Here is Polish model Kasia Struss cliff climbing in the latest collection from Mango. The Summer stock includes countless fashiony pieces: drop-crotch shorts, sequin tops, flutter-sleeve blouses, plaid pants, neon tees, print maxis, and colorful scarves. I see a collection that's conducive to warm weather but doesn't compromise style for temperature. I quite like how they've jazzed up this long, white prairie maxi with a fun scarf and low-slung brown belt. There's more where that came from . . .
>> Hannah MacGibbon has a serious fan of her work in Chloe Sevigny, who has been spotted at a number of events in different shades of the same scalloped Chloe shorts suit, but when it comes to her ad campaigns, she sticks with photographer Mikael Jansson. For her second major season campaign, instead of flaxen-haired Anna Maria Jagodzinska and Toni Garrn, MacGibbon went with the darker-haired Kasia Struss, Sigrid Agren, and Karlie Kloss, who contrast against the Spanish fields they were captured against in April, as styled by Marie Amelie Sauve.
>> There are few designers these days that can succeed without hopping onto the fashion train in some way — even Margiela sold a majority stake to Diesel — but Azzedine Alaia has done just that. After all these years, he still remains a mystery — he has no website, and as The Imagist points out — "no seasonal shows, no advertising, no freestanding boutique network, very little retail outlets, and product that is about its own consistent identity, not the whims of a fashion moment." Seeing his Spring 2009 lookbook, shot by Willy Vanderperre with Kasia Struss, seems like such a treat — mostly because of his elusiveness, but also because the black velvet gown he dressed Penelope Cruz in for the SAG Awards last weekend really whets the appetite.
After viewing Michael Kors's 2009 Pre-Fall collection, here's what we need to do to be in the know: wrap a thick, black headband around head; wear a long-sleeve turtleneck underneath a crop-sleeve coat, combine loud patterns, seek unique necklaces, don't be afraid of boxy cuts, overdo leopard. Phew! It's a lot to take in, but it all comes together beautifully, as exemplified by models Kasia Struss, Lindsay Ellingson, and Chanel Iman. If your goal is to look polished, mature, but with off-kilter undertones, this Kors collection will be of inspiration to you. I know I'll be taking away a few things myself.
>> When Natalie Portman comes to the show, Keira Knightley hits up the after party, and Anna Wintour brings Bee — who usually only goes to Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler — along, you know Rodarte is really starting to make it big. Even Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, had a little trouble getting in — apparently, she tried to follow Anna and Bee through the velvet rope, but the PR staff wouldn't allow it.
Onto the clothes: They followed the same thought process as the Fall 2008 collection, but with a few key changes — the colors, the shoes (those treacherous shoes, made by Nicholas Kirkwood instead of Christian Louboutin this season), and the leggings, which were leather instead of knit, and although they looked laser cut, were entirely handmade. Some think the look veered into Balenciaga territory, but me? I'm just enjoying the view.
>> 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.
>> 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 . . .
>> Amongst significantly less hubbub — no Net-a-Porter selling his clothes right off the runway this time — Roland Mouret debuted his second collection yesterday under his new RM by Roland Mouret moniker. The new set of dresses are definitely cut from the Mouret cloth — sheaths tailored with precision, oragami shapes — but for a man who's been using the same silhouettes since 2005, it's time to grow the aesthetic, not stand still in time.
>> Jean Paul Gaultier was high energy yesterday at his Fall 2008 Couture show, exuberantly explaining his choice of outfit to Hilary Alexander pre-show, and running through the fluorescent green laser beams that panned the runway post-show, poking Coco Rocha on the way.
For all of JPG's exuberance, I am less than excited about this sci-fi, cage-inspired outing. Underneath all the decoration were a few solid pieces, namely a coral lace-like cage dress worn by Patricia Schmid and a tux suit worn by Sasha Pivovarova, but for the most part, a lot of it ended up looking less than luxe, especially if croc was involved.