If God is indeed in the details as the saying goes, then perhaps the detail shots from this collection will further illuminate why, every season, legions of fashion lovers all come to gather (both figuratively and literally) at the altar of Alexander McQueen.
The City, MTV’s latest spin-off of the original SoCal rich girls franchise, was supposed to be a replacement formula of sorts to wean us off wildly successful shows like The Hills and Sex and the City. Page Six had dubbed Whitney Port “the new Carrie Bradshaw”, but such lavish praise has proven itself to have been embarrassingly premature. Whitney had managed to fool us into believing she was mature and (relatively) wise on a show full of girls being largely uncommunicative and inscrutable as they exchanged drawn out, monosyllabic conversations and expressions of disbelief. But now that she’s expected to carry a show of her own, she emerges as a passive pushover with a personality that mostly resembles cardboard. Whitney is quite possibly the worst heroine ever because not only is is hard to relate to her, it’s altogether impossible to admire her. If the new Carrie Bradshaw is supposed to be a girl who lets herself be walked over by rude and petulant boys, makes obvious statements that are never meaningful or necessary, and wears increasingly ridiculous headbands, we can all bury our Manolos and mourn them along with any hope for feminism.
As far as I’m concerned, there are only two reason to keep tuning in every week. The first is, of course, the show’s incredible knack for inadvertently creating comedic gold, like a particularly scintillating office conversation about Olivia’s furry vest in which Whitney states that “it must keep you warm” and Olivia responds that “it does”, or when Adam Senn tells his model girlfriend Allie (who has the deadest eyes I’ve ever seen) that he would do anything to not see her cry, while not only neglecting to consider that he should offer her his umbrella, but actually letting the rain drip off of it and onto her head.
The second reason to watch it is for Olivia Palermo, who, although she comes off fake and affected, is easily the most interesting character on the show. While MTV is clearly marketing her as the bitchy, conniving Upper East Side “social” to Whitney’s poor little Sally Sunshine, I’ve had a soft spot for this girl ever since her whole Socialite Rank debacle. Before being casted as Whitney’s foil and professional rival on The City, she seemed like a very (very) pretty girl who was well dressed, well mannered and well educated, but for whatever reason was always shunned or picked on by all the other New York socialites. Admittedly, Olivia’s persona on the show is a little too much to take, but besides being as gorgeous as a porcelain doll, she is always the most immaculately dressed and the best put together of the entire cast. Olivia is like a real life Blair Waldorf, albeit a less sharp and less articulate one.
I don’t know if its the oversized scarves or the eclectic suburban-nomad stylings, but Angela Missoni has managed to put together one of the most memorable collections to come out of Milan this season. Whereas the clothes are usually just nice and stay fairly low on my radar, I find myself constantly thinking back to the pieces from this show even as I’m clicking through images of metallic decadence from Dolce or Fendi’s fare of standard sophistication. My to-do list now consists of finding ways to translate this gorgeous palette into my own largely drab and monochromatic wardrobe, and, more importantly, how to relocate to a much colder climate by next September.
Do you honestly expect us to believe that these all came from different collections?
I’ve been lagging a little lately in my spring collections countdown, but working full time and packing for a big weekend trip has filled my plate. Fortunately though, I don’t have to write little descriptions and explain why these last two picks flood the sartorial hemisphere of my brain with pure joy, because they pretty much speak for themselves.
If Alexander McQueen has ever created anything less than spectacular, I have yet to see it. His spring collection was a meditation on sustainability and the effects of industrialization on the modern world. After a steady stream of collections that harkened back to Victorian Romance and Imperialism, he went in entirely different direction with ultra-sleek, ultra-modern, fitted silhouettes and an entire spectrum of crystalline prints, all the while staying so quintessentially true to his creative identity. There was so much to love, from the metallic patterns on his kaleidoscopic gem-like minidresses to the sparkling rhinestone-studded body suits to the ever-present (but much more subdued) skulls and leather corsets, there was so much to be awed by, I’m still taking it all in.
Some people have criticized Kate and Laura Mulleavy for recycling old looks. Admittedly, this collection was largely a continuation from the two previous seasons, but I prefer to see them each as an installment in the Rodarte trilogy of beauty thriving in a harsh, post-apocalyptic world. The three finale dresses, worn by Kasia, Karlie and Jourdan, looked almost like they were painted on with big wide brushstrokes awash with bold splashes of color. This is a pair that knows how to balance charming aesthetics with unique construction.