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Critics Adore Jacobs and Rucci, Are Lukewarm on Karan’s Hitchcock Blondes

From left: Narciso Rodriguez, Chado Ralph Rucci, Donna Karan.

Marc Jacobs wowed the critics last night with a provocative, polka-dotted collection that British Vogue called a "gloriously wicked opus," while the Mulleavys impressed with their serene high-necked dresses and crafty effects. Many felt Donna Karan's collection came up short, offering too much old-school glamour and not enough options for the modern woman. And while most lauded Narciso Rodriguez's fresh new direction, Vogue countered that the clothes "lacked any visceral punch." Read the latest reviews below.

THE HITS:
Marc Jacobs
• "[A] heroic fashion show… given the sharp-edged brilliance of this fall 2011 collection it should be abundantly clear to everyone what a great innovator Jacobs can be… The collection was a complete success right down to the stunning platform boots." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "[T]he self-defeating ironies in this collection are inescapable…Despite the campy bits (mainly chin-strapped hats and all-over polka-dot outfits), Mr. Jacobs never allowed one element to take over. And it was easy to pick out wearable looks." [NYT]

• "The designer’s skill is to change tack with fashion’s wind, yet make the new look always his own, while setting the compass in a new direction." [IHT]

• "It was provocative and somehow more precise, and all those slick surfaces had a hard allure…He had his uncomplicated fun last season, and now he's prepared to get sweaty in a latex shirt buttoned up to his throat. Give the rest of us a few months and we'll be right there with him." [Style.com]

• "Marc Jacobs went dotty once again to delightful effect… he ditched last season’s gentle fluidity and replaced it with an austerity of line that was sliver-thin and delivered with couture-like precision along with the inevitable dose of girlish charm." [WWD]

• "The designer was in top form, pulling seemingly incongruous references and inspirations from out of his magic hat and deftly melding them together into one gloriously wicked opus… The collection itself was a ripe example of Jacobs doing what he does best and pulling various bits of pop culture ephemera (both high-brow and low), from the ether and crafting his own utterly original symphony from them." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 Collection

Chado Ralph Rucci
• "[A] pleasure to watch... And all the while you were aware of how truly difficult it is to make the sleeves of that crazy bolero do what you want them to do... Isn’t that real discipline? " [NYT]

• "In fine form, Mr. Rucci added vivid colors to his clean silhouettes… But among his many special effects, like tiny slits opening a window on the backbone, perhaps the designer’s biggest surprise was on the surface: a leather coat with the effect of cracked porcelain and a paisley pattern that enriched a coat in a sophisticated way." [IHT]

• "[I]t was clear that this was no ordinary Rucci collection… sexy, young, and very chic… Well, there were a few things here for that youthful clientele—and not just uptown lasses, either." [Style.com]

• "Ralph Rucci surprised and delighted with a lighter touch from the start… Even the pace, both music and models, picked up considerably." [WWD]

• "[E]very woman in the audience cran[ed] forward in her seat to get a better look at Rucci's incredible designs and exquisite craftsmanship…[the clothes] handily crossed the generational divide… the perfect balance between ageless and timeless." [Vogue UK]

• "“Ohhs” and “ahhs” were heard throughout...guests gave Rucci a standing O. Well-deserved." [Daily Front Row]

See the Complete Chado Ralph Rucci Fall 2011 Collection

Rodarte
• "[The Mulleavys] seemed to pick up where they left off last season…More contemplative than experimental, with some high-necked dresses that looked soberly Steinbeckian, the collection was a solid step forward." [NYT]

• "The question is this: Will these clothes, with their countrified starting points, entrance the label's clientele of urban sophisticates the way previous collections have? The answer? Yes, with the exception perhaps of the sentimental floral embroideries." [Style.com]

• "It made for one of their more serene and straightforward collections, signaling an increasing ease within the commercial arena. The result was beautiful, if shy on the label’s edge and flights of fancy." [WWD]

• "[T]he sisters have mined their imaginations and maintained a through-line of quiet grace and spectacular clothing." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Rodarte Fall 2011 Collection

MIXED:
Donna Karan
• "Ms. Karan is pushing seduction — and, frankly, a lack of reality. There is plenty for her customers to like in this collection, especially liquid jersey dresses and lush coats, but you don’t really see women dressing like this on the street." [NYT]

• "[T]he show was searching for an urban sophistication that did not seem severe or constricting… The models looked more Hitchcock heroine than modern woman, yet the quiet discipline showed Ms. Karan reaching a fashion state of grace." [IHT]

• "This show was a somewhat curious departure… The thing is, the icy blonde Hitchcock heroine is well-worn territory… Piece by piece, there were some great outfits, but this didn't have the spark of her more forward-thinking collections." [Style.com]

• "And though it would have benefited from some diversity, it was beautiful indeed… Often the looks were accessorized with flowing chiffon headscarves worn with a mysterious air of the runway variety… Not so the exquisite pearl necklaces." [WWD]

See the Complete Donna Karan Fall 2011 Collection

Narciso Rodriguez
• "This was a terrific collection, different than what he has done in several years. It was looser, more abstract, with a downbeat attitude that felt true and fresh, and masculine elements that worked so smoothly into the collection that you didn’t really notice them at first… the results looked so effortless." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "While the results were soothing and meditative and had a peacefulness to them, to be sure, they lacked any visceral punch that would motivate an emotional response. This outing was surely an exercise of the mind, not the heart." [Vogue UK]

• "[Flat boots lent the collection] a modern, un-prissy appeal that connected it to the street….As for the tailoring, it was grown-up where the dresses were fresh… Following on last season's stroll through his nineties hits, this was Rodriguez waxing anti-nostalgic. We're glad we tuned in." [Style.com]

• "[I]t was pure Rodriguez: smart, chic and strikingly architectural… The lineup was also rather refreshing… his clothes offered a great alternative to all the reworked and revamped sportswear seen thus far. [Breezy silk dresses] added some buoyancy and edge." [WWD]

See the Complete Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2011 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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