As Fashion Week grinds on, critics are grinding out their critiques. The latest: Zero + Maria Cornejo gets some love, Donna Karan puts out her best collection in years, and subtle girlishness works well at Thakoon.
Zero + Maria Cornejo
Maria Cornejo looked to some unusual sources for inspiration this season — her cat, drives upstate — resulting in a crowd-pleasing collection that WWD called "cool and urban to the core." Cathy Horyn of the Times found "lots of desirable pieces" in the mix, like inventive knitted hoods with a slit in the back for a ponytail. But the clear standouts were the covetable outerwear, like shearling vests that "sent a ripple of approval through the crowd." Some critics were less enthusiastic about the black lacquer bouclé pieces, but Style.com applauded Cornejo's "never basic" take on black, with unusual textures and fabrics that "clicks [it] up several notches." British Vogue called the showing "one of her most accomplished collections to date."
Donna Karan sought to bring back confident uniform dressing for fall, pairing a series of belted jersey tops and jackets with long, lean bottoms. Though no one was totally blown away by the clothes, most praised the easy wearability. Cathy Horyn appreciated a "levelheaded collection" that was thankfully free of the "squared, pinched, and inflated" shoulders seen looming on other runways. Style.com deemed it "one of her strongest collections in seasons," and FWD echoed that it was her "most self-assured and smoldering collections in recent memory." WWD had hoped for a more daring fashion diversion in such gloomy times, begrudgingly calling the show "both pretty and ponderous." And the jewel-tone wrap gowns that Style.com found "confident and come-hither" seemed "laborious" and unnatural to Suzy Menkes of the IHT.
Thakoon presented a pretty, polished collection that earned polite praise, but no raves. Style.com called the showing "surprisingly safe" and "retail-friendly" — though it dubiously noted that "culottes will always be a hard sell." British Vogue dubbed the "decidedly adult" collection among Panichgul's most sophisticated yet, despite a few mirror-trimmed pieces that came "out of left field, sartorially speaking." WWD was most impressed, deeming the show "beautiful from beginning to end," and the looks "clever but never overwrought." Several critics appreciated the "fun, feminine" touches — specifically, an understated bow motif. But Suzy Menkes of the IHT was bored by the "polite formula," declaring that the show "seemed an echo chamber for existing ideas."