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Critics Praise Jason Wu’s ‘Collectible’ KAWS Prints, Reject Richard Chai’s Kilts

Looks from Peter Som, Jason Wu, and Wes Gordon

Spring Fashion Week is in full swing, and the critics are circling. Prints by graffiti artist KAWS lent Jason Wu's typically prim ensembles a welcome edge, and most critics were pleased by the sexed-up Barbie Doll–inspired looks at Cushnie et Ochs. Though criticism has been mild thus far, Cathy Horyn yawned over Peter Som's florals and Fashion Week Daily called Richard Chai's layered kilts "head scratchers." Click ahead for the full report.

THE HITS:
Jason Wu
• “[P]retty and proper is what Wu does, and this Spring collection was no exception… ‘Old-school techniques that look electrocuted,’ was how Wu described the effect. Sounds weird, but it was charming.” [Style.com]

• “[D]istinctly hard-edged… his chiffon prints remain drenched in sweetness, but at least this time he showed some toughness.” [NYT]

• “If this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Raf Simons' collection for Jil Sander for spring 2011… There was no overcooked severity or theatricality… its evening wear wowed.” [Vogue UK]

• “Classy, cool and rather curvy, Jason Wu’s latest collection managed to combine the zip of American sportswear with the elegance of French couture…he manages to combine gutsy grace with a light feminine touch.” [Fashion Wire Daily]

• “[A]nother impressive outing, an expression of young glam with a whiff of mischief…The subtlety [in KAWS prints] proved savvy, the visual wit not overpowering the designer’s polished aesthetic.” [WWD]

• “The [KAWS] collaboration is supposed to recall les petites mains of fashion, but the result is probably going to be collectible.” [WSJ]

See the Full Jason Wu Spring 2012 Collection

Cushnie et Ochs
• “[S]exy space-age wear, something a fembot might don for some provocative dusting. We already knew that Cushnie and Michelle Ochs can do dark and incendiary—it was nice to see them playing with dolls.” [Style.com]

• “I couldn’t tell where Ms. Ochs and Ms. Cushnie were going with all this [décolletage and metal peplums] — and I don’t think they knew, either — but at least they weren’t afraid to be provocative.” [NYT]

• “[L]eave it to Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs to sex up the proverbial backyard.” [Fashion Week Daily]

• “[A] strong, beautifully executed point of view for spring, which pretty much remained focused throughout… Only the clunky metal peplum belts and some rather brazen bra looks shifted the otherwise fine balance between very sexy and very chic.” [WWD]

• “The duo behind Cushnie et Ochs [showed] that minimalism doesn’t have to be asexual.” [WSJ]

See the Full Cushnie et Ochs Spring 2012 Collection

MIXED:
Peter Som
• “[H]is blown-up rose prints…didn’t hold enough fascination. … as perky as your aunt’s porch furniture…[Are young designers] afraid to offend someone? [NYT]

• “[T]he ultra-vivid floral...brought an aughts edge to Som's sixties silhouettes…Gidget at La Grenouille. Som's currency is quirk, which can occasionally be cloying. But he hit it on the head…this was Som in great form.” [Style.com]

• “[F]eminine repertoire…and with a kick. [Mod silhouettes] played beautifully off the supersized floral prints and bold color. These were fun, optimistic and vibrant clothes.” [WWD]

• “[A]n upbeat and sportive collection that made you forget all your troubles…Easy chic, uptown sophistication sportified. Cher from “Clueless” all grown up.” [WSJ]

See the Full Peter Som Spring 2012 Collection

Richard Chai Love

• “He should stick to his guns, and find a way to make feminine clothes on his terms. He had the germ of something, I thought, in a smudgy rose-print dress with a long, asymmetrical hem.” [NYT]

• “[T]here was less slouch than usual…[Yo]u have to imagine that, in his newish contemporary category, [his signature soft layers] aren't an easy sell…As Chai admits, Love is a learning process.” [Style.com]

• “[H]e displayed a penchant for the assured and liberal use of colors and patterns…all the while retaining the tougher aspects of his aesthetic… Cheery rebels...who would've thought?” [Vogue UK]

• “While many of the pieces solo are quite practical basics, there were a couple head-scratchers in the mix, like a monochromatic khaki kilt atop flood-length croppers.” [Fashion Week Daily]

• “Throughout, he played with matching and mismatching patterns and layering, some of it charmingly wacky such as the women’s apron kilts worn over pants. These added to the show’s playful energy…[men’s looks] hinted at a new level of maturity.” [WWD]

See the Full Richard Chai Love Spring 2012 Collection

Wes Gordon
• “He obviously has worked hard to expand his collection…but the Sister Parrish colors and the dated feel of guipure lace crowded out the youthful pieces.” [NYT]

• “The young designer made it work…Gordon upheld the "spirit of fall tailoring"…but what really stood out here were the flowing eveningwear looks, with ‘Sofia Coppola wedding gown’ high necklines.” [Style.com]

• “[O]ne of the prettiest collections seen this week...sharply tailored yet softly detailed separates to lust after. In short: can we pre-order?” [Fashion Week Daily]

• “Wes Gordon combined romance with a nonchalant, young attitude for spring…The result was an impressive, diverse lineup that balanced dressed-up and more casual looks…The overall mood was one of youthful polish pulsing with a current of cool.” [WWD]


See the Full Wes Gordon Spring 2012 Collection

Photo: Imaxtree; Courtesy of Wes Gordon

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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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