English-born designer John Richmond
has, like America's own John Varvatos, often designed with music in mind. But his latest collection, inspired in part by the Manchester post-punk scene of the early eighties, felt a step off the beat. Austerity versus luxury for "the modern machine age," the notes had it: That amounted to baggy, boot-cut pants, shiny suiting, and cutout leathers, many accessorized with sparkling rhinestones, velvet, and—in line with a curious number of designers this week—dense patches of fur. There was more of a nineties brashness than an eighties edge, but either way, there wasn't much that was fresh; a fair bit was downright tacky. Joy Division and Iggy Pop ("Nightclubbing") banged on the soundtrack, but the best things here were the ones that felt farthest from the club. The handful of hooded, fur-lined parkas, for instance—the sort that are quickly beginning to emerge as a Fall '11 staple.