Before Alexander McQueen passed away, he was able to finish his genius pre-Fall 2010 collection and nearly completed the Fall line. Successor and right-hand woman Sarah Burton stepped in for Resort 2011, but here is her first Spring collection for the house. It's intricate, elaborate, grandiose — McQueen would be proud.
Giles Deacon's First Emanuel Ungaro Collection — for Spring 2011— Involved Anna Dello Russo Modeling a Sheep Purse
>> Giles Deacon is the sixth designer to try his hand at Emanuel Ungaro since the founder retired in 2004, and, as Suzy Menkes noted, he "was brought in to stabilize the brand, rather than rev it up with a grand show in his first season."
Hence, a presentation on an indoor patch of grass, the clothes modeled by “women with character and personality” in a range of ages, including Anna Dello Russo — who held a sheep handbag she named "Funbongo," French actress Joana Preiss, Querelle Jansen — who was coaxed out of modeling retirement — plus several models from the '90s: 37-year-old Claudia Mason, 35-year-old French model Caroline de Maigret, 33-year-old Brazilian model Shirley Mallmann, and 35-year-old South African model Georgina Grenville.
"I went through all the archives, from the '60s all the way through, in order to understand the feeling, the subtlety, the softness of the Ungaro heritage," Deacon explained of his collection. "I wanted the collection to be super-sophisticated, gorgeous, vivacious, sensual — really, just beautiful clothes." WWD noted that the pieces, many crafted by couture methods, "will be expensive to produce and buy," but signified what "looked like a real investment in the label."
Critics in general seemed encouraged by the collection, but not entirely sold. Style.com's Tim Blanks wrote: "You could picture the professional party girls in [the dresses] already, and on that level, the collection was a TKO. But where other women fit into the new Ungaro equation will be the challenge Deacon has to deal with in the months to come." And Cathy Horyn added: "If you consider how much time Phoebe Philo had to rethink Celine before she showed anything, Mr. Deacon needed more time to develop his ideas. Maybe Ungaro can’t wait, though . . . On the whole, the clothes looked French, the Ungaro ruching and draping was kept to a cautious minimum, and the skirts needed more design attention. The collection was certainly pitched to a young woman. Mr. Deacon’s next step is to remove himself a little more from the archive and develop his own fabrics and ideas."
Rachel Bilson took a front-row seat at Chanel, dressed in head-to-toe chic — with an edge. A ruffle-front All Saints leather jacket plays a cool opposite to her floral sheath dress ($32, originally $64), while a ladylike red Chanel lends the perfect pop of color. Lace-up sandals ($117, originally $172) complete the cool-girl vibe. Click the items above to shop a similar look.
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As Replacement Rumors Linger, Stefano Pilati's Spring 2011 Yves Saint Laurent Collection Criticized For Not Making Impact
>> Rumors of Stefano Pilati's fate at Yves Saint Laurent have been circling for months now, some purporting that he may be headed to Giorgio Armani, and others just saying that he's on his way out, and headhunters have been employed to interview replacements.
Pilati's Spring 2011 collection was an ode to the Saint Laurent codes, which WWD called "impeccable," "stellar," and "perfection," and Style.com deemed "a collection that should resonate loud and long for Pilati." Cathy Horyn, however, wasn't so convinced: "The problem with the clothes is they don’t get under your skin. They’re a little boring, if you really want to know. Mr. Pilati’s choice of French blue, a soft burnt orange, tan and a bit of black-flecked green seem rather flat in a season of fantastical color."
And if there's any credence to the rumors of Pilati's fate at Saint Laurent hanging in the balance, Horyn's next paragraph certainly doesn't help his case: "Mr. Pilati has another problem, or rather the YSL company does. In the six years he has been the house designer, it’s hard to think of a shape or a color or a detail for which he is known. He has done saucy ruffles, then clerical references, then sleek pants suits with little pom-poms, then modernist tunics, then Japanese-like cutting, then hot leather bustiers, and loose dresses with strawberries. But what does he stand for? It’s never fair or accurate to compare two designers — different circumstances, different design methods — but Phoebe Philo is a very good example of a designer who in a short time has created shapes and motifs for Céline that are recognizable. Whether you like them or not, or find them original, the designs at Céline are very clear and impactful. More than that, the clothes seem to be desirable. And Mr. Pilati hasn’t been able to engage the fashion tribe on that level."
Karl, Claudia, Keira! I have just returned from the Chanel show at the Grand Palais. Even the anticipation of the show was fabulous. Walking to the entrance, swarms of photographers surrounded celebrities and VIPs dressed to kill. Once inside, all you saw was white, black, and silver. There was a giant symphony set up in the back and three massive water fountains built as the backdrop for the runway, which was twice the size of last year's show. There was a lattice floor structure built around each of the fountains and one in front of the conductor. The seating lined the outer rim of the room, with many twists and turns, creating quite an extensive front row. Each celebrity was sitting in his or her respective country's designated area, and I had a first-class place four rows directly behind Claudia Schiffer and Rachel Bilson, whom I was able to interview — more on that later.
Spotted in the crowd: Vanessa Paradis, Grace Coddington, Keira Knightley, Lou Dillon, Alexa Chung, Lily Allen, Florence Welch, Poppy Delevigne, and Leigh Lezark. The music started and the lovely Carmen Kass, Lily Donaldson, Karolina Kurkova, along with about 20 more models, strutted around wearing some of the most exquisite suits, shift dresses, hot pants, and gowns. My favorite looks included a black, tea-length evening gown with a beautiful brooch that crisscrossed at the decollete, and the stunning peach, feather finale dress. Accessories included feathers and chains in silver, pewter, and gold in the form of earrings, hair pieces, and necklaces. For the finale, Karl made his way around the runway, trailed by all of the leggy ladies wearing his designs. Apparently Twitter was blocked so that nothing from the show would be leaked prematurely. "The power of Karl" and "There's no one like Karl, he's the backbone of France" were just some of the phrases I overheard. This confirmed for me that Chanel really does it best.
To see all of the pics from the Chanel show, read more