They say that Politics is Hollywood for ugly people. But the DNC was the fashion fest of the week, with several of the big names showing up in designer duds. Let’s look over the best and the…politically questionable.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Michelle O has been a fashion plate on par with Jackie O for the 21st century. But the best part is she does it without only being a fashion plate. She accessorized this Christian Siriano dress with the Best Delivered Speech of the Convention and a thoughtful, serious and above all, intelligent attitude.
If Elie Saab has moved beyond his days of solid jewel tone chiffon and beaded gowns, it feels like Zuhair Murad has stepped into that void. His couture collection could very easily be written off as Red! Blue! Green! Black! Gold! Finale Wedding Dress! Any Questions?
But that would be something of a disservice to the Lebanese designer who may be picking up the slack in the market left behind by Saab, but whose takes on these sorts of dresses at least have a POV, a theme and a fair for color combinations and patterns that Saab did not have during his heyday of solids.
For one, there was the country angle. Not quite the American southwest and not quite the Australian outback, the country flair and cowboy hats were just neutral enough to appeal to both. And that’s savvy marketing, as those who are the most drawn to the safety of these sorts of solid jewel tone gowns that show everything without actually showing anything, and won’t land anyone on the worst dressed list, is the American country music market.
There were plenty of choice in the safety color of black, including a jumpsuit or two, just to fit in with the times. There was also quite a few red ones–nothing is safer on a red carpet than red, as long as it’s a few shades darker than the floor, and these definitely qualified. My personal favorites were when he allowed multicolor to come through, though the few two-toned pieces, most notably a green with blue bead work floor-length number, were quite striking. The only place where the designer lost me was the closing gold section, which felt like one had taken country, the 70s disco scene and the golden globes and attempted to put them in a blender for the “Will it blend” challenge. The whirl of two many concepts crashing into each other was headache inducing, but I could see a Taylor Swift type with no taste thinking them the bee’s knees.
The full collection, with closing tea dipped wedding gown, is below.
Every season there’s at least designer who get their first invite to show as a special guest at Couture Week. This year that group contained Italian designer Francesco Scognamiglio. A Neapolitan designer who has spent his career on the Italian fashion circuit, his ready to wear collections–which he’s been producing under his eponymous line since 2000–are very, very Italian. The bigger the flounce, the brighter the floral prints, the sexier the look, is how that always seems to go. (Unless over course, you’re Dolce or Gabbana, and then it’s all about looking like a walking homage to the Vatican.)
It’s a career high to be asked to show at Couture week, and that leveling up–even if it’s only for the one time–can lead to other opportunities. Note that only days after showing at Couture Week it was announced that Beyoncé would be wearing one of Scognamiglio’s creations at her show in Milan next week.
But as for the show itself, interesting is not the word I would use. There were touches here and there. The veils especially stood out towards the beginning and the end. But other than the use of ostrich feathers and sculptural fabrics–neither of which had much to do with the other, except that one could tell that this is what Scognamiglio considered to be various “over the top” concepts–there wasn’t much to write home about. Not that I’m knocking his collection for only having 19 pieces. Some sneered at that, as if somehow one must put on a show of 90+ pieces, a la Chanel, in order to be considered serious. It was more that it was small time. And this was the big stage. Now was not the time to play it safe. But unfortunately, that’s what Scognamiglio chose to do.
Not that the pieces themselves aren’t pretty. The full collection is below.