After a Fashion
When did the concept of breaking in jeans become obsolete?
CATWALKING At the first fashion show in which Miuccia Prada introduced her "lower-end" Miu Miu collection, I was privileged to be hired as a dresser. I was assigned to a lovely British girl named Cecilia, but more importantly, the model dressing six feet away from us was Naomi Campbell. The word among the dressers was that the notoriously demanding Miss Campbell, who had been banned forever from the runways of certain designers, had to be watched every minute so she didn't steal the clothes and wigs. Perhaps she is just overcome by the beauty of the outfit or maybe the amount of champagne served backstage to the models ... The cornerstone of fashion reporting, Elsa Klensch for CNN's Style, took us to Milan for the Spring/Summer 2000. Valentino's collection, as usual, is lovely, lovely and presents an exotic look that is incredibly soft and always beautiful. Never one to lapse into much trendiness, Valentino has always presented his own view of femininity that never varies much in any direction, but is an excellent example of old-school couture. Loveliness aside, every time I see him speak, it strikes me that he would be extremely difficult and unpleasant to work for. The hooded eyes and pursed lips have a sort of internationally queeny body language that says, "I eat fashion assistants for breakfast." But as talented and successful as he is, he can eat anything he wants ... Gucci's Tom Ford has unveiled a pretty dull Spring 2000 collection, with the obvious intent of rejecting the tawdry excess of recent seasons. Every time you open a fashion magazine, says Ford, there are "flowers, feathers, beads, and spangles and patterns and color and stuff." It's true, he's already done that "stuff," but his collection could use a few more of those items to bring it alive. He relied a little too heavily on combinations of real python and printed python that looked mismatched, but his very long wide flares that cover the skyscraper stacked heels are fabulous and exactly the sort of Seventies detail that can be made to look fresh again. The Style Avatar applauds Mr. Ford for meeting the rigid requirements for pleasing proportions ... Among those still doing flowers, feathers, beads and fringe, Dolce & Gabbana present a rock & roll collection that is wild and vivid, with moments of brilliance, even though they clearly disagree with me about the crotch-grazing hemline issue ... Armani was disappointing in his major foray into using prints and patterns and such vivid color. It just didn't look Armani-ish, and overlooks all the hallmarks of styling that make his product so identifiable ... And then there's Prada, who showed some improvement in styling and construction, and may someday earn the respect and success she has been so freely given. But, then again, can you argue with someone who built a fortune of selling zillions of little nylon handbags for $900 a piece?
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