Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Heatherette: 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 final primer on what the major critics" have to say about the shows at New York Fashion Week, we've got Zac Posen, Heatherette, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Betsey Johnson. First up, red-carpet favorite Zac Posen drops a touch of 'Little House on the Prairie' onto the runway.

Zac Posen
"out of his hood", "straining", "[model] looked as if she were pulling a plow", "Just about everything... was off", "heaviness of the layers", "pointless details", "prairie frou-frou", "old hat" — Cathy Horyn, NY Times

"lacks...restraint", "inspired by Pilgrims, Amish, Mennonites and Shaker", "restraint was positively mandatory", "at his best with his day wear", "flirtatious white ruffles", "expressed a sweet exuberance" — Robin Givhan, Washington Post

"unlikely inspirations", "big-sky romance", "a softness that his more overtly sexy work lacks", "strayed into dangerous pastures", "as poufy as storm-whipped clouds", "more than a little showy", "a country no-no" — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

"vaguely safari", "smart, modern and controlled", "a lack of restraint is his biggest problem", "his greatest indulgence is the big, splashy finish", "more like the twilight zone" —WWD

"short and sweet", "endearing youthfulness", "wheat sheaves shaped as crystal brooches", "rural spirit", "puffy with volume", "thoughtful" — Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"evoked the wheat fields of the Great Plains", "dramatic beauty of the wind-tossed, open sky", "hand-painted and shadow-dyed", "bold and dramatic as a thunder-clap", "shot with lightning shafts of colour and extravagant shapes" — Hilary Alexander, Daily Telegraph

Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Heatherette: The Critics "Speak"

Heatherette
"fun", "surefire", "the models look like wayward brides in a sort of backward couture show", "big red-white-and-blue dose of Americana", "picnic-table print", "Wearable? Sure, a little" — Meenal Mistry, Style.com

"send-up of the U.S. of A.", "delightful high-energy romp", "wasn't all over-the-top camp", "their share of wacky red, white and blue getups", "some chic - and no less whimsical".— WWD

Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Heatherette: The Critics "Speak"

Donna Karan
"classy halter and shirt-dresses", "waist was the focus", "flattering", "recalled... women airing themselves on their stoops on a hot summer night, usually within sight of a man in an undershirt" — Cathy Horyn, NY Times

"women as urban warriors", "had the feel of an urban princess", "more comfortable in a garden setting than surrounded by the city's concrete and steel" — Robin Givhan, Washington Post

"worked both sides of the structure/flow divide", "portrait collars", "crisp, breezy", "confident sensuality", "the silhouette was lean and languid or full", "arabesques of silk ribbon" — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Heatherette: The Critics "Speak"

Betsey Johnson
"petticoated party dresses dashed with decorations like sprinkles on a cupcake", "sequins, hearts, laces, and lamé", "deliberate act of indulgence", "huge crinolines", "Empire waists and daisies". — Laird Borrelli-Persson, Style.com

"cacophony of tulle", "no one does a party dress like Johnson", "sparkly", "polkadots and stripes galore", "pink-and-yellow paisley playsuits", 'downright patriotic", "modern-day sailor jumpsuits", "frocks didn't seem to vary much style-wise". — WWD

Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Heatherette: The Critics "Speak"

Calvin Klein
"a job well done", "will gain more meaning with time", "breezy", "egg-wash shades", "the hemlines of the dresses might have been better shorter", "all the models in the show were white", "seems out of touch" — Cathy Horyn, NY Times

"equivalent of a sexy whisper", "austere", "unforgiving fabrics", "faintest gray shadings", "sensuous drape", "its strength was in the purity of the design" — Robin Givhan, Washington Post

"spare, clean canvas", "wasn't enough", "quiet repetitiveness", "minimalist in the style of old-school Calvin" — Nicole Phelps, Style.com

"shimmer of silk", "subtle shades of sea and river water", "exceptional", "succeeded in reigniting minimalism", "modern and relevant" — Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune