>> Jean Paul Gaultier sure knows how to have fun with clothes; for Fall 2012, he unleashed an edgy collection that felt like a downtown New York City street scene — and we're not talking Wall Street. Graffiti prints covered everything from knit dresses to tailored blazers, and models walked in outfits that showed a gritty, urbane mix — maxi skirts with leather jackets, striped tees corseted and paired with a black pencil. The fun part came with coats that Gaultier turned on their heads to make a double coat — you have to see it — and jackets that were tied to make into skirts. Overall, Gaultier's affection for rebellion mixed with glamour did come through, although perhaps not as brightly as in past collections.
Posts for March 3rd 2012
>> In a dizzying show that included a ghostly bride, a model on a bicycle, and a rather interesting take on Sherlock Holmes, Vivienne Westwood reminds us she doesn't play by the rules. Fall 2012 was intended as an ode to London, not in its current state, but its rich, sometimes seedy past. There was the requisite tartan, but rendered in oversized floor-skimming blanket coats or tightly structured blazers. There were punk tees over maxi skirts, and plenty of tulle, brocade, and crinoline to please a princess, but done here with gigantic platforms and ripped tights. Look by look, the show can seem overwhelming and a bit disjointed, but then again, that's a Westwood strategy to upset the balance a bit — and it's clear the 70 year-old designer is still having a rollicking good time.
>> Cacharel Fall 2012 was a literal flight of fancy — aviator references came via bomber jackets, aviator caps, metal collar necklaces, and one very chic "flight" jumpsuit. However, Cacharel's signature femininity still ruled thanks to sweet knit dresses, flowy maxi skirts, and a baby-hued color palette shot through with red.
>> It's no wonder Haider Ackermann has so many fans. Artful draping, masterful tailoring, clever color-mixing — Ackermann excels at all. This season, the designer put those talents to great use, offering up a collection that felt modern, powerful, directional — and sublimely feminine. Strict silhouettes — think lean jackets, slim trousers, straight skirts — were punctuated by artful folds and sculptural drapes, then cinched with wide, hard belts for an exaggerated sense of proportion and drama. Perhaps most delightful, however, was Hackermann's masterful use of color. Rust, olive, umber, carmine, smoke, and cobalt — in synergistic combos, they really made you think.
>> It was a sexy play between extremes for Viktor & Rolf's Fall 2012 collection — think deeply covered vs. utterly exposed. Fur dominated, but it was often set against sheer fabrics, used on trim on lingerie-inspired dresses, or even snaking down a glamorous off-the-shoulder evening gown. Where fur was the main attraction, it was sliced and trimmed à la Edward Scissorhands, lending a quirky beauty. The rest of the collection received Viktor & Rolf's signature off-kilter perspective, where classic silhouettes are never what they seem — pleats, slits, and trims were cut in surprising spots (back instead of front), fringe was paired with ruffles, pants were oversize, cuffs extended; it was a glamorous collection for the woman who never wants to look like anyone else.
>> Junya Watanabe explored contrasting silhouettes and concepts for Fall 2012. There were dandy short suits, tailored capes, and lots of modern-looking business wear (including a cropped, pleated trouser, which looked especially chic). Juxtaposing all that hardness were some lovely soft pieces; flowing dresses and romantic blouses in ditsy prints, flocked florals, or burnout velvets. Worn separately or together, they made for a collection that felt charmingly off-kilter.
>> Tsumori Chisato's whimsical aesthetic took a trip to Alpine Switzerland for Fall 2012. Sporty '70s colorblock decorated ski-ready separates — cape-sleeved sweaters, ankle-cropped pants — and snow-topped trees and even ski lifts made appearances in the form of large-scale prints on dresses and skirts. Despite the wintry reference, colors were light and airy — and so were the fabrics: sherbet-hued silks, whisper-thin chiffons, and drapey wools.
>> For Fall 2012, Yohji Yamamoto offered up something new: sexiness. It came in the form of body-con silhouettes, asymmetrical draping, and skin-exposing slits. Military jackets and a punched-up palette of primary hues provided a sense of sporty confidence, as did the combat boots and dip-dyed hair that accompanied each look.
>> Alber Elbaz celebrated his tenth year at Lanvin with an homage to all things glamorous — and all things Lanvin. It was colorful, sexy, confident, edgy — and them some. There were a handful of terrific coats cut in generous proportions; some were cinched at the waist with jaguar-head belts or draped in fur; all had rounded shoulders, exaggerated sleeves, and high collars. Otherwise, the collection consisted mostly of Elbaz's signature dresses. Those he cut in celebratory, curve-enhancing lines and embellished with layers of ruffles, sculptural peplums, lace appliqué, or glittering jewels. "I like dresses for night, I like afterparty more than party. I like the mystery; I like the dream, like fantasy dresses," Elbaz explained recently. There was plenty of fantasy here, but it felt plenty accessible, too. That, of course, is Elbaz's unique charm — the kind of charm that's made his 10 years at Lanvin worth celebrating. "I always say, 'If you can't eat it, it's not food, and if you can't wear it, it's not fashion, it is something else.'"