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Freed From the Constraints of Plaids and Stripes

Far from the madding crowd, far from even Kanye and Kim — now the organically blended Kimye — a small band of design explorers is getting closer to entering a new dimension.


It’s an exciting time in fashion, with an ambitious group in Paris, led by Phoebe Philo at Céline, Raf Simons at Dior, Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent and Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. Here in New York, focused in similar ways, are Marc Jacobs and the Proenza Schouler designers, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, who had a stellar show on Wednesday night.

巴黎那一群野心勃勃的人为时装界带来激动人心的时刻;他们的领头人是Céline的菲比·费罗(Phoebe Philo),Dior的拉夫·西蒙斯(Raf Simons),Saint Laurent的海蒂·斯利马尼(Hedi Slimane),以及Balenciaga的尼古拉斯·盖斯奇埃尔(Nicolas Ghesquière)。在纽约,也有些设计师把注意力放在类似的方向上,他们就是马克·雅各布斯(Marc Jacobs),以及Proenza Schouler的设计师杰克·麦克劳夫(Jack McCollough)和拉萨罗·赫南德斯(Lazaro Hernandez),后两位周三晚上上演了一场精彩的时装秀。


Let’s get the mundane business out of the way: the Proenza designers stepped things up. They set off some new technical fireworks with woven leather (in a wonky geometric pattern) and silk-jacquard tweeds based on Gerhard Richter’s abstract paintings. They sharpened their low-riding silhouette. A sleek top in jet-black crochet with a slightly flared, above-the-knee leather patchwork skirt was an unbeatable look.

让那些平淡无奇的设计见鬼去吧:Proenza的设计师们拔高了层次。他们依据格哈德·里克特(Gerhard Richter)的抽象画,设计出拼接皮料(稀奇古怪的几何图案)和丝质提花面料,引发了一场新的技术革命。他们改进了低腰裙和低腰裤。还设计出线条明快的深黑色钩针上衣,搭配裙摆微微张开的及膝皮质拼接裙,精彩绝伦。

Now for the fun stuff. Following contemporary artists who use the process of picture language, a few designers have embedded found images into clothing. But none have done it as effectively as Mr. Hernandez and Mr. McCollough, or with the understanding of what these blocks of image and color should ultimately represent. One obstacle has been the technical constraints of apparel. What materials will yield the most arresting results? Presumably, the garment should also be wearable.


The Proenza designers found images of a crowded swimming pool, a beach and protesters. These images were then reproduced on both double satin and leather. In their research, the designers looked at a lot of vernacular fashion: biker denim, hippie crochet and patchwork. These textures figured into their other designs, like vivid leather jackets and skirts with crochet, but they also had an indirect influence on the photo-print dresses.


Obviously these dresses evoke Tumblr, but they do more than that. The pixelated scattering of pink nailheads on the top of the protesters’ dress creates a three-dimensional effect, one that works because it is quite modest. At the same time, the nailheads suggest a perennial fashion favorite, the polka dot. The Proenza designers take the archival process, at least in fashion, to a whole new level.


Francisco Costa was on a similar bend at Calvin Klein. His 3-D effects were kept under a tighter, elegant rein, but it was a delight to see how he applied the idea to tailoring, by subtly pinching a jacket’s shape or using the seams or a chalk-etched black lapel to suggest extra dimension. Most of the collection came in variations of black and white. Even a silvery-white evening satin had an unusual depth.

Calvin Klein的设计师弗朗西斯科·科斯塔(Francisco Costa)也有类似的偏好。他的立体效果显得更紧凑、更优雅,来看看他是如何把这个想法应用到裁剪上的吧,这很有趣:通过巧妙地给上衣捏出起伏的褶皱,或者使用缝合线,或者镶了白色滚边的黑色翻领来做出立体的效果。这一系列大多是各种黑白搭配。甚至一件银白色的绸缎晚装也有好几个层次。

But the clinchers in Mr. Costa’s fine show were white dresses with a sheer top layer embroidered with wavy lines, like moiré silk.


Was Ralph Lauren off to tango in Argentina? Run with the bulls in Spain? A Spanish theme arrived in Lauren country on Thursday, complete with serapes and matador jackets. Plainly the King of Seventh Avenue chose to overlook Spain’s economic troubles. All in all, it was a heady, smile-inducing romance, with smart-looking trousers (some of the best this season), a fringed black silk jersey cocktail dress, shirts and pants in faded teal or tomato-red suede, and plenty of kick in black embroidered evening looks.


Reed Krakoff said he wanted to inject subtle curves and roundness into his spring collection, in makeup shades, and he described the desired effect as clean and architectural. All that came across, sort of, in a show that consisted of sports-striped trousers, stocking jersey dresses, and zippered track coats in that same filmy jersey.

瑞德·克拉考夫(Reed Krakoff)说他想把不同粉底色彩的微妙曲线和圆形加入自己的春装系列里。他把他期待的效果描述为干净、符合建筑学原理。他的时装秀里充分体现了这个效果,内容包括带条纹的运动裤、针织齐膝短裙、用同样的透明针织材质做的拉链式田径外套。

But with the makeup beige and the runny-looking fabrics, the collection seemed less architectural than in need of a transfusion. Some of the shapes were just plain unflattering. Remember Mr. Krakoff’s first collection, with all its handsome coats, cool pants and quirky pieces? The main — really, only — complaint was the heaviness of some woolens. While there are some things in the new line that someone might love, like the leather, if Mr. Krakoff keeps dissecting his vision with nuanced seams, he could be left fingering a swatch.


On the subject of modern India, filmmakers like Wes Anderson and writers like Katherine Boo have been tour guides, taking us well beyond raj dreams and sari nightmares. Provided a designer uses a strong contemporary filter, the contrasts could produce interesting fashion. Unfortunately, Georgina Chapman just popped on rose-colored glasses for a Marchesa collection slanted weakly toward the Beatles’ trip to India.

韦斯·安德森(Wes Anderson)这样的电影人和凯瑟琳·布(Katherine Boo)这样的作家以现代印度为主题,把我们带进一个更加丰富的印度世界,而不只是印度国王的美梦和莎丽的噩梦。如果一个设计者也使用强烈的当代视角去看待印度,这种对比应该能产生有趣的服装。遗憾的是,乔治娜·查普曼(Georgina Chapman)只为玛切萨(Marchesa)的印度风格系列带来了一点浪漫色彩,让这个系列有点像是“披头士”的印度之旅。

In a well-traveled commuter hall at Grand Central, Ms. Chapman presented many jeweled necklines, Capri pants and cascading hemlines, some in tones of coral and peacock blue that approached in gaudiness a 37th Street wholesaler. When the clothes were simplified, Ms. Chapman did fine, but many had a costume flavor.

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