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The Memo

RTW Fall 2013, Marni, Stella McCartney & Alexander Wang –

Not the most festive of fashion seasons, but certainly lush, focused and tactile. Fall RTW 2013 was filled with a sameness of concept and a heavy hand. The memo was sent and everyone got the message. There will be coats of sloped shoulder and volume. There will be fur and huggable handbags. There will be clunky shoes and a heavy boot (women’s feet were given a glorious reprieve this year!). And androgyny will be, everywhere. All very serious stuff (with the great exception of Lavin whose sense of play was in full force; Elbaz ever the wit.) While the palette feels slightly constrained, when the viewer hones in on these three collections of incredible heft they will find a fantastic wealth of sensuality and intelligence. It is a great season to explore a strictness of cut, a palpable use of texture, romance and warmth!




Consuelo Castiglioni was so far out in front of the pack for fur trimmings and what a treat to see this traditionally eccentric brand opt for such a feminine, serene demeanor. “Austere, but romantic” was how Castiglioni described this collection and while there might have been an austerity in intent the results were a spectacular display of dramatic details. Fur boas that tempted to be touched, stoles that floated above strict pleats only to reveal the transparent soft organza insets. Texture blocking on the evening wear was so deft — each layer, wool, a swath of fur, then topped with another patterned close cropped fur treatment were brilliant. Alpaca fuzzy wuzzy coats felt just the right proportion and hemlines that skimmed the knee had a gamine appeal. Most appreciative for this California native were the graphic print dresses edged with leather tapping. So easy to wear anytime here in the Golden State.

Stella McCartney


Stella McCartney is one of those designers that I don’t pay much attention to on the runway, but when her designs show up on the street I am consumed with jealousy. What did I miss? These dresses, suits and outerwear will be everywhere come September. At first glace I felt a disconnect between the setting of the opulent Paris Opera house and the overt British tailoring invasion. But these breezy pinstripes speak French when they walk with a sexy kick out and bare shoulder. Uber oversized and draped to stay that way these massive coats move through the room with authority — as do the lug soles of unusual depth speak to purpose. Cudos for Stella sticking with her strict no fur policy. I would take that puff hoody any day …no trim required.

Alexander Wang


For all the sleek temperament of Alexander Wang’s spring collection it was a surprise to see just how far to the supple side he could swing. Who could argue with fur boxing gloves – stoles and jackets that just melt on the body. So fluid. And I have to agree with Bergdorf’s Linda Fargo, “I think of incredible innovation with him. Did you see that shoulder? I’ve never seen a shoulder like that.” Of all the dropped shoulder treatments AW’s is by far the most dynamic, stylish, new. He really knows his tough schoolgirl audience and delivers the swagger, the attitude. Alexander Wang’s appointment to Balenciaga is no mistake. His eye the silhouette is impeccable, but to this viewer, his first season in Paris looked so uptight it was hard to watch. The rigidity as the models walked looked painful. It was as if he left all the seduction on the cutting floor of his New York studio and opted for a hard shelled beetle habit. I mean who wants get behind the wheel of a Bentley when you could be racing around in a Astin Martin?


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