Critics Hail Marchesa and Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Rodarte
From left, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Rodarte. Photo: imaxtree.com

Perhaps giddy from the unseasonable weather, critics were warm to Michael Kors and Rodarte and practically red-hot with lust for Marchesa and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Consider these adjectives (used in reviews) in order of increasing positivity: “almost camp,” “high-polish,” and “exuberant.” Find out which designer drove critics to the thesaurus in our review roundup.

Rodarte
The Rodarte sisters have a knack for making dreamy, light dresses that are beautiful and wearable. And, perhaps, more important, they make dresses the critics love. Cathy Horyn loved their collection of knits and chiffon, saying, “Their clothes got better and lighter. And the shattered lace tights were cool.” Though this season continued spring’s Japanese theme, this collection focused more on Asian horror flicks mixed with ballerinas. “The gothic knitwear had a torn-web quality, and the torturous, sadomachistic shoes (a reworking of last season's) wrung winces from the audience,” Style.com observed. But, British Vogue pointed out, “the clothes we saw today are made for fantasy, not reality. From the aforementioned sweaters to sparkly chiffon frocks to a Woolly Mammoth shredded yarn coat … these are what used to be called ‘special occasion’ clothes.” WWD observed that the girlishness of the ballerinas was mollified by the right combination of dark and light. “It all made for a delightful tale of fashion enchantment,” they said.

Watch a slideshow and video of the Rodarte collection.

Marc by Marc Jacobs
After a season in London, Marc Jacobs brought his diffusion line back to New York. “Gone were the Seventies uniform-inspired looks” of spring, British Vogue said, impressed with Jacobs’s mash-up of eighties new wave and fifties beatniks: “We were struck by how fresh and energetic the collection felt, despite the vintage references.” WWD called the collection “punk with ample parts pretty.” Style.com, while looking for clues for Jacobs’s eponymous collection bowing on Friday, was thrilled with the coats. “Also in the mix was some great outerwear — everything from a belted, boxy man's single-breasted jacket to a black trapeze coat with a checkerboard of patent leather below the waist.” Fashion Week Daily called it “a fun, exuberant extravaganza.” If this collection foreshadows the Friday show, look for nothing but love letters addressed to Marc Jacobs.

Look at a video and slideshow of the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection.

Marchesa
Fresh off the heels of her honeymoon with Harvey Weinstein, designer Georgina Chapman and her partner-in-design Keren Craig showed a collection that won raves from critics and audience alike. It was “filled with lavish dresses that were as breathtaking in their execution as in their embellishment,” WWD gushed. Style.com swooned over the presentation, saying it “had glamour in spades.” Glam.com noted that the duo “opted to tone down several of their Oscar-worthy gowns, replacing last season’s opulent stunners with armor-like bustier dresses studded with rosettes.” Inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, Chapman and Craig showed plenty of red-carpet-worthy dresses, but still had “chic smoking offerings and gorgeous short dresses,” WWD said. Style.com’s favorite was a black gown with plunging neckline, “so sculpturally defiant, it evoked armor. Anybody who wore it would be paparazzi-proof.” That sound you hear is the rush of starlets to Marchesa’s studio.

Browse a slideshow of the Marchesa collection.
Video: Fabiola Beracasa at the Marchesa presentation.

Michael Kors
Can you combine the styles of Kim Novak and Amy Winehouse? Michael Kors seems to think so. His fall collection combined the two icons for a result that was all Hollywood glamour. Kors looked to the late fifties and early sixties for inspiration, but that didn’t make it old-fashioned. “Was it retro?” Style.com asked. “Well, yes. And it looked familiar, too: The era has been plumbed to its depths. But it never felt too costumey.” WWD agreed. “It had nothing to do with the Prada-instigated vintagey, granny’s attic aura of yore thanks to gorgeous pristine fabrics and a distinct, high-polish attitude.” Even Cathy Horyn offered up a compliment: “It was almost camp, on the edge of camp, but not, thankfully, camp.” Well, that was close.

See a slideshow and video of the Michael Kors collection.
Video: Studio Visit With Michael Kors.