From bold exaggerations to the minimal, designers presented verbose vocabularies of fall’s voluminous spirit. Taking us from Santa Fe to the modern glam Los Angeles, Derek Lam synthesized the idea of time travel on the western roads of Route 66, presenting easy pieces of slouchy, neutral-hued silk shirtdresses, Lanvinesque gypsy skirts, tailored coats, and even a cape with a Schiaparellian embellishment. Oscar de la Renta also traveled, but his designs took on a worldview. He defined his genteel clientele’s sensibility with ethnic metallic adornments on fitted cashmere sweaters paired with strong interpretations of full, knee-length coats and velvet skirts (a big trend that took shape in Europe). Marc Jacobs took a hipper approach and managed to spark a bit of controversy reminiscent of his grunge collection. He presented an ominous mood of challenging silhouettes that was well captured by the last look of the disheveled model/muse Querelle, who channelled an Olsen twin on a Starbucks coffee run. The verdict is still out on its success.
Jennifer Lopez‘s first entry to the New York catwalk was deemed a hit. Her Sweetface collection showed models in her rich-chick-from-the-block likeness adorned in all kinds of sexy bling accoutrements. While the most ostentatious items were those oh-so-luxurious minks and sables in oversized coats, boleros, and even ginormous cream-colored hats, it was the $2 million diamond-encrusted jeans that were the most memorable piece of her show.
Several designers presented a less-obvious, pared-down sense of volume. Narciso Rodriguez relied on his signature attention to tailoring. Scuba-tight bodice construction juxtaposed with slightly exaggerated skirts for a subtle tweaking of his usually form-fitting silhouettes. At Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa stuck to pure Calvinist minimalism, mainly using a limited color palette with simple empire short dresses and slightly emphasized skirts. The boys at Proenza Schouler upped the ante with a pretty ’60s-referenced collection. It began with carefully volumized and modernized Twiggy minidresses and culminated with ethereal red-carpet knockouts appearing like Mark Rothko paintings gliding through the air. Behnaz Sarafpour‘s models paraded nonchalantly as refined urban Scheherezades, replete with jodhpurs and caftanesque metallic gowns. Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Doo Ri Chung abandoned her usual colorful palette and focused on more sophisticated tailored pieces and a less drapey volume. Newbie sensation Jasmin Shokrian‘s silhouettes were reminiscent of the Japanese avant-gardists, with cerebral yet delicately deconstructed pieces of asymmetrical exaggeration. Keep an eye on Costello Tagliapetra. Their polished collection worked subtly with volume that appeared as a consequence rather than an intention. Richard Chai‘s beautifully tailored collection utilized the full-shaped spirit of the season, not so much in pieces but rather as accents, such as the oversized origami belts.
With so many overwhelming propositions of this new silhouette, fashion has moved away from skimpy proportions and towards a more expressive and imprecise volume. Style carefully; missing the mark means a quick trip to the land of Dowdy.
Photos: Derek Lam a/w ’05-’06
Jennifer Lopez a/w ’05-’06
Narciso Rodriguez a/w ’05-’06
Costello Tagliapetra a/w ’05-’06