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Critics Grudgingly Admire Marc by Marc; Critique Vera Wang’s New Edge

Looks from Donna Karan, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Rodarte.

The critics came down a little hard on the latest batch of shows. Cathy Horyn accused Vera Wang of being unoriginal, while WWD deemed Donna Karan's collection drab, dizzying, and relentless. Marc by Marc Jacobs earned positive — if not lukewarm — reviews for his clean, streamlined collection. Meanwhile, Tory Burch and Rodarte garnered praise (with a few critiques along the way). Read the full report below:

THE HITS:
Marc by Marc Jacobs
• “[This was] a really good season, with clothes that reflected better workmanship and clearer designs than I’ve seen in the past.” [On the Runway/NYT]

• “Compared to past collections, there was more color and construction here … The references might have been scattergun, but if that's what the designer was offering us, it was only respectful to pay attention.” [Style.com]

• “Jacobs and his team decided to pare things way, way down … They just worked … Overall this season Jacobs breathed new life into his decade-old secondary line.” [Vogue UK]

• “All in all, the Marc lads and lasses have matured a tad, without losing the sense of fun that always lends a fashionable playground vibe to a Marc by Marc.” [Fashion Week Daily]

• “[There was] a sense of anticlimax that [Jacobs] … was merely sending out streamlined, wearable clothes, especially when there was more than a hint of the style of Jil Sander’s recent collections … the show was clean and bold.” [IHT]

• “[The clothes] were sleeker, cleaner and more grown up than they have been in recent memory. Marc by Marc has a new groove … It was plain yet powerful, and often playful.” [WWD]

See the Full Spring 2012 Marc by Marc Jacobs Collection.

Tory Burch
• “Tory Burch’s first runway show was a sober, merchandised view of French loveliness … You don’t expect Ms. Burch ever to do anything that isn’t polished, but sometimes you wish she would.” [NYT]

• “This was a great collection, and Burch at her most refined … smart and neat … Burch and her team found a way to have fun and make things their own.” [Style.com]

• “Burch’s brand of relaxed, effortless luxury was particularly sweet and sassy this season … [mixed patterns] rooted the collection in the now, [while floor-length dresses] showcased Burch’s ability to transcend both styles and age demographics.” [Vogue UK]

• “[Burch] channeled [the twenties] wisely into a diverse collection of wearable clothes that were not without some risk … It all made for a pretty mix.” [WWD]

• “Tory Burch amped up ever so slightly … There wasn’t a look in the bunch that wasn’t wearable – so she didn’t dude the collection up to appeal to magazine editors. Instead, she nailed many of the trends.” [WSJ]

See the Full Spring 2012 Tory Burch Collection.

MIXED:
Vera Wang
• “Ms. Wang called her show “Alice in Wonderland,” an appropriate bit of unoriginality. The rabbit hole she fell into was Balenciaga and Givenchy, right down to the strappy shoes, the perforated vests, and the scooped-front skirts in near-naked white.” [NYT]

• “[T]his collection is as antithetical to the pretty, people-pleasing bridal business that's her bread and butter as anything she's ever done. There was a bit too much fairy tale in these clothes to picture them stepping off the runway and into the real world.” [Style.com]

• “[A] a collection of youthful, cutting-edge designs … While Wang’s latest wares may have been more aspirational than usual, the majority of the collection was original and keenly wearable.” [Vogue UK]

• “[T]his outing was highly intriguing, a little mad and clearly indicative of an ongoing journey … there was little suggestion of what stores will have to sell, particularly from the waist down … it felt like a very beautiful step in a complicated chess match that Wang has not fully strategized.” [WWD]

See the Full Spring 2012 Vera Wang Collection.

Donna Karan
• “[T]he motifs had a rough quality that suited Ms. Karan’s urban aesthetic … they didn’t come across as souvenir bric-a-brac — well, maybe a little … This time, she found a natural outlet for her passions.” [NYT]

• “The collection may have its roots elsewhere … but it's still totally, characteristically urban… this collection was the bigger success [than fall 2011] … All in all, it felt like one of Karan's more vibrant shows in a while.” [Style.com]

• “Donna Karan offered up a medley of urban tribal wear … this design doyenne pulled out all the stops with her floor-grazing, viscose jersey gowns—draped, swirled, and contoured to perfection.” [Fashion Week Daily]

• “The result was mixed — sometimes too overwhelmingly tribal; sometimes too overtly body-conscious. But when Ms. Karan hit the sweet spot, as with a purple organza blouse with an embroidered papery linen skirt, her clothes looked ready for New York’s urban jungle.” [IHT]

• “This is a case of Karan’s passions trumping her professional judgment … Karan delivered her Haiti-inspired tribal motif sans subtlety, the prints dizzying in their enormity, the colors, drab … as a collection, it felt relentless … not every global concern should be expressed in a dress.” [WWD]

See the Full Spring 2012 Donna Karan Collection.

Rodarte
• “The clothes were full of hope and lust, like a shabby rooming house, and were exaggerated in a good modern way with sofa-floral prints and reflective fabrics.” [NYT]

• “[T]he effect was often hypnotic … there was a frustrating aspect, too. The fifties prom dress silhouettes seem pitched so resolutely in the past. And while you can picture Tavi showing one off on her blog or Elle Fanning wearing another on the red carpet, it's harder to imagine the grown-up woman willing to lay down four figures for one.” [Style.com]

• “While past collections have been meatier and more arresting, this collection was filled with more commonplace, versatile pieces, a bid to grow a solid business … There was a romance and fragility … adding a new sense of meditative wonder and escapism.” [Vogue UK]

• “If the designers felt the strain of compromise, it resulted in a beautiful thing … there was also plenty of downright approachable fare … These should have retailers seeing stars.” [WWD]

See the Full Spring 2012 Rodarte 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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