Pat McDonagh - fall/winter 2005

Pat McDonagh manages to touch all the bases with a concise Fall 2005 collection that solidifies her reputation as the go-to gal for exquisite noblesse.

Browns and ochres are used to create shapely business-casual suits with all the day-time warmth a lady would need in the fall. A chocolate brown satin blouse shows headmistress austerity with its tight but not suffocating neckline, and this is unusually paired with an umber skirt with buckle fastenings. McDonagh’s use of fur is always tasteful, whether it’s a tumescent, yellow casino mink or simple trim.

Movement is never sacrificed for beauty in a Pat McDonagh collection. The bell-shaped and ruffled ball gowns are not only hyper-sculpted-they’re made for midnight dancing. We have get-up-and-boogie dresses in the house, ladies and gentlemen: silk chiffon in swirly blue, white and brown patterns, a dizzying dynamic that is heightened by vertiginous bias cuts. McDonagh’s wispy chiffon dresses are at their best when they have a touch of melancholy, however, like the triple-layered dresses that drop from off-white to ash in all their mawkish faded glory.

The collection is predictably immaculate, and while nothing shockingly new was shown, I don’t think Pat McDonagh is capable of producing bad outfits, period. And thankfully, she is allergic to the clunky, boxy shoulder thing that everyone else is doing, a lingering hallmark of the 80’s retro craze. McDonagh is content to be merely timeless.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer