Pringle, Alberta Ferretti's Pantyhose and Zaha Hadid
This was one of those busy fashion days during which I am sure I wore my heels down by a millimeter or two. It began with a trot on the treadmill at 8:30 a.m. and ended with a dinner with the Pringle people and this blog item.
In the afternoon, I stopped by the Neil Barrett showroom. His great success has been as a menswear designer, but he produces a terrific womenswear line that is distinctive for its somewhat androgynous sensibility. His spring collection was called "Sartorial Gymnastics" and let's just say that all those Olympic gymnasts would have been a whole lot more chic had Barrett been in charge of their wardrobe.
The most enticing thing about the collection is his use of jersey to create tailored blazers and peacoats. The result, he said, are garments that move with the body but retain their sharp lines and don't wrinkle. I didn't try on any of the samples, since I do like my chocolate and pasta upon occasion, so I'll have to take his word for it.
He also is opening a series of stores (none in the D.C. area, though) designed by architect Zaha Hadid. Even though I know little about architecture, I know Zaha Hadid and I know that having her design your store is pretty impressive. Barrett noted that he lucked out because her partner Patrik Schumacher is a fan of vintage Prada menswear - where Barrett used to work - and of Barrett's own menswear line. And since Hadid likes the way Schumacher looks, well, that helped to grease the wheels a bit.
All this means that Barrett's business is moving along at a nice clip. He does big business in the U.S. at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as in Asia, and, increasingly, in Russia. Contrary to the stereotype of Russian shoppers prefering more ornate garments, Barrett says they are now gravitating to more minimalist designers like Martin Margiela and, of course, him.
The most curious thing I've seen on the runway thus far has been the stockings at Alberta Ferretti. They're like stockings from the pre-Spandex days when they were made solely out of nylon. The sheer stockings in shades of orange and sky blue were droopy and twisted around the models' legs. On purpose. The models looked like they'd been dressed by lady hobos.
Finally, my day ended with my second meal at Da Giacomo in as many days. Oh how I suffer so for my job! This one was with the folks who represent Pringle, a British company known for its knitwear that has been around since the early 1800s. Needless to say, it is being re-energized. Its designer, Clare Waight Keller, was inspired by the swimming pool paintings of David Hockney and so the collection was filled with dresses splashed with lapis blue. The signature knits were as super-fine as ever and some were woven in elegant patterns or had rows of ruffles.
My complaint? Well, other than that the prices are off-the-charts expensive, I wish the designer made a stronger statement with her work. Keller isn't one to shout, I'm told. But in this business I'm not sure those who whisper manage to be heard.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Leg Man | September 23, 2008 8:05 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.