Enough have been said about the excruciating
length of Michael Volbracht’s fall 2004 Bill Blass presentation
(80 looks!) in other publications so I won’t rehash that
here. Instead I will say this: this was one instance where one’s
proximity to the exit was a blessing, not a sign that your star
is fading and there are no more front-row seats in your future.
We all had such high hopes that the emerging excellence that marked
Mr Volbracht’s début collection will be continued and that
was certainly the perception at the beginning of the show.
It was a very good beginning staring with some very beautifully cut
camel plaid clutch and window-pane double-breasted coats, skirt suits
with golden sable and Russian sable trims, and a quartet of suits
that was simply perfect for the season. Could any woman go wrong wearing
his camel–grey Alpaca jacket with flecked flannel trouser or his espresso–black
wool plaid trouser suit? Not very likely. He hit upon the right note
of youthfulness and creativity with his rust coloured corduroy jacket
paired with a rust–multi-wool plaid kilt over a cypress (green) mock
turtle-neck and Ai in a rust–loden wool tattersall pantsuit with an
embroidered taffeta vest. And then it started going wrong.
|Instead of joining the
negative pile-up, let’s say everything that went wrong was fixable.
He had a cadre of mature models walking the runway. But sometimes
a particular model seemed to be wearing the wrong look
Again here, instead of joining the negative pile-up,
let’s just say everything that went wrong was fixable. Once again,
he had a cadre of mature models walking the runway with their present
day counterparts. But sometimes a particular model (say, a younger
one) seemed to be wearing the wrong look (e.g. a look that is a little
bit more matronly that youthful). Sometimes it was the other way around.
Sometimes you can’t win for losing. I love you, Pat Cleveland, but
darling, this is 2004; you don’t have the luxury of hogging the runway
as if you have all the time in the world to get the job done. The
show virtually grinded to an halt whenever she was on the runway,
with the younger girls lapping her in their bid to show the look and
get backstage and change for their next look. And then were the times
when it appeared that Mr Volbracht literally went back into the Bill
Blass archives and traced over the sketches and presented it as new.
These looks were extremely dated and I have to wonder who will be
wearing them come August.