Tuesday, November 20, 2007

LA Confidential & Alexander McQueen SS08 Trunk Show

The documentary Lagerfeld Confidential is extremely entertaining even if you know little about the designer. Karl’s brutal honesty is one of a kind and many words of his deserve to be written down and thought over. Without telling you too much about the documentary, let me just give you an extremely strong “must see” recommendation.

Film Forum was temporarily transformed to a fashion club because of the movie. My friend and I saw Lynn Jaeger, one of the very influential fashion journalists in this country. I actually saw Lynn a few times at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue, and I have been impressed by her personal style every time when I saw her.

An even more interesting fashion moment was the Alexander McQueen trunk show held in the meat packing district on the following Sunday.

Alexander McQueen is no doubt one of the best show masters among all designers. His design quality, to be totally honest, is not consistent, yet he never fails to deliver a grand show. When the design and the show are both strong, it will be an extremely gorgeous and touching collection. This SS08 collection is one of them.

The collection was to memorize the late Isabel Blow who discovered both Alexander McQueen (Lee, as a matter of fact) and Philip Treacy, and the clothes didn’t fail to show Isabel’s spirit and lots of Lee’s emotion.

The trunk show invitation is made of a piece of thick cardboard covered with feather prints, one of the motifs used in the collection. When I entered the showroom located in the meatpacking district overlooking the Hudson River, I was immediately energized by the crowd, the sunlight and the mini runway show setting. Aside from bumping into my old friends Alyssa (who used to work at the McQueen boutique) and Sara (who worked at the Balenciaga boutique and now Dior Homme), I noticed designer Philip Lim in his signature camel color wool coat and a navy color scarf, and the crowd was cool enough to leave him alone.

The show started with the original runway soundtrack. I remembered every single outfit from pictures online, yet looking at the clothes in real life was mind blowing. With the return of the shoulders, Lee was able to accentuate his sharp tailoring even further. The contrast between the sculptural shoulders and the tiny waist is fierce. If you remember Martin Margiela’s FW07 collection, you would be amazed by MMM’s vision. MMM is always a few seasons ahead of others, yet Lee is definitely not late in the game.

Based on my limited knowledge about McQueen’s recent collections, Lee doesn’t mess with his fabric like Miucia Prada does. (Thank God! We don’t need more toilet seats!) Lee knows his basic fabrics and he always develop his ideas around the fabric and utilize them well. Each season you would see the same silken light weight wool, wool crepe, Prince of Wales check fabric and tartan prints, although they came in different shapes and mood each season. They offer both a runway line and a commercial line each season which makes great sense. This time around, for instance, I fell in love with the short dress from the runway look, but I opted for the same style with a less dressy grey wool fabric. It’s a short dress, and I want the flexibility to wear it day and night.

The buying office at the McQueen store is very knowledgeable. Max, the business development manager at McQueen commented that they didn’t order dresses in a cotton fabric that were normally offered in spring seasons because they wrinkle. I am sure customers complained, and the team listened.

The colors are rich, the silhouettes are sharp yet the fabrics are soft. Lee depicted the perfect image of a strong yet fragile woman who probably lives in his fantasies secretly. Is it Isabel Blow?


This is the dress I pre-ordered. I love a piece of garment with an interesting idea. This dress is a backward man’s blazer. The shoulders are padded and the waist is clinched.

The dress coat looks good. Why? Because it is heavily constructed with boning! The entire bodice embraces the body like a corset. It’s too beautiful.

It reminds me one of Isabel Blow’s outfits.

The jacket is SEXY. I see Cate Blanchett in it. It’s an unusual jacket due to the boning on waist and hips. It gives you curves.

The jacket is exquisite. I love the trims in patterned leather. The surprise is the feathers peaking out under the lapel.

One of the feather dresses with a leather cut bodice.

Can you tell that the skirt is made of laser cut leather?

Friday, November 02, 2007

How much clothes does one need?

Okay. I know that I owe a new post about the Alexander McQueen trunk show, but life is really busy this week and I promise to do so this weekend.

I managed to organize my closet this week. I do that twice a year when season changes. To be honest with you, I was a litte surprised by how much clothes I had. I don't buy a lot (3-4 items per months, including socks) and I try to buy quality goods when I can but things add up. I never knew that I had about ten pairs of dress pants which would be in great use for this winter due to our dress code. I thought that I would have a crisis to get an army of suits for work...but apparently it didn't happen. Good news.
So how much does one need? Why do we keep buying? I've had a lot, and I am glad that I took the chance to figure out what I need and what are excessive. Saks just started their pre-sale (God they are bearish...they really expect a recession!?) but my goal is to stick with the basics including sweaters and some Ralph Lauren jackets. Let's see if I stick to my plan.