Hello-Hello everyone and Happy Almost-end-of-the-week! The Princess is particularly excited at the prospect of week’s end, for she is off to The Big Lake with TSU (The Spousal Unit, aka The Princess Consort) for a brief vacation.
One of the more exciting attractions of Fashion Week
for TP is that every so often a new designer comes along. They may not be “new” to the fashion industry, merely new in our little solar system. One such designer is Christian Francis Roth, returning to the industry after an absence going back to 1995 when he shut down his eponymous clothing line.
Last week Mr. Roth debuted a collection many referred to as demonstrating a ‘Preppy vs. Punk’ or ‘Preppy Meets Punk’ aesthetic.
The line was named the “Gangs of New York” by Mr. Roth; TP is quite intrigued with the launch whatever the name! With bright colors, swingy skirts and other attributes of the prep-school look, this one is fun and funky. Evidently we’re not alone in this assessment. From the Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Runway blog
“It’s happy clothing – it’s fun,” said Roopal Patel, senior fashion director for women’s wear at Bergdorf Goodman, who felt shoppers would likely be attracted to the preppy, striped shirt dresses that looked as if they were made of ripped up button-down shirts haphazardly stitched together.”
The designer cites the Gossip Girl
television show as a source of inspiration for the line. Perhaps Mr. Roth’s time designing for Tommy Bahama
contributed to a number of pieces on the runway in what TP calls the Roth nautical look. We dedicate the top photo to our own Miss Nautical by Nature
. (Psst, Kate – remember, this isn’t out until Spring 2009.)
The Journal blog
reports price points for the line will run from $350 – $525 for dresses, with jackets retailing for about $425 – $675. The runway show featured those ‘gangs’ of girls showcasing different looks from the collection.
One can see the ‘bad girl’ references in the collection, the untied black bow at the neck, the racier hem length and a neckline lower than what any ‘nice young lady’ would be wearing. (This is what the Queen Mother would call a “plunging neckline” were TP to attempt leaving the ancestral home in anything remotely resembling the dress shown lower right.)
Of course, black simply isn’t done during one’s younger years, it’s just not acceptable until a young lady reaches a certain age. In our day, that time was not until after one’s coming out, at the *very* earliest.
And despite our love of black, our favorite pieces in the line remain the delightful variations on what any Upper East Side teen might be wearing.
But this doesn’t rule out our appreciation of the designer’s whimsical variations on the preppy nautical style.
In describing the show, WWD wrote:
“Inspired by New York City cliques, Christian Francis Roth played with the idea of neighborhood gangs with his contemporary label Francis by Christian Francis Roth, resulting in cute prep-school patchwork plaids in dresses and blazers, broken-up rugbies made into dresses and “Acoste” polos featuring an alligator eating the Ralph Lauren polo player.”
Of course our illness (the worst case of LogoPhobia in recorded history) prompts our love for that dress, seen above, but we also like it because we think it is done without rancor or ill will, merely a wink and a grin.
Another reason we are drawn to the designer? Because his models aren’t all emaciated, scrawny young women. None of these beautiful young ladies are anywhere near plump, but they are not the painfully thin and drawn lovelies generally seen on the runway.
Below, a shot of the designer in 1990…
Photo: Kyle Ericksen
and last week at the conclusion of his show.
There is good news this week for Mr. Roth, as reported in an update to the WSJ blog:
“On Monday, Stephanie Solomon, women’s fashion director for Bloomingdale’s, said she planned to carry Mr. Roth’s collection in the spring.”
Oh, one more Roth-related headline, this one also from WWD
(Women’s Wear Daily):
New York Day Two: Preppy and Peppy
The headline is from April, 1994; the copy in that story reads in part: ” On Thursday, the runways came alive with hip preppies at Christian Francis Roth…”. This is where one makes the comment about the leopard and its spots. How very fun.
In fact, we are so fond of this collection we are awarding it (gasp!) the Princess’s Official Seal of Prepalaciousness!