Fall 2007: Chris Han, Gustavo Arango & Carlos Campos
To backtrack a bit, here is Special Correspondent Leighann Farrelly's report from Saturday. (I would've posted them last night, but there was a whole snafu with our files. You know how it goes.) Please note, however, that for now, there are no photos for Carlos Campos, because we can't find any. If some should turn up, we'll update the review.

Chris Han
There aren’t many things that can get me out of bed before noon on Saturday. But there I was, riding the N train at 9 a.m., on my way to the first of four shows this freezing February day. My first show of the day was a designer I’ll admit I knew nothing about. There is something exciting about not knowing what you’re in for, especially when it involves a form of art. Like attending a museum, most people are interested in a specific exhibit, but view other works while they are there. Fashion Week can work very much in the same way. You know the big names--the Picassos, the Monets, and the Warhols--but can appreciate the newer artists, those with their fledgling exhibitions in prominent galleries. With a few wearable staple pieces, Chris Han may or may not be one of those emerging talents. While she has a long way to go, this show is a noted accomplishment.

The first series of outerwear sent down the runway appeared in luscious creams, all with large buttons. A lighter, softer approach to the metallic trend surfaced with each coat or jacket in the form of a scarf or skirt. This most feminine example is very well put together.

I loved this next look: a blouson-style top with a waist-hugging hem in a heavier fabric with leather piping trim. A cut that normally is executed in lighter, slinkier fabrics brought to a level of tough-girl chic. And elbow-length leather gloves…foxy!

Nothing says fall fashion quite like the trench coat. I imagined this polished version, in a sumptuously faded violet, over skinny denim or a pair of well-tailored charcoal grey pants.

The mood of the show changed dramatically with the next piece, and seemed to never completely restore itself. Webs of tulle, on satin dresses and oversized tops, seemed to have been tossed onto garments haphazardly at the last minute.

Here, the metallic look is a bit overdone, in sheer and liquid-shiny metallic.

Between the see-through metallic mania, came this herringbone cape topping a pair of skinny black leather pants. Trying for the big-on-top, skinny-on-bottom, this look nearly borders on sloppy, as if the fabric was just wound around the shoulders of the model and held up with a safety pin or two.

I am curious to see the direction in which Chris Han goes from here. Her jackets, coats, and knit pieces are practical in a chic way, but the divergence into netting and metallics drained the entire line of any fluidity. If clothing is to stores they way art is to museums, it’s a tough call to say whether her pieces will be on view in the near future at your local [insert upscale department store here].

Gustavo Arango
Apparently, today was my day to venture to the unknown. And by unknown, I mean attending two more shows of designers with whom I was relatively unfamiliar at Fashion Week’s hectic satellite location. Thanks to a few wise words from a stylish little birdie, I wasn’t completely on my own in battling the chaos. With an actual seat assignment, I suffered less than others, finding myself comfortably seated and thawing out long before the first model hit the runway.

Undeniably reaching for glamour, Gustavo Arango’s collection was full of metallics, sleek and shiny. One of the first pieces made this statement early, boasting a gown blocked in strips of sparkle. The sparkles I can take or leave--it's actually the cut of the dress should be given some notice.

In much of the same respect, I am not crazy about the fabric or color choices in this next little number, but the cut, which for some crazy reason reminded me of a tulip, held my gaze.

I could go on and on with this template, but I think you get the idea. Each piece seemed to be doing its own thing in this show, with its own set of rules; mixtures of punk goddess, followed by aims at the red-carpet, with little regard to a relationship with the piece before or after. Although the collection houses many unique ideas, it doesn’t quite communicate just what is Gustavo Arango’s style. One part glam and one part rock-n-roll, this mixture just needs a pinch of refinement to pull it all together.

Carlos Campos
From the moment I took the first sip of my morning tea, I had to marvel at the things that people do in the name of fashion. They get up at 9am on the weekend. They walk to shows halfway across the city in four-inch heels. They stand in subzero temperatures for forty minutes amidst a total lack of organization to wait for a standing room only spot to a show they have never heard of while random strangers are pulled ahead of them in line because they know somebody! I can tell you my annoyance about this disappeared as slowly and as painfully as the frigid numbness that had replaced my feet. Despite my attempts to bundle up, twice I had lost feeling in my toes today. But, in more ways than one, the show must go on!

“This is man’s world, this is man’s world...”
Now, normally, I would have to disagree with the godfather of soul (sorry Mr. Brown, I have a biased opinion), but Carlos Campos has nearly had me convinced. His finely tailored rebel schoolboys rocked the runway with an air of prep school defiance. Each piece contributed to the newly defined modern powersuit: Out with the traditional head-to-toe navy suit. Carlos Campos ushered in mixed pieces, printed shirts with white collars and solid ties, oversized leather bags and brightly colored jeweltone sweaters. Many ties were dotted with a bit a bling.

In retrospect, maybe this is a man’s world...because in a woman’s world, I’d be able to find some pictures to better illustrate my point! I am disappointed, to say the least, but vow to keep looking for photos of the surprisingly chichi and well-tailored menswear collection.

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