Critics Laud Wang’s ‘Raw and Wild’ Sportswear; Fall for Chai Love

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From left: Alexander Wang, Chado Ralph Rucci, and Richard Chai. Photo: Imaxtree

The critics heap praise on the latest spring collections, from football-inspired sportswear to intricate evening gowns.

Alexander Wang
The critics swooned over Alexander Wang's sporty, original fall collection. Fashion Wire Daily called it "very much a mega triumph," and "[t]he best show we've seen in quite some time." Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune agreed, contrasting this "raw and wild" collection with the "polite, womanly" designs of other Asian-American designers. "Busy, busy, busy," declared the Wall Street Journal, noting the flurry of epaulets, belts, pockets, pleats, cutouts, and zippers. But they deemed the show "full of youth," adding, "You know a look is hot if those reedy young things [the models, that is] are wearing it." "[B]oy, did he deliver," asserted British Vogue, who — along with several other critics — particularly admired the offbeat accessories: exposed cotton underwear, backless knee socks with garters, and jogging bras. Although Style.com admitted that "Wang's cheering section will be plenty pleased," the show left them "expecting something more." But overall, the critics praised the inventive new take on sportswear. "All told, another winner for Team Wang," concluded British Vogue.

Watch a slideshow of the Alexander Wang collection.

Chado Ralph Rucci
Ralph Rucci's refined, intricate spring collection uniformly impressed the critics. Most all of them noted the apparent painstaking attention to detail: "[T]he designer radiates ... the kind of inspired delicacy that turns fashion or dance into art," asserted Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune; "[i]n gown after gown, the details continued to wow," agreed British Vogue. "Mr. Rucci is a master of weight and volume," declared the Wall Street Journal, admiring suits and dresses that stood out from the body just-so to create a flattering silhouette. Standouts included a red gown with a subtle see-through side-slit and light, transparent skirts. British Vogue summed up the collective reaction best: "What came down the runway ... was nothing short of a master unveiling his masterpiece."

Watch a slideshow of the Chado Ralph Rucci collection.

Ohne Titel
Design duo Alexa Adams and Flora Gill "proved their technical chops" and solidified their membership in the "unofficial cool-kids club" with this striking, assured collection, Fashion Week Daily asserted. British Vogue agreed, claiming that the "highly sophisticated," "expertly executed" collection put the designers on the "ones to watch list." "It could have gotten tricky, but Adams and Gill pulled it off," WWD assessed, noting that the pair "showed some serious savvy" with their creative knits. "It was original from the draped bodices to the leather lacing," declared Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, and Style.com lusted after the final look — a silk blazer worn over a draped, embroidered, and feather-festooned dress. "[W]ith a confident and accomplished collection, they proved they can stand the heat, thank you very much," they concluded.

Watch a slideshow of the Ohne Titel collection.

Richard Chai
Richard Chai's menswear-inspired new womenswear line, Love, won many fans with its debut collection. Even though the boyfriend blazers, vests, and bucket shorts borrowed heavily from the boys, British Vogue admired subtle feminine details — a ruffle here, a satin panel there — that "[kept] things pretty without ever being precious." Several critics described the collection as "breezy," owing to the lineup of slightly rumpled downtown looks. "It's a look that's uniquely Chai's, with a point of view that's not well represented in [the basics] market," assessed Style.com. WWD, too, appreciated the "laid-back" tone, particularly a "lovely" handkerchief skirt cut from men's shirting. Despite the casual effect of the clothes, the Wall Street Journal noted that the collection was "finely finished," admiring the jackets and printed silk dresses. "What can we say? Love!" cheered British Vogue.

Watch a slideshow of the Richard Chai Love collection