runway reviews

Mixed on Marc and Proenza, Charmed by Som and Thakoon

The shows roll on, and the reviews roll in. We read and parse them so you don’t have to.

Marc Jacobs
“It was a mash-up to end all mash-ups,” announced — of a collection that combined boater hats, apron dresses, and espadrilles — “Mary Poppins goes to Dubai.” And “yet somehow,” British Vogue marveled, “it all worked. Beautifully.” Cathy Horyn of the New York Times said the show presented an “inspired view of American women,” borrowing elements from the twenties, forties, and beyond. WWD called it “the most spectacular example of fabric wizardry one can recall this side of couture.” Fashion Week Daily likened the display to “a fashion acid trip — a darn good one,” and British Vogue “a delightful treat, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.” Stand-outs included black and green “drop-dead gorgeous” cocktail gowns and a “stunning” pair of red and white striped evening dresses. A collection part “wacky,” “elegantly sexy” and “fanciful,” Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune concluded: “Yet at its most simplistic, the show just presented charming and colorful clothes to stoke fashion’s deep desire.”

Watch a slideshow and video of the Marc Jacobs collection.

Proenza Schouler
Critics commended Proenza Schouler for forging “subversive” new territory — not to mention nailing the omnipresent jumpsuit. Suzy Menkes praised a “fine transition” into “tough workwear.” Fashion Wire Daily noted the pair’s “chutzpah and gall” to shake up their aesthetic so dramatically, and a collection that “when it worked was phenomenally cool.” WWD, however, sensed that “this was not the most confidently rendered of collections,” and Cathy Horyn groused, “they can’t seem to identify an American look of their own.” But sequined “glamazon jumpsuits were the order of the day,” touted British Vogue, and most agreed that the pair succeeded where others this week had failed. The high-concept shoes, depending on whom you asked, resembled “metallic tools,” “New York bridges,” “spare machinery parts,” or “fuzzy bedroom slippers … with heels that looked like giant drill bits.” Although noted that “at times the wearability of the clothes clearly suffered,” most critics applauded a particularly gutsy collection. “They manage to reach a higher level than most of their contemporaries,” declared Fashion Wire Daily.

Watch a slideshow and video of the Proenza Schouler collection.

Peter Som
Critics were divided on whether Peter Som’s vibrant collection signified a fresh direction for the designer or a honed version of his signature feminine style. WWD asserted that “the usually prim and proper Som girl let her hair down for spring,” and British Vogue concurred that “what stood out most was his new vision.” But Robin Givhan of the Washington Post disagreed, noting that the collection had a “safeness and primness to it,” as did “The color choices were flawless,” remarked British Vogue, a compliment echoed by many, admiring shades of “cantaloupe and raspberry or fuchsia and peach.” Fashion Week Daily found the collection “as cool and refreshing as an afternoon cocktail,” and Samantha Critchell of the Associated Press called it chic and playful. High notes included Bruno Frisoni shoes, a pair of sheer violet trousers, and a “red carpet-worthy” beaded red sheath. Givhan, at the end of the day, was least impressed, prodding “Why so stuffy, Peter Som?” and confessing she longed to “muss up his models a bit.”

Watch a slideshow and video of the Peter Som collection.

Thakoon presented a lingerie-inspired, “less first lady-friendly” collection of sheer fabrics and flirtatious prints. WWD called it “chic with a sense of humor,” and British Vogue concurred that Panichgul “nailed it beautifully.” allowed that exploring the boudoir trend was “certainly on the money,” but wondered if Panichgul was “simply playing to the crowd.” Likewise, Robin Givhan from the Washington Post called the show “a guessing game, with the audience watching the designer struggle to clarify his vision.” Prints adorned with lipstick marks, winking lashes, and blooms of roses were mostly well received — “cheeky but not cheesy,” offered WWD; “playful — but sophisticated,” agreed Sarah Critchell of the Associated Press. Fashion Week Daily found the combination of suggestive prints on sheer fabrics “unforgivingly up-front,” but affirmed that “the impeccable construction and craftsmanship somehow kept it classy.”

Watch a slideshow of the Thakoon collection.

Mixed on Marc and Proenza, Charmed by Som and Thakoon