Put a spring in your step
For all those fashionistas out there, you will all be aware that the past two months have been the most important of the year in the industry. Designers will have been working hard all year to produce their S/S 2012 collections as the four key host cities eagerly prepare for a week of pure style adultery. Parties, runways and models will have overtaken the streets of NY, London, Paris and Milan. Celebrity guests, the fashion influential and bloggers don the front row seats judging and absorbing the looks as they hawk at what delights (or perhaps not so) are presented before them. The joys of getting the first glimpse of what is to come for next season is a dream for all, the reality is that for most of us, fashion show tickets are hard to come by and watching collections online and viewing blog updates are our chance to see what the next season has in store. Having kept up with the events day by day this bite size fashion digest will be filling you in on all the trends to come and the gossip from the Big Apple to the City of Love.
The city that never sleeps launches the week with ‘Fashion’s Night Out,’ retailers join in by poppin’ bottles and serving canapés to the general fashion loving public. Celebs from David Williams with his CK ambassador wife, Lara Stone, to the ultimate fashion goddess Anna Wintour sit in top spot on the front row.
Trends – This years fashion show had a mix up of trends and colours, giving us a lot to work with for next season. Patterns and prints, clashing from head to toe in bold colours were the emphasis of Rodarte and Diane Von Furstenberg’s collections. On the other end of the scale pretty pastels have shown that feminine girly styles don’t die out, teamed with crisp whites, my particular favorites were Preen, Proenza Schouler and Victoria Beckham. However, an overall shade, which stood out for me, was the colour orange, from light pale peaches to zesty juicy tangerine, from tailoring to dresses by Jenny Packham, Charlotte Ronson and BCBG Max Azria.
As for shapes and styles; Jason Wu, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang brought an inventive display of Peplum skirts, not just confined to the classic pencil but all shapes (a must have!). Lucky for us, layering with mesh knits was endorsed by Alexandar Wang and Rag &Bone; perfect for those climates that don’t allow for remotely warm springs. Those across the pond have always been into active wear; this year sportswear in the form of slouchy and loose fitting pieces was layered to create a cool carefree look (sounds good for lazy uni days!).
The centre parting will continue to be the hairstyle for S/S, particularly loose ponytails tied at the nape of the neck (Michael Kors) and for the more daring; candy coloured shades. The dip dye hair shade may have been the favourite for this season but it will be the trend for garments in the next (Edun, Band of Outsiders, Prabal Gurung.)
Model watch – Supermodel Arizona Muse, a young model who only started back in 2008 has left her mark by appearing in over 16 shows. One to keep an eye out for the future is Margaret Qualley, daughter of Four Weddings and A Funeral actress Andie MacDowell.
Parties/Goss – Li-lo has once again crushed fans hopes by failing to presenting herself as the good girl she once was (way back during The Parent Trap days). During the V magazine party her “bad gal” persona once again took over as she assaulted an innocent tweeter who took a snap of her currently Botox botched face by throwing a drink in their face.
Brits really have arguably done it best despite been smaller in power following the legends stateside. Front row guests included Kate Moss, Andy Murray, Kanye West, Pippa Middleton, Peaches Geldof, Naomi Campbell and Samantha Cameron.
Trends – Prints continue to be a theme, this time in the form of trousers of all shapes, and in patterns of florals, paisley or the traditional Westwood checks. Christopher Kane, Antipodium and Roksanda Ilincic all showed their garments in a range of beautiful sugared almonds style colours for the sweet toothed. Dusty pastels from mint to magnolia, dandelion to duck-egg blue and cantaloupe to cranberry; giving us lots to work with. Tone them, contrast them, and clash them! New york stuck with the ‘big orange’ but London’s bright was yellow – think sunflowers and submarines.
Full flowey skirts are the new mini; puffball at Peter Pilotto; Jonathan Saunders’ slouchy and sloppy; a paper bag silhouette by Roksanda Ilincic. I wonder, will this kind of elegance reach the Ocean dance floor? (Unlikely – lets be real!).
Thankfully the Brits considered our lack of summer and allowed knits to stay on trend for the British ‘summer, ’ thank you Jonathan Saunders, Pringle, Mulberry and JW Anderson. For the more adventurous Patent, PVC and metallic were gleaming out in many collections including Richard Nicoll’s patent T-shirt and Felder Felder’s futuristic backpack amongst other space age-esque pieces. The sport chic look also appeared in the form of racer back tops and mesh paneling.
Model Watch – London designers hit crisis after Gucci ordered countless models to fly to Milan early to begin fittings for their show. A big debate continues to surround the use of skeletal skin and bone models (look out for the November Issues of Impact for a discussion of this issue).
Party Goss – Eliza Doo-a-lot (little) was a busy busy lady, attending most shows and showing us she is more than just a pretty voice. Photographer to the stars, Mario Testino, was honoured with the inaugural Moët & Chandon Étoile award. Selfridges hosted Beyoncé’s first House of Dereon catwalk show with a star studded front row.
Our Style Editors here at Impact, they got to attend some of the shows this year. Here is what they thought…
“With our press passes in hand we headed off to check out London Fashion Week’s S/S’12 collections. Our expectations were large, and we were ready to be blown away by the high profile faces and outfits of all the fashionistas there.
No surprise that the best high street showroom was TopShop with their NewGen collection. As you entered their space you could view all of the mood boards for the looks of the collection and the designers that they have collaborated with, and then a few select items from the lines too, all of which were beautiful. A number of other notable designer collections that we saw were chunky ethnic vibe jewellery by Erickson Beamon, jazzy clutches by Wilbur & Gussie, eclectic sunglasses by Linda Farrow (including some in the shape of hands, definitely not to be worn for practicality!), a selection of unusual hats by Stephen Jones Millinery, and some gorgeous simple but quirky gold jewellery by Pheobe Coleman.
Although we had our press passes, it didn’t exactly allow us access to all the glamour we were hoping for (in fact the main perk was the free entry…), but we did manage to blag our way into the Osman show. Everyone was hurried in and crammed into every available space, but once the lights went down and the music started all focus went to the beautiful clothing, with an atmosphere of shared appreciation. This is what London Fashion Week is all about. Osman mixed futuristic designs with elegance in shades of pastels, interrupted with monochrome, creating a visual wonder.
Amongst the beautiful showrooms and collections were a host of people walking around trying desperately to get their photo taken by one of the many swarms of photographers, who were hanging around until someone worth capturing came along. There were a number of people wearing simply ridiculous outfits purely in an effort to stand out from the crowd, but in my opinion many crossed into the realms of fancy dress, away from the cool and collected style that London should embody and represent, especially at London Fashion Week of all places.”
The Italian city, still in the baking heat of summer, prepared to celebrate fashion Italian glam style.
Trends – The all-revealing cropped top trend exploded across many collections including D&G and Prada but mixed things up with a take on the Twenties with feminine floral prints. Still keeping flesh on show cheerleading uniforms were shown in colour blocks of pastels and black, and presented in a gymnasium at Donatella Versace’s Versus show. Translucent fabrics emerged as dozens of designers experimented with mixing things up, proving that sheer is not only sexy but fashion forward. Sheer tartan complements the block pattern at Jil Sander.
Becoming a bit more conventional, whites in Milan were bright and clinic – cut in clean lines and simple shapes. Moschino continued lady-like looks with white lace and Jil Sander created a dream wedding dress. Practical for our S/S statement coats were a recurring theme across collections, so stand out from the crowd with a trophy jacket next spring, Sportmax combined the florals trend with that of the standout jacket while Gucci’s gold and black collection had an Art Deco.
Bags have become even more mini by the season, this year palm sized clutches such as box style by Jil Sander compete with the wrist chain style at Gucci.
Model Watch – Dolce and Gabbana celebrate Italian cuisine at their Milan fashion show, with U.S. actress Scarlett Johansson adding some Hollywood spice.
Parties/ Goss – High drama at Milan Central Station this week as a guest bound for Gucci’s 90th birthday bash in Florence watched helplessly as her black patent Gucci, almond toe stiletto plummeted to almost certain extinction when it slipped off her foot between the platform and train.
Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan is clearly attempting therapy through fashion but this time managed to avoid a rebel style relapse. She posed upon a diving board looking like Little Miss America in a red biker jacket, matching hot pants, white blouse and a Star-Spangled Banner quilted handbag… how patriotic.
Fashion editors joined forces at Vogue Fashion Fund’s ‘Who Is On Next’ event. The aim of which is to help emerging Italian fashion talent. Attendees included Vogue editors Anna Wintour, Franca Sozzani and Anna dello Russo, Garage editor Dasha Zhukova and Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini. With fashion’s most influential there, the future designers must have had their work cut out!
Paris’s glorious Indian summer meant that the lucky fashion viewers got to see S/S collection whilst in the climate they are made for. This was aided by the non-air-conditioned venues.
Trends – Sexy, feminine looks were brought to the stage yet again. Lanvin used lots of neutral colours, sheer flowing satins teamed with structured tailoring. Celine played with proportions using trench coats, chunky platforms and synched in wedges. Mixed up fabrics were displayed by Givenchy using horizontal seam lines and curved hems.
Hermes, in the form of tunic dresses and culottes, repeated Orange and rust. Meanwhile, Chanel continued to bring beauty and elegance in pastel shades of sequin and silk styled into loosely woven tweed and jeweled dressed. Whilst YSL and Haider Ackermann introduced colour in purple and turquoise tones.
Party Gossip – On the Thursday, fashion designer John Galliano was found guilty of anti-Semitism and handed a suspended fine over a series of drunken outbursts against fellow customers in a Paris bar.
Back to the Future
Rumour has it that a mega clash will be taking place between the dates normally reserved by London and New York, as the Italians have decided they want to be shown first and not third.
It seems their fiery national stereotype is in full swing as they persistently try to rearrange the agreed order which has been in place for the past 20 years.
By Carla El Gawly