RUNWAY RUNDOWN : tim hamilton fall 09

while everyone is out looking for
"the next american menswear designer",
he arrived quietly several years ago.
i bought my first tim hamilton piece in hong kong,
unable to resist the acidic yellow
and coutureish ruching on a cotton hoodie
that had the weight of athletic wear you remember from middle school
rather than the almost flimsy quality of mass brand work these days.
i have worn that thing into the ground.
each season, tim hamilton has explored and expanded,
moving in ways that are hard to chart,
giving us "american" sportwear
with a twist.
this fall, he opened up his oeuvre:
more formal,
more dress,
and how much do i want that printed trench?
and the knits?
the footwear is great, too.
but the sportswear took a huge leap,
into new forms
and a distillation of many of the new trends:
the last look?
me.  all me.
(and he just launched womenswear.  go.  find.)


RUNWAY RUNDOWN : libertine fall 09

shows just make you happy.
let's have a party
and all wear these, shall we?


RUNWAY RUNDOWN : the thom browne conundrum, fall 09

for anyone who follows fashion,
thom browne is a bit of a fascination.
there is no denying how his vision of the modern man
has transformed the way every man 
wears clothing.
higher armholes,
shorter pants,
smaller jackets,
it's all thom.
but as we all know,
it's a pretty strict vision.
unlike a lucas ossenjdriver at lanvin,
or a rick owens,
there is little experimentation in browne's language,
his jazz is relatively one note,
not very coltrane.
so you get used to the parade of short shorts,
gray and pops of color,
knee socks,
and a tutu thrown in here and there.
fall 09:
hear me in that i am not dismissing the essential beauty of the clothes he creates.
there is a pristine sense of wonder to them,
even if they would have trouble translating to most of america.
for now.
and the hand and quality of his work is beyond peer in person,
so it justifies the staggering price point.
but it has become the outlandish whimsy
that makes me sit up and enjoy him these days.
stripes, plaids, and patters writ loud!
and red pants.  RED pants!

and coats best seen from the back . . .

and perhaps my favorite
in the parade:

something to wear,
JUST to wear.
and that is thom's gift.



alber elbaz and lucas ossenjdriver,
if not THE devil,
are certainly minions of extreme power
and influence.
how to explain the show that ends all other shows.
it took me awhile to become a fan of lanvin.
to begin with, the prices are staggeringly expensive.
not just "designer", but "what the . . . "
then, the clothing is deceptively hangar unfriendly.
there are certain labels that are only understood when seen on the body,
or even better, when FELT on the body.
this is without doubt one of those.
finally, it is a label of supreme wit and subtlety.
you have to be willing to explore notions like
grosgrain trim for men,
silk and cashmere sweatpants,
trainers in satin and patent leather,
cropping that is also voluminous,
length that ends before the ankle.
this is the kind of label where current trends
seem to blur,
and simply not seem relevant
to how you suddenly want to dress.
this collection, for instance,
took the dark mood of many runways,
and blended it with new volumes,
classic lanvin femininity
(is there a such thing as the butch effete?),
and layered neutrals:
and because it IS lanvin,
there is that subversive fuschia/violet/hot pink
note all the raw edges?
another lanvin lesson,
another acquired taste.
the layering of neutrals took on new impact:
it is about texture, edges, and a new "softness".
and an obscene glove:
every piece becomes a "go-to" with a label this evolved.
it reminds me of early jil sander,
where the inquisition built to appreciation built to mad desire
in the course of three early seasons.
you call it madness.
i call it love.


BACKSTAGE BOYS : the men of fall 09

no reason,
other than eye-candy.
no no, really, it's my gift to vous.
the men of fall 09:
above : vivienne westwood
below : givenchy
below : mcqueen
from here on : dsquared
almost hurts, don't it?
oh wait,
one parting shot: