Hello, Fashion Week? It's Raggedy Ann, and I'm Naked.
Prints are in, according to my Fashion Week sources. When I hear prints, I think of Uli, the German born contestant on Project Runway 3, who had a bizarre knack for combining prints that, at first glance, did not go together at all. Uli’s creations were always pretty, wearable, and somewhat beachy, which got her in trouble with the judges–”Okay, like, can we see something that’s not so Miami??”
The prints on the runway at Fashion Week aren’t Uli’s hippie-ish, flowing styles. They are much (to borrow from Tyra Banks’ minimalist lexicon) edgier. Take, for instance, Anna Sui’s collection. Her models strutted the runway wearing hairstyles that were undeniably punk–dyed pink, purple and blue and cut short and spiked–and wearing dressed with prints that put one in mind of an Appalachian house wife, or maybe a ragdoll. One dress features strips of checkered fabric in different colors, alternating red and white checks with blue and red checks and plain blue. Um, Anna? Raggedy Ann called, she wants her dress back. And, with all due respect to Sui, you don’t have to get seats in Bryant Park to see dresses like that. You can go to any downtown punk rock club and see thirty girls wearing that bad girl baby doll style. To me it just looks like an expensive reproduction of a subculture’s signature look.
On the other hand, Carolina Herrera’s collection is incredibly sophisticated, conceived through the eyes of a working woman: everything in Herrera’s collection is practical enough to wear to work, except for the gowns, which are classy enough to turn heads without eliciting “don’ts.” Carolina Herrera’s prints (there are a handful of dresses in the collection that use prints) look like paintings, with swirling reds and twirling blacks, and floral patterns that seem to have been painted on to the fabric. Herrera’s designs look chic, fresh, and dare I say it? Fashion forward. But, it shouldn’t be a surprise, because Herrera’s designs are always very sophisticated. She raises women’s fashion to another level: where many designers design for women as sex kittens or playthings, Herrera designs for women as power players–women who work hard and look good doing it.
And how can you go wrong with that?
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