Saturday, September 3, 2011

Beauty Is As Beauty Does

Speaking from my viewpoint as the new editor-at-large at Crap & Couture, and as a seasoned fashion editor and journalist who has seen it all (and done it all) so to speak, across the fashion industry (wholesale and retail) for lo these many years, it is always wonderful and fun for me to give a “First View” report on a new clothing collection, in particular, a new clothing collection which hasn’t been critiqued, pulled apart and written about to death by other fashion editors.

Perhaps, and even more importantly, my desire to get the first peek at, and then be able to be one of the first to write about a new collection, is really piqued when the collection is not only defined as couture and is specifically designed for and targeted to women who are not necessarily very young and very tiny, but fulfills its promise by serving up beautiful, shapely, modern, eleganza pieces for the real American woman, who wears size 10 to size 20.

And, so it goes with the RODAN collection, designed by Fabrizio Babino, and just launched for Spring/Summer 2012, in New York City. The 25-piece capsule grouping serves up all of what is usually expected from a couture collection, in terms of sumptuous fabrication, abundant detailing, well-tailored shape, sexy silhouette, and all of the trimmings that make high ticket items such as these, couture by the very nature of these kinds of things.

According to Babino, “our target market is ageless; she wears anywhere from a size 10 to a size 20. She is the couture client, and as such, she demands all of the finest qualities that every client demands when shopping especially for couture clothing.”

Now, if all of this sounds unusual, particularly since so many shoppers (and retailers, as well) in major metropolitan fashion cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the like, are more often than not used to seeing (and understanding) haute fashion in small size clothing, Babino says, “this is not a plus size collection as most shoppers and retailers are used to seeing. We are truly showcasing an extension of the runway collection. What we are offering the couture woman who is not that size zero, is authentic fashion styling right off any American or European designer runway. We fit the real, American size woman, who is really a size 14 or 16, with the high-fashion, designer look that she knows and loves; Gianfranco Ferre, John Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, for example. And, we are giving her this type of modern, sophisticated couture fashion with all of the haute trimmings; beautiful fabrics, fine detailing; color aside from simply black; nothing matronly, nothing shapeless, just sexy, beautiful pieces across the board.”

Citing the collection as “gold range, couture clothing”, Babino points to the heart of the collection; chic, ultra-stylized pieces, all done up in a range of natural fiber fabrics, such as cotton, silk, chiffon and organza, worked into shapely silhouettes, each of which can be mixed, matched and worn easily from day into evening. Further to the point that the collection as a whole is noteworthy, there are, for this editor, five particular looks that stand out, and being a kind editor even bring you pictures so you can see for yourself:

The groovy, Mod-inspired, stretch cotton flower embroidered jacket ($1,495)

Silk-blend shantung pleated trench ($1,775)


Eyelet cotton jacket ($995), paired with stretch cotton pleated skirt ($695)

Pleated silk, slit-front gown with braided belting ($2,215)

Silk striped asymmetric top ($610), worn with eyelet cotton pleated skirt ($695).

See you at Fashion Week!

– ADWB for C&C

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