Peter Dundas’ Pucci is a different animal than the psychedelic, clangorous, print-happy brand we’ve known for decades. Dundas takes a luridly intelligent approach to fashion design that dresses up models in dark, moody, attractive gear for every occasion. This season, Dundas looked to model Vibeke Knudsen for inspiration, she of the androgynous, downcast gaze of a street smoker in Helmut Newton’s classic YSL campaign.
It goes without saying that this was the most looked to collection at Milan Fashion Week. With Raf Simons departing for greener pastures, his final collection for the Sander house was a reverent and flawless paean to the soft twilight of early romance. Simons’ designs were familiar, but somehow different, much like the better version of yourself you become when you’re in love.
Martial arts are all about the ability to protect oneself from harm, much like winter outerwear is worn to protect the human body from intemperate weather. On the Sportmax Fall/Winter 2012 runway, martial arts themes are blended with chic outerwear for a look that is a minimalist take on the “urban warrior” theme we saw so much of at New York Fashion Week this season.
Many designers this season have been drastically altering their signature looks, trading them in for designs that are more daring and adventurous. However, none have undergone a more startling transformation than Giorgio Armani. The Emporio Armani “Little Winter Follies” collection was a jaw-dropping exercise in wild, vintage abandon. Armani eschewed his normal restraint and went directly for the most lavish, layered, and textural ensembles he’s done in ages.
When Tomas Maier marries the rigorous minimalism of the Bottega Veneta brand with opulent details like paillettes, chiffon ruffles, and powerful prints, the results are extraordinary. It is rare for a designer to improve so succinctly upon their own design DNA, by Maier accomplished just such a feat on the Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2012 runway.
Fall/Winter 2011 saw Donatella Versace opening her brother’s Via Gesu residence once again as a tribute to his life and his influence. For Fall/Winter 2012, Donatella goes one step further toward finding the closure she seeks by taking on Gianni Versace’s 1997 couture collection, incorporating its elements into her new collection. The blend of Gianni and Donatella’s visions yields a starkly beautiful and darkly gothic presentation for the Versace runway.
No one at any of the Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Weeks thus far has had a stronger start to their show than Blumarine. Dazzling fur coats launched the collection in shades of neon yellow, turquoise, fuchsia, and tangerine. These shades, set against a backdrop of slim white tops and trousers and paired with matching fur bags just about knocked the front row editors out of their seats.
Paolo Gerani pays homage to Marianne Faithful for Fall/Winter 2012, and transforms the Iceberg runway into a 60s throwback that presents a new take on the rock ‘n roll vixen – this time, she’s infused with a bohemian spirit. Think Etro meets Balmain, with Iceberg’s knitwear making a singular statement on the runway.
“Just Cavalli” is a modest moniker for Roberto Cavalli’s youth-oriented retail line, especially when you consider that modesty is the last thing on Cavalli’s mind. Just Cavalli is always a titillating hodge-podge of animal prints, revealing ensembles, and flirty forms, and this season is no different. A trippy array of patterns and colors adorn the clothes on the Just Cavalli runway, but they came with a surprising knitwear focus that is a first for this line.
Though the origin of the paisley pattern is debated between lands as far from each other as India and Scotland, the brand who made paisley iconic is Etro. This season, the house refreshes their paisley roots with a sensual take on the alluring, exotic pattern – molding the teardrop curve of paisley to the female form. This collection mixes the masculine and the feminine by adding dangerous curves to pantsuits and mixing stiff leathers with soft, touchable velvets.