Chanel Set SS12
Yes. That is Florence Welch singing “What The Water Gave Me” in a half shell. (No-one ever claimed Karl Lagerfeld was a minimalist).

Playing with a palette that mimicked a sea-soaked set of pastels, Prospero…I mean Lagerfeld…opened Chanel Spring/Summer 2012 with the dark-haired beauty trifecta of Saskia de Brauw, Freja Beha Erichsen and Aymeline Valade.

This season, Uncle Karl was inspired by pieces that have been shaped at the bottom of the ocean by natural processes, taking millions of years to form. There were also about a million (or eighty) looks, combining new fabrics with pearls, lightness, and the lexicon of Chanel heritage. Mille-feuille and tweed for all the mermaids of the world!

Six decades in this business and he is still at the top. View Post

Givenchy SS12
Riccardo Tisci is still atop his unshakeable pedestal. Though I risk sounding like a Sarah Jessica Parker movie by saying so…I don’t know how he does it.

Givenchy for Spring/Summer 2012 was incredible. As the show opened, Natalia Vodianova stepped out in a nude, sleveless, dropped-lapel jacket that demonstrated a merging of rigid tailoring and fluid movement that would encapsulate his entire collection.

Throughout the presentation there was a waterworld theme hinted softly in the craftsmanship. With his unparalleled skills, Tisci managed to create 3-d wave effects through tiers of ruffles. Genius. The embellishment of the season was seen in icy silver-blue sequins placed on one of his wave-like lapelled jackets with matching pants. The theme wasn’t overplayed, yet it penetrated every seam. That is what made the collection. View Post

Christian Dior SS12
With a controversial couture collection under his belt, Dior’s temporary stand-in for John Galliano – fashion designer Bill Gaytten – showed an excellent compendium of uncompromised quality for the label’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

Gaytten showed ‘wow’ pieces without a Galliano-type ‘wow’, and I think that is what truly made this special. By choosing a ‘safer’, more classic aesthetic, the tailoring and construction shone through and left us with countless options for future investment pieces. Expert draping, the creamiest gazar, classic bar jackets and much more. Check out Karlie Kloss in the finale look of sheer organza, if your wallet dares.

Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2012? A statement of romantic intellect and adaptation. View Post

Vionnet SS12
Finally, THE THIRTIES!

Though the Spring/Summer collections have allocated a lot of efforts towards time travelling to the 20s, 50s, 70s and more, no one until Vionnet had worked with the 1930s.

Set in a mirrored salon on the Rue de Valois, designer Rodolfo Paglialunga took that chance. An almost-risk free chance, to be honest, as it was in fact Madeleine Vionnet who invented the Twenties-tastic bias cut.

There was a real motif of stars, flowers, and butterflies (who flew into the models’ hair, all-a-sequined) inspiring the elegant collection. There was even a goddess gown embroidered with the most carefully considered bumblebees. Rodolfo offered the most organic, marketable beauty of the season. View Post

Kanye West Backpack
Though I’m not at all surprised by it (haters gon’ hate), Kanye West‘s debut Spring/Summer 2012 collection has – undeservedly – been ripped to pieces by critics.

Though, no, the skill and direction of Prabal Gurung is not yet there, it wasn’t there at Gurung‘s first show, either. Hype and pretense alone does not build a dream collection, and I think with the man attached to the brand, everyone’s expectations were of couture expertise.

Rant and rave until you’re blue in the face if it untickled your fancy. I actually thought Kanye pulled together a promising collection. A collection more interesting than many other established designers have produced this season – a sincere reflection of his commitment and passion. The entrepreneur created instant must-haves; an oversized fox fur backpack, a salmon dress with two angled zippers, and a nude bandage dress with mummy-like cut outs.

It is a task to avoid the stereotype of a celebrity designer and it is normal to expect a ‘nameless’ new designer to have their first few seasons chock full of learning curves and small mistakes. Mr. West has set off on the right foot. View Post