australia fashion week: manning cartell

(images via vogue)

so i want to admit straightaway that much as i’d like to discuss all the newer, australian shows before us just right away, we still have quite a lot of a backlog, and i’m honestly not sure how soon we can get to all of them. however! we should probably relax, because with both the brazilian and aussie shows moved up, we’re looking at a pretty sparse summer, save for, like, couture/amsterdam/berlin in, like, july, so maybe it won’t matter so much if things get a little behind, right?

right! so with that in mind, are you ready to discuss the latest, s/s 2014 work for the sisters manning, also known as the manning cartell? we’ve been following them for several seasons now (see s/s 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012, s/s 2013), through several incarnations, but i must admit, i’m most on about them when they’re in more of a tribal mode, which we saw a something of this season, albeit through a rather unexpected lens. as per marie claire, “(t)his time around, the brand played with the theme of Romeo and Juliet, or as designer Gabrielle Manning put it, ‘a story of love and hate, youth and age, comedy and tragedy, dream and reality, fate and chance.'”

meanwhile, drawing out this concept a little bit further was the excellent australian site the vine, explaining that “(t)he show’s liner notes explained that the Manning Cartell trio was ‘inspired by symbols of contrast as depicted in the classic love story of Romeo & Juliet.’ The Shakespearean element may not have been immediately obvious, but the contrast between the setting and the preened fashion folks within it couldn’t have been greater. But where it worked for the staging, the concept of contrast seemed to be an illusive one when applied to the clothing. For there to be a contrast, a polar opposite of something, there first needs to be a strong concept to turn on its head, and there lacked a strong theme or direction in the creative underpinnings of these garments.”

“As seems to be the case a lot this week, the strongest looks were the simplest,” they continued. “Some of the problems with Manning Cartell’s collection could have been solved with a ruthless, deft hand. Strip those sexy separates and cocktail dresses of the layered, sparkly netting that adorned them, covering the limbs, chest and back, for example, and there’s a nice, simple cocktail dress underneath. And where the scissors could have been used here, they could have been restrained in other places: a tile-effect sweater made with Perspex discs, the small lines between the patchwork exposing hints of flesh, would have been better left alone as opposed to cutting away bold strips. At moments it was all too much at once.”

and then, in a much lighter, more flippant way (also, if you want to read about the show’s beauty, check out bella sugar), the australian site fab sugar sang along that “these clothes are electric. High-shine metallic formed everything from boxy cropped tops to slinky pencil dresses, while contrasting prints in blue, lilac and black stayed true to the label’s signature edgy style. To embody the collection’s Romeo & Juliet inspiration, romantic sheer netting and buttery soft leathers softened the harder-edged pieces, while a mix of close-to-the-body and sporty silhouettes ensured there’s a little something for everyone.” that’s just what i was going to say. i guess. but does anyone else feel like this label used to have so.much.promise, beyond just the commercial?

(check out the full fashion show video here)

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