Dior, Balenciaga, Westwood, Comme des Garcons: The Critics Speak

The first reports are starting to roll in from the Paris shows and the universal crowd-pleaser seems to be John Galliano's Dior designs for the label's 60th anniversary collection. That said, the fashion press seem much more positive overall about Paris than they were about Milan. [Maybe because Milan is kind of a shithole? -Ed.] Below, the critics weigh in on Dior, Balenciaga, Vivienne Westwood & Comme des Garcons.

Dior
"[A]lluring androgyny" "Marlene Dietrich" "Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and the Great Gatsby" "1940s-style dresses had accentuated shoulders and below-the-knee hemlines" "epitome of early Hollywood glamour" —Hillary Alexander, Telegraph

"[T]he man-woman thing exemplified by Marlene Dietrich" "variations on the top hat showed a seductive way" "more John than Christian in the ultra-glamorous take on Galliano's signature bias-cut dresses" "let the couture and its major theatrics go to turn out a seductive but simple collection that, with its racy tailoring and lacy delicacy, will please rather than provoke." —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune



"Sting's "Englishman in New York" set the theme" "a light, nonintellectual revival of all the patterns John Galliano has amassed through his ten-year career at Dior" "twenties-through-forties styling" "this wasn't one of his camp-hysteria evasions, nor was it one of his more passive-aggressive collections of bottom-line merchandise" "pretty, accessible things" "a knowing nod to the current feel for pajama dressing" "missed the flair and humor Galliano can muster at his best" —Sarah Mower, Style.com


Dior, Balenciaga, Westwood, Comme des Garcons: The Critics Speak

Balenciaga
"[V]ivid floral prints" "old-fashioned couture fabrics" "full of thought and invention" "incredibly precise and clear" "a strong fashion statement" "push[es] our imaginations" —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times

"[A]ll about the extreme beauty" "21st-century techno treatment" "extreme, ultra-modern volumes" "catapulted into the future" "The silhouette was of a short dress with rounded shoulders and hemline" "it was a magic carpet ride." —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune


Dior, Balenciaga, Westwood, Comme des Garcons: The Critics Speak

Vivienne Westwood
"[U]ltra-hourglass dresses and jewelled "trapeze artist" costumes" "what the offspring of a marriage between Marilyn Monroe and an English aristocrat would have looked like" —Hillary Alexander, Telegraph

"[I]nimitable blend of cheek, sensuality and historical histrionics" "tribal, tough and rock 'n roll" "a twinkle in the eye, a sway of the hips and a dress designed to cup the bosoms" "reveal as well as conceal, with a bodice swooping down, a skirt cut to rise in a half moon up to the thigh and beyond" "fringe...looked more Las Vegas showgirl than English aristocrat" —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"[T]here were a lot of different, seemingly unrelated looks packed onto the runway" "buttons askew over unfastened dresses" "twisted ball gowns" "holographic sequin dress with padding at the hips and bum" "A beautiful mess? For members of Westwood's tribe, yes. But to the uninitiated? It just looked nutty." —Nicole Phelps, Style.com


Dior, Balenciaga, Westwood, Comme des Garcons: The Critics Speak

Comme des Garcons
"[C]razy-wonderful" "layered coats and bloomers in Crayola colors" "about a cartoon-absorbed culture as randomness" "kooky ikat print, deconstructed bloomers in ruffled pink and yellow cotton, and roomy coats with built-in bags. Loved those for the Food Town." —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times