Fashion Week Report Card: The Big Names

Which designers are up, and which are down? We round up the critics’ reviews of the important shows so far. Oscar de la Renta shades Marc Jacobs for raves (if not intrigue). The big losers? Proenza Schouler.

Marc Jacobs
The critical keywords for Jacobs’s ruffles and Technicolor set (faux-grass runway and blue Styrofoam balls) were “ethereal” (Suzy Menkes), light, peace, and kindness. Although the muted palates and whimsical ruffles were a hit (even deemed poetic), the tulip pants which opened on the sides don’t seem to be winning over editors ( went so far as to call them a hard sell). And though British Vogue did refer to the models as bag ladies, they were chic bag ladies. The verdict? A hit, but a little “strange” (Cathy Horyn, New York Times ).

Oscar de la Renta
The critics agreed — for once — that this was a gorgeous show. WWD summed it up in one word: “Fabulous!” Bright, bold colors and feminine cuts won approval from all sides. British Vogue called the collection confident and self-assured — and it will take a woman with those qualities to wear the marigold-, red-, and blue-printed sundresses. thought the show dramatic, typical of the designer. The raves are still pouring in, but this collection can be chalked up as a big fat win.

Carolina Herrera
Herrera once again eschewed trends and opted for a feminine elegance. Editors, at least those who were present (Horyn was notably disinvited after a bad review last season), liked the show but were not bowled over. Still, Herrera does know her audience, as British Vogue pointed out. IHT raved that the designer had added a fresh energy to her elegance. The big draw for everyone was the consistency of the designs ( And that seemed to be enough for the critics.

Proenza Schouler
Two words slipped out of everyone’s mouth the second this show finished: Hervé Léger (Menkes). The duo seemed to channel the eighties designer, along with some Azzedine Alaïa and Geoffrey Beene for good measure. Was it a success? Afraid not. Critics are tired of seeing eighties flashbacks walking the runway. The clothes lacked refinement, WWD said, and showed the designers’ vanity (Eric Wilson, New York Times). And IHT’s Menkes was no fan of the construction. The tight, unforgiving fit of the tube dresses and stretchy knits made for a hard sell. But pretty sundresses and linen coats did appease editors. A passable grade, but certainly not the A that last season won.

Diane von Furstenberg
DVF’s spring collection, “All About Eve,” was an homage to women. The fitted wrap dresses gave way to looser silhouettes and figure-pleasing tunics. The colors were bold and fresh (Horyn), and British Vogue called one look “fashion fun for all.”’s Tim Blanks thought the collection too eager to please, but everyone agreed the line was sexy and pretty.

Read reviews of all the shows.

Fashion Week Report Card: The Big Names