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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Show Review: William Rast Fall 2009

Monday night's last showing in the tents was one of the week's most anticipated: the Justin Timberlake-helmed William Rast.

The speakers blared rock and blues classics as a modern, artistic rendering of the American flag provided the backdrop for the runway. Apt dressing for a show that offered reinterpretations of American classics such as motorcycle jackets and, of course, denim.
As expected, tons of celebs populated the front row; I snapped Nicky and Paris Hilton, Anna Wintour, Justin's former N*SYNC bandmate JC Chasez, and MTV V-jay Damien Fahey with his girlfriend, up-and-coming fashionista Grasie Mercedes, before the lights went down.
When they came back up and the show started, however, the collection wasn't as glittering as its audience, unfortunately. New takes on old favorites can be exciting but the pieces here lacked innovation and originality. The influence of the American experience was clear, and elements of Western, Native American, '80s Conspicuous Consumption, and '60s Hippie style were evident, yet it felt like a warmed over mashup of fads that made you wince rather than feel nostalgic or inspired.
The men's collection included some slightly better offerings (and some clear James Dean channeling), and maybe focusing on menswear is where Rast's best prospects for the future lie, especially in an already saturated women's denim market where market-share and competition are fierce.
After JT took his bow, the fashionable took theirs, too, and called it a night at the tents!