The Row S/S 2012 – A bit too much white for me!

Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have longed since shrugged off the child star tags to be respected in the fashion world for their collections, ‘Elizabeth and James‘ and ‘The Row‘. Their latest collection was unveiled at New York Fashion Week this week, and was shown to be all white. No, that isn’t a spelling error, the collection really was ALL WHITE. A collection of cleanliness and purity, but one which unfortunately started to blend into itself as the whites made your eyesight blurry and milky. If ever something was crying out for a blast of colour, it was this collection.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some great pieces in this collection. I love the crisp Oriental feel of the side fastening jackets and kimono sleeve tops that seem to embrace the cool of white rather than the red and black theme these clothes usually appear in. There are also echoes of the luxurious 1930s loungewear that Jean  Harlow and ice-cream blondes like Carole Lombard and Thelma Todd were famous for. Wide leg trousers, long silk robes and slinky camisoles look sensuous in innocent white.

My favourite pieces also had a retro feel. I adored the white tuxedo that echoed the style kudos of Bianca Jagger and Charlotte Rampling, this was a piece of high sex appeal. I also love one of the simplest designs, the wide leg trousers with the white tee decorated by the tiniest piece of embellishment.I can see Elizabeth Olsen rocking this at a photocall, with its easy chic and wearability.

But other pieces simply jar. One suit resembles chefs whites, whilst the constant layering just reminds me of a crisp bed, a sheet, under a pillow, under a duvet etc. And I looked for a splash of colour, a bit of red..a dash of navy..even a citrus lemon shade. Because you can have too much of a good thing, and I think this is the major problem with this collection..its a blank canvas of a collection.

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton-Kate walks again

It was fashion and fetish, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell at the Louis Vuitton A/W 2011 show in Paris yesterday. Marc Jacobs had a lot to live up to after the amazing success of his two most recent collections, which had evoked the glamour of the 1950s and disco heyday 1970s respectively. This collection was altogether darker and seedier, less glamorous and more oppressive. And to my mind, even adding too of the most iconic supermodels of all time did nothing to lift the disappointment over what was a seriously depressing, if decadent, collection.

The styling reminded me of the 1975 Charlotte Rampling film ‘The Night Porter’, with a dash of Madonna’s Erotica thrown in for good measure. There were diaphanous skirts and dresses,cage style corsets and high-waisted shorts. Belts and waist cinchers were bondage style belts that were reminiscent of the padlocked metal belts from a few seasons ago. Some outfits consisted of shorts that looked more like control pants and not much else. CLearly Jacobs needed a break from the glamour.

The military style peaked caps and shiny leather boots did nothing to dispel my feelings that this collection owed a lot to the style of East German police The Stasi. The dark colours meant that the feel was overall quite oppressive. But there were some moments to savour. The big buttoned nude coat/dress was beautifully constructed and would be perfect for Kate Middleton, whilst I loved the shiny futuristic coat worn with the bondage style belt. Although there seemed to be nods towards chambermaids and housekeepers with white starchy collars, there were also items that could become much-loved wardrobe staples, like the military style overcoat that looked like a relic from the trenches,and was worn with Hunter style bottle green boots.My favourite outfit was the vibrant and shimmering blue skirt with the collared top that was made for Kirsten Dunst to wear.

The show itself had a touch of the theatrics about it,with the models arriving in lifts,doors opened by Porters to show a sort of fetish Hotel Babylon.And then of course, there were Kate and Naomi. Naomi sported the tamer look, wearing an a-line suede skirt for her sojourn down the catwalk. But Kate,wearing the skimpiest of hotpants, made sure the headlines and controversy were all hers by smoking a cigarette on the catwalk.

All in all,  it was an interesting collection, but I’m not sure who,other than the diehard fans,will be wearing it.