Fashion : A SPECIAL REPORT: SPRING INTO FALL : FALL ’90: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY
Just because it’s got a designer label doesn’t make it all right. Every season, even the uncontested geniuses of their time send some real dogs down the runway. For fall, witness Yves Saint Laurent’s yodeler’s costume, Isaac Mizrahi’s kibbutz-capade wear and the cactus-chic creations of Rose is a Rose. Some outfits were so bad they were funny, but humor usually wasn’t the intent.
Far more often, great designers show clothes that uphold their reputation. Geoffrey Beene’s leather belted jumpsuit, Chanel’s gold lace dress with gold fishnet coat, Giorgio Armani’s embroidered velvet evening jackets, Gianni Versace’s long black dress with a single strategic button in back. These were some highlights of the fall ’90 shows.
Several new ideas turned up in more than one collection. First among them: short coats. Claude Montana cut them very full; Michael Kors showed mini polo coats; Karl Lagerfeld styled curvy waist-cinchers in shades of melon or pink. A knee-grazing coat is certainly one way to update a fall wardrobe.
Plaid coat dresses and suits for day were another dominant idea in designers’ day-wear collections. Calvin Klein’s plaid “jacket” dress curves at the hemline to affect a sport jacket. Bill Blass’ caramel plaid suit has body curves. Ungaro’s red plaid suit with gold threads is worth a second look.
The active wear as other wear idea is still an option. Missoni built a collection around the concept. Oscar de la Renta’s hooded parka in brown velvet is an elegant alternative for day or evening.
Brocade suits were the single most beautiful dinner wear on any fashion runway. Among the best were Christian Lacroix’s amethyst-colored version, with a boxier jacket; Ungaro’s curvy cut in fiery gold, and Mizrahi’s--a narrow pantsuit--with it’s indigo jacket and beet-red pants.