McQueen, Chloe, Galliano, Nina Ricci: The Critics Speak

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Worried that Alexander McQueen's show, a tribute to his friend and champion, Isabella Blow, was going to be bathed in bathos? Well it turns out that McQueen, who showed in Paris over the weekend, had the collection of the season, or so sayeth the critics. Those same critics were less kind to Nina Ricci and Chloe - except for Suzy Menkes, who seems to love everyone except sworn enemy Marc Jacobs. Below, the major fashion critics take on McQueen, Ricci, Chloe and John Galliano.


"McQueen seemed to almost dare anyone to match him for know-how and imagination" "command performance" "you could [not] take your eyes off the clothes" "alluringly severe dresses" "he pushed his modern identity and cutting out ahead of those forms, lightening them, softening them. It made for thrilling fashion" —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times

"[Isabella] Blow is now with the angels" "emotional sensitivity of the show brought some beautiful homages" "unique pieces" McQueen's harsh attitude to women has not changed. Models struggled down the runway on teetering platforms. It is an inevitable part of his oeuvre that a woman will appear caged - even if the dress underneath is divine" —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"[A] collection of outrageous beauty" "all a vivid reminder of Blow's eccentric, stylish wardrobe." —Hilary Alexander, The Telegraph

"McQueen mustered the clarity to dispense with smoke and mirrors and show his capabilities in cut, drape, and feathered flourish to an audience near enough to inspect every detail" "his romantic fairy-goddess chiffons put him back in the game of current trend" "McQueen honored his mentor by striving to bring out the best in himself" - Sarah Mower,

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Nina Ricci:
"[A] listless collection that didn't suggest a clear plan" "he achieved... wreckage" "dirty colors" "jackets that looked lifted from a mud room" "stringy hair dangling with feathers" "[b]ut other designers have done the same" "isn't very far from what a cool girl is wearing now" —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times


"Nina Ricci has never been so beautifully realized" "a perfume of a collection that hit a modern spot between romantic and sugary" "combining a youthful stride" —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"[A] particularly poetic state of dishevelment" "smudged by the murky first light of a city day" "a reassertion of his Belgian identity" "deciding to take the path of underground edginess rather than Parisian chic" "what he's doing for day is the thing to watch" - Sarah Mower,

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John Galliano:
"Mr. Galliano's style is romantic and narrative, typically with an impoverished muse at the center" "for once the models looked happy in their outfits and nobody complained that they were too thin" "looked fresh" "light and friendly" —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times


"Everything in John Galliano's garden was lovely" "However much the designer plants new ideas and changes the landscape (this time it was a carousel and fairground) the effect is always much the same" "this was just Galliano light" "sweet but never cloying" —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune

"Here all was softness, frills, retro bias-cuts and gentle pastels, with the emphasis on roses; printed on chiffon, appliquéd in silk and half-hidden within the folds of a ruffled peplum." —Hilary Alexander, The Telegraph


"[A] gamely dizzy performance of typical Galliano-esque high jinks" "Galliano is motoring on reinterpretations of his classics" "it happens that this is a season in which that looks right" "the narrative wasn't a groundbreaker, merely a device for trotting out Galliano's standard pretty, printed, flouncy dresses" "Galliano is still in the game" —Sarah Mower,

Image for article titled McQueen, Chloe, Galliano, Nina Ricci: The Critics Speak

"But could Mr. Andersson have starved his hungry audience more? The shapes in the collection were so undefined, so indistinct that you had the feeling the same dress was going by again and again" —Cathy Horyn, The New York Times

"It seemed smart to take Chloé back to its roots - while still pushing forward. It has most recently been pitched as a brand for women who want to stay forever innocent on the cusp of maidenhood and maturity" "...this season proved that [designer Paulo Andersson] is not trapped in that vision." —Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune


"[R]etro-cuteness cauterized by an intrinsic graphic modernity" "something fresh" "a few rare thoughts about how to make transparency passable on a daily basis" "there was a lot of repetition" "reverted, in a contemporary way, to the old-time Chloé of the early seventies, when Karl Lagerfeld [designed it]" - Sarah Mower,



Dear Lucky,

Feel free to begin using the non-phrase "a perfume of a ______" in your next issue.

@WonderWoman: But I L.O.V.E. that dress. The shape is very striking.