show direction, Thom Browne would have won it.
read more at VMAN