As I write, Fashion Week is in its first flushes — editors are bristling with excitement over the shows and parties, press phones are ringing off the hook, and it’s suddenly impossible to find a cab... but more on that next week. The opening layers of Fashion Week often reveal more long-term changes than bombastic newcomers: the closing of a line (read: Mayle) or the release of new style collaborations, from mini-collections to full-fledged takeovers... Here are a few that have the moveable feast of shoes and handbags humming.
The hipster megachain has launched a variety of interesting collaborations since last year — most of them surprisingly under-the-radar. For example, Corpus has now designed two seasons’ worth of sharp pieces for the store. This fall, byCORPUS offers the quintessential UO formula: collegiate-meets-dropout chic, i.e. preppy-meets-couldn’t-give-a-crap. Steven Alan has also joined the crew, creating a line called Lark & Wolff that treads similar Manhattan-chic-meets-Portland-hip themes. Highlights on the women’s side include a high-waisted short and a gauze jumper, but the pot of gold lies in the men’s section, where you can pick up one of Alan’s signature slim fitting button-downs for $58.
Patrick Robinson for the Gap
If I hear the phrase “megabrand messiah” one more time, I’m going to flip — which is, I’m sure, the same way Robinson feels. Nothing creates an atmosphere for failure in the style industry like hype. But ever since it was announced he would be spearheading the design team for the affordably priced gargantulabel — and then more recently when Gap fired their European design team to throw their backing behind Robinson — everyone has been exclaiming that this could be the triumphant return of the Gap. Personally, I think the press shots look amazing and the clothes look interesting, but it’s still the Gap. It’s going to take more than new clothes to overhaul the dull aesthetic of each and every good-god-get-me-out-of-here store in its empire. Pouring money into press and design is a start, although, as the Times and New York are already pointing out, the warm bodies have yet to show up in front of the registers.
Thakoon for Hogan
Last fall, some expected the CFDA nominee and editors’ darling Thakoon Panichgul to start designing for Hogan full-time. Instead, this past February in Milan, the designer unveiled what might best be described as a capsule collection for the luxury sportswear label. Certain pieces have Thakoon’s stamp — moody, tailored coats with rounded, feminine edges, and slouchy, zip-up sweater dresses — while others (and here I would be referring to a white fur-and-patent leather vest) seem a little “luxe” for my tastes, or more likely, the tastes of most of Thakoon’s admirers.