NYFW: FALGUNI AND SHANE PEACOCK

The clothes said “REBEL” across the front, but I’m not sure they actually lived up to that label.

What I expect from Falguni and Shane Peacock is excitement, adventure, daring, and innovation. Most seasons, I would put them closer to the same box as Marc Jacobs than Jenny Packham. While they’ve never really been over the top, they have been extremely creative and unique in their presentations. So, to see them occupying the first spot in this morning’s schedule was enough to make sure I ingested a little extra caffeine so that I wouldn’t be caught with my head spinning.

I needn’t have bothered.

Not that the garments presented this morning weren’t interesting; they were very attractive and hold a number of good qualities. What disappoints me is that this collection seems to have taken a step closer to mainstream, following along with a significant number of trends we’ve seen elsewhere this season. Let me give you the run down.

  1. Laser cut outs. In the three or four years since laser cutouts first became popular, designers have gone a long way in finding creative uses of this technology. As as result, we see it just about everywhere in almost every collection. While Falguni and Shane used the technology in ways that made sense and were visually attractive, the technique has lost its newness and feels like more of the same in most instances, including this one.
  2. High waist lines. We’ve seen these everywhere and this is far from being the first time this designing duo have used that silhouette. In fact, several of their silhouettes are similar to what they’ve used on previous seasons. Only the fabrics and colors have changed.
  3. Sheer layovers. Creative, yes, but even Oscar de la Renta used them in his show last night. Again, what Falguni and Shane did with them was interesting, but not different enough to be memorable.
  4. Jackets with padded, rounded shoulders. What started with the Dutch minimalists has taken over American jacket design. We’re seeing this silhouette everywhere  and as a result we’re no longer impressed.
  5. Sequins, mirrors, and beads, oh my! Sparklies are a tradition for fashion and they are certainly all over the place this season. I think my disappointment here was that they were not utilized in a more unique style.
  6. Digital prints. Not only are these not new, I’ve seen better.
  7. High tech fabrics. Again, everyone seems to be pulling fabric from the same pile. I love what the new fabrics offer, but was sad to see that Falguni and Shane didn’t push them further.

I understand that sometimes a label has to step away from innovation and present clothes that are more wearable in order to stay in business. Perhaps that is what is driving Falguni and Shane to play it so relatively safe with this season’s collection. The clothes are very marketable, should do well in retail, and will likely produce a strong return for their efforts. This isn’t a bad or ugly or ill conceived collection by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet, in a world where there are already too many willing to simply follow the trends, I expected better from Falguni and Shane Peacock. I am disappointed.

Photo credit: Fernada Calfat

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