The first look was so telling. A fan-pleated navy blue sheer gown with a flute skirt and a blousy top, with see-through billowy sleeves, carried the spirit, the overriding silhouette, the wayward intention, and the sex of the collection to come – a perfect microcosm of the new ventures taken at the Valentino atelier.
Inspired by the clean lines of Hubert de Givenchy’s 60s dresses and the bohemes of modern-day southern Italy, aesthetically, this haute capsule asks for no leniency from its public – it’s severe, for sure, or in layman’s terms – a lot of look, but the craft has never looked more sublime. In truth, this is an Italian tree-hugger only Tisci could fashion into real world existence.
Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciol took a surprising step away from the usual esthetic and a more mature, sensual and severe Valentino woman introduced a more arcane prestige to the dreamlike elegance of a classic beauty.
Raf Simmons said it himself, “a shift is happening.” The truth in this statement could be seen in his anomalous sense of color in his clothing as well as the makeup look that complimented the collection.
To say that today’s Christian Dior Haute Couture show was possibly the most anticipated fashion moment of the past decade is probably no hyperbole.
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 collections in Europe have made it exceptionally difficult to focus on the clothes. Not because there’s lackluster design by any means—Paris and Milan have definitely delivered the goods—but because some of Fashion’s most influential houses are in a state of limbo.
When you think about fashion trends you think of those readily available abstractions, such as minimalism, color-blocking, peplums, etc.
For fall 2012 Gareth Pugh took the term “man eater” to the next level. Set on a stage of black fabric discs fallen from the ceiling to resemble the debris on the ground of a post-apocalyptic Amazonian village, Pugh’s models were fearless cannibals, satiated by male flesh.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana turned down the kitsch factor ten-fold with this collection, and set out to design a functional and fabulous wardrobe for the “renaissance” woman. Literally.
Angela Missoni knows texture. She’s sustained a house on that foundation. For fall 2012 she brought things back to nature, but with an expressionist twist.
The Versace for H&M runway soundtrack featured a repeating track of Donatella Versace’s new-found house maxim: “My house, my rules, my pleasure.”
The Mongolian feel was opulent and redolent, a narrative of an evolution of style collected through travel. Makeup artist Tom Pechuex created a makeup look with geometric eyeliner, strengthened with a pop of silver on the inner corners on fresh, radiant skin.
There was a very strong eye; Pat McGrath created something “very manga” layering an orange greasepaint over blocked-out arches and sweeping a black greasepaint through the crease and up toward the brow bone. Upper and lower lash lines were then rimmed with alternating strokes of black and purple pencil.
Pat McGrath creates a really beautiful dark lip paired with perfected skin and bleached brows, mimicking textures in the deep velvets of the clothing. “It’s a little Rossetti,” McGrath continued, referring to the elegantly stained lips of his portraits.
It was a veritable layers-fest. No dress came down without a pair of tailored black flares with encrusted hems underneath.
The house of Gucci is one of those rare high-end luxe brands whose menswear far, far outdoes its womenswear season in, season out – at least that has been the case under the direction of Frida Giannini.
Christopher Bailey’s “The Gentlemen”, his Fall 2012 menswear collection, gives way to his feminine exploration of the ultimate English sartorial crossroads – the haute interminglings at the corner of “Town and Field”.
Fashion and celluloid make for the perfect marriage. The two have gone hand in hand since time immemorial it seems. But every season, there’s that one seemingly random film that serves as the source material and inspiration behind a collection.
Fall 2012 found the inexhaustible Betsey Johnson in solid form.
The gold cinched waist was the trend of the night at the 54th Grammy Awards, and the next morning Carlos Miele sent out a collection that in its own way, acknowledged the zeitgeist-celebritae with similar touches.
Making vintage-boheme a thing of luxury has been Gregory Parkinson’s calling card for years.
Nothing was what it seemed at Alexander Wang’s Fall 2012 show. The materials he used were the most customized and luxe he has ever employed.
Max and Lubov Azria certainly bring sexy back this season; with signature skin-tight bandage dresses. Every look accessorized with buckled leather harnesses, adding an element of toughness to the clothes.
Charlotte Ronson steered clear of grunge this season and showed a more ladylike, refined collection.