Critics Adore Marc Jacobs, Grapple With Rodarte’s Boho Layers

By
From left: Rodarte, Halston, Marc Jacobs

The latest reviews are in, and reactions are mixed. The critics grappled with Rodarte's layered, romantic collection, which left some wishing for more wearable off-the-runway looks. They welcomed Marios Schwab to Halston, but differed on the success of his debut. But all gave rave reviews to Marc Jacobs's nostalgic and classically beautiful fall show. Read the rest of what they had to say.

Rodarte
Though the critics admired the artistic, romantic nature of the Mulleavys' fall show (especially compared to the dark and foreboding spring collection), most wished for more wearable off-the-runway looks. Through she admitted that some of the constructions were beautiful, Cathy Horyn of the Times found that the concept — that of a young woman dressing in haphazard layers in the dark before work — "rapidly wore thin, and perhaps it was not developed enough." British Vogue agreed, sighing, "As always, the theme was played out to the nth degree with the sisters employing their usual wrapping/draping/deconstructing." Many lauded their originality: Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune found the collection "intriguing," and Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily felt the pair's "imaginations impressed with every look." But for many, it didn't deliver enough real-world clothes. Style.com called the Rodarte vision "a rarefied one, remote for the most part from the real day-to-day question of what to wear now."The Wall Street Journal thought the clothes evoked the Mad Hatter, adding, "[t]hey'd require a certain Bohemian personality to wear them." In the end, Deeny thought the silhouette "recalled their previous shows, which was a pity," and British Vogue agreed, encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone to avoid "becoming one-trick ponies."

Watch a slideshow of the Rodarte collection.

Marc Jacobs
The critics swooned over the lovely, subtly styled Marc Jacobs collection. "[T]his show was the antithesis of the Marc Jacobs fashion madness of just a few seasons ago," asserted Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, calling the show "womanly and perfectly judged." With "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" playing in the background, British Vogue felt the collection was "simultaneously sweet and soignée." Many others were touched by the sentimental feel: "[T]he show played like a nostalgia trip, one so lovely it was quite easy to be seduced," Style.com sighed, and WWD agreed, adding, "If a fashion show ... can be moving, this was it." With fur-trimmed coats and iridescent velvet dresses, "the Jacobs catwalk was crowded with poetic touches," noted Fashion Wire Daily. ("There were so many pretty winter dresses that I almost lost count," concurred The Wall Street Journal.) Ultimately, the clothes "were exquisite without being complicated ... were familiar without being merely tweaked ... [and] made you feel good," concluded Cathy Horyn of the Times.

Halston
The critics welcomed the debut of Marios Schwab for Halston with high hopes, though they disagreed on the success of the fall presentation. "What a difference a creative director makes," gushed The Wall Street Journal, noting that the liquidlike studded gowns would shine on the red carpet. British Vogue called it a "beautiful collection, which keeps one eye on the past while moving assuredly into the future." Fashion Wire Daily admired Schwab's restraint, writing that "[r]efreshingly, each piece was left to speak for itself ... This was all the better to show off Schwab’s impressive sculptural feats." But a handful of reviewers disagreed, and some worried that the collection was too similar to Schwab's own eponymous label. Though Style.com deemed it "a notably confident extension of his own aesthetic," it panned "tricksy" dresses with epaulets: "They trapped, rather than wrapped." Eric Wilson of the New York Times called the silk jersey dresses "Halston-ish," concluding that Schwab "appeared to struggle in his first effort." Though it wasn’t a strict interpretation of the Halston aesthetic, WWD praised the collection as "appealingly modern." "Halston's girl may still hit the town, but she has a bit more discretion," it concluded.

Watch a slideshow of the Halston collection.