07 June 2010

Runway Report: Spring/Summer 2010

Runway Report: Spring/Summer 2010

From flirty dresses and utilitarian separates to ’60s trompe l’oeil and futuristic motocross, the spring/summer 2010 shows offered looks that were smart, playful, and chic

By Anne Slowey | December 16, 2009 8:00 a.m.

Photo: Imaxtree
Vote on your favorite spring/summer 2010 trends
The strong woman that has dominated the runway the past few seasons was swept aside in a flurry of tulle, ribbon, and bows at the spring 2010 runway shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. It appears designers are abandoning a woman whose fortitude matches her survival instincts in favor of something more flou and flirtatious. Their reasons may have to do with cutting budgets—short, transparent chiffon dresses cost less than their longer, more structured counterparts. But while women will always want to look sexy and beautiful, that doesn’t mean they want to appear as if they couldn’t run the world if asked.
That’s not to say there isn’t any sass in this season’s boudoir babes. John Galliano took the ’40s Hollywood siren approach to his state of dishabille by channeling Lauren Bacall in her Humphrey Bogart days, when all a femme fatale had to do to get a man was purse her lips and exhale. Peter Copping’s first collection for Nina Ricci was a delightful exercise in lingerie dressing with layered ruffles and lace. Opting for faux innocence, Chanel had one of its best shows to date, complete with models tromping among haystacks in Karl Lagerfeld’s barnyard wearing eighteenth-century poof-shouldered jackets and short pannier skirts, flower-colored crochet suits, and lace-covered burlap or beribboned dresses. At the show, Lily Allen’s surprise performance of “Not Fair” was proof positive that Lagerfeld knows the younger generation prefers to take its frills with more than just a soupçon of irony. Girls don’t want to just look pretty; they sometimes want to pair a smart-alecky loud mouth with their interlocking C’s.
Oh, the days of just yearning to be a supermodel, mere designer, or lowly slogging-it reporter. Now you have to be a superstar before launching a career in fashion. The lines between pop culture industries have blurred so much that it’s no longer enough to have just one career by the time you’re 25. You need to have three: singer, actor, and, now, clothing designer. What next, brain trust physicists and astronauts? Peripatetic early starters like Justin Timberlake, Allen (who, in addition to modeling for Chanel, launched clothing and jewelry lines), and the Olsen twins (the Row is a favorite of fashion editors everywhere, by the way) know that their style (stylist-manufactured or not) is a beacon for their millions of fans, but they’re doing more than trying to fill their already bulging bank accounts, I think. There is a sincere desire to take a populist approach by sharing one’s ideas of what’s cool to wear, and if you make some extra moola on the side, all the better.
But celebrity designing disastrously careened into a 42-model pileup on the runway at Ungaro, where actress Lindsay Lohan was appointed artistic adviser. The show itself looked more like a rehearsal for a finale of leg-kickers at a porn convention than a runway show for a storied atelier. Heart-shaped pasties bobbed on bare breasts (and, oddly, foreheads) under shirred-jersey, crotch-grazing dresses and skirts, and oversize boyfriend jackets replete with heart-shaped cutouts and fringe, now and again—at times paired with leggings (Lohan’s signature), of course.

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