Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Vera Wang Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

I loved how Gothic architecture plays out at Vera Wang Fall 2012.  Geometric print and architectural shapes are rendered dreamily romantic with Vera’s ethereal sheer layering.  The resulting sheared frills add intriguing facets to silkily for-fitting sheaths, casting whimsical little shadows about the piece.  It is almost like a ripple with the gathered fabric creating darker depth to an otherwise prettily flowing gown.  I like how Vera has liberally mixed heavy and light fabrics, presenting tailored fall pieces full of whimsy.  The mixed media comes across interesting without feeling mod; Vera never loses sight of her aesthetic in her exploration of textured femininity.  And the patterned fishnet fabric embedded amid the chiffon and silk feels enchanting rather than revealing: sensuality without being overexposed if you will.  Moreover, the color palette is absolutely lovely.  Vera has a gorgeous take on romantic neutrals, fiery oranges, and dreamy clouds of black.  She adjusts to the darker palette nicely, despite being more familiar with variations of ivory and cream.  Overall verdict?  Dreamy layers of silk and chiffon are an airy standout amid the essay on structured outerwear this season.

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February 24, 2012

Marc Jacobs Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Kooky nuts, but man, can Marc Jacobs put on a show.  After the restraint and maturity that he has displayed in the past few seasons, Marc completely switches gears with a playful and absolutely absurd collection of oversized outerwear and eclectic color, print, and texture, all topped off with fantastically outrageous fur hats.  This is what I’d imagine would happen if Dr. Seuss were to take over the runway.  And yet, for all the craziness, Marc does not substitute shock value and indulgence for excellent technique and quality.  Every look is meticulously crafted with some rather gorgeous tailoring.  And I quite enjoyed the collage of texture and riot of color although it is not my usual cup of tea because it was not haphazardly put together.  The theatricality of the collection does not overwhelm the viewer by trying to push too much into one look.  Is it over-the-top?  Certainly.  But there is an order to all the madness. Embedded, but definitely there.  Marc is always thoughtful in how he wishes to subvert commercial convention.

Moreover, the luxury of the fabrics used temper a bit of the absurdity.  Typically dense fabrics are rendered delightfully whimsical without losing any of their autumn practicality.  There is almost a childish glee to the embellishments as well: plenty of tinsel and shiny lamé to be found.  My personal favorites are the “glittery paisley-patterned jacquards” (Mower) with the textured skirts peeking out from the tailored wool coats.  And overall, I believe that there are plenty of unique (and well-crafted) individual pieces for a girl to pick out that would be well-suited to her own personal sense of style.  Functionality is all good and well, but sometimes, fashion is just about unabashed fun and pure creativity.  Qualities that Marc Jacobs has in spades.

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February 24, 2012

3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

“I wanted to make clothes available, but at the same time preserve and protect them.” – Phillip Lim

While Phillip Lim has always had a rather minimalist aesthetic, something about his largely monochromatic vision for fall really stood out for me.  For one, his take on utilitarian functionality is intriguingly refreshing–the tromp l’oeil and sheer overlay add a dreamy shadowy effect to the otherwise classic tailoring.  I love that he carries this effect into the accessories as well.  Textured leather clutches came with over-sized sheer casing while belts and even some collars were cast in shadowed transparent plastic.  And though the streamlined silhouettes may be practical, the pieces remain prettily feminine.  There is no overt romanticism, but the subtly of the layering imparts an ethereal softness to the collection.

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February 22, 2012

Carolina Herrera Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Long elegantly fluted sheaths reign supreme at Carolina Herrera this season.  With mesmerizing prints and pretty pretty details, she provides a rather attractive display of evening wear.  Sophisticated design work is hardly new territory for Carolina Herrera, but these sheath gowns feel more put together than the unleashed volume she has shown in seasons past.  Moreover, these gowns certainly don’t feel like standard fare with the wide range of detail from a trompe l’oeil effect to the uneven textured skirts.  And while the silhouette here is more controlled than usual, there is nothing constrictive about it.  The skirt may be leaner, but the fluttering silk organza still flows ever so attractively.  Over all, I love Carolina Herrera’s perspective on an autumn palette: from rich navy to “haute” pink, she offers a jewel-toned fall that is scarcely muted.

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February 22, 2012

The Row Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Without fail, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have always managed to astonish with their incredibly sophisticated designs for The Row ever since its inception.  Considering the origins of the name to their haute couture line (Savile Row), it is hardly surprising that theirs is a dedication to gorgeously constructed tailoring.  And it has certainly lived up to its inspiration.

There is an incredible sense of luxury to every collection; more importantly, it showcases this without any sort of snobbery.  The thoughtfulness and quality is easily apparent with every line to every piece.  I feel that the Olsens did their homework in a sense and built the sense of luxury from ground up–starting with the fabric.  This allows for a delightful sense of decadence to permeate throughout the very aesthetic of The Row.  In fact, I am quite enamored with the clean lines and minimalist haute couture feel to their collections.  The classic nature to their designs have a timelessness that is hard to come by nowadays.  Moreover, they understand how to parse down something complex into a reality that is deceptively simple without “dumbing it down.”  Every piece has a quiet dignity about it and is impressively restrained while remaining utterly current.  And I love how they can add a bit of quirk to it without losing the elegance.  The spliced paneling and woven-in Lurex, for example, forces a viewer to take a closer look at intriguingly re-worked outerwear.

The Row is the epitome of ease, modern luxury, and quality in the realm of American design today.  Which is mightily impressive for a pair of 25-year-olds who have the additional obstacle of divorcing their line from their aura of celebrity.  I can only marvel at the beautifully constructed designs and fervently hope that the Olsens continue for a long time to come.

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February 22, 2012

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2012 is sexy and vivacious with brilliant pops of color to fully entice the viewer.  I love the easy yet structured silhouette as it provides plenty of polish without restricting the wearer.  There is a lovely twenties feel to the shape and a playfulness in the draping.  DvF provides a fantastic sense of drama to every-day dressing with her joyfully bright color palette and eye-popping print.  While the color is a little startling (and utterly fantastic btw), there is nothing garish or overly flashy about it.  Moreover, I love how DvF is able to present a collection that is fun without feeling trivial; there is always an underlying sophistication and dignity to DvF that is lovely to see.   And although there is nothing revolutionary about DvF’s designs, they are always thoughtfully crafted in a manner that feels current and beautifully majestic.  DvF adds a sense of grandeur to life.  Something I certainly welcome in my own life.

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February 20, 2012

Derek Lam Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

While Derek Lam showcased some nicely structured separates, I think I was bit more enamored with his model line-up.  That, and his snakeskin camera bags are adorable.  Usually content to be fresh and pretty with a whole plethora of flowing gowns, Lam is a bit darker and a bit more textured for Fall 2012.  Dense cable knit and elaborately embroidered prints make for an intriguing take on sleek outerwear and loose elegance.  Cute little collection but the most RTW I’ve seen yet.

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February 15, 2012

Victoria Beckham Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

I  love that Victoria Beckham is finally being acknowledged for her design work and not judged for who she is or who she’s married to.  Honestly, the amount of disdain that her name had garnered was incredibly ridiculous.  She rightfully warrants critical acclaim for her smart design choices and chic body-conscious pieces.  I love that she fully vouches for what she designs by actually wearing the looks from her the collection herself.  Moreover, I love that she appears to be obsessed with finding the perfect fit and relentlessly strives for high quality.  This perfectionist attitude results in some fantastically fitted looks that women look and feel good wearing which isn’t very common.  The streamlined silhouette always looks so elegant.

I think that she has a good awareness of her audience and a great eye for color-blocking.  This military-inspired collection not only has visibly high quality craftsmanship, but also has great commercial appeal without feeling mass-market.   The chic minimalist presentation has a very polished put-together air while small details like slit button sleeves and overlapping belts keep things interesting.  And of course, the tailoring is fantastic with sharply turned corners at the shoulders.  I love that she features the sophisticated looks with flat motorcycle boots. How fantastic are those?  The thick band around the top of them is fabulous.  For someone who is frequently seen in her beloved Christian Louboutins, there were a rather inspired choice.  They are such a great counterpoint to the tightly controlled silhouette.  And even though there are high heels in this collection, they are certainly wider than her normal stiletto.

The accompanying beauty for this is gorgeous.  I love the classic red lip and deep side part combination; the slick section in the front is a lovely little twist on it.

Top notch, Victoria Beckham.

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February 15, 2012

Alexander Wang Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

“A collection with all the distinctions of proper, strong, and innovative design on a level of maturity which had the audience craning forward, engaged and curious from first look to last.” – Sarah Mower

Without a doubt, Alexander Wang Fall 2012 will be one of the most memorable collections of the season.   Alexander Wang has already established himself as a leading authority on cool-girl street style.  Fall 2012 merges his modern downtown edge with ridiculously amazing tailored structure into an “essay on outerwear” that is instantly covetable.  While he has always been the fashion darling, this presentation of polished fierceness feels particularly on point.  And I am finding it hard to break down what makes Fall 2012 so distinctive from his already strong collections in the past.  My love for this just is.

Perhaps it is because Alexander Wang has managed to pinpoint exactly what women want to wear.  His lacquered outerwear and textured leather pieces are both boldly confident and utterly wearable; more importantly these weatherproof pieces are so terribly cool.  It is rare to find pieces that can be both highly practical and fantastically edgy.  And while this is a rather classic collection of tailored pieces, the composition of these pieces are certainly anything but standard fare.  By experimenting with texture, Wang has rendered this fiercely slick and mesmerizingly innovative. [Aside: Mesmerizingly probably not even a word. Running with it anyway.]  I found the reflective textured patent leather particularly eye-catching.  And I love that the color palette was entirely composed of oxblood, ink, and peroxide.  This classic color scheme feels intriguingly fresh when paired with the varying texture.

Parties — Alexander Wang Fall 2012

Moreover, all the elements to an Alexander Wang show are exciting.  The walking patterns are intricate, and the pace is quick.  The atmosphere is positively electrifying, jolting me immediately from my exhaustion.  And while a collection as sharply composed as this will immediately get noticed, Wang certainly upped the ante with his 2-part presentation.  I have never seen a show where the finale is a component all on its own before.  Further, he has locked his place fashion history by having a supermodel-filled showdown.  The intensity of it was thrilling to watch.  And having Gisele close out the show was a major score.  Every season, I post up one collection its entirety.  While it is still early in the season, I have done so here.  I do not love every single look, but the overall collection is very very strong.

Watch it here: Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2012

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February 13, 2012

Rag & Bone Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

While some may see this as a rift on a concept that David Neville and Marcus Wainwright have done in the past, I see this as a coolly practical and intriguingly printed continuation of their mixed media aesthetic.  Because no one does layers as assertively chic as these two.  Neville and Wainwright are highly savvy about their image of the Rag & Bone girl.  While Spring 2012 was rather forward-thinking and a bit unexpected, Fall 2012 had an earthier palette to it, rich with eye-catching prints and polished structure.   And although I certainly enjoyed the unexpected color combinations last season, I appreciate the deeper color palette to this one so much more.  The classic color palette is boldly rendered into striking prints and color panelling with a twist of Neville and Wainwright’s deft hands.  Moreover, much of this is easily translated into real life.  I love the effortlessness to these artful layers and how they can fit in easily to my own life.  Marcus Wainwright and David Neville have yet to lose their cool street style aesthetic even as the brand of rag & bone continues to soar; something, that I am rather thankful for.

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