Critics Puzzle Over Lim’s Twisted Cardigans, Disagree on Theyskens’ Theory

THE HITS:

Donna Karan

•  "[T]he hat imagery was seductive, along with the Dietrich shoulders ... Imagining all this about Ms. Karan’s handsome collection was easy and not at all unpleasant." [NYT]

•  "It made for an exercise in severity chic, with each piece having a sculptural simplicity ... The result was a little buttoned up, but well done." [IHT]

•  "[Suits] went way beyond blazers and pants here ... [unreconstructed coats had] exaggerated shoulders that read a bit too mannish or maybe too 1930 ... The sleeker part of Karan's new man/woman story was the better one." [Style.com]

•  "Karan's collections are constant reminders of what it means to be a woman ... The starting point here was men's suiting ...The dresses shown had an architectural, sculpted feel ... Another clever motif was the cummerbund." [Vogue UK]

•  "[A] high-glam ode to, call her what you will, the sexy power woman or the cerebral bombshell ... Evening looked plenty fresh ... Sounds good, right? Yes — with a bizarre caveat. Independently, the thoughts of three different WWD editors strayed to Ralph Lauren land." [WWD]

•  "Power suits made a triumphant return ... Make no mistake, cheris. There was nothing boring about this boardroom presentation." [Fashion Week Daily]

See the Full Fall 2012 Donna Karan Collection.

MIXED:

3.1 Phillip Lim

•  "The effect was sometimes too clever to be stylish. But the duality of this 3.1 Phillip Lim line worked well for his sportswear." [IHT]

•  "[T]he collection was largely grounded in reality: strong clothes for strong women...quite frankly, nothing too surprising, just the slightly surreal twist of cardigans turned back to front or upside down ... There was only one look that even approximated something cocktail-appropriate." [Style.com]

•  "Fans of [Lim's] will be pleased that he held on to his beautifully tailored suiting - neither anaemic nor blowsy - but the perfect middle ground between nonchalant and professional ... Lim did masterfully build on this bare bones concept of black and white." [Vogue UK]

•  "[An] intriguing collection ... jackets constructed to look like two layered garments, as well as draped and twisted knitwear, simply put, looked strange." [WWD]

See the Full Fall 2012 3.1 Phillip Lim Collection.

Vera Wang

•  "The clothes were generally fine, but apart from bicycle shorts, she didn’t seem to know what to do below the waist." [NYT]

•  "The designer hasn't quite planted her feet on terra firma for Fall ... there were some of the same troubling issues with transparency...What worked less well were the sheer dresses. The peplums the designer put on top of them just didn't lower the risqué factor far enough." [Style.com]

•  "Peplums were much more subtle than many of the exaggerated forms that we’ve seen this season and instead just played with movement, rather than adding form ... [eye-popping tangerine] gave a shot of warmth into an offering that otherwise revolved around grey. [Vogue UK]

•  "While the [grey] motif didn’t register, Wang’s reconciliation of opposites did, handled with considerable élan ... [She] seemed determined to telegraph a measure of practicality ... While some of [the prints] had too much going on, others did indeed suggest the fusion of strength and gentility." [WWD]

See the Full Fall 2012 Vera Wang Collection.

Theyskens' Theory

•  "[The collection] contained a lot of friendly basics ... but it was surprisingly drab and uninspired after his terrific spring show." [NYT]

•  "The street-cool, dark romance image of Olivier Theyskens is getting a little too familiar ... the show needed more than a graceful long dress and a re-run of his Nina Ricci/Rochas look to make it sing." [IHT]

•  "The news here: the pants ...The designer's big idea was pleats ...Too soon to say if they'll be as easy a sell as those sexy flares, but good to see Theyskens pushing the boundaries he's established for the contemporary brand." [Style.com]

•  "[Theyskens] knows his market...[I]nteresting, cool and just showy enough. Three words that could sum up the collection." [Vogue UK]

•  "This time, he downplayed his Goth impulses and amped up the glamour ... It’s great to see that romantic aesthetic now so much more accessible, yet still plenty strong." [WWD]

•  "Olivier Theyskens has nailed down his niche: the ultra-hip downtown woman who effortlessly blends into the seen-and-be-seen crowd ... Eveningwear was sparse, but quality trumps quantity." [Fashion Week Daily]

See the Full Fall 2012 Theyskens Theory Collection.