As Fashion Week kicks into high gear, the critics are already doling out gold stars for femininity from Marchesa and Erin Fetherston — and sharpening their knives for Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. line. And what of prom-chic staple BCBG, you ask?
As this line continues its rapid ascent into the pantheon of go-to designers for red-carpet wear, WWD declares that designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig "are for real." The Daily agreed that the latest collection "didn't disappoint," praising the label's floor-length gowns and British Raj inspiration. Style.com found the cocktail options "more intriguing," noting a tiny corset dress, a bateau-neck frock, and a sequined tank as among the non-red-carpet highlights. The Daily also sang the praises of these new casual options, assuring us that even the dressed-down pieces are "luxurious and feminine"; WWD bestows equal praise on the "short evening arena," suggesting that even outside awards season, Marchesa may do no wrong. The lone dissenter is Cathy Horyn at the New York Times, who applauds the "serenely impractical" line's attitude but notes that their "delicate balance" can be thrown awry by overembellishment.
Watch a slideshow of the Marchesa collection.
Can the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist be more loved right now? British Vogue raves over Fetherston's "newfound sense of confidence," hailing the "sublime" and "subdued" collection as a successful foray into a new sophistication. The Daily concurs, hailing "elegant gray dresses" and cotton shirtdresses as a "more polished side" of Fetherston, though they gripe that some of Fetherston's experiments with theme and proportion lacked "cohesiveness and quality of execution." Nevertheless, the kooky aspects of Fetherston's collection — such as line-drawing prints used in sheaths — receive a warm embrace over at Style.com, where these quirks are heralded as "charming" elements to what was, in the end, "an elegant, grown-up parade of plain silks in grays and pales."
Watch a slideshow of the Erin Fetherston collection.
Gwen Stefani's return to the runway was nothing if not divisive. Horyn has absolutely no love for the collection, calling the parade of "too-tight miniskirts" and "bad secretary" looks "astonishingly bad, straight out of a mall in Ditzville." Others are less eager to hate on Gwen's side project. The Daily name-checks the collection's "retro inspiration" and "big, bold accessories," and British Vogue finds no fault in adding "a dash of ska panache" to one's wardrobe, butching up "prim" sheaths in houndstooth. Nevertheless, Vogue suggests that Stefani's early-eighties punk revival is a bit "too literal an homage," and Fashion Wire Daily slams Stefani's evening looks, which embrace "awkward mid-calf hemlines and cheap-looking fabrics that made the dresses look as though they were pulled from a thrift store bargain bin." Ouch. But on a happier note, Style.com calls the collection "altogether more wearable and on trend." Take from that what you will.
Though the latest, luminous collection was filled with enough pretty neutrals to keep fans happy, Style.com noted that the juxtaposition of the spring line's two sides — one flowing, chic, and professional, the other with nonexistent hemlines and high sex appeal — was "a bit jarring." The Daily called the "poetic" line "too romantic for an urban dweller," but the "repetitive" silhouette of knee-length dresses (with belts, of course) was saved by attention to details such as layering and ruffling. Never one to overanalyze anything you can buy on sale at Macy's, WWD found the breezy, organza-laden effort to be simply "calm, collected, and charming."