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Critics Laud Rodarte’s Departure, Grapple With Vera Wang’s Obi Belts

From left: Rodarte, Badgley Mischka, and Vera Wang.

We're in the homestretch of Fashion Week, and the long days seem to have dulled the critics' collective edge: The latest reviews are largely positive, with remarkably few barbs interspersed. Rodarte was the clear standout, taking their label in a lovely, wearable new direction, and Badgley Mischka succeeded in blending couture gowns and casual sportswear into one show. The main critique of the day surrounded Vera Wang's "wacky" take on the obi belt. Read what the critics had to say.

THE HITS:
Rodarte
• This collection felt like the California experience that I’ve wanted the sisters to tell me... The collection also worked on a commercial level...I suspect that people will look at it again and again in a kind of amazement at so much transmitted feeling through honest things." [NYT]

• "The Rodarte spring collection was undoubtedly a hit of New York Fashion Week." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "[F]ascinating show... Rodarte has always been drawn to the handmade and artisanal, but this show was a fine example of designers moving their own ideas forward to become both more accessible and more desirable." [IHT]

• "'Lovely' is not usually how I would describe Rodarte, but that’s what much of it was... [these] minimal looks were splendid on their own...The prints of wood paneling and wood parquet were as memorable as the color-morphing clothes that Prada did four years ago." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• "The Mulleavys have moved on from the artful dishevelment and studied quirkiness of their last few seasons to embrace a seductive new precision...This beautiful and provocative collection will do nothing to quell rumors of LVMH's courtship." [Style]

• "[I]t was a slam-dunk...whatever the inspiration, the Mulleavys struck commercial gold." [WWD]

• "...drop dead gorgeous...we were treated to beautifully textured, beautifully cut clothing that could actually be worn by modern-day, living and breathing women." [Vogue UK]

See a slideshow of the full Rodarte spring collection.

Badgley Mischka
• "Badgley Mischka hit a homerun...as the lights lifted the buzz of enthusiasm began and it seemed this collection was what many were waiting for." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "The design duo cast the collection in fresh powdery pinks and icy blues that were nothing short of angelic...Badgley and Mischka maintained an admirably stylish coherence." [Style]

• "[T]hough mixing everything together on the runway made it nearly impossible to discern a singular focus for each collection, it did help drive home the designers’ playfully seductive take on the season...Badgley and Mischka tempered the dazzle with natural touches." [WWD]

• "...both collections captured the glamour and fragility...A seamless show of 43 looks that can be worn from the red carpet to the streets." [Fashion Week Daily]

See a slideshow of the full Badgley Mischka spring collection.

Narciso Rodriguez
• "The transparent looks this season set a new tone for minimal with just a touch of jazz...It was a memorable and graceful showing." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• "[A] quietly beautiful collection... Rodriguez reminded us that minimalism doesn't need to battle the feminine form or preclude a sense of romance. This was a quiet triumph for Rodriguez." [Style]

• "[I]t takes a close look to appreciate the designer’s ways with innovative construction: architectural seaming, curved hems and contours, which made for an intimate yet studied allure." [WWD]

• "Narciso Rodriguez showed that there is quiet resolve to simplicity... a collection that was so calm and meditative that it evoked a resounding confidence.. luxury need not be flashy." [Vogue UK]

See a slideshow of the full Narciso Rodriguez spring collection.

THE MISSES:
Vera Wang
• "[T]his collection was starkly dry of imagination as Ms. Wang repeated what seemed to be the same Japanese floral print and a ruched tulle dress with a long streamer. There was much tweaking of silk and jersey to very little purpose. The fabric went this way and that way, then the fabric changed and — It went another way." [NYT]

• "Vera Wang cited an unusual inspiration for her spring collection this morning: Quentin Tarantino’s "Kill Bill." There was a sort of Eastern vibe in a few details like obi belts, and maybe something armorlike in the quilted mini-vests, but beyond that it felt like Ms. Wang was pulling our legs... Otherwise, she was working a nice sportswear vibe." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "Not all her ideas worked — finishing several dresses with mini chiffon trains looked pretentious. But overall this was a fine statement of audacious modernism, and a timely reminder of how Wang can keep cleverly revamping her signature DNA with a certain classy aplomb." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "It’s kind of dark in there, fearless about fashion, and deeply artistic...[The clothes will] cost an absolute fortune — someone has to be compensated for the fabric and labor — but for the right wearer, the clothes will be conversation pieces." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• "Nothing was too literal, though that didn’t make the outsize curves that jutted from the hips of dresses and skirts in Wang’s wacky version of an obi any more manageable... this collection was a daring departure that bore ample rewards." [WWD]

See a slideshow of the full Vera Wang spring collection.

Photo: Imaxtree

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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