a long way to fall

Just feeling rather inspired by all the fall stuff in the magazines right now, even though looking at all the damned coats and sweaters makes me feel pretty warm sitting here and typing. The best collections were the ones that looked like nothing else everyone was showing. The whole point of high fashion is creativity and coming up with new ways to wear clothes, without compromising wearability and I love the following collections for achieving that...

1) Balenciaga

I like the narrow but not crazy skinny pants, I like the colours, I like how the stuff looks like nothing else in the shops.

2) Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

I've never really liked YSL all that much - there were always a couple of cool things in his collections, but there were also a whole lot more that I think made women look silly - all weirdly ruffled skirts and ugly shoes. But this fall, Stefano Pilati did some really cool things. I like how he made the skirt suit look cool again, and he did some of the best grey looks on the runway - and grey is IT for fall.

3) Proenza Schouler

I've always loved the boys of Proenza Schouler because they do stuff doesn't adhere to whatever trend other people are feeling now, and their looks are edgy but elegant. I like their lean, narrow silhouette for fall - it's like the minimalist stuff I liked in the 90s, but with more personal flair.

4) Prada

I like the way the things are put together here - the look is basically made up of things one probably already has in their wardrobe - it is so full of attitude.

5) Neil Barrett

He was a menswear designer before this (apparently a favourite of my dream man, Jake Gyllenhaal), and I like the sharp looks he's showing this season for women. It's kind of collegiate, kind of fierce.

6) Rochas

What's so special about this pantsuit I don't know, except that's it's lean and elegant and somewhat sharp and soft at the same time in a way I can't articulate. Procter and Gamble, the company that owns Rochas, has decided to close down the ready-to-wear division, putting Olivier Theyskens out of a job and the fashion world into a minor depression. This guy does some of the best evening dresses I've ever seen - it's all hard romance.

7) Lanvin

And this guy does the best cocktail dresses, all deceptively simple and yet unlike anything you've seen before. Lanvin was one of the few labels that did the elegant lady-like things without looking like it was pandering to an image, and while this season isn't as good as the spring collections, it's still pretty damn good.

8) Burberry Prorsum

Okay this collection is full of stuff I would buy if i had the money. Christopher Bailey manages to make everything look so classic and eccentric and so very English every time. He gave Burberry an identity and looking at the failure of countless other fashion houses to do the same - Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Celine - he deserves all the kudos he's been getting.

9) Marni

I never liked Marni until recently - it was always a bit too cute for me, but lately I've been eyeing their jackets - they have a very interesting silhouette. The fall collection has a good mix quirkiness and understatement - I particularly like the cape-like jackets and the puff-sleeve dressses.

10) Jenni Kayne

This is a designer from L.A. whose clothes I really liked for spring, it's cool that she's showing in New York and getting more exposure. Her stuff is wearable and chic and just slightly casual, very appealing to someone like me who always prefers to be underdressed rather than over. Also, after seeing all the layered looks the designers are understandably throwing up for fall, it's nice to see something lighter.

On a similar vein, Philip Lim also did a nice collection for his label 3.1 Philip Lim, which is what I would really want to wear if I could afford it. I preferred the stuff he did last fall and earlier for spring, but his skinny pants have a terrific cut (nice mix of fierce and elegant) and the accessories look good.


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