Friday, August 19, 2011

Style - Favorite Clothing Designers

Clothes are emotional.  Some items evoke an intensely emotional response--comfort, pride, inspiration, security, courage.  Anyone who does not have an item of clothing or accessory in their wardrobes that evokes an emotional response needs to go shopping!

My favorite designers of all time, in no particular order, some with caveats:

  • Marc Jacobs - arguably the most famous and scrutinized designer in the world. He is on this list although I have not liked much of any season since Spring 2008 with the exception of a few pieces from Fall 2010.  I am hoping that he will finally ditch his 70s obsession and make beautiful wearable  clothes again. I forgive him for his 1992 grunge line during his short-lived stint at Perry Ellis. 
  • Prada - quirky, intellectual,  luxurious absentminded professor. I will not admit to the number of Prada bags I have :)  Skip the sportswear line and instead pick a few of the less season-identifiable pieces from the runway collections instead. 
  • Barneys  - Designed by Martin Grant, the line contains deceptively simple clothes with impeccable tailoring, materials and quality.  The clothes are made to last, in classic styles that will stand the test of trends and time. Their cashmere sweaters are a staple in my closet. 
  • The Row - not that the Olsen twins need any more money, but I love this line.  The fabrics, clean lines, and quality of this line make their items work horses in any wardrobe.  Pricey but worth the investment. 
  • Celine - with Phoebe Philo.  The thinking woman's designer with many wearable silhouettes, unusual color combinations, and great leathers. 
  • Dries Van Noten - no one mixes patterns, colors and proportions like Dries. Beautiful quality and workmanship.  It is no surprise that even with no marketing or advertising, he has built a cult-like following. 
  • Jil Sander - The Queen of Minimalism. Jil no longer designs for her namesake line but Raf Simons has taken the label to the next level.  The colors and patterns of the last few seasons are just breathtaking.  
  • Reed Krakoff - critics and editors have had mixed reviews for Reed, but I love the severity and strict ideology of his clothes and bags. I hope his line survives the naysayers. 
  • Bottega Veneta - quiet luxury.  Their old ad campaign slogan "when your own initials are enough" is certainly fitting.  I am not a fan of the woven leather bags, but the beautiful clothes designed by Tomas Maier make me swoon. They do not show particularly well in photographs or even on hangers; they must be seen in person to be truly appreciated.  I am fortunate enough to have some pieces in my wardrobe and they are among my favorites. 

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