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Critics Laud Hilfiger’s Fresh Take on Prep, Grapple With DVF’s ‘Gaucho Glamour’

From left: Theory, Tommy Hilfiger, Thakoon.

Midway through Fashion Week, the critics have been pleasantly surprised. Theyskens' pants-heavy collection for Theory drew raves, as did Tommy Hilfiger's refreshingly forward-thinking show. Most praised Thakoon's risky collection, but Suzy Menkes ventured that it "suffered from an overdose of inspiration." And while DVF's gaucho-glam collection was mildly criticized for erring on the side of excess, it was generally well-received. ("Hey, she's a legend in her own right. It's her prerogative," shrugged Style.com.) Read the rest of the reviews below.

THE HITS:
Tommy Hilfiger
• "By steering away from the cliché of preppy, showing instead a herringbone-patterned shirtdress or turtlenecked sweaters with suede or pony skin skirts, Mr. Hilfiger gave a clarity to his women’s line. And it had a new feeling of casual luxury." [IHT]

• "[A] smart balancing act between the demi-monde and polished preppy chic… even if the individual parts look familiar - in a chic a reassuring way - the combinations all looked snappily fresh. The whole collection managed to be classy yet cool, easy to wear yet all very accomplished." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "[T]onight's show felt luxurious and sophisticated in a new way… there was real depth of design and detail… Whereas once Hilfiger defined sophistication as excising everything until clothes became, well, boring, this had real meat." [Style.com]

• "[What stood out] was how remarkably controlled and expensive everything looked… Hilfiger got creative with fabrications, showing coated trenches and plaid printed shearlings — a neat trick — but stopped short of overdoing the kitschy accessories." [WWD]

• "Hilfiger presented a radically different, and unexpectedly exciting, vision…[he added] a sexy menswear element we've not seen from the label in recent seasons… It was a much needed reminder that fashion is not static, but instead ever evolving." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Fall 2011 Tommy Hilfiger Collection

Theyskens' Theory
• "His extensive fall collection for Theyskens’ Theory had a breathtaking amount of good-looking product… It was what you would call a “want it, need it, bought it” collection, and there’s nothing wrong with that." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "[A jacquard dress and fur capelet] made a certain kind of fan in the audience catch her breath... there were so darn many pants on the catwalk today…a directional, low-slung, pleated style a little too droopy for this reporter's liking…In any case, there were plenty of other real-world ideas to keep your interest." [Style.com]

• "[The collection] delivered on so many counts — emotion, a cool factor, and terrific clothes…[separates] were terrific… The outerwear story was first rate as well… this was an impressive return." [WWD]

• "[H]ypnotic… Theyskens' refined and poetic grunge-meets-Victoriana collection is yet another step up for Theory, a brand that while renowned for their simple and effective tailoring, has not been known for a "fashion" point-of-view." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Fall 2011 Theyskens for Theory Collection

MIXED:
Thakoon
• "The Thakoon collection suffered from an overdose of inspiration, making the out-of-Africa Masai theme take over the entire show… the designer needed to have better absorbed his ideas — especially since such themes have already been developed by designers like Junya Watanabe." [IHT]

• "Thakoon Panichgul’s collection was also subtle and beautiful… exceptional…[draped dresses] had a new beauty and economy." [NYT]

• "The irony is that clothes with such high, far-flung associations could end up looking so connected to the street, so sporty… this was his freshest, most alive collection in a while." [Style.com]

• "It’s an odd cocktail of influences, but in Panichgul’s hands, a superb one… Ambitious, yes. But Panichgul maintained control of this marriage of mixed motifs: Shots of chic sportif cast everything into a modern and ultimately street-savvy light." [WWD]

• "It was a brave vision, and Thakoon nailed it… All in all, a complicated, audacious and completely inspiring outlook for the season ahead." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Fall 2011 Thakoon Collection

Diane Von Furstenberg
• "[C]harming…a great series of crepe cocktails… Yet with culottes and wide-brimmed riding hats on the catwalk and Clint Eastwood’s "A Fistful of Dollars" theme music on the sound track, it felt a little like The Good, The Bad and The Gaucho." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "Hippie de luxe had a new translation as dashing gaucho glamour… The result was energetic and sporty. If it could have done with less fringe and fedora decoration and a dose of everyday urban reality, it seemed part of the brand’s ongoing feminist attitude." [IHT]

• "All these clothes were appealing, and Mr. Mispelaere has refreshed the DVF prints, but I kept wondering: On what occasions can you be right and yet wrong? Some element of Ms. Von Furstenberg is missing from the aesthetic presented here, and I’m not sure what it is, but I would imagine it is something not so smooth and perfectly worked out. " [NYT]

• "If you're a minimalist, you should plan on shopping elsewhere next season… von Furstenberg didn't restrict herself to just one frontier… Not every look here seemed a natural fit with the established house codes. But von Furstenberg evoked her own slinky past with the trio of sequin dresses that closed the show." [Style.com]

• "While at times the visual bravado veered toward excess, at its best — for example, a jacket, shirt and pants in a mesmerizing mix of blues or an inventively bejeweled column — it delivered a sassy take on chic." [WWD]

• "The show was a mixed bag of references, starting off with a gaucho jumpsuit…[the prints] were celebratory and uplifting… both charismatic and playful… superbly cut coats in delicious jewel tones… [and] stunning eveningwear." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Fall 2011 Diane Von Furstenberg Collection

Photo: Imaxtree

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

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

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