Though it didn't quite top last year's eighties-inspired collection, the critics gushed over Marc Jacobs's frilly, frothy spring show. Cathy Horyn of the Times admiringly called it a "free-spirited attack of fashion," declaring, "The show had that D.I.Y., homegrown quality that looks right." After watching a week-long parade of "more party dresses than seems reasonable," Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune appreciated Jacobs's creative streak, asserting that the show was "exceptional for its imagination, its attention to detail, and its lyrical vision." WWD deemed it a "masterfully audacious collection," and The Wall Street Journal called it "juicy and surreal." Despite unanimous praise, a few critics grappled with the collection's wearability. It was "not easy streetwear," noted Fashion Wire Daily (albeit "very beautiful"), and British Vogue agreed that "there wasn’t much here that wouldn’t look out of place anywhere other than a runway." Still, for his smart tailoring, unlikely accessories (fanny packs, anyone?), and theatrical flair, "Marc Jacobs is the kind of designer whose talent gives you chills," British Vogue sighed.
Watch a slideshow of the Marc Jacobs collection.
Carolina Herrera's basket-inspired collection befuddled most critics, who found it variously "overwrought," "hackneyed," and "heavy-handed." Many contrasted the collection with Herrera's trademark elegance; the discrepancy "confound[ed]" WWD. "A heaviness pervaded the collection," assessed Cathy Horyn of the Times, who — along with Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune — was particularly troubled by a pair of beaded shorts. Most agreed that the evening gowns were the low point. "There was a clunkiness" to some of the familiar evening looks, noted Style.com, while Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily sniped that they were "half baked and yawningly executed." After all, "what woman wants to spend thousands on a big-event gown to look like a basket case?" pondered WWD.
Watch a slideshow of the Carolina Herrera collection.
Zac Posen's neon, party-ready collection was a little too flashy and fantastical for most critics' tastes, though some appreciated its youthfulness. Cathy Horyn spotted some "sweet and wearable" dresses in the mix, but "Mr. Posen just makes everything too complicated," she complained. (She felt the clothes looked as though they had been doused "with a wand of lip gloss.") "[It] is difficult not to see Zac Posen the brand as needing a reality check," asserted Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, and British Vogue agreed that Posen "took things a bit too far" with a series of "garish" dresses trimmed in rainbow fringe. Some of those zany combinations "may not be the easiest sell," allowed WWD, but it still found the kitschy show "quite charming." Style.com liked it best, declaring that Posen's clothes "felt more youthful and looked like a lot more fun" than past collections. But while the party-ready embellishments may mesmerize on the runway, "it's hard to see what these showy effects really add to the clothes," Horyn concluded.
Watch a slideshow of the Zac Posen collection.