Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

It's shocking, we know, but some people take Fashion Week really, really seriously. Designers shudder and quake in anticipation as the world's top "fashion journalists" pull out their best and most pretentious purple prose reviewing the Spring/Summer 2008 collections. In our next primer on what the major critics have to say about the shows at New York Fashion Week, we've got Narciso Rodriguez, Diane Von Furstenberg, 3.1 Philip Lim, Chris Benz, Jill Stuart, and Oscar De La Renta. First up, starlet favorite Narciso Rodriguez, whose design is seen at left.

Narciso Rodriguez
"wearable and inventive", "subtle details", "looseness", "more considered, more fashionable", "feminine and relaxed", "freedom of body", "seductive". — Cathy Horyn, NY Times

"ultra specific point of view", precision seaming and architectural construction", "rigorous silhouettes", "a bit of Japonisme", "a natty new masculinity". — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

"nothing short of dazzling", "spectacular", "as structured and precise as ever", "curved architectural seams", "exacting cuts", "clean unfussy shapes". — WWD

"breezy and feminine", "downright funky", "careful proportion", "lingerie feel", "architectural suits". — Samantha Critchell, Washington Post

Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

3.1 Philip Lim
"a bit escapist", "Amelia Earhart was on his mind", "obvious statements about the improvisational nature of dressing on the go", "the message wasn't as coherant", "awkward staging". — Meenal Mistry, Style.com

"a top up-and-comer", "day to night", "affordable prices", " touch of embellishment to almost everything", "decorated", "dupioni fringe". — Samantha Critchell, Washington Post

Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

Diane Von Furstenberg
"uncomplicated love", "quality of the tropical prints not up to her level", "not distinctive enough in the fashion jungle", "colors evocative of Play-Doh". — Cathy Horyn, NY Times

"pleasure in mind", "vacation wardrobe", "explosion of color and pattern", "raucous prints", "may as well be the center of attention". — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

"provocative and pretty", "great expansive vision of orchids and frangipani", "shapes were cut loose and bold", "appropriate energy and bravura". — Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"safari-inspired looks dominated", "particularly fresh""loose, airy dresses", "tropical floral prints". — Samantha Critchell, Washington Post

"African prints, embellished with beads", "'Bali Hai'-style, voluminous silk", "bold prints as bright as molton lava". — Hilary Alexander, Daily Telegraph

Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

Chris Benz
"the muse was a restless 30's starlet", "tuxedo shirts were recast in chiffon", "floppy ease", "a talent to watch". — Meenal Mistry, Style.com

"no one-hit wonder", "plays colors off of each other", "swinging from pretty, ladylike party dresses", "louche pants-and-cardigan combos". — WWD

Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

Jill Stuart
"devilish ideas about angels gone awry", "bad girl wear", "sophisticated silhouettes", translucent organza", "Fun? Yes. Wearable? Not particularly" — Meenal Mistry, Style.com

"overtly fluttery, frippery-filled motif", "diaphanous organza and satin puffs", "bubbled proportions", "tough sell", "delicately ethereal", "some just looked mess". — WWD

Narcisco, Diane, Oscar: The Critics "Speak"

Oscar De La Renta
"classic", "stunningly embroidered", "ethnic geometric prints", "of-the-moment tie-dye", "a study in elegance", "understated", "sublime". — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

"chic and authoritative", "a veritable hit parade of dresses", "fully adorned", "feathered embroideries", "strong solids", "some might lobby for a tighter edit,", "endless options for endless occasions". — WWD