Lounge Room Tribalism

A wee break from back to back super 100% fashion posts. I'll never suffer from fashion fatigue but I can't presume that you lovely readers are the same. So some neat paintings instead. These are all from New Zealand painter Graham Fletcher's Lounge Room Tribalism series.

If you're chilling out in Auckland, you can see some of these in person at the Auckland Art Gallery - but be quick! They are leaving on Monday!

all images from Graham Fletcher's website



This post was going to be about Marc Jacobs, how it was one of my favorites of New York, but in the time it's taken me to get around to it I have completely gone off it. Perhaps it's because I saw the Louis Vuitton show, hated it, and then realised how similar it was to MJ. And at first I could look past the whole Edie Sedgwick thing, but OH GOD HOW I HATE HER and I just can't do it anymore.

So instead I'm gonna talk about Joseph Altuzarra! If you consider a collection as a single statement, yet made up of multiple parts - kind of like a music album or an artists' series - then here Altuzarra created a damned near-perfect collection. There was serious growth. There were also variations on a theme. But then if you placed the earlier looks with the later, the connection is not obvious at all. Yet overall, the whole collection fit perfectly together and was cohesive. I've said it before and I'll say it again, cohesion is what makes a good collection - and then cohesion made up of divergent parts is what makes a collection great.

I really dug the Carhartt-esque jackets with little Altuzarra logos, as well as the printed jean(?) skirts and blue shirts. It seems, to borrow a phrase, just so fresh and so clean. Clothes that I want to wear as well as simply admire and write about. Because let's be honest, I go nuts about Alexander McQueen but I will never want to wear it.

And then things get SERIOUS with the draping and the wrapping and the folding and all the beautiful detailing (that little panel on the green dress makes the outfit). One review said it headed into couture territory and I'd agree. And the blue-white combination of the earlier looks are repeated here, but changed to a darker, more intense blue and cream instead of white. Ugh I just LOVE subtle themes that run through collections.

The last looks tossed out practicality altogether, but I really hope that we see at least some rich socialites wearing these in the social pages and in the Sartorialist or whatever. They are too beautiful not to be worn, especially in moody, evening lighting where the gold tassles get highlighted and sparkle. I'd also like to say that the generally "ethnic" vibes are ok because Altuzarra is not directly referencing or copying any particular traditional dress. But there are always some who'd disagree on that.

That "ethnic" wrapping and draping had parallels with an unusually good Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. It doesn't make up for other disappointments, but it was a nice surprise.

all images from vogue.com


Krakoff Re-Inspection

The next coupla posts are my favourite New York shows this season. I'd like to think that a few weeks is enough time for me to have some kind of perspective on the whole thing - for instance, I was really underwhelmed with Prada initially, but BOOM a week later I decided it's great. Similarly, with Reek Krakoff I looked over it pretty quickly and wondered why you'd base you're entire palette on beige, and then dismissed it. But then yesterday I was trying to find this model that looks like someone I know, and I came across this photo. And then it clicked! I got it! This wasn't just beige. Krakoff was using colour and texture subtly, employing them to create these complex architectural shapes, which is usually reserved to cut.

Once I'd decided that the collection was really quite smart and nuanced after all, I checked out the Vogue.com review because those guys can be pretty insightful. But ugh it was the worst thing ever, Emily Holt just went on about how the bags were convenient because you don't have to waste time folding them over or something. Wut? I don't care about bags lady!

Some of the pieces look like they've been put together really complicatedly, and that there's lots of layering going on, like in the middle piece below. But I think they're just single items that you throw on. Insta-depth.

Man these mixes of colour - beige, cream, brown, black - and textures - chiffon, cotton, leather, satin - make for some seriously compelling looks. This collection is really worth second or third viewing. The more I look at these clothes the more I see. You know I don't think, deep down, that many people pay that much attention to ol' Reed. His reviewers tend to focus on his collections commercially, the clothes evaluated on their potential to be worn. Case in point: Nicole Phelps who said that for the dresses "the sheer overlays proved more distracting than they were flattering" - it's not always about being flattering! Critics think he's just another guy dabbling in minimalist luxury, and how much can you really expect from a guy whose background is bags right? Wrong! Krakoff's more than he seems guys! He's clever and subtle! Why can't you see?

all images vogue.com