Summary: Zac Posen was recently quoted as saying that the war in Iraq prompted him to look at early US history, culture and the vast American landscape for inspiration for his Spring ’08 collection. The history and culture was reflective in the first part of his show — which featured crisp beige skirt and pant suits over white high-neck collared Shaker blouses, pieced together jackets and coats with off-center panels stitched together, and among other pieces, a flowing prairie skirt, a beige short-sleeve tee a top a white blouse with undulating ruffles, shorts, and a matching safari hat. The safari hat appeared more then once in the show and the first half turned into a collection reminiscent of the barren farm country and wheat fields found in America’s colonization of the Midwest. He took us through the twenties with a few flapper-inspired looks and even one black mobster-inspired hat and fringed capelet and shorts set a la 1920’s gangster Al Capone. The collection grew brighter, but the theme became more muddled in the process Perhaps it was because Posen, who has said as a designer one needs to be a cultural receive dish and put all the ideas you’re thinking about in your clothes — but not take yourself too seriously — did that with the second half. He abruptly lost the country theme — replacing muted tones with bright cobalt blues, neon yellows, and a sharply cut red dress. Is the American frontier theme is back after all? The dress has pasted pieces of wheat stock over the low v-cut neckline in bright red — one of two dresses that night with pasted wheat stalks. Aha! Now it makes sense. Zac did say he wanted to feature American landscape, in the textures and colors of his pieces.
With feather-bottomed drop waist gowns, color blocked frocks, fringe trim, tubular pleated folds, ruffles, and billowy shirt sleeves, we’re not exactly sure what aspect of pure Americana Posen is trying to emulate; his collection is a bit all over the place.Various dresses swirled along the runway in earth-tones. Nevertheless, he did push the fashion envelope, promoting his well-known experimental style and revealing he can look confidently beyond formal and red carpet and move into sportswear.
The end is the most captivating of all. With a dramatic shift in music, the girls slowly drift down the runway in staggered formation, wearing intricate weaved voluminous tie-dyed ball gowns. The faded bluish-white of the gowns immediately conjure up images of the calm sky after a storm, coupled with the bunched chiffon on one gown sleeve, and voluminous folded pieces circling the waist of one gown and the shoulder of the other, and made to look like — you guessed it — clouds!
Color Palette: White, red, light blue, beige, black, cobalt blue, neon yellow, brown, gray, silver, turquoise
Texture & Details: Feather, fringe, linen, tubular pleating, ruffles, silk,ridges, hats, organzas
Key Looks: Cobalt blue Rhapsody dress, beige long lattice jacket with tie-neck Shaker shirt and straight leg pant, voluminous linen skirt with tubular pleating, Shaker blouse with high-neck color, flared prairie skirt, blue organza gown
Tags: Simona Kogan