R.I.P. the puffa, long live the chubby. We saw it at Jaeger, we saw it at Topshop Unique, we saw it at Eley Kishimoto and Marios Schwab, and we saw it last night at Giles, which pretty much makes it official: British designers have decreed that Fall 2008 will be all about the chubby coat. It has to be big, it has to be shaggy, it has to make you look part English sheepdog. And that, at any rate, is better than resembling the Michelin Man.
Other cities might be content referencing Kate Moss and Irina Lazareanu to show that Françoise Hardy-style long, straight, brow-brushing bangs are an enduring trend. But in London things have to be pushed beyond extremes. Hence the full curtain of hair covering the black-rimmed eyes of Irene Menta from Spanish style magazine www.neo2.es, all the way down to the tip of her nose. With her “Geordon Nicol meets the ghoulish girl in the ‘Ring’ series” look, Menta was the darling of street style photographers at the Osman Yousefzada show. One paparazzo who tried to take her photo kept mimicking her moves as she turned to look at him (she had to flip her head three times until one eye became visible through her locks). “If I were her mother,” he said, “I would be so worried that she’d fall down the stairs. But thankfully I’m not, because what do I care? She still looks fabulous.”
With one fashion week down and three to go, we can report that Fall ’08 looks like it will be a good season for those who like to wear the pants. From neatly tailored (Doo.Ri) to leather (Preen) to genre-bending (Karen Walker‘s acid-wash bell-bottoms), the runways were about the bottom line. At Tom Scott we even spotted a reprise of the drop-crotch—great mental image, that—style we saw a week earlier in Berlin.
Along with the usual selection of difficult-to-pull-off makeup colors and bottles of exotically shaped and sourced water, this fashion week has brought us swag that’s actually appreciated: tote bags. Among the totes that have been collected in the Style.com office are a patterned black one from Rodarte, a lo-fi Madewell style that was being given away outside the Alexander Wang show, a Dan Colen-designed Ben Cho version, and a minimal black interpretation courtesy of Kai Kühne (which contained a mini bottle of vodka—thanks, Kai!). But most useful of all is the heavy-duty canvas number by SKN that was handed out at the Liz McClean presentation. Not only did it come packed with everything from instant stain remover to a book of financial tips for girls, but it will also hold up to 40 lbs. of whatever you care to fill it with—like groceries from Whole Foods, which is where we’re betting it will be spotted next.
Although non-models can look like they’ve been diapered when they wear them, the drop-crotch pants that were seen on almost all of the catwalks during Berlin fashion week’s official first day actually looked startlingly irreverent and cool in the menswear label Q.E.D.’s winning collection at the Karstadt New Generation Award show. Mongels in Common was the design team pegged to walk away with the prize, but despite showing an excellent, loose, and fluid women’s collection, they were overshadowed by the mostly black, techno geek-inspired clothes Q.E.D.’s Julia Böge, Simona Gabrieli, and Jasmin Moallim sent down the runway. The trio’s well-cut trousers, which flopped like long johns between the models’ thighs, are sure to spark frustration from clubgoers trying to check out one another’s assets on Berlin’s never-ending nightlife scene.