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.
One of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid was The Jetsons, and I wanted to be just like Judy Jetson, with her outrageous white hair and chic spacegirl outfits. In the future when the ozone layer has been depleted and we’re all zooming around in flying pod-cars, these are the clothes I would want to be wearing. But then again, I would love to be able to wear any of these looks any day, and Louise Goldin is the ingenious British designer who brings all my futuristic fantasies to life. Goldin first grabbed my attention with her vibrant debut Spring 08 collection. Every season since then, there is a special place in my heart that is always prepared to worship whatever she puts on the runway, and her sculptural sci-fi knitwear conceptions satisfy every time.
I apparently can’t get enough of the geometric shapes and circular construction we’ve seen pop up in so many spring collections this year. The future path and identity of a brand often becomes ambiguous when its founder passes away, but Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi have succeeded in reinterpreting classic shapes and offering a stunning rendition of Ferré’s architectural but wearable style, balancing a marked boldness with unmistakable elegance in flattering hourglass silhouettes.
For Calvin Klein’s spring collection, Francisco Costa gave us the brand’s signature minimalism, but with an added futuristic element. These looks were sharp and geometric with interestingly cut lines and pleats that gave the effect of folded paper, and the emphasized forms were executed with cool precision in icy colors of white, silver, and light cobalt. While a few pieces, particularly some boxy outwear and oversized shift dresses, were admittedly unflattering, this collection as a whole was considerably more experimental than previous seasons have been and one of the few shows to stand out from an otherwise unremarkable week in New York.
Femininity isn’t a word usually associated with Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester, who is known for her androgynous and avant-garde aesthetic, but it was in full swing at her spring show. This was a femininity that asserted its presence in intricate folds interspersed with metallic embroidery or ruffled pleats. Only Demeulemeester can pull together such disparate elements as pinstripes, rocker-chic silver chains and layered Grecian draping into one highly cohesive and very wearable collection.