Saunders Confounds, Marc Gets Nostalgic, and Carolina Creates a Divide

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From left: Saunders, Jacobs, and Herrera. Photo: Imaxtree

Interesting collections naturally make for interesting critical response, and that's what we've got this time around. Jonathan Saunders's futuristic looks often flopped, Carolina Herrera's collection garnered mixed reviews, and Marc Jacobs's eighties lovefest pleasantly raised some eyebrows.

Jonathan Saunders
The critics disagreed on whether Saunders's fall collection was a confidently styled success or a futuristic flop. British Vogue championed the former, declaring it "the coolest collection of the week thus far." Though FWD saw elements of "both Kazaks and Martians" in the designs, it called the display "truly unique, challenging, and gutsy." A pair of red floor-length column dresses were standouts, not to mention a pair of Louboutin heels resembling "Dorothy's ruby slippers on architectural acid." Others felt the collection was overwrought. Style.com claimed the "rigorous color palette" managed to unify the show, while the Times found the shades "disconnected." "The uberdramatic shapes, the metallic fabrics, the six-inch, crystal-covered booties — it was all just too much," complained WWD. Cathy Horyn of the Times agreed, insisting that the caped shoulders, boleros, and stiff silks "don't travel well into the real world."

Watch a slideshow of the Jonathan Saunders collection.
Watch a video of the Jonathan Saunders collection.


Marc Jacobs
Critics called Marc Jacobs's show a "big, juicy nostalgic kiss," an "over-the-top ode," and a "sartorial valentine" to the New York of the eighties. One editor labeled the look "A Flock of Seagulls meets Alexis Carrington" (noting the swooping "spun-sugar, cotton-candy hair" styled by Guido Palau), while WWD deemed it "consummately American." The "bad girl, wet-dream vividness" of the collection reminded Cathy Horyn of Jacobs's early career, and Suzy Menkes of the IHT agreed that Jacobs "tapped into the exuberance of youth." The neon, individualized styles "seem to be fit in Jacobs' court," FWD commended, and Menkes regarded the show as a "beacon" among other — duller — collections. Style.com wondered if such "outrageously ebullient" clothes would sell, but WWD insisted that the collection "did what fashion is supposed to do: put people in a good mood."

Watch a slideshow of the Marc Jacobs collection.


Carolina Herrera
Many critics felt Herrera missed the mark with her ornate, floral-patterned eveningwear. Cathy Horyn of the Times found the show "sad and depressing," deeming the collection a "stale romance." WWD admired the few day looks, but said the evening gowns "overwhelmed with their opulence." And British Vogue considered the fabrics "too weighty and overwrought" and the silhouettes "more dowdy than desirable." Despite negative reviews, there were a few fans in the mix: Style.com thought the "lovely" collection showed "poise under pressure," and Suzy Menkes of the IHT called it "a proud flourish of what Herrera believes in."

Watch a slideshow of the Carolina Herrera collection.