rafw: ginger & smart
(images via fashionising)
it’s weird how quickly the seasons can turn in australia. just a hot minute ago, we were discussing ginger & smart’s a/w 2012 collection in melbourne (after having gone since their s/s 2010 showing without seeing them), and in a flash…we’re on to the s/s 2012 range at sydney’s rosemount australian fashion week. and i’d actually say i’m liking their output a lot better here since wondering that perhaps they were relying a little too heavily on styling last time around.
but…interestingly enough, in a rather lengthy and thoughtful analysis, the australian website the vine quite disagrees with me, instead assessing things a lot stronger along the lines of what i was alleging for fall. “Like many designers,” they began, “Ginger & Smart struggled to create a collection that married the casual nature of summer and high-end designer fashion…for summer, that glamour and reliability [of fall] was replaced by an incoherence that suggests that, maybe after 10 years, Ginger & Smart need to refine who, exactly, it is they’re designing for, and though we purport that evolution is necessary in fashion, sometimes relying on classics isn’t so bad, either.”
“The Smart sisters,” they continued,” outlined their inspirations in the show’s press release: their muse being a ‘woman of contrasts… at once luminous, captivating and wise.’ And it all makes sense – they’re women, running a successful business, designing for women. But don’t they want to flatter their customers? Most of the clothing, unless worn over a swimsuit en route from the beach, seemed highly unwearable. In terms of style, the designers explained that they wanted to explore the cross section between graphic architectural lines and raw nature, but the contrast was a confusing one, as they flip-flopped between oversized metallic silver sack dresses and sharp tailoring in bold colour blocking.”
carrying on, they wrote that “where, at moments, elements seemed promising, hope soon dissolved…The saving grace came in form of the label’s more casual pieces (slouchy sweaters, sheer knee-length skirts, lightweight wide-leg pants) and a graphic multi-coloured graphic print that, in a stroke of design savvy, was used for a simple, above-the-knee dress, cinched at the waist, though these garments were nonetheless overshadowed by the additional styling elements. Ginger & Smart has employed three different stylists to work on its past three years’ presentations, which would suggest they haven’t yet found the right person to interpret and communicate their vision.”
i’m not sure i would necessarily be that harsh, but maybe that’s simply because i liked the quieter prints this time around, the loss of some of fall’s overabundance of pizazz and the ‘look at us! we’ve got just so many contrasting prints in a single exit!’ feeling. but on the other hand, daily gloss cheered that “(w)hilst neon green brocade may be for the daring Samantha Jones’ of the world only, the usual flamboyancy of Ginger & Smart extends to more sellable digital print shirts and skirts, anchored by some pretty hues of champagne silk.”
and of course, we also have the consistently-upbeat fab sugar, screeching with their typical infusion of saccharine that “(t)he design duo celebrated their tenth anniversary with a bang, sending neon hues, punchy digitalised prints, silver foil embellished brocades and high-shine metallics down the runway. To counter the spotlight-stealing colour palette and fabrications, the silhouettes were a little subtler: relaxed tailoring and ladylike shapes worked their magic.” and of course, bella sugar took on the hair and beauty, writing that the latter was derived from a “modern, sophisticated take on the iconic mohawk and 90s rave subculture.”
in the end, i suppose you could say that the different types of sites pretty well define what people are going to think of the show. the vine is looking for weightier, more artistic collections, while the others are simply providing an introduction and entertainment, not really trying to do anything too deep (and thus, are likely to probably really like the offerings). but for myself, i’d say they’re quite cute, if you’re the type of girl to be into this sort of thing. i imagine quite a few are, and we probably shouldn’t judge it too harshly if we’re not. it just takes a different type, that’s all (see additional show images at vogue).
(view a brief collection video here)