>> Everyone knows this girl: The girl who can pile on the most random assortment of pieces and still manage to look amazingly cool. A vintage dress, cowboy boots, an odd little cap — somehow, it works. It was this kind of irreverent spirit that Jen Kao riffed on for Fall 2012. The designer tapped a seemingly endless supply of influences — the Far East, Western, Military, a bit of '20s — and strung it all together with leather, crochet, plaid, dip-dyed lace, and fringe. It made for an intriguing assortment and — at its most successful — managed to capture that elusive, freewheeling spirit with utter ease.
Posts for February 10th 2012
>> Suno has always been about print. Even before the current print craze, cofounders Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty drew upon Osterweis's Kenyan roots and extensive collection of vintage Kenyan fabrics to produce pieces that were bright, cheerful, and eclectic. The collection has matured since those early days, and this season's offering showcased what was perhaps the brand's most polished aesthetic yet. Joyful florals and graphic stripes were rendered on military-tinged jackets, tailored pants, and slim-lined skirts. The result? A bold — and, ultimately, super-appealing — collection.
>> For Fall 2012, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright took a little trip to the English countryside — with a stop in India along the way. There were jodhpurs and riding jackets — cinched high on the waist with hearty leather belts — in a feast of fabrics: blanket stripes, metallic-threaded brocade, ikat knits, and felted herringbone. Layers, a hallmark of the brand, were carefully draped and artfully controlled. And, while there were many pieces on hand to covet — such as mixed-print surplice dresses, any number of terrific fur vests — the other show-stoppers this time around were the boots: shiny, bold, and with extra-thick wooden soles.
>> How many sharp little dresses can one collection have? If you ask Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, the answer is dozens. The duo have made a name for themselves doing their version of the sexy modern dress, often working in references that teeter toward subversive. This season, the subversive reference at play was Pedro Almodóvar's recent film The Skin I Live In, which manifested itself in precise cutouts, sculptural flaps, zipped-up layers, and undulating drapes — all meant to invoke the skill of a sociopathic plastic surgeon. But it wasn't all so twisted: there were also trim pantsuits (albeit with a nice helping of sheer) and a few softly tailored sheaths to provide relief.
>> Inspired by a recent trip to India, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright riffed on the influence of British culture in Asian places for Fall 2012. Military silhouettes were feminized and punctuated by leather and tweed — with glints of silver and copper throughout. Watch the entire collection in action below, then click here to see all the images from the collection.
>> For Fall 2012, Michael and Nicole Colovos offered up a confident collection of strong-lined separates steeped in Helmut Lang's intrinsic cool. This time around, the brand's signature pieces — draped dresses, funnel-neck sweaters, power blazers, and skinny pants — were done up in a tactile assortment of Winter-ready fabrics: pebbled leather, cobweb knits, structured wool, and high-pile fur. Also on hand was a surprising — and welcome — amount of color and pattern in the form of crimson, oxblood, and molten lava prints.
>> Sophisticated to the max; that's how Doo.Ri is doing it for Fall 2012. Gorgeous draping, moody hues, wool pants, and mixed-knit turtlenecks are streamlined and chic. Hemlines are demure; silhouettes are loose with bouts of airy asymmetry. Even leather pants are less tough and more ladylike. Finishing off the polished looks are slick ponytails accentuated with beautiful black ribbon headbands.
>> If ladylike and badass made love, Yigal Azrouel's Fall 2012 collection would be their genius offspring. And, like any love child, two genes must each lend their unique touches. Here, the demure (midcalf skirts) met the totally edgy (leather touches and sheer dresses) — still, it's obvious the genes of badass reigned supreme. Fur trapper hats, aviator sunglasses, silver chokers, and leather gloves set the tone, while baby-blue hues and outerwear worn over the models' shoulders lent an air of femininity. Bursts of maroon, forest green, ivory, and oatmeal further kept the collection — and audience — on its toes.
>> For Fall 2012, Jason Wu served up his most powerful and elegant assortment yet. The designer found inspiration in China — and specifically his own relationship to it. "I went back to Taiwan, where I was born, a year and a half ago," the designer said. "I realized I was ready to take on one of the biggest subjects I grew up with: how does a Chinese designer do 'China'? I've lived in America, Canada, and Japan, but to come back to this means so much to me."
So, what does China mean to Wu? Though the references the designer chose to focus on — Mao's military, the Qing dynasty, and the 1932 film Shanghai Express — could lend themselves toward cliché, Wu managed to keep his versions modern, fresh, and tight. Silhouettes were sharp without an ounce of frill, while embellishment came in the form of lace appliqué, quilting, piping, fur, and beads. "It's my most luxurious," Wu explained. Luxurious, yes, but also utterly transportive as well.
>>Kate Spade's quirky, color-filled aesthetic got a jolt of joie de vivre this season. With creative director Deborah Lloyd using classic Parisian motifs as inspiration, and Brad Goreski styling, the collection was a tongue-in-cheek ode to Parisian women. Classic, ladylike silhouettes were rendered in juicy colors and classic prints like florals and leopard, while ruffles, bow ties, and feathers referenced Parisian coquette. Accessory highlights included polka-dot pumps, sleek envelope clutches, and deliciously flirty car gloves.