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Spring ’12, Show Me What You Got

September 12, 2011

New York Fashion Week is a few days under way, and I have to say that so far I am a bit underwhelmed. Many of the shows have erred too much on the sporty side for my tastes, or were so sweet my teeth ached while scrolling through the photos – I know it’s Spring, but oh my god, pastels are running RAMPANT. The handful of shows I’ve taken a liking too have been a bit like comfort food; I haven’t seen anything groundbreaking yet, nothing to really talk about, but the clothes sure are pretty, wearable, and sticking to what we’ve gotten used to. The overarching theme is that we are going to be damn ladylike next year. And there will be lots of awesome prints.

Here are some picks from my top five from the first three (and a half) days:

Doo.Ri

Even though my version of “the C word” is “comfortable”, I can’t help but continue to love Doo.Ri’s effortless brand of chic. Girl knows how to work a drape.  I love her signature asymmetrical wrap effects of her draped tops, skirts, and dresses, and her perfect loose-fitting yet body-skimming silhouettes. Her clothes make me want to pose in front of an old brick wall and just wait around for Scott Schuman to come photograph me. Spring ’12 was a bit of a mixed bag, most notably with the color palette, which was primarily heather gray (love) and kind of a “light taupe” (hate) but spotted now and then with bursts of rich eggplant (love), a floral print with fun Poppies (love), and one representation each from butter yellow (I don’t want to talk about the prevalence this season of my most loathed shade of all time), cotton candy blue, and salmon. The clothes themselves ranged from overtly sexy, boxy masculine, downtown cool, and primly sophisticated. Besides the classic draping, I couldn’t find much of a story in the collection, but it was enjoyable for the most part, at least.

The most marketable look, by far

I would like that jacket, please

My favorite look

Prabal Gurung

Red carpet darling, Prabal Gurung, took a pretty drastic turn off course for his Spring ’12, bringing the most excitement so far. Known for his glamorous gowns, the sign guiding his new direction this season was his print – at first look, it’s another floral, but upon closer inspection the flowers appear to be off-kilter, as if wilting or seen through an acid trip. Gurung’s silhouettes are classically pretty, but when you start to take in the details you realize they’re drawn from the fetish world more likely to inspire edgier designers like Gaultier and McQueen. Cut-outs, sheer panels, latex, and leather are sprinkled throughout his collection, but they’re balanced nicely by lace, ruffles, handkerchief hems, and A-line skirts. And can we talk about that purple? Love! I couldn’t narrow it down to 5, so his 7 looks make up for Doo.Ri’s 3.

I love the print and the emphasis on the seams of the sleeves

An example of the subtle subversive material use

I adore this dress! It reminds me of a Miro painting.

Wait, no, I adore THIS dress!

Wait! No! I adore THIS dress!

Sexiest dress ever?

You know a good designer when he can make a dress like the previous one, and a one like this that covers your entire body, and they both perfectly suit two opposing ideas of sex appeal.

Lyn Devon

This is the first season I’m hearing of Lyn Devon, but her adorable urban-picnic-themed collection immediately made me pay attention. Holy Wearable, Batman! I would love to wear each and every one of these clothes. Some of them are a bit simple, verging on boring, looking more like wardrobe staples you can find at American Apparel (oomf) than pieces to show during Fashion Week, but someone has to design the basics, no?  Because of their wearability, there isn’t much to say except “Look at those cute silhouettes and fun, bright colors!” Now, where can I buy them?

I'm not really sure what's going on here, but I like it. The orange buttons on the white mini are lovely!

Those shorts are leather

I mean, come on! So cute.

Yup, orange isn't going anywhere

Tracy Reese

An unexpected favorite was Tracy Reese. Don’t get me wrong – I never consider her collections bad, but they’re never particularly attention-grabbing for me. This show, despite being another case where it was a bit chaotic, had a lot to offer. I may have been pulled in a ton of different directions, but I like all the options for where I could go.  I loved her florals, her use of lace, and her sweeping arch from classic femininity to modern sex appeal.

Band of Outsiders

I think what I liked most about Band of Outsiders’ collection is that it was something different. I know it’s a bit difficult to really switch things up for Spring, but it was a relief to see a masculine, grungey edge to the prevalent prettiness of the season (including an homage to McQueen’s bumster pants, worn backwards). I liked how a few of their tops looked like the models reconstructed their boyfriends’ old shirts, and the nods to suspenders were fun. But when he went feminine, he did it all the way with whimsical florals, crochet details, and billowing maxi-everything.

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