>> Alice Dellal may have been a special guest at Alexander Wang, but she was there in spirit at Proenza Schouler — the sideswept wavy hair, red lip, leathers, zippers, and crop tops shown were all reminiscent of her look. She may have been a starting point, but the collection had a downtown refinement that you would never seen in Alice — she revels too much in the grunge. All I have to say is: So many fun, billowy jumpsuits, so little time. And don't forget to check out the accessories — they're part of Jack and Lazaro's first full season effort.
>> It's hard to imagine being pregnant and designing hot little minidresses for other women to wear, but when you're Thea Bregazzi, one half of design duo Preen, and those hot little minidresses happen to be what your label is known for, that's just what you do.
The heavily expectant Thea stayed across the pond in London while her partner in design and life, Justin Thornton, carried on with the label's show today. He carried it well — everything went smoothly, save a slight wardrobe malfunction for Anja Rubik and the confusion that ensued at the end of the show, when Justin didn't appear at the end of the runway and no one knew when to start the final applause.
As for the clothes, the dresses with intricate paneled cutouts and peekaboo zipper slats, the piquante shots of tomato red, and the sexily laced up pleated skinny pants came together for a more refined collection than we have seen from Preen in the last couple of seasons. Maybe Thea should be pregnant more often . . .
>> Alexander Wang's sweat-inspired Spring 2009 collection, featuring shiny-faced models, was quite appropriate — yesterday had the fashion crowd dripping from heat, and today, Tropical Storm Hanna blew in just in time for Alex's show.
Not that the weather would keep anyone away; Anna Wintour attended Alex's show for the first time ever — a symbol of his quick rise. As the lights went down, the sunglasses went on, and she only broke pose a couple of times — once to consult Virginia Smith's program, and the other to fiddle with her BlackBerry.
The show was definitely a different experience, now that Alex has moved on from Erin Wasson, collaborating with stylist Alastair McKimm instead, but all of the classic Wang elements — zippers, leather, a slouchy, downtown feel — were all there. The only major slip up was at the end, when all the models — stellar cast, I might add (Jourdan Dunn!) — took their final tour and got stopped up returning backstage. We're talking line of models, basically at a standstill, at the end of the show. Alex skipped out, did his usual jump and punch the air routine. And then Anna ran out.
>> Two things are for sure: Karl Lagerfeld is still loving black and white photography and those bobs — he's used them for his Fall 2008 Chanel couture show, the Fall 2008 Fendi ads, the Fall 2008 Chanel ads, and now he's put Karmen Pedaru in one alongside Heidi Mount and Vlada Roslyakova. The three girls feature in "La Couture," a film noir-inspired couture editorial he photographed for Numero #96. Don't worry, it's not all Chanel couture, but those three must be his go-to couture girls — they seem like Karl's types, and they were all in Chanel's most recent couture show.
>> If Frida Giannini is aiming for her Gucci customer to be one Rachel Zoe, nothing says it stronger than the flowy printed maxi dresses and one-shouldered bohemian blouses that she sent out as Gucci's Resort 2009 collection.
Shown in Rome to celebrate the brand's 70th anniversary and a re-opening flagship, the collection will surely please those who hanker for a Hermes scarf-like minidress or a pair of fringed espadrille wedges. Guests who were left waiting for their rides to the show venue, however, were less impressed, remarking that if Tom Ford were still at Gucci, the cars wouldn't have been late, and the drivers would have been handsome and topless . . .
>> Alessandra Facchinetti's first couture collection at Valentino represents a nerve-racking, generational hand-off, but Giorgio Armani was there in the front row to lend support and represent the old guard.
The collection had the palpable feel of a different designer, as it should — more structure and pared-down tailoring, with most of the detail left to the back of the garments, and more subdued colors than the pastels Valentino had been playing with. However, Alessandra did stay true to the three most guiding parts of the Valentino aesthetic: femininity, ruffles, and of course, Valentino red. In fact, that same Valentino red painted the final look of the collection — a stunning chiffon number.
Highlighter shades of fuchsia and violet provided shocking punctuation amongst Tisci's usual color palette of neutrals. The emerging trends of knee-length leggings, transparency, and lace were all present along with the signature Tisci for Givenchy leather jackets and oversized hats. But I have to say, amongst all the draped jersey and deconstructed shapes, the two standout looks were similar pale, choppily-fringed minidresses.
>> Transparency is still the word, in John Galliano's mind. The beanie-sporting designer had Lisa Fonssagrives, wife to Irving Penn and oft-credited as the first supermodel, in mind when producing his typical voluminous dresses, but with layers of light chiffon, rather than the heavier, stiffer fabrics Christian Dior couture has boasted in recent seasons.
Frequent collaborator Stephen Jones, meanwhile, looked to Eduardo Garcia Benito, famous for his '20s Vogue cover illustrations of women in cloches, when creating the accompanying skull cap-cum-cloches.
Peplums were aplenty and Galliano couldn't help himself, sneaking a little leopard print into the bunch. But the unifying thought with this collection seems to be: What will we see on newfound Dior client Carla Bruni-Sarkozy first?
*image: source, source