Critics Praise Wang’s All-White Looks, Wince at Posen’s Excess

From left: Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, and Altuzarra. Photo: Imaxtree

From Altuzarra's "distracting" bra-tops to Zac Posen's "oddly trashy" Z Spoke show, the critics have weighed in on the latest collections, dishing out more than a few less-than-glowing reviews. Read what they had to say about Prabal Gurung, Cynthia Rowley, and others after the jump.

Alexander Wang
• " … the freshest and nattiest clothes we will probably see this season … a show that summed up the current New York obsession with quirky ladylike elegance." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "The Wang aesthetic is a cultivated insider’s take on fashion, one that just toes the line between anti-fashion and fashion statement … The looks won’t suit everyone, but the non-sexualized sexiness of the Wang mystique will likely seduce more than just the tall and lithe." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• "[All-white looks felt] as fresh as cannonballing into a pool in late August … So the trick here was to turn the fashion page while still letting his dedicated Wang-ettes preserve their street cred … while the finale had a certain beauty, it's not clear whether his proposal of midi hems and dresses that read Belgian instead of Boom Boom will be the right solution." []

• "Alexander knows how to muss everything up the perfect amount, like knits with one sleeve short, the other just past the elbow. Who needs matching sleeve length? His legions of rabid fans certainly don't." [Fashion Week Daily]

• " … A return — make that revolution — of the sporty, edgy, model-off-duty look this designer does so well … [the clothes] managed to feel both familiar and fresh. And despite a few plunging necklines, these were clothes that could easily be worn by women who are not likely to nab a contract with Ford or Elite anytime soon." [British Vogue]

>>> See a slideshow of the full Alexander Wang spring collection.

Cynthia Rowley
• "Hitting all the right notes were the silky shirtdresses and shifts, in tension colors like putty and celadon, poppy and mist … More sweet than sexy, they played to Rowley's strengths." []

• "[Ronson created a] whimsical and witty spring/summer 2011 collection … shiny ceramic Cabochon discs added a graphic one-two punch of texture and color … this was a fairly minimalist (for Rowley) collection. It was also a whole lot of fun." [British Vogue]

• "It was a slightly edgy juxtaposition against the prim, light-colored dresses and proper skirts and blouses on display … The perforations and invisible striping were meant to hint at sex, but not scream it." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• "Cynthia Rowley has always had close ties with the art world, and its influence shined through this intellectual collection … with subtle surprises like peek-a-boo cutouts to reveal a peephole of skin … A master of seeing the big picture, her remarkable eye for detail looks very different up close than from far away." [Fashion Week Daily]

>>>See a slideshow of the full Cynthia Rowley spring collection.

Prabal Gurung
• "There was plenty here to keep the boldfacers coming back for more … A few of the other evening numbers were weighed down by embellishments like black seam tape fringe or rubberized fils coupe, and looked fussy in comparison … If he skips the froufrou next time, he could hit it out of the park." []

• "[T]he streamlined midcalf dresses and the subtle mixes of coral and white became less powerful as they drowned in decoration, especially a fluffy criss-crossing surface that turned a woman into a diva." [NYT]

• "Mr. Gurung may have gone too far with the shag-rug looks that had strings and strips of textile that failed, even, to flatter the gazelle-like models … [H]e fails, in this collection, to consider how real women wear clothes as they climb in and out of a taxi (or limo), sit at a dinner table, or pack for a trip." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

• [O]ften Gurung took the craftiness too far … Also not a complete success was the dominant hemline, which fell well below the knee … it often looked awkward and didn’t pair well with the amply ankle-strapped shoes." [WWD]

>>>See a slideshow of the full Prabal Gurung spring collection.

Z Spoke
• [Z Spoke] seemed too literal in decoration when more subtle effects can be digitally created … It added up to a collection that seemed to be trying too hard to be "original." [NYT]

• "[T]his recalled Carnaby Street and Swinging London, albeit with an oddly trashy element. Quite frankly, it is hard to imagine too many girls actually wearing these clothes with anything like the makeup used in the show — garish turquoise and orange eye liner and rouge lips worthy of a Pigalle Madame. That said … items that will do fine on retail shelves." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "Posen let his inhibitions, if he had any left, go and sent down a procession of the industry's finest 'It' girls bathed in clothing that ranged from outlandish and flirty to downright excessive." [British Vogue]

• "It was Mardi Gras meets Red Light District colliding with 20s and 30s revue showgirls." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

>>>See a slideshow of the full Z Spoke by Zac Posen spring collection.

• "[S]ome collections turn out to be a transition to another concept down the long road of a career … The bra cups were a distraction. Well, we’ve seen them enough times in different designer collections to be bored with the idea. But Mr. Altuzarra evidently felt he had to take that risk, and to experiment with some different cutting, effects that sometimes looked tricky." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "The cone-shaped busts, in particular, will make Altuzarra's dresses difficult for all but the most daring women … This wasn't quite the crowd pleaser that last season was, but there's no denying it was gutsy." []

• "Unfortunately, Mr. Altuzurra hasn’t been afforded time to ripen … [the] clothes were a confusion of fashion references … a quick web search suggests that it’s hard to find a significant store that’s carrying his clothes this fall. There is one fall dress at Barney’s. The designer’s spacey Spring 2011 runway will only look scary to most shoppers." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]

>>>See a slideshow of the full Altuzarra spring collection.