Thursday, February 12, 2004

One More to Go


Ralph Rucci Show - click on image to enlarge
photo by Ernest Schmatolla


Okay- we're down to the wire...one more day of shows. The highlight of Thursday was Ralph Rucci's beautiful, breathtaking collection (it really has to be appreciated up close and personal because of its subtle brilliance) - which ended in a well deserved standing ovation see photos. As Edie Locke put it, " Thank God for Ralph Rucci". Indeed.

The day was also marked by the showings of three of 7th Avenue's young guns (Peter Som, Behnaz Sarafpour, and Zac Posen) and there were some wonderful items in each of these collections, though Zac's was definitely the most sophisticated and grown up of the group see photos . By the way, his 6pm show in the Tents (his first time in this large space) was a packed to the rafters scene - predictably.

I really liked what Behnaz had to offer see photos. It was a complete departure from her black, short, tight, sexy spring/summer line- actually, it could not have been more dissimilar- much softer, less aggressive, lots of knife pleats, longer skirts, boucle, tweeds, and small fur pieces (which are a major statement all over 7th avenue- both on and off the runway).

Peter Som's collection was for me, the least interesting of the three. Though he offerered some nice, fresh ideas and takes on the trends of the season see photos, I must admit I don't really understand what all the fuss is about- and many of his pieces just seemed to have been referenced from others' past line-ups. Like Behnaz, he focused on tweeds, furs, cardigans, fresh and optimistic colors and silhouettes. His preppie 'take' is perhaps why the Park Avenue social set flocks to the show, sitting front row center.

Thursday also marked the second collection designed by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein. His first - for spring 2004 - met with mixed reviews and the fashion fold was obviously eager to see how he would evolve this time around. When I asked the well respected fashion director of a major luxury department store chain (who shall remain anonymous) what she thought, she paused for a nanosecond and said very deliberately: "it may have been the worse show I have ever seen". Ouch!

And I couldn't agree more. It was obvious after the first few outfits came out (these set the tone for what is to follow) that the collection was just not going to make it off the ground. One does not expect to see pale, sheer, lanquid, droopy washed silks open the fall/winter collection of a house whose name and reputation is built on clean and chic tailoring. (Of course, it's possible that Mr. Costa was intent on creating his own new look for the label and was purposely going against what Calvin Klein stood for). Regardless, it didn't work. The clothes didn't even look good on those tall, young, skinny models. Costa was criticized for showing too much sheerness last season, so what could have prompted him to continue the trend with so much see thru? Maybe he is suicidal....

There were a few tailored pantsuits, several structured coats, and one pretty long gown at the end- but basically, that was it! The entire thing was completely baffling and puzzling. And to make matters worse, the location (Milk Studios 10th avenue and 15th street) is terribly inconvenient (unless you're having lunch at Pastis or shopping at Jeffrey) especially at that time of the day heading into rush hour traffic. It was hardly worth the effort.

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