Archive for September, 2012

September 14, 2012

Givenchy Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Riccardo Tisci’s fall vision is a bit vampy, a little sinister, and highly sexy. Strong equestrian tailoring was well mixed with wispy lingerie-inspired slips to present a slickly elegant display with a bit of spice.  Victorian era riding gear is rendered effortlessly modern with structured outerwear composed of lacquered leather and silky calf hide paneling while jodhpur-styled trousers are tucked into glossy thigh-high riding boots. A-line skirts (occasionally pleated) fan out with great fanfare, adding a flash of drama to an already dynamic collection.  And while the the color palette remains largely gothic, fiery corals and regal purples pack quite the punch.  Tisci has an interesting eye for color: icy blues are paired with vivid orange while poppy red accents deep olive.  Overall, I love the slouchy almost indolent silhouette exhibited here; there is an effortless sensuality about Tisci’s looks for the season.

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September 8, 2012

Haider Ackermann Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

A Haider Ackermann show is all-encompassing. Solemn, poetic, and other-worldly both in presentation and craftsmanship.  Haider Ackermann leisurely entices his audience with every slow measured step down the runway.  The quiet, long walk is unique to the Haider Ackermann presentation, allowing the audience a nice lingering perusal of each look.

I fall in love with Haider Ackermann every season.  He has an astonishing talent for transforming the ordinary to extraordinary.  And while he may reference a known silhouette or allude to a particular technique, he masterfully deconstructs it into something unique to his own vision.  Moreover, there is always a punkish element to Ackermann’s aesthetic; I love the way he romanticizes traditionally edgy accents. Often this can be seen in the beauty and hair: this season it’s fiery copper streaks. Appropriately, the vivid color palette is equally as fiery.

While spring evoked the dandy spirit of Lord Byron, Fall 2012 was decidedly feminine with a long lean elegant line that highlights the female figure. I love how Haider Ackermann has suggested an astonishingly narrow waistline through deftly controlling the volume elsewhere. Elaborate hourglass silhouettes are crafted through gathering fabric beneath an architectural leather cummerbund before artistically falling into a gorgeous insouciant bustle. Wool coats, shantung blazers, and biker jackets are further deconstructed with dramatic peplums being intricately contained beneath a singular band.  Satin, wool, and shantung scarves are artfully arranged around the décolletage with flourish. Sheath dresses are elegantly creased into origami-like folds at the waistline with a neckline daringly slit all that way to there. Every look is wonderfully dynamic, full of sweeping movement and dramatic contours.  By the end of the show, Haider Ackermann has managed to slay his audience with every masterful stroke.  Absolutely brilliant.

Please Hamish Bowles review for specific references. He certainly has a far more coherent review than I do.

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September 5, 2012

Balmain Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

First of all, Olivier Rousteing is capable of some seriously exquisite detail work.  I love what he has brought to the table when he became the head designer for Balmain just last season.  Before Rousteing’s promotion, I always skipped over the Balmain show; it was boring and far too obvious in its message.  Rousteing has revived an ailing house with pure class.  More significantly, he has managed to capture the oh so compelling Gallic allure.  Beautifully intricate opulence is almost given an irrelevant shrug with how casually “rich, crosshatched pearl-and-satin embroidery” is paired with sleek leather trousers.  Fabergé egg-esque decorated velvet trousers are easily coupled with a creamy knit sweater whereas quilted motorcycle jackets are nonchalantly placed over silk blouses. I love the insouciance to Rousteing’s collection; he manages to stay true to Balmain’s heritage while ushering haute couture level extravagance into contemporary leisure. But above all, he has crafted some highly lust-worthy pieces.

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September 5, 2012

Balenciaga Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

Balenciaga, Inc. showcases Nicolas Ghesquière’s innovative and futuristic take on corporate dress.  And I love how his idea of everyday business wear involves neon panels folded over all-encompassing jackets and “pixilated graphic-patterned bustier dresses” (see Sarah Mower’s review). Boxy jackets with squared-off shoulders and sharp A-line skirts reveal Ghesquière’s extraordinary technique in cutting whereas his unique fabric choices lend a futuristic tone to the collection.  The depicted contours are reminiscent of the eighties power suits as the voluminous jackets fully envelop the wearer. Moreover, Ghesquière sculpts his pieces in a way that prevents the roomy silhouettes from becoming bulky or cumbersome. For all the complexity of Ghesquière’s fabric experiment, there is a fluidity to it that is really lovely to see. He has found a way to parse down complicated techniques into clean, elegant looks. And while I am not particularly fond of the sci-fi aesthetic, I can certainly appreciate Ghesquière’s talent for creating cutting-edge and intelligent collections.

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September 5, 2012

Aquilano.Rimondi Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

There is something very romantic about this Tiepolo-inspired Fall collection.  For one, Tomasso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi have dreamt up some seriously gorgeous pieces for Fall 2012.  Contemporary pieces have been given a luxurious baroque revival as crisp cropped trousers and sleek sheath dresses are presented with a sense of gravitas.  More importantly, each look is effortlessly built with multi-textured layers, losing much of the heaviness associated with the haute couture of that time.  Aquilano and Rimondi have crafted together a modern vision of opulence with the use of rich textiles and glorified embellishments.

Certainly, this is a collection all about the details, one that is dominated by iridescent jacquards and heat-pressed curlicue motifs.  High elegant collars are an underlying theme to every look and elaborately rendered in velvet, brocade, and silk.  Graceful silhouettes are superbly cut into sculpted shapes that fluidly skim the body.  Every look is beautifully finished, often with velvet or satin piping.  Moreover, the entire look is always superbly put together; although each piece is intricate in its own right, no single element overwhelms the other aspects.  And I absolutely adore the shoes. Velvet bow pumps and booties (seen directly above) are a fantastic touch of whimsy. Aquilano and Rimondi have delivered high drama (without the headache) and beautifully extravagant craftsmanship.  No one ever provides high level decadence quite like the Italians do.

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September 4, 2012

Marni Fall 2012

Credit: Vogue.com

While sixties mod and psychedelic prints have always been her forte, Consuela Castiglioni sends out a particularly striking message for fall. The vivid color palette and varied texture make for a standout collection, especially when paired with controlled lines and sculpted silhouettes.  I love the sleek contrast between the architectural pieces and the delicate beauty of the models. There is almost an otherworldly air to the models with their doll-like makeup peeking out from under a thick blunt fringe. Moreover, Castiglioni understands how to present polished sophistication without sober utilitarianism.  A clean silhouette enables her to play: appliqué flowers and gold detailing add a lovely dose of whimsy to the collection. More importantly, there is an elegance to Castiglioni’s work which prevents her more feminine pieces from becoming too trite. In the end, this collection is a rather masterful blend of minimalism and maximalism with an execution that not many other could pull off.

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