Fashion Report Card: Critics Clutch Proenza to Bosom, But Turn on Rodarte


From left, Kors, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler.Photo:

After savaging Derek Lam, Narciso, and Doo.Ri yesterday, the critics softened up a bit for Michael Kors and Proenza. But who exactly likes Rodarte still? And will Malandrino dance her way out of critics’ hearts?

Michael Kors
The Project Runway judge’s collection was “decadent, light, and easy,” according to Cathy Horyn. Working in a neutral palette, Kors sent out a “glamorous, sporty, sophisticated” line, enthused the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan. The collection combined Kors’s sportswear background with his love of luxury. “The only thing he loves more than four-ply, of course, is fur,” quipped’s Nicole Phelps — it glammed up the beige, gray, and brown knits. Kors even jumped on the broadtail bandwagon with a swing dress made of the material. The main complaint with this overwhelming collection? Its enthusiasm was just a little too much, said WWD.

Watch a slideshow of the Michael Kors collection.

Proenza Schouler
The dynamic duo returns. After last season’s Alaïa-riddled collection flopped with the critics, Jack and Lazaro came roaring back last night with a Jazz Age theme. WWD called it “beautiful, supremely confident.” The collection was rife with flapper dresses, bucket hats, cocoon coats, and black-and-white fur-trimmed Jacquard. raved about the workmanship, citing the exquisite details (crisscrossed bodices, intricate pleats). And the Wall Street Journal noted that the tailoring looked “couture inspired.

Watch a slideshow of the Proenza Schouler collection.

Last season’s media darlings are this season’s major flop. “The Rodarte collection needs maturity and better technique,” griped Givhan. The designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, hand-sew each outfit, and, as overheard, the workmanship was so meticulous, it was almost painful. Horyn didn’t mince words; she thought the clothes “strange.” WWD, on the other hand, found the collection both beautiful and awkward, and accused the designers of going commercial.

Watch a slideshow of the Rodarte collection.

Inspired by the French prima ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire, Malandrino’s collection featured feathers, leggings, and models sporting close-cropped hair. Though she mixed the sixties with the twenties, Malandrino “avoided the dusty vintage pitfall,” said. WWD could have done without all the added details and pleats, and noted that the feathered dresses would be “a tough sell for even the slimmest of girls.” And Fashion Wire Daily wanted fresher hemlines, instead of last season’s repeats.

Watch a slideshow of the Malandrino collection.

Fashion Report Card: Critics Clutch Proenza to Bosom, But Turn on Rodarte