To begin with, Jay McCarroll is one of my favorite designers, and this collection lived up to expectations. The interesting and unexpected hot air balloon inspirations and gorgeous sensitivity to color made this collection stand out from most things at fashion week. Jay, to me, has this kind of uncorrupted sense of things; he's not dragged into the delusions associated with "fashion". He is, at heart, an artist, and apparel is his medium. One can make comparisons between him and a Betsey Johnson or a Zac Posen because of his youthful, whimsical designs, but overall his stuff is very unique.
As always, the color palette is pitch-perfect, most of the looks are reinvented enough to be fresh and interesting while still being mainline, and every outfit plays off each other wonderfully.
The only real problems with this collection is the retro aesthetic. Obviously Jay has spoke in the past how he likes to incorporate the homemade "traditional" details like knitting and quilting in his work which has been, and still is, perfectly fine, but some of these looks didn't look as reinvented as others; in fact, some details looked like they came straight out of the 50's and 60's without any interpretation at all.
Let's start the show.
Love the bag. And the bracelet. The styling in this collection was phenomenal, it must be said. It looked good to start the show off with a neutral look, considering the pace and colors within the rest of the show. The sleeves look good, but aside from that the proportions look a little strange. The pant legs look very lounge-y and the overalls look doesn't seem very..."now". This is what I meant by the retro remark; the outfit is fresh enough not to garner any real negativity, but it's definitely not something that stands out in this self-proclaimed "futuristic" collection, and it's an odd opening look. And those freaking buttons look like they belong on a Shirley Temple doll.
FABULOUS. Love the baby-doll silhouette, love the detailing along the hem and neckline, and that hooded shrug is cute and sophisticated. The parachute fabric on the skirt actually looks very good. Not crazy about the stockings, but a great dress nonetheless.
Just have to bring this up: the menswear in this collection was fabulous, and I'm sorry we've seen such a limited scope of this design from Jay. I think he should do a whole menswear line because, frankly, we need more funky menswear designers.
Anyway, back to the look: great. Love the rooster insignia, love the horizontal striped shirt and mesh v-neck tank. Aside from the blazer, all of the elements are nothing really "new", but they are put together in an interesting way.
Very runway. The top is really gorgeous, and the slung down shoulder looks great. The sleeve length puzzles me; it doesn't look like a mistake, but it certainly doesn't seem intentional. It should've been exaggerated just a tad. And that one-shoulder lace strap has to go.
Love the paillette necklace. Signature Jay.
GORGEOUS gown. Another sect of Jay's talent we don't see quite often: evening wear. It's obvious his niche is street/sportswear, but that kind of earthy, urban aesthetic translates into great and interesting evening wear. Definitely something we need to see more of.
The lines and color-blocking on this dress work well, but the sheath is not really..."sheathing" and that's always a little iffy with horizontal stripe designs. The model looks rather shapeless from the bust down. All in all, though, great dress.
This is probably the weakest menswear look in the whole collection. Not that it's bad, but it's a bit of a throwback futuristic look. In the sixties, with the moon landing and counterculture surrounding modern life, fashion took on a futuristic space-age approach, and obviously, that's not how real future fashions developed. This look is something akin to that. The jacket is fine, great even, and the shirts are okay, but those goddamn pants, the flip-flops and that ridiculous helmet ruin the look. Too retro, too dated.
FABULOUS. The clean cut silhouette and color with that patchwork detail are beautiful. 'Nuff said. Simple and elegant.
Another very "runway" look. It's commendable that Jay is anti-fur and anti-leather, because lord knows the industry needs to move away from those materials. Faux furs and pleathers are just as good, as illustrated here. The neckpiece looks great, and the all-white look is very modern and, once again, clean and minimal.
Hmmm. When I first saw it, I thought the stiffness of the bow was kind of neat, and it's exaggerated just enough. The yellow looks very fresh, but the whole look kinda screams "tacky eighties party favor". I love me a puffy sleeve, but paired with that fabric, that color, and the freaking obnoxious bow...it's just not good.
BEST LOOK. Seriously, the fabric is gorgeous, the color the print...it's all great and kind of embodies the themes of the collection. Sure you can say it's too "matchy matchy" but it really makes a statement, and for this particular look it's fine to be rendered in all the same fabric; in fact, you can say the whole thing is just a vehicle for the fabric, which is just fine because it's amazing. I understand Jay's gradient-effect to his shows, but this would've been the best opening look.
Great tank, great pants. The only thing is...the yellow in the shirt and the yellow in the pant look discordant; which is odd because Jay has a great color sense.
Wonderful skirt; the patchwork/quilting construction of it fits in with Jay's POV, and with the collection. The knit top is great, and the colors are perfect. Classic Jay.
LOVEloveLOVE. The rain cape is great and unexpected, and the color is beautiful. The dress underneath is perfect, too, but I wish we could've seen it without the coat; she couldn't take it off?
Hate the tights. Love everything else. The visor is kind of gimmicky, though. But the graphic tee makes up for it.
Hate the friggin' necktie (enough bows already) but the patchwork dress is great. Love the contrasting sleeves and the tights.
This...looks unsophisticated. A real clunker... The hoodie looks like a gas station attendant's uniform. The skirt is cool, though. The helmet sucks.
FABULOUS!!!! Great Mod-style coat, great styling, nothing wrong with this look. I would buy it now and wear it if I wasn't a man. Oh, who am I kidding? I would still wear it.
Another great menswear look. The texture and colors are great, and (even though you can't see it) the duffle is really nice. The model looks like stoned plumber, though.
Fabulous jacket and turtleneck. The patterns work well together, but it's a little tiring to see these "all one color" looks.
BEST MENSWEAR LOOK. Seriously, I covet those pants. The mesh rooster tank, the layered shirts...it's all fantastic.
Another mod-inspired outfit that just works. Love the progression of colors.
Cute little look. Kinda retro, still, but interesting. Hate those weird cups, though. Is that part of the design, or are her boobs just falling out? I actually think the top is just sliding down...
Great. Glasses are gimmick. Love the graphic detailing at the bottom of the shirt.
Love the high waisted blimp skirt, and the top is nice. Still hate the bow.
Love the dress; the hem looks good. Balloon skirt done right. LOVE that birdcage necklace. I would love to have that.
Chic and simple. The sunshine orange looks great, as do the cuffs and v-neck. Love the oversized bag with Jay circles.
Great evening gown. The "v"s have a great vibe to them, and give a lot of energy to the look. This hugs the body a lot better than the grey gown, and you can really see the difference a good fit makes.
FABULOUS EXIT. The only thing I curse is I never saw the whole look when she raised the skirt. I assume it was somewhat of a balloon shape? The patchwork is great, though, and the beehive suits it well. Although I must say it's quite odd Jay boasted this as a "futuristic" collection, when most looks were just old looks revisited and only a handful were actually "futuristic". In any event, though, this is a great evening gown.
I was very pleased with the collection overall, and for someone who really has no experience in fashion, Jay did an amazing job with his first solo collection, and I cannot wait until "Eleven Minutes" premiers in NY.
See the show here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLRclR1Akh4