Fall 2012 Fashion Roundup

It was the strongest season in recent memory. Even those brands who faired well in the summer collections uped their game for fall, making for one nonstop month of grade-A capital-F Fashion.

The body was the main celebration – the hips and the bust receiving lots of attention at the hands of designers like Haider Ackermann and Raf Simons at Jil Sander, respectively, while Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs embraced a more spangled allure in their collections for Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Miuccia Prada set the course in Milan for what’s to be a pantsuit-laden fall season and Phoebe Philo continued her unstoppable trajectory to the top of the fashion heavyweights heap with a Celine collection packed with colorful and covetable fur coats. Trends aside, there was plenty else to take away from this past month. Find out what was the biggest WTF moment of the season and which designer decided to flip ‘wearability’ the bird in Bloginity’s Fall 2012 Fashion Roundup.

Nicolas Ghesquiere went back to his roots with this one. The pomp of those geeky sci-fi sweaters was infectious and nothing all season made me smile quite like those looks did. I’d kill for a guy’s version. It was brainy and beautiful.” – Alexander Patino, Fashion Editor

“I live for Rei Kawakubo’s anti-feminine stance. CDG gave me new shapes and hilarious moo-moo prints that I’ve never seen before. Hands down my favorite of the season.” – Keesean Moore, Contributing Fashion Editor

“It was sexy, scary. The fabrics they used were beautiful. If I saw a woman wearing this on the street I would faint. It’s fierce, gorgeous, everything I love in a collection brought to life.” – Daniel Haim, Editor in Chief

Ghesquiere Was Here

Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquiere – the maestro of his fashionable contemporaries – made a huge splash early on in the season back in Altuzarra’s brilliant outing in New York. That collection was packed to the brim with the influence of Ghesquiere’s collegiate wanderer collection from F/W 08, while Proenza Schouler tapped a more recent vein, touching upon SS 11’s Japanese blue houndstooth ensembles. His SS 07 leather batwing shoulders also made a cameo in Paris, this time at Givenchy. Trust that more Ghesquiere is nothing to complain about. It must feel good to be the king.

Wicked Brew

Many designers enjoyed tapping into their dark side for fall, a handful of them attributing Fritz Lang’s masterpiece ‘Metropolis’ as the culprit of such incitement. Ann Demeulemeester and Gareth Pugh have built their businesses on the gothic endeavor, but the greatest delight in all the gloom was Frida Giannini’s unabashedly romantic foray at Gucci, with Riccardo Tisci’s retraction from the light at Givenchy, coming in at a close second.

Second Star to the Right

From Alber Elbaz at Lanvin to Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, it was all about making the dress its own sublime bling. The dynamic duo at Valentino, like Uncle Karl, opted for hybrids of gem-tones and metallics, while Marc Jacobs seems to have invented a whole new fabrication for his embellished wonders at Louis Vuitton.

Patch Me In

Trust the London based designers to deliver the mixed media message in droves this season, like the finely calculated eccentricity of Basso & Brooke’s ensembles, or the festive romps that is Louise Gray’s calling card. But when Giambattista Valli tackles the madness with his couturier’s hand, the beauty of a tulle, taffetta and Swarovski crystal pastiche takes the trend to the level of high art.

Hot Pursuit

The pantsuit became the season’s most undeniable trend to conquer for the fall the first look out at Prada. It was exciting and made that old fashion credo ‘Three makes a trend’ virtually obsolete. Still, it was nice of everyone else to show up.

Breast Impressions

One of the most surprising trends to emerge for fall was the experimental focus on the bust. Jumping off from where Pucci and Prada’s spring bandeau tops left off, Raf Simons at Jil Sander molded a leather corset on a black bodice, Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga, Inc. execs rocked gold and platinum lame breastplates on cobalt sheer dresses, while Cushnie et Ochs’ played with strategic cutouts.

Body Talk

When the season calls for bundling up and packing on the layers, one of the major calls of duty for designers this fall was to somehow let the body sing without all the frump. Acne and Haider Ackermann opted for severe body sculpting cummerbunds, while Aquilano.Rimondi and Stella McCartney cinched away with some high-tech tailoring. Now that’s what we call charging by the hourglass.

All Fur Her

Fur for fall is anything but groundbreaking news, unless of course, that trite old message gets relayed via the hands of visionaries like Rodarte, whose leather and shearling coats and jackets had editors and buyers sitting to attention and packing in the orders at their New York show. And then there’s stalwarts like Phoebe Philo who made fur her grand focal message of the season at Celine by pumping out a cavalcade of must-have kaleidoscopic outerwear. If the task was to make one of our oldest sartorial staples feel like a brand new proposition, then this season delivered in spades.

Best Opening Look: Alexander Wang

Most Predictable: Burberry Prorsum

Coolest Dress: Mary Katrantzou

Biggest Snoozefest: Christian Dior

Biggest Let Down: Miu Miu

Favorite New Wunderkind: Wes Gordon

The Next New Force to be Reckoned With: Kenzo

Dead on Arrival: Etro

Biggest ‘Wearability Is for the Birds” Statement: Alexander McQueen

Most Improved: Olivier Rousteing at Balmain

Next Time Don’t Try So Hard: Prabal Gurung

Most Noticeably Back with a Bang: Roberto Cavalli

Most Misleading Opener: Proenza Schouler

Most Random Inspiration: Christopher Kane – William Friedkin’s “Cruising”

Next Season’s Biggest Streetwear Fodder: Stephen Jones’ Mink Hats for Marc Jacobs

Kind of Hideous, Kind of Genius: The New Blumarine Boots

I Love You, But That’s Heinous: Aymeline Valade’s Cha-Cha Ruffle Dress at Lanvin

Biggest WTF Were They Thinking Moment: Raf Simons Out at Jil Sander

Most Exciting Inheritance: Hedi Slimane Returns to YSL

Best Hair, Makeup & Styling: Prada

Best Bag: Proenza Schouler

Best Shoe: Balenciaga

Decided She’s Fabulous: Magda Laguinge

Newbie Model Most Destined for Longevity: Maria Bradley

Too Much, Too Soon: Kati Nescher in Everything

Best New Model: Nadja Bender

Most Missed Long Time: Freja Beha Erichsen

Still Thinking About: Carla Gebhart at Prada