ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 embroidered organza cocktail dress
“[He] viewed the female form as an armature on which to build his highly sculptural pieces. To give strength and shape to the luxurious fabrics he favored, [he] often underpinned them with a framework of millinery wire and buckram for bombast. Though his dresses weighed up to eighteen pounds, his technical prowess ensured that the wearer moved as gracefully as a ballerina.” This is the Voguepedia entry for American courtier Charles James. It also could apply to Zac Posen who, as a designer unwaveringly committed to his particular vision of outsize glamour and silhouette, is poised to be the James of his generation. So next spring when theCostume Institute celebrates “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” with the annual opening-night gala, you better bet Posen will be ready with dresses. “This is in preparation for the Met,” the designer said with a smile during his pre-fall presentation when a model swanned out wearing a satin dove-gray confection. It was strapless with goodness only knows what kind of interior scaffolding holding it close to the body, tucked to the waist and then, whoosh, out in waves of fabric that skimmed so elegantly along the floor the model may as well have been on a hovercraft. As if this weren’t enough, Posen inserted undulations of a slightly darker fabric to add texture and tone. Another dress with an exaggerated ball skirt was made entirely of embroidered organza.
Not everything was quite so dramatic—though Posen did find a way to dramatize a white cotton poplin shirt with three tiers of fabric cascading down the back. He used a menswear-inspired gray flannel for a long-sleeved day dress with a cocoon-like cape, and a slim tulip skirt was made in a python-patterned jacquard. For anyone going to the Met, it’d be a fitting look for the morning after.
vogue.com review of the zac posen pre-fall 2014 collection by emily holt
ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 silk pleated blouse and crepe pants
ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 silk velvet devore gown
Zac Posen dialed the drama of his recent runway show way back for Pre-Fall. The designer remains as committed as ever to after-eight dressing, but the focus here was on cleaner shapes. Simple, though, isn’t the right word for them. The bodice of a cocktail number in an over-embroidered black organza was engineered from what could’ve been dozens of pieces of fabric; it fit the model like a glove. A long strapless dress in amber duchesse satin, meanwhile, was constructed with just two pairs of darts, at the bust and the hips. That meant that the side seams were invisible, tucked into the folds of a train. There aren’t many New York ateliers capable of that kind of workmanship, and there are even fewer designers who would bother with such a thoughtful detail.
With the Costume Institute’s Charles James retrospective on the horizon, Posen made sure to showcase his gowns. A strapless style in a platinum-to-teal ombre was every inch as grand as one of James’ creations, with a critical difference: lightness. The late couturier might have balked at an evening column in tropical wool men’s suiting fabric, but Posen has a winner on his hands with that one, ease being a major part of its appeal. He used the same material for a smart pantsuit, a relatively rare but decidedly welcome sight chez Posen. This was a well-considered outing, one that points the way forward for his brand.
style.com review of the zac posen pre-fall collection by nicole phelps
ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 grey satin duchess ball gown
ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 blue satin duchess cocktail dress
ming xi wearing a zac posen pre-fall 2014 tulle and lace gown
ming xi wearing gowns from the zac posen pre-fall 2014 collection
For pre-fall, Zac Posen infused his red-carpet gowns with sculpted details. A black strapless number, for instance, featured a full skirt with raised detail at the waist to add volume and shape. His statement separates also made a strong impact. Most notable was the white button-up shirt he worked into a fitted version with layers of ruffles at back and bottom, and the slightly flared double-faced cashmere coat that would work well over any gown.
wwd review of the zac posen pre-fall 2014 collection