Greta Constantine Spring ’11

Review of the Greta Constantine Spring 2011 show

by

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum

A few hours before the Greta Constantine show, their charming PR assistant, Jesse Greene, sent out a press release. This season, Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill are “motivated by the idea of how fashion is a kind of superstition”. Well then, it’s fair to gather their two biggest superstitions are the following: a) Show must run very, very late, ignite angry Twitter banter. b) Show must open and close with top model. And if this is their ritual, their recipe for success, it proved winning. Their most desirable and sophisticatedly beautiful offering to date, it was well worth the wait. And when Coco Rocha personally contacts you to say she would like to walk the show, as the Canadian supermodel did, you know you are doing something right. A desert-scavenger pair of rolled linen ecru shorts and cream blouson opened on a casual note, but on Rocha, it had the elegance of a signature Greta gown. A series of linen-knit mélange looks followed. Momentarily taking draping out of Grecian territory and eschewing all tricky embellishment, they seductively hung from the body. Highlighting the shoulders and back as erogenous zones with daring dips of layered cloth, they appeared almost toga-wrapped around the figure in one felt swoop. It’s a style that would appeal to the woman who in theory likes the idea of a long gown, but finds the reality fussy and overly formal. For those who never dare dress up, quietly bohemian asymmetrical tunics paired with sueded-silk cropped trousers were also presented as great options. Addressing my personal distate for long eveningwear, the designers even featured a dress named after yours truly. In a preferred hue of loden green with an intermission hemline (short in front long in back, but I assure you, much more elegant than a mullet) my fellow editor gave a subtle “whoop” as its caped-back flew by. The bread-and-butter jersey dresses that came next were also impressive. Using a thicker-weight material, clean cuts and soft hues of grey, russet and willow gave the looks a Halston-heyday elegance. Breaking up the neo-Lady Godiva set, menswear label Ezra Constantine delivered its standard hit of chiseled downtown-urchin streetwear. Fun fact: male model Paolo Roldan, who is part of the GC team’s inner circle, is also a Riccardo Tisci favourite at Givenchy. When the women returned to the runway, they were thinly-veiled in too-sheer floaty dresses. Yes, they complimented the Ezra body-of-work-boy, but one or two more layers of gossamer were needed to make frocks look like more than just bedroom-folly. Satisfyingly, the finale gowns were Vionnet-gorgeous. Think countless sheets of filmy cloth enveloping models in that precise shade of blush that flatters everyone. Thank Goddess for Greta.

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