McQueen! It was purely for women who are ready to make a futuristic style statement. Models were awash with ruffled hoof- shoes, voluminous frothy tiers of heavy ruffles and giant mirrored visors. It was mesmerising. Dresses were done in fuchsia and blush hues, sumptuous ostrich feathers and furs with floral appliqué embedded in the fabric.
Oscar de la Renta's collection was his usual ladylike aesthetic with a vintage 1960s twist. Imagine playing dress up in Jackie Kennedy's wardrobe or even the Grace Kellys. Models were dripping in jewels: jewel print graphics and jewel accents. These clothes were something precious. We were treated to metallic adorned classic boucle suits and sheath dresses, glittering cashmere polonecks and tailored circle skirts. The pastel hue coloured palette of rose, teal and icy blues kept the look youthful. Looks were polished off with bejeweled belts and shoes, teardrop pearl earrings, antique brooches, and satin diamante headbands creating a faux bob. Then came my favourites...Oscar’s frothier creations. Full-skirted ballerina dresses and voluminous ball gowns in both slate blue and bubblegum pink. The gowns ranged from crushed, pleated velvet and beaded gowns to fairytale tulle draped gowns. Arizona donning the blue tulle dress and Joan Smalls olive showstopper with an embellished lace bodice and asymmetric taffeta skirt, were simply stunning. Every look was head to toe perfection. I was hoping someone would be bold enough at the Oscars to wear one of these gowns but have suspicion Michelle Obama or SJP will instead.
Marchesa’s collection was fit for a princess and totally red carpet worthy.....or for the rest of us....an extravagant wedding paid for on credit. Probably my favourite show this season. Dare I say it...it was very Mcqueen. I love drama and statement clothing and Marchesa’s 19th century collection exuded the dramatic craftsmanship I love. As always they leave me breathless. The palette was a champagne dream; a mixture of golds, silvers, bronzes and creams. I adored the mixture of heavy and delicate textures and use of the usual lavish tulle, embroidery, lace, feathers and sheer overlays. I thought the gold cut out gladiator sandals and sheer jewelled tulle socks teamed with slipper-esque almond shaped courts were a beautiful touch. I often overuse the term stunning but every look fits that description. Swirling and leaf appliqué, feathered hems and tulle mullet hems, melted detailing upon sheer nude bodies and fun light flapper cocktail dresses- all divine. The red embroidered detailed dress with a voluminous skirt (similar to Valentinos), the gold brocade similar to Beyonce’s Mcqueen 2010 and Stacy Kieblers gold shine floor length gown. The fit-and-flare silhouettes of full skirts and floral appliqué bodices in golds, crimsons, and teals, would suit anyone and let’s not forget the mermaid style shimmery gowns (although I’d have to hack off both thighs to look good in one.)The darker edgier gowns were equally romantic. And what about that swan pouffy gown which swept the toes of the front row. I want them all.I.Cannot.Choose
It was Raf Simons' last show at Jil Sander. Since 2005, he has beautifully explored understated tailoring and contemporary minimalism. There was a broad colour palette from pastels to brights and blacks with a flash of high shine-everything was amazingly wearable in this collection. There were beautiful navy off the shoulder dresses, boudoir worthy bustier silk slips and sculptural tentish coats. His final show had models floating in classic retro ladylike silhouettes- my favourite being the buttonless cocoon coats in candied pink. I also loved the nightgown cover ups like the draped wrap coat worn by Ekaterina Petkova. The modern and elegant finish continued in the second part of the collection with poppy red and navy cocoon coats, loosely draped silk dresses in glossy blacks and pale greys. It was stunning send off.
Bailey’s Burberry Prorsum displayed British timeless pieces that accentuated a woman’s curves. Everything was cozy and classic with warm colours such as burnt mustards and greens, plums, burgundy, and browns with velvety and corduroy textures. Perfect for roaming the Yorkshire Dales or fitting for the streets of London. The faux rain whilst models walked with open umbrellas was a magnificent touch. Covetable pieces such as egg shaped sleeved outerwear, tough trench-coats (loved the heritage tweed inserts), cropped and long bomber jackets, woollen and tailored blazers. There was no sign of the trouser but there were velvet, tweed and striped skirts with large ruffles and Peplum hems galore. It was all in the detailing...adding femininity to outerwear - oversized maxi pockets; ruffle details, floral peplums, owl motifs, and ruched bow tie belts. I need that lush final regal velvet coat sported by Cara Delevingne in my life. But I have a feeling it’ll be in Kate Middleton’s life sooner.
Etro utilized the paisley print and mosaic art on menswear-like trousers, sheer fit-and-flare dresses with leather peplums and blouses, and fishtailed silhouette velvet gowns. Many gorgeous pieces including the geometric and burgundy ones-the showstopping black body hugging gown with mosaic tattoo-esque velvet was my favourite.
McQ debuted military-inspired ensembles in olive green with embroidered appliqués, scottish tartans and fur neck collars with bagel-shaped buns for its first ever fashion week. Burton continued McQueen aesthetic on the leafy catwalk-as usual it was rather menancing. However, it was the evening wear that caught my attention. The lace mesh under a sweetheart necklined dress accessorized with elbow gloves and leather belts and chains. The red velvet ones were beautiful. I’m drooling over the leaf velvet coat coverup with the black tulle flower stick-ons dress.
I’m a sucker for dark vamp lips especially those accentuated by eyebrow less models as seen at Gucci. Dark moody hues, jewel velvety tones, black feathers with a hint of green, jacquard and tapestry textiles dominated, it was very Morticia Addams. Looks were gothic, dark romantic and seductive all at the same time created with lace-up blouses, sheer high slit tulle gowns, and capes. I can see Gwyneth Paltrow in every one of these. There were pyjama inspired looks with patterned palazzo pants and baggy trousers emoting a casual luxe vibe. There was the occasional peep of colour -I loved that hot plunging green velvety dress. And what do you think of that feather dress?I bet Anna dello Russo would wear it to work. As would I....if my bank balance was larger.
Bora Aksu and Holly Fulton’s show was amongst some of my favourites at LFW. Aksu's inspiration is drawn from The Vivian Girls in Henry Darger's "In the Realms of the Unreal" The contrasting pale shades with energetic dip-dyed orange, red and hot pink colours and black detailed dresses. The delicate prints were inspired by 50s wallpaper and tapestries. The usual Bora pinks and powdery grey adult tailoring in the form of playful childlike babydoll shapes, pencil skirts and capes. Fulton is a bit more marmite.....it had a younger spirit. She used 20s geometric art deco prints, bright colours and hand cut butterflies, everywhere teamed with costume jewellery and hairy bags. Greenhouses prints on rainbow-hued pieces from fuschia pink to a multitude of turquoise tones, made the selection of sleek simple silhouettes shift dresses and fluid separates modern.
Naeem Khan's RTW had me ooo-ing and ahh-ing with nearly every ensemble. Excuse me whilst I faint on the ground. It was simply dazzling. I was captivated by the embellished, heavy beading red carpet worthy gowns which had an Indian-inspired feel. Gowns were relaxed with deep necklines and backs were exposed-they were exquisitely luxurious. Khan’s glittering lineup had pieces emblazoned with paisleys, swirls and Tilakas. This ethnic embroidering and use of graphic hand-painted dot print was flaunted on sparkly caftan dresses, shimmering silver suits and tweed metallic jackets. And there were fringe detailing and ostrich feather skirts too. It may sound too much-but don’t judge until you take a look.
Whoaaaa. Is what I shout every time Zac Posen has a new show. Arguably he definitely makes the best gowns. It’s never a question of when will someone wear his pieces it’s who. Wintour, Mario Testino, Brad Gorebski, Dita Von Teese watched with excitement from the front row as the drama unfolded. Posen’s Fall 2012, drew influence from the Far East on his signature stiff hourglass silhouettes. The usual decadent silks, and jacquards came in rich intense jewel tones and restrained soft pastels. But this time the looks included origami folds, Chinoiserie embroidery, kimono draping and obi sashes while furs punctuated and broke up the look. The sculptured eveningwear collection included opulent power suiting with pleated bodices and exaggerated fishtail skirts. Glenn Close’s forest green gown that she wore to the Oscars looked even better gliding down the runway. Coco Rocha ended the show in a godly blue jacquard bustier gown. How amazing are the jaw dropping champagne and blush looks-worn by Tao Okomato and Heather Marks. Pure class.
Now most of the time my favourite fashion shows are completely unwearable. But Rachel Zoe’s lineup delivered a blend of contemporary pieces inspired by 1960s London rock 'n' roll – think Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull. I admit it was nothing ground breaking, but I liked them all...every piece is wardrobe worthy. You’d see this look on the Olsens and Sienna Miller. As expected it was perfectly styled and presented. There was chunky art-deco jewellery, luxe snoods and Russian fur cossacks. Knitted minidresses, tailored menswear-inspired tuxedo suits in jewel-toned velvets and tweeds, oversized shaggy yeti coats plus an effortlessly cool sapphire jumpsuit. LOVED IT.
Prabul Gurung’s show progressed from dark to light (hell to heaven), beginning with all-black looks on brunette models, blues on girls with light brown hair, and the cream and gold finale on blondes. Fabrics were combined with luxe printed silks and embroideries, to an audience of Zoe Saldana and Coco Rocha. Saldana looked stunning in his green jacket and print pants from Spring. So many fabrics were in this collection- feathers, furs, satins, neoprene, and micromesh panelling. As well as shiny patent leather, woolly furs, and smooth silks teamed with Gold beetles jewellery or black insect bracelets. His opening looks were dramatic... fit for a powerful businesswoman. Thin, slightly flared trousers were paired with a woollen cape to the black dress with sheer insets was gracefully artistic. Then the neoprene crept in as panelling on sleeveless shifts and coats. The coat with panels of oil spill neoprene print has already worn by Gaga. Highly metallic dresses and electrified blue skull prints were inspired by the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. During the final part Gurung turned to shades of white sunny yellow hues and decadent golds. With intricately beaded frocks accented with ostrich feathers, tailored dresses featuring gold leaf panels and floral appliqué and sequins.
J. Mendel said he was inspired by Gaudi’s architecture in Spain. There were a luxury of rich materials, from cashmere, alligator, fur, and silks with sculptural draping and geometric patchwork. Balmain too was spectacular... models were embroidered, beaded and quilted to the max on a background of rich forest green and dark teals. I love the modern take on baroque with opulent gold detailing but still with keeping the usual rock chick attitude. Roksanda Ilincic had striking pieces for every occasion and I loved Osman’s sculptural separates too. Katrantzou as usual every outfit was a standout piece....Always about the print but I LOVE the hips shape and the incorporation of trousers also. That black and white palazzo silk pant and 3d-esque off shoulder bustier. Increds. Always a favourite. Giles’ darkly romantic Victorian collection gave opulence with an eerie edge. Yes those plush gowns were distressed by bullet holes and charred burnmarks. Perhaps it was a little sinister.....but it added intrigue. It was the soft feminine part of the collection I preferred as he moved from governess (menswear tuxedo looks) to the lady of the house (delicate silky couture formed dresses). Watercolour princess style dresses,skirts were finished with feather trims and burnmarks were lined with gold. Exquisite materials appeared water-stained, there were mythical creature brocade and icy blue tapestry. Enchanting.
Dolce & Gabbana's Sicilian Baroque-inspired collection had it all-grandeur, brocade embroidery, lavish gold ornate embellishments, lace layers of tulle, and even ruffled bloomers. The 75 look show was dazzling, from the chandeliers and floral arrangements to the Italian opera music. Looks were inspired by the Italian Renaissance -delicate lace and velvet dresses and religious motifs, cherubic and tapestry prints,that were dipped in gold. Catholic communion style dresses were armed up with golden details; sheer sections and the church like models sashayed in embroidered black capelets, jewelled headbands and cherub earrings with huge white pearls and black rosettes. Helen Mirren watched in a floral dress from the Spring 2012 collection. Sonam Kapoor too donned in the floral print, accessorizing with a red handbag.
At the Duchess of Cambridge favourite Issa, it was a Trans-Siberian journey from Moscow to Beijing. It contained elements of Russia with mongolian fur and Art Deco liquid gold flapper pieces from China. The classic wrap-style dress was in vivid red and blue paisley prints, there were metallic Ming vase Oriental prints, capes and kimonos. The head-to-toe print trend was seen on Issa’s leggings and dresses—a touch on the late side and the Gatsby inspired flappers are a season behind. Nevertheless the collection was impressive as was Tinie Tempah in the front row-yumm. That flowing wrap green maxi will for sure be on Kate Middleton soon but the best look was Ming Xi’s jumpsuit teamed with a lopsided fur Cossack. Sooo cute. I need it in my life.
Few designers gave us a fun flirty collection for the winter yet Moschino, Blumarine, DSquared2 and Lanvin did just that. A Grease Senior high school year was the inspiration behind Dsquared2- a Class of 2013 sign and a band were in the background. The contemporary and vintage designs had a demure sex appeal. It had a 50s /60s look- each model with their own rebel attitude with bouffant hairstyles, defined eye makeup and multi- colour cropped trousers, candied pencil skirts, mohair jumpers teamed crystal-encrusted heels, fur brooched stoles and raised baseball caps. I loved DSquared2’s story...sooo imaginative.
Blumarine’s Fall 2012 Collection was fun fun fun although I know some found it horrendous. Those Big Bird Mongolian lamb coats (like ones seen at Fendi) cutout LBD’s and that signature leopard-rose prints are not for me. But the urban and exotic metallic looks and mermadi-esque dresses in every colour were OTT and fabulous. The revealing scaly gown, those huge hooped earrings and the hologram high top silver moon booties-simply fearless.
It’s clear Moschino's Fall 2012 woman is all about standing out. So leave the pale hued pieces in the wardrobe. Sweet short flirty dresses featured fringe detailing, drop-waists, ruffles and feathers. bold outerwear in primary punchy shades screamed it’s party time. The look was 1980′s meets Spanish matadors with'60s silhouettes and military shapes. Styled with giant hoop earrings, cowboy hats, and quilted fanny pack purses with black bow head scarves. A toned down version of Cara’s kitschy final dress would be mindblowing.
Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10th anniversary at Lanvin Elbaz with a technicolour party extravaganza. A luxe array of colourful, confident, edgy pieces. He opened with jewel-hued and bright peplum dresses worked in foam or maybe neoprene that gave structure to peplums,frills and high collars, yet they still remained curve enhancing. Then there was a switch in fabrications to sexy black leathers, golden brocades and metallic lames. There were full playful skirts. Exaggerated coats were clinched at the waist with crystal encrusted jaguar headed belts or draped in fur. Then came the Lanvin dream. It announced itself with indulgent cocktail party dresses in exuberant water colour and floral prints, lace appliqué and beading embellishments and ruffle poufs with the looks finished with bright gloves, rainbow shade fur stoles slung over shoulders, and necks garnished with glittering jewels.