Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Down to the Wire

Yesterday began and ended on a high note. One need not ponder the meaning of life in order to find merit in Michael Kors' 10 a.m. upbeat, joyous, and fresh collection. In fact, it was so unapologetically and simply exuberant and straightforward, one could say that it's appeal was downright shallow and superficial (or as Guy Trebay chided in a recent discussion of the superficial nature of what we in the fashion business do, "I'm so shallow I'm deep"). For his journey this time around, Michael admittedly took inspiration from Greece - "Greek Chic" - for a collection that oozed relaxed and easy glamour, which is precisely what MK does best.

There was plenty of saturated color played off white, lots of graphic stripes, prints (including a floral and tiger and python prints - what would a Michael Kors collection be without an animal pattern?) noteworthy swimwear with coordinating coverups, djellabas, outstanding coats and jackets, his usual lineup of amazing cashmere knits, and dresses (he ended with a group of 'Goddess' gowns). Shine was used with abandon, from gold and bronze metallics to lavish embroideries, and statement making chunky jewelry was courtesy Janis Savitt. One thing I could have done without were the in your face, oversized turquoise crucifixes which hung from several models' necks. I was surprised that Michael (who is half Jewish) would use crosses in such a prominent way- it just seemed uncharacteristic. Hmmm, perhaps he could have had Janis design some turquoise Stars of David as well.

And while it seemed for awhile that Narciso Rodriguez's 8 p.m. show might not actually take place (there was a mini power outage at the Tents and everything went black for several minutes), catastrophe was averted and thank goodness. With the beautifully conceptual 43 piece collection that was an evolution of what he has been doing thus far, Narciso continues to prove his amazing talent and why he is in a class by himself.

A master architect who loves pure form, Narciso's linear shapes, perfectly sculpted, seamed and artfully constructed, were rendered in his signature palette of black, white, and nude, softened with pale pink, and enlived with bold color (coral, citrine, turquoise, 'pool' blue). While dresses were the heart and soul of the collection, Naricso also made a case for athletic inspired jackets as well as shorts. Bras and corsets which are seemingly built into almost every piece, were shown to best advantage on his lineup of young, tall, skinny, and flatchested models. Please not: this is definitely NOT a collection for you if your bras size is larger than an 'A' cup.

While prints were not exactly prominent here (there was only one very subtle print used on a short), the solids were broken up by color blocking and collages. In fact, everything was subtle here -- including the beading. Whereas on many other runways, shine and sparkle were so pronounced you actually needed sunglasses for the glare, in Narciso's hands, everything is held in balanced check. What a way to end a long day and wind down a long week!

-Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

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