F/W fashion’s return to romanticism
Fall-winter 2012-2013 fashion collections by leading brands marked a return to romanticism, elegance and retro style, underlined by muffled tones and dexterously underlined lines and aristocratic shapes. Fur featured in several designs indicating it as a popular trend this season
According to Frida Giannini, Gucci’s FW 2012 collection exudes modern-day romanticism, with a hint of dramatic sensuality, dark glamour and subtle tones of provocative intellect. Luxurious and sexy it maintains a classy impression featuring long coats, large dresses and flowing belted jackets in lush velvet highlighted by coloured crystals and sequins. Incorporating subtle masculine / feminine vibes it evokes a Victorian fashion age with a Vampire touch.
Meanwhile, a sexy-rock vibe against a backdrop of dark seduction defines Versace’s collection where leather, velvet and rich satin are bound together with silver chains and metal mesh, adding a metallic sheen to coats and dresses. A smooth round shoulder shapes jackets, while soft alpaca and astrakhan are mixed with a new take on chainmail. Flashes of silver reflect from curve enhancing bustiers on short dresses in bright orange and yellow. A strong femininity with a parallel glamour defines this season, utterly seductive and persuasive in its tone.
Turning you dreamy-eyed is Dolce & Gabbana’s Silcilian Baroque-inspired collection which has evolved in volumes and processes in white, black, nude and beige. Not surprisingly, it’s been sported on celebrities everywhere. It experiments with new cuts and decorations, featuring golden embroideries that recall Baroque mirrors and frames or embroideries made of small points inspired by dining room tapestries and also endearing prints of cherubs and angels that appear to have come out of a painting and capes which come in different proportions apart from those sensational black lace dresses in various shapes enhanced by golden embroideries and paired with Miss Silcily bags.
In Emilio Pucci’s ready-to-wear, Bohemian chic and minimalistic glamour underlined by assymetry can be noticed in Creative Director Peter Dundas’ designs, luring us with black dresses with slinky silhouettes, luxe crocodile leather coats, patent leather coats with generous collars and trench coats with a dramatic touch of fur around the collar, while sequinned pantsuits and menswear-inspired looks add to the allure.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture collection draws inspiration from fictional characters from a classic French novel with fun role playing and inventive tailoring. Sheer materials were juxtaposed with harsh metallic corsets to showcase femininity with a hard edge. While fur jackets, shrugged over ‘clingy’ sleeveless dresses, added a touch of sheer drama billowing at the collar, shoulders, elbows and wrist, proving Gaultier’s undoubted mastery of his art.
An ironic femininity defines Sonia by Sonia Rykiel’s designs where ample soft volumes offer the body freedom of movement. Fabulous wool coats matched with silk trousers, bi-coloured light wool cardigans, wool crepe oversized trousers, silk shirt dresses and utterly girly wool crepe dresses and paisley-print wool embroidered dresses present quite a choice.
Senior year prom night forms the muse for the collection by popular brand Dsquared2. And we all know it’s a night of nervous excitement, flowers, hectic preparations, music and everything that goes towards one of the most memorable nights in one’s life. (However it turns out). But the Dsquared2 girl does not abandon her rebel spirit and dares to mix all-time favourite denim with embroidered garments. Narrow and cropped pants, pencil skirts, long evening dresses (clinched by a delectable bow) and cocoon dresses add curves to the silhouette. While elegant furs, colourful coats, crocodile jackets, flowy dresses (not to leave out diamonds and precious stones) raided from mom’s secret wardrobe) add to the thrill.
Karl Lagerfeld’s inspiration for French luxury brand Chanel’s FW ready-to-wear 2012 / 13 collection are crystals. So, almost every look is accessorized with decorative elements like oversize crystals and crystal eyebrows and crystal patterns,. With tops, dresses and sweaters dipped in a dark colour palette, there is enough to satiate the most demanding fashionista in town. His haute couture collection titled as ‘New Vintage’ featured old versus new pieces such as tailored pants, elegant gowns, dresses sporting Coco Chanel’s favourite blooms camellias, crystals and patchwork prints. Infused by pastel pink, soft dove grey and ivory it’s a delightful line from the maestro.
One discerns hints of a beautiful future in Alexander McQueen’s collections inspired by a forest floor where the dynamics of light and shade, power and protection, hyper-femininity and strength as seen in mushrooms play out. Shape, texture and print explode initially from the waist and later from the neck down. Feathers, furs and silver dandelion and enamel blossom embroideries float on textured surfaces with pale silk, mohair jacquards appliquéd with felt flowers. Funnel necks, Mongolian lamb collars, trapeze lines, cape-backs and bell-shaped, rolled skirts dominate.
Since its launch by Gaby Aghion, an Egyptian-born Parisian in 1952, Chloe has been synonymous with a graceful and effortless attitude embraced by modern women with an independent mind. Clare Waight Keller, the new Creative Director’s Pre-fall 2012 collection adds a playful sense of proportion and a sophisticated edge to her confident and luxurious take on Chloe. Inspired by candid shots in the late 60’s and early 70’s taken by Garry Winogrand of women on the streets of Manhattan it presents subtle contrast in proportions such as oversize coats with cigarette pants and pencil skirts.
Giving full rein to the Italian maestro’s fertile imagination, the prints for Roberto Cavalli’s collection come from hand-painted canvas which was displayed backstage, representing animal skins. It’s enhanced by the illusory mix of python leather printed with tiger or jaguar motifs, and pony skins transformed into crocodile. The silhouette is very short mini skirts or ‘balloon’ dresses or maxi skirts made of python leather painted with tiger motifs. Dresses do not follow the shape of the body but redesign it with flounces and ruffles, while coats and jackets in black python leather have structured shoulders and narrow waistlines.
Valentino’s collection alights on globetrotting and the search for one’s roots to present designs where precise lines dominated by a sense of control and intense surface textures from dry wool, jacquard wool, cady, wool lace, leather and chiffon meet in partnership. Jacquard coats, flowing jumpsuits, fetching evening dresses with patchwork patterns with embroidery and decorative designs create hypnotic scores while pea-coats worn with pant suits stand out from the body. It celebrates differences that unite rather than separate.
Stefano Pilati‘s penultimate collection for YSL has a timeless beauty infused by simple colours such white, black and gold, with clean shapes and marked waists. A choice one can make confidently for both boardroom elegance as well as evening allure, it’s a mature, no-frills, subdued with monotone black pieces with hints of taupe, cream or white, blue and purple with a few calla lily motifs. Leather tops paired with fabric separates, cropped leather pants with cropped woollen jackets with leather lapels and cuffs turned up apart from simple sheaths clinched by a broad belt for formal occasions.
Military-inspired jackets and chic sheer dress were among the creations in Salvatore Ferragamo’s collection. Modelled by Kate Moss in its campaign, it was hailed as double-edged femininity revealed in a sophisticated play of tailoring and seduction with a unique mosaic of style. Autumnal woodland tones such as purple, blueberry, malachite and Bordeaux add charm to evening dresses with slightly billowing full sleeves cuffed at the wrists and drawn in at the waist with a cross-over V-neckline and shiny gold lace adding a sensual touch to a jagged hemline matched by sandals and pumps with braided fastenings.