The dernier cri of Vogue Runway Reviews

Rick Owens Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Has there ever been more homosexual clothes? A sort of high camp intergalactic emperor in stripper platforms. But where rick excels is always his more undisclosed sculptural figurations (look 32,33). Boulders of cloth that defy the human figure. 

Courrèges Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Nicolas Di Felice, Yolanda Zobe, Sébastien Meyer, Arnaud Vaillant. We cant help resuscitate dead corpses. resuscitate old houses like a desiccated money tree shaken to death. 

Remember the aesthetico-political revolution of Spaceage (Gernrich, Cardin)? An attempt to bring us closer to fashion’s “pure form.” Of geometric planes & techno assimilation. This streamlined ready-to-wear minimalism a new theory of mass-production: That the all-purpose unisex uniform might be fashion’s social democratic utopia. The destruction of couture. This why Cristóbal despised his former apprentice André Courrèges…but it's Telfar (maybe Yeezy?) not Courrèges who explores this condition today, using the aesthetic regime of mass-production as departure point... Instead Di Felice does Coachella clubgear for the parvenue.

Acne Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Has always looked like Fashion. A mise en abyme of moodboards within moodboards. Acne, COS, Zara. An infinite white cyc to spawn the great blob of looks. Haley Wollens a pure symptom.

Saint Laurent Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Genuine billionaires wear these. Gated away from parochial Purple Lucien downtowners and Broken Arm cadre. Bill Blassesque for an era of stupendous wealth divide. What’s not to love even Omahyra Mota looks unblemished. Extol when fashion’s mission accomplished.

Dior Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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We continue to speculate Claire Fontaine’s 2020 participation a meta critique? Is Chiuri, in fact, a motif of female disempowerment? What does her signature lace bustier do for the Woman of Couture? And now here, the patrimony of Dior abandoned to the toile de Jouy, broderie anglaise and raffia so much associated to the Etsy seller of cottagecore.

Matty Bovan Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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CSM circa early 21stC a carnival of artisan kids making manteaus from plastic clutter and crap. Yardage of fresh textile coiled into entire collections; silhouettes like a crude children sketch materialized with all its curio. We admire the toddler’s collage of glued wooden sticks and crayon handprints as memorabilia of a now forlorn wonder...The school a kind of Dickensian Fashion mill; their ringleader Charles Fredrich Worth high on mercury. This is Bovan’s fête galante, his inherited livery, of Louise Wilson and Louise Gray.

The jean pannier of acid check glitter, neon telephone cord: A nostalgia for the anna piagi harlequinade. Leg’o’mutton Victorian anachronisms of amethyst apple checkers. And despite the cheap corsetry and manufactured printedness (see: Charles Jeffrey), Bovan’s infantile joy remains.

Bottega Veneta Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Blazy arms Luxury’s weapon of trompe-l'œil. Wearing denim as delicately lasered supple leather. So plaid shirts and wife beaters are actually fine leather, an elvish craftsmanship (12 printing process to get the plaid effect). Is tricking the eye perhaps luxury’s best and last defense? That wealth needs a supple conceptual disguise, a rebuslike challenge we play to affirm our taste. Two layered dress of deceased animal skin, not fetishist or militant but affirmatively urbane. And then, jacquard knits whose uneven fine fringe is actually hand beaded. Fabrics so precious they extol single use. The successful spread of male Phoebe Philo caliphates (even after despot Daniel Lee’s massive severance) a testament to Luxury’s stronghold. But Bottega’s signature intrecciato still gives us eerie trypophobia.

Ferragamo Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Nicole Phelps over the years:

“In the end, though, the collection didn't quite make a persuasive case to be taken on a par with the brand's lucrative accessories.”

“To be fair, setting a ready-to-wear direction for a label best known for its grosgrain ribbon flats is no easy task.”

“But in the end, its novel charm wasn't enough to rescue this collection from its overbearing beginnings.”

“Cristina Ortiz is doubtless under a great deal of pressure as the new creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, where she replaces Graeme Black, who left the brand to focus on his signature label. The strain showed today.”

“the fit was not only unflattering but often poor; nipple slippage is one thing on the runway, quite another in real life.”

“It's not clear whom Ortiz is targeting with these clothes”

“Toward the end, though, Ortiz couldn't resist flashing some skin. These were ill-considered bits of frivolousness that did nothing but distract”

“Africa was Ortiz's reference point. That led to some rather unflattering jodhpurs cut very generously at the hips […] The show's highlights were […] in the end, it was a case of too little, too late.

“The press notes called Giornetti's muse "an elusive woman," and to be honest we're not sure the boardroom power broker without a bra that he has conjured up here really exists.”

“but neither quite lived up to Ferragamo's impressive legacy.”

“Overall, though, drama was in too short supply here. Rigoni's task for next season will be imbuing his Ferragamo with more soul.”

Why stop here?

Versace Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Sheer animalfloral frock gothic succubus. For celebrities sans stylists. 

Gucci Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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“critical theory has never been as fashionable in the fashion industry. While artistic director Alessandro Michele from Gucci quotes Michel Foucault in his creations, Dior is employing psychoanalysis theorists to contextualize their collections. [...] Gucci Spring/Summer 2018 press releases employed the idea of “The Act of Creation as an Act of Resistance” proposed by Gilles Deleuze”

Maximalism’s exhaustion. Does anyone still care for this psychobabble?  Total lethargy for the saturated Wes Anderson safari discotheque. A kaleidoscopic face-fuck of Pepsi pansexual activism.

Vaquera Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Tumblr fashion graduation. Frou frou ruffles of sailor Harajuku like a Simone Rocha. Trafficking in 200% graded-up gag garments: the ersatz all-too-obvious Margiela F/W ‘00 sequins. Explained away as “fashion fanfiction.” Does the buyer wear the punchline or they just become it? Emma Wyman?

Moschino Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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“I was thinking about a lot of stuff in the news. I was thinking about how people were talking about inflation, inflation, inflation. So I created a collection that literally inflates.” The obviousness a ribald reversal of sensibilities that makes fashion punk. Scott’s signature 40s/80s suits and proms preened in candy colored flotation. The ability to achieve one of fashion’s highest telos: self-deprecating cupidity. No noblesse oblige statement on wealth and its assorted troubles (of which usually expected from designers deploying this theme)… Designers use the dictum ‘fashion is fun’ as a lofty prophylactic for our brutal existence. But whereas most do this through pops of color and fringe, none transport Neverland like an inflatable Lichtenstein project runway… That a Katy Perry hamburger is a best in show reflects the state of today.

Richard Quinn Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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The effrontery of Leigh bowery smoothed over via the pantomimed Cristobal silhouettes that Denma does so well. A dirge for textiles without a home. 

Diesel Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

The Ursina Gysi contagion spreads. Y2K thotification. Gen X denim in need of a Supreme sales pitch (post 2019 bankruptcy). This is online fashion par excellence (apologies A-Cold-Wall). Where once the fin-de-siècle fashionable subjects were surveilled and recirculated at the racecourse and boulevard, now our digital footprint is surveilled wholesale. Fashion an AI algorithm of accelerating feedback loops, recirculating us onto us. street is tiktok is luxury is street. Virgil at LV, Denma at Balenciaga, now Glenn here. We are speed junkies.

Stefan Cooke Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

On their hand sewn embossed pleat fabrication last season: “We’ve been trying to do it for four seasons,” Cooke said. “It took the whole team one week just to do one shirt, everyone shaking trying to get it perfect.” Burt added: “Because if you fuck it up, you have to start all over again.”

This “refinement reinforced by repetition” of painstaking codes, a 2020s demi couture:
Stefan Cooke’s signature pierced-lattice argyle embossed in creamy lacquer. Miniskirts of double-spaced looped ribbon. “Decorticated knitwear” developed through appliqué bows in female equestrian pants. The denim “Napoleonic trompe l’oeil” an antediluvian cording technique of embroidering around faced rope. Found shirts armored by perfectly contiguous sewn paillettes. Denim flat fell seams of a near Junya Watanabe obsession. (missed are the English tweed varsity jackets and scalloped-edge Fair Isle collars)

A millennial Savile Row. Lapidists of cloth

Molly Goddard Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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The ~7 year trend of London star designers diluted. Giles deacon, mary katrantzou, christopher kane etc. Reprocessed and whittled down to their own helpless diffusion. Maybe it’s hereditary for the Brits, like how human’s romance genetically diminishes. And somehow it’s relieving here, that the tulle stuffed babydoll engine ran out of steam.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

Of Natural beeswax, linseed oil. “Long Hair.” A pinterest of azure seas, Marrakesh rug, a Greek bucolic chair. 

It gets worse: ““I love to feel that my aesthetic has a purity to it,”“There’s a freshness. I love things that are really clean and I love things that are natural. I love textiles, I love towels, and I love cottons. And then I feel, in my [Knight Landsman] home, it’s all about the light. And I love the beach.” 

An assortment of anodyne references pollute our collective pinterest. Fashion’s Raw Beauty as a wellness Goop experiment. Mindfulness not to ground or heal, but to dull the senses from offense, exhilaration. A white cotton Target drawstring pant (look 16), a moss Lululemon jersey top (look 17). Sheer sarongs and collected hotel towels like a perfunctory flatlay found in your local inflight mag. Of yuppie languor. The beige colorway of ecru, slate grey, powder blue. And the crumbs of an occasional Cianciolo motif (repurposed doley or etiolated fabric) only serve an affidavit to MNZ’s prosaic refurb. 

Trust Rachel Tashjian’s feature as a cruel trojan horse critique of persona: 

“Even the most cynical scroller can’t help but be intrigued, puzzled, dazzled, or all of the above by the images she shares. “What’s the deal with her Instagram!” a number of fashion observers asked me […]. “It’s kind of freaky,” she admits, “because I’m not filtering so hardcore.””Influencer culture, plus the pure banality of extreme wealth, mean that people on Instagram are usually just racing to post the same clothes, vacation images, or even people. Rarely does one feel an authentic sense of discovery or surprise on the platform anymore,”

???The putative posts of ‘freak and surprise’:

& lest we forget why the Fall 2020 no show?: “A dear friend was getting married in Africa, and she couldn’t fathom not being there. “For certain people in your life, these are the moments you can’t miss,” Zadeh said.”

How many times we to suffer MNZ’s sermons in “authenticity?” Interests: travel, family, Ottessa Moshfegh... A bromidic Mediterranean travelogue of breathless basics dressed up as Downtowner etiquette.

Puppets Puppets Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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The heiress of a Weight Watchers fortune, metamorphizing the lucre of American chub into gag dresses for Richie Shazam, Polacheck.

Luar Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Following telfar viralizing a Made in China it bag. high margin with high turnover. The product churn of cheap production. An ode to the Chinese state. Ghetto Sinosupremacy. 

“I like to think of myself as premium trash” “I've always said I'm too ghetto for fashion and too fashion for the ghetto,”

Badgley Mischka Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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“We [recently] went to Marrakech and Casablanca,” said Mischka, “and we got inspired by the colors, the smells, and the fabrics there.” 

Where Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter satire failed to deliver. Such is our profound incuriosity, the benign travelogue of sunsets and spice. Fashion’s dead moodboard interpreted into peplums.

Barragán Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear


The last post-net designer standing? Gimcrack designs as bite-sized jokes to digitally digest. Not dissimilar from early DIS. This collection almost convinces though, approaching the explicit humor of Jeremey Scott pantomime. Because, Yes, Great America is actually a Janus-faced syphilitic hellhole. This ‘punchline’ so obviously overplayed it registers now a classic. A certified genre costume. Like Scott doing American 50s housewife, the American meth pauper is now just another costume trope: fun, stylistically monochromatic. (shown on 9/11)

Dion Lee Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Interesting to watch Lee’s shift from pewter platinum angular suit jacket and skinny leg (a sort of Real Housewives dresscode) to his black lime neoprene wetsuit (Sydney GHB clubber). Interpreting the monstera leaf between both these arriviste markets (here as raver legwarmer), a horrific feat of design translation.

Collina Strada Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Fashion’s desideratum is to forward its own death. Euthanasia as her innovation. Those who master it immortalized through a kind of Buddhist reincarnation. As spectators of this sick collective sport, it’s not the mummified bodies of old that disgusts us but the freshly decomposing carcass of today. But Strada necrophiliaizes this rotting flesh. Revivifying, for the cheap seats at the back, the exhausted Y2K depopification of the past few years…box pleated ubermini skirts, Studded belts, Rhinestoned jeans, Grunge slips, gingham checks, free-the-nipple-as-nipple-fastenings, milkmaid corsetry. The Netflixified casting a cherry on top. 

Eckhaus Latta Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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What happened to NY Fashion in mid-aughts - early teens? Post 9/11, post purple’s normieification, Sevigny’s sanitized indie OC. Rodarte offered early relief from the void but it was EL who, in 2012, emerged with some fucked up toilet presentation. The scatological shaped felt pillbox hats felt a revelation. Even their DIS style poppers campaign (feat model miscarriage Walter pearce) had a sort of art-life multidisciplinary euroinflexed praxis. The next Bless?? Oh their friends with Artists? RISD freaks? A raffish handiwork of misfitting and misfits: 

“Take, for instance, look 26 from their spring summer 2016 collection […] contains a litany of design sins that make up something distinctively virtuous. […] just look at the pull in the under arm, the flatness of the chest area, the awkward trouser hem and sleeve lengths and the relationship between the sleeve hem width against the rest of the sleeve, […] The cut seems unconsidered […]”

This a “new exciting design vocabulary” of art schooled Helmut Langs. But, then, almost immediately: H&M blazers, ecru cocoon knits, a sensible sensibility of Aesop smart casual. The brusque reality EL is a small business just “trying to survive.” America’s race to the bottom.

So, the story continues here. Nubbed knit basics donned by Creative jolie laides. The breastplates of metallic heat crisped yarn ennoble the body with unwieldy charm; a testament to the virtuosity of “design sins.” But EL’s self-doubt of “not getting too—as we always joke—‘project-y,’” some chagrined effigy to experimentation, like a permanent H&M colab... This the curse of NYFW.

SC103 Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear

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Trend title from past decade of young deskilled designers: Scrap. Deskilling to upend clothing’s trad construct of both patternmaker and draper. Scrap designers function as ragpickers: The Golden Dustman turning trash into treasure. Like the punk detritus of Judy Blame or sentimental tchotchkes of Cianciolo. Scrap’s political posies against the industrial churn of modernity’s dark mills. But also no coincidence is Scrap’s recent ascension correlated to the deskilling of fashion schooling itself. Curriculum jettisoned tradeskills, the labor of the hand, offshoring factories, collections reduced to few items. Anyone can aver as tailor now fitting and fabrication are exposed false idols. But post mid2010s, the sheer sum of bedroom designer-artist-stylists taken to deskilling seemingly ridiculed its own tenet of scarcity and alterity. Women’s History Museum, Nasir’s Fantastic Toiles, Café Forgot etc etc…

SC103S/S2023 is Scrap evolved. A 39 look maximalism that begins to separate itself from the molasses, more a convincing CSM grad collection baby Galliano or Romani Matty Bovan. Overstyled’n’overstitched trafficking looks unable to be broken to its constitutive parts. Everything fights gravity. Knotting, tying, layering, patching—no piece to hang or reveal its own matter. A medieval magic lantern play of mercurial charm replete with lucky bracelets, ThreeAsFour metallic p/leather splendor, faded prints of lace smocks. Damaged yarn and unbridled topstitching confer vitality, proof the retail racks of High Street hasn’t sanitized us completely. But this crude construction is double-edged in threatening its own enchantment. That the naive zigzagging of lycra to lace (look 34)—which unevenly puckers like a handheld Brother XM2701 doing too much with too little—can draw us back to a reality where things fall apart and where this might be undesirable.