That’s not the point of this post, but note that none of the following models on the Paris runways are fat.
I am obsessed with the Kenzo collection, and that is why this baby is going first. Great prints in two-pieced outfits that suggest a 1950s influence, exciting POCs, sheer tops that are really quite shockingly classy, and sophisticated mono-color suits really make this collection, with hints of art nouveau, a success. Oh and the use of eyeballs is really key.
A geometric and colorful collection, Akris’s Albert Kriemler’s contemporary art theme a la American expressionist painter Franz Kline for inspiration hits you like a canvas falling off an easel (WWD). It’s happened. This line shows the FW ’12 trending (or so I proclaim) mono-color and mono-print in lush textures and structured silhouettes with touches of feminine sheers and sexy cuts. How artistic.
Ann Demeulemeester’s seductive collection of blacks and rich deep blues was frightening in a really good way. And check out that hair! The collection’s really piece-y cuts and drapes made the sleek slick line the perfect amount gorgeously sophisticated.
Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière pushes the limits of the “working woman” and her “work attire” off the edge. And I love it. The geometric shapes and accenting colors prove Paris to be a city of contemporary artistic clothes but what really sets this line apart is the innovation of cut. Check out those puffy tops (told ya, kids)! What looks more perfect for fall then an awkwardly puffy sweatshirt-like top, perhaps with a logo (?), and an A-line skirt all-reminiscent of space age? Nicolas’ collection proves that said outfit really works it.
Another artist in touch with silhouettes is Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing who really took embroidery to the next level, piling on pearls and studs and other embroideries as an homage to Liz Taylor (WWD). While the line was dominated by said embellishments, I did spot a midi-slit or two, and my heartstrings were yanked by the amazing mono-color suits (this includes the classic all-cream suit). The textures in the fabrics make it hard to look away, a hypnotic trick only saved by the following perhaps even better look.
The famously retro Cacharel kept it real with pastels and classically Cacharel cuts. My favorite pieces included the A-symmetric baggy shorts, the popular pop of burgundy, the mono-color onesie suits, and the twenties pilot hat—hommage to Amelia Earhart. You go girl.
Chloe's FW ’12 collection demonstrates how a quilt can indeed be fashionable. The warm colors mixed with plush, cozy looking fabrics a la mediocre-ly shapeless pants made me rethink the slim-line geometric style that other designers have embraced.
While I have been naming different trends that have had serious prime time on the runways this show season, none of these said trends are included in the avant garde (Yayoi Kusama in the dots look, anyone?) Comme des Garcons collection (other than the obvious mono-color, mono-pattern and geometry…taken quite literally). Few other designers can say that they made vibrantly patterned (ode to florals!) and textured tents a fashion statement. But doesn’t that make it all the more genius?
I wish that the “fairytale” assignment in my painting class could look like Christian Dior’s FW ’12 collection. There was a lot of belting of dresses, jackets, tops, and skirts, and a perfect combination of femininity and structure. Dior’s Bill Gaytten made what a modern take on the classical Monet Water Lilies paintings.
Dries Van Noten did some serious geometric work and worked out some respectable puffy sleeve in this collection. Having gotten inspiration from the Asian sections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, it is clear that Noten did his design research pre-creation. The collection has a nice flow and some lovely graphic Asian persuasion via silk.
Giambattista Valli’s collection doesn’t get a “gasp”, however, I would wear and embrace every artfully designed piece. The mono-print two-piece outfits are cut in a geometric and feminine way, and the use of texture is innovative, especially in the use of feathers. All of these outfits scream “Fall” and are done so in a warm palate and in a quite desirable way.
This aggressive collection is perfection in my book. The Givenchy models walked down the runway in dark fierce colors and cuts, with just the perfect mixes of reds, navies, and rich browns in with the traditional Givenchy black. Here is another genius version of the fur sleeve and the amazing chic quilted pant (this time leather). Unbelievable.
Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton did some crazy storytelling fantastical romance with this collection. The typically virgin white was oh-so-not virgin and black was made to look romantic by way of shape and feathers. Insane usages of fur and puff dominated this collection. The silhouettes took “artistry” to the next level. But what else would you expect from a McQueen line? Sheers and surprising additions of colorful looks made the show an exciting hit. I just can’t help but wonder how the models were able to walk in the dresses.
I wonder how he does it, but he always does. Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld painstakingly popped out his own line recently, and yet he successfully told a story using skirt-and-pants looks, the classic white suit, great structure, and sticking with the classic Chanel textures—there are a lot of warm sweaters, and even touches of fringe. One of my personal favorite looks included a grandma-esque sweater with a ridiculously Sol Lewitt jacket. I choked on my own saliva seeing that one. What is great about Chanel is the ability to still be different and take risks. Some of these looks even hinted toward the fairytale theme via flowing skirts to dresses, but then the collection also showed some seriously structured vests. Somehow, Lagerfeld was still able to make the show concise. Oh and the addition of a little kid on the runway never did any harm…Whatta magician.
Here are some extra favorite goodies. Alexis Mabille’s line didn’t quite have the punch-in-the-face factor, but this take on the puffy sleeve a la feathers is really really working it out. Speaking of puffy sleeve, look at Fendi's use of fur to create some real volume..I applaud you. A look that keeps popping up is the cinched-at-the-ankle baggy pant look, one that Hermes worked in a lush suede. And just look at those ovule-of-a-flower shoes! Nina Ricci did some good by sticking to the trends: slits, sheers, and puffy sleeves are timeless I tell ya. Rick Owens is daring and quite a contemporary artist in his own right, but sign me up for that jacket. Stella McCartney used texture and shape to make her collection in line with the Parisian warmth for fall. Even with a bit of mayhem going on in the YSL house, the collection was classic and it produced a mean mono-print suit.
bonne saison de la mode, kids!