The day of Thakoon Panichgul serving as New York's designer of all things "pretty" appear to be over--and he would have it no other way. For fall, Panichgul explored a feral notion--savage, even--that resulted in a meld of high fashion and primitive pursuits. Most evident in the gorgeous furs, particularly in a patchworked fox, mink and raccoon jacket, even the dresses felt his fierce touch, this time in the form of enlarged tiger patterns or leopard burnouts. For a sweeter fix, why not try one of the topiary-esque ruffle dresses inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier's 1985 ballet costumes for Régine Chopinot. As convoluted as it may all seem, at the end of the day the clothes were consummately wearable and, dare I say, pretty. Panichgul has in the past been criticized for being too sweet and for not taking risks. It's safe to say that for fall, he's on an upward path all his own.
Set in an decrepit building just a few blocks south of the hustle and bustle of Times Square, Commonwealth Utilities was a the meld of naval officers and Wall Street office workers. The results? Trim, polite and elegant tailoring but with plenty of raw attitude for good measure. Chunky sailor sweaters were styled with thermal underwear and watch caps, but it was the subtle plaid suiting, not to mention trenchcoats, that were worth sitting in the no-heat venue for.
Brand creative director Remo Ruffini once again lived up to his title Sunday night while unveiling his new Grenoble collection (named for the French village where the brand originated in 1952). Staging 100 models dramatically on a scaffold adjacent to the Hudson River at Chelsea Piers is no small feat, but the iconic winter outerwear brand pulled it off in true dramatic fashion as it ushered in the "future Ice Age." Priced directly in between Moncler's main collection and its recent designer collaborations, it mostly consisted of stylish boardroom-to-ski-slops outerwear cast in an array of fabrics.
Michael Bastian is a superstar talent, and for anyone who didn't already realize just how, the former Bergdorf men's fashion director showed them again on Sunday night with a blockbuster collection that pushed him up another notch or three in the menswear field. Inspired by school athletics--and in particular sports he whipped up for his Gant line--his fall collection was decidedly less "Glee" and more "Go get it." Shattered glass on the runway alluded to the show's theme: secret lives of Englishmen. "It's about the Savile Row guy who's secretly a skinhead or the lawyer/banker fellow with the punk background," explained Bastian. Plainly put: the clothes were beautifully cut and tailored, and just retro enough. Bastian does fitting well, and it showed in the collection not only of staples like moleskin pants and boiled cashmere sweaters, but trendier pieces like bleached jeans and fitted red plaid quilted hunting jacket. Let's get one thing clear: rich men should be wearing this; poor men should be aspiring to wear this.