Fashion Fast Forward
Although spring is fast approaching the fashion world is, of course, always thinking one step ahead. Designers churned out models bedecked in tweeds and decadent furs onto the runways of New York, Milan and London. This week, Inside Beat presents everything from the stellar tour de forces to the eyebrow-raising duds, preparing you for when these looks jump off the catwalk and onto retail racks.
Allegedly inspired by Francoise Hardy, the famous French singer, Azrouël offered roomy yet straight-line suits and dresses for a modern, cosmopolitan woman. Some items, such as Yeti-esque fur coats and giant ushankas, might look better in Soviet Russia, but Azrouël provided his signature leather work and eye for texture. A black see-through dress was the highlight of the collection, channeling Jane Birkin’s risqué red carpet outfits from the ’70s.
Nicole and Michael Colovos finally seem comfortable presenting their second collection for the Helmut Lang brand. Mixed fur-and-leather jackets were sumptuous and edgy, as were the leather trousers. The duo also included an array of paint-splattered suits — some of which worked better than others. Kimono-esque dresses, worn over boyish trousers, seemed to offer an upscale look for fans of the fictional Lisbeth Salander.
Despite giving birth to four children, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham looks trimmer than ever — her ultra tight, unforgiving dresses for Fall/Winter 2012 reflect her interest in a svelte silhouette. With olive hues and small epaulets, a majority of the looks presented offered WWII chic for 2012. Strangely, other looks included schoolgirl-style dresses and skirts, complete with kick pleats. Female customers, along with Beckham, need to grow up.
In an apparent nod to Gianni Versace, sister Donatella whipped up a heady runway full of crosses, velvet and chainmail, channeling her brother’s final runway show. The result? A mixed bag: several pieces, such as a cross-emblazoned bustier, were downright sexy, but others, including leather miniskirts, felt like rejects from Hot Topic. Basically, imagine the stars of The Tudors in a fetish club. It was the mesh knee-high and thigh-high boots, worn on nearly every model, which stole the show.
Dolce & Gabbana
Looking to relive the Spanish Inquisition? Design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showed a fur-and-brocade-heavy collection — you’d almost think this meant a more conservative season, but there were plenty of lace dresses and skirts which completely revealed bras and panties. They were interesting to look at, but seemed more like stand-alone pieces for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Christopher Bailey built upon the tweedy classics of his F/W men’s show but gave his female models more of a rough-and-tumble vibe. Cropped puffy jackets and sweatshirts were paired with swingy, geometric skirts, which unfortunately resemble Gilded Age bustles put on backwards. Ensembles featuring velvet and cinched waists, however, were a success. Rich burgundies and purples were an unusual choice when mixed with bronze accents in the form of bows and belts, but exquisite.
Sarah Burton revived the theatricality of late designer Alexander McQueen’s runway shows — models stomped over tons of crunchy leaves scattered over the presentation space. Kilts for men, as well as plaid dresses with mesh upper halves, were a clear nod to McQueen’s infamous “Highland Rape” collection from the mid-’90s. It was the men that stood out; female models were too distracting with pseudo geisha hairstyles. Tailored gloves, leather button-down shirts and impeccable overcoats … Burton should consider a full-fledged jump to menswear.
One of the most buzzed-about designers in London, Rocha offered a playful assortment of textiles and shaggy fur in her collection. Most looks were offered in varying shades of cream and white, lending a springtime feel. See-through peplum shirts and skirts, as well as one silver metallic jacket, seemed to refer to Space Age-Pierre Cardin.