WWD Week in Review: 3/5/10

The top stories for the week ending in March 5, 2010.

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Dolce & Gabbana RTW Fall 2010

Photo By Davide Maestri

Nina Ricci RTW Fall 2010

Photo By Giovanni Giannoni

Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”

Photo By Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Milan Fashion Week Wraps Up

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana consider themselves designers as well as customer service professionals, who listen to what their clients want. These days, that doesn’t include wearing what appeals just to magazine stylists, something Dolce and Gabbana kept in mind last season while addressing the customer’s feminine wiles. And last Sunday, their practical focus fell on a woman’s masculine side with a stunning collection rooted in “sartorialità,” or tailoring, Italian-style. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And by that standard, Frida Giannini just might have taken Gucci down that tricked-out, laced-up but bankable road again. But not this time. Giannini did an about-face, and in her most successful show since joining the company, delivered a clean, polished collection that pulsed with insouciant glamour. “The New Chic” was how Giorgio Armani defined his fall collection, according to program notes. And since Armani prides himself on maintaining a constant minimum of high chic, grounded in his long-established house codes of strong, sophisticated tailoring and elegant evening attire — dually represented here — the question was, what did he consider new? No, not the fringy, in-your-face hats but color: saturated Crayola tones, such as orange, cherry red, pink and the deep emerald green that opened the show.
See all collections from Milan fashion week here>>
See the scene backstage, all the parties, front row scoops and videos from the Milan shows>>

Paris Fashion Week

At Nina Ricci, Peter Copping struck an air of romantic gentility similar to spring’s debut. But as his opening look — a sturdy black coat, all wide lapels and fake fur sleeves — hinted, this was going to be a much more grounded affair. And, indeed, he aimed at tempering the flou, shuffling between sturdy and frothy elements to provide contrast. During a preview the day before his show, Dries Van Noten said he was in the mood for a little fun this season, which was interesting since neither the overarching military theme nor the mood of the collection he showed Wednesday was particularly light. Rather, what Van Noten, who’s not prone to perverse head games, considered a good time was departing from his terrific cross-cultural inspirations and instead, applying that mash-up treatment to various periods of fashion — Fifties, Sixties, Seventies — with beautiful, graceful results. At Balmain, the Eighties were back (even though they never really left the premises). Those wondering if Christophe Decarnin would push his sexy sensibility to new terrain got their answer in the raucous opening score: 1984’s “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. And Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenciaga collection he delivered Thursday was another nimble negotiation between his own futuristic pursuits and reverence to the name on the door.
See all collections from Paris fashion week here>>
See the scene backstage, all the parties, front row scoops and videos from the Paris shows>>

Rumors Swirl Around Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger Corp., which has been owned for nearly four years by private equity firm Apax Partners, could be in play. According to sources, Apax has been talking to companies to gauge their interest in acquiring Hilfiger, while at the same time continuing to explore an initial public offering for the American brand, which was postponed two years ago when global stock markets began to slide. At the moment, the lead candidate to acquire Hilfiger is said to be $2.4 billion Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., which has been openly on the prowl for acquisitions and proved with its 2002 purchase of Calvin Klein that it can successfully incorporate a large global brand into its business.
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