my selection of personal favourites for Spring/Summer 2012, Part 2!
#1. Luisa Beccaria Ready-to-Wear
I am seriously lusting over all these featured colours. I rarely wear red as it's never been a popular colour with me, but seeing this beautiful vibrant strawberry red on a proliferation of ruffles and chiffon makes me want to go out and buy all things in this divine shade. Mint green is a colour I've always treasured for its freshness (as I've worn here), but like red, I've never really been a fan of yellow. Granted, these hues of soft canary yellows are to die for, but I've never found it to a flattering shade on my Asian skintone (plus I have yellow undertones rather than pink), and I usually opt for a darker, mustard kind of shade.
I simply love the sheer beauty of all these wonderful layers and ruffles featured prominently in this collection by Luisa Beccaria, creating a very romantic and feminine effect. A more subtle way to employ layers is to go for simpler accordion pleats, as in the picture on the right for the red dresses. Personally I find there is so much class and elegance in accordion pleats, and I'll be receiving some gorgeous new pleated items soon in the mail (from Gmarket and another Asian site), for which I'll definitely review!
I may or may not be a little obsessed with this collection.
The colours of the Mediterranean are what invades the Beccaria collection. Infinite shades of the sea’s light blue, or pale hues of blooming jasmine and ancient statues, or the brushstrokes of French impressionists. Dresses caress the body and rippling waves offer up precious embroidery, romantic sangallo and winking lace. There are also bouquet-motif prints and maxi skirts that are entirely covered in micro-ruches and tulle. Or plays on drapery, degradé flounces, and pleated chiffon for a high level of romanticism.
#2. Roberto Cavalli Ready-to-Wear
Personally I love all the psychedelic designs, neons, and especially all that shiny metallic goodness. I am a huge lover of sequins, but it's also refreshing to see the bigger, bolder coin-sized metal pieces as featured in this collection.
I wasn't really fond of some of the other garments where Cavalli mixed rather fierce, tiger prints with more soft and delicate florals on pleats and chiffon, like this:
It's clear that mixing up different patterns and textures was a prominent feature of this collection, but personally I don't think it looks particularly appealing. Frankly I consider tiger and other jungle animal prints to be too harsh and wild, to blend well with light pastels, although it is an interesting suggestion and the burst of multiple colours does suit the psychelic theme.
Cue the first series of sequin-smothered looks that ran from blazers and shimmying skirts to flapper dresses strewn in the golden glamour. Just as we had seen at Versus last night, there was a play with pleats that splayed around the waist from beneath the bust and then centred back on the hips and, in a more straightforward fashion, as pleated skirts and dropped-waist dresses with cobweb necklines, all the while with sequins diffusing down them.
But then it went tropical too – a mash-up of the exoticism of the Twenties with the exoticism of the jungle (something which was reflected in the music too – bursting out as it did into tribal drums at various points). Bright yellow, azure and psychedelic tropical prints tumbled across blazers and more dropped-waist gowns – this time the skirts beneath ran to the floor. Tiger prints and leopard spots showed off a wilder side to this House of Eliott woman, who updated her look with sleeveless blazers and masculine tailoring.
#3. Manish Arora Ready-to-Wear
No denying about it, I am an absolute whore for metallics (hence my blog name). However unlike the Roberto Cavalli collection (above), the use of metallics here had more of a futuristic, quirky feel.
Of course, normalcy is a relative term with Arora. He may have hopped on the elegant sixties-couture bandwagon, but the version he showed was still very much his own, which meant a bit alien and kookily futuristic. An iridescent metallic appliqué minidress trimmed with blush marabou might have been the chicest thing in Barbarella's closet. The pearl mesh of a peplumed checked dress looked like circuitry, and a party frock pieced with sharp panels of double-faced satin and sequins was lovely, but might make a Trekkie fall in love with you. It was all wearable, but certainly not run-of-the-mill, and never boring.
Some of the clothes were quite beautiful: The dégradé effect of black and white butterfly-wing sequins bursting into a ruff of feathers on a midi dress certainly qualified. Arora wrapped things up on a clean and pop note with a photo print abstracted from a picture taken by Robert Altman at 1970's Holy Man Jam festival. That was a time when the future really was imagined to be kooky and bright. Those smiling and clapping faces on standaway coats and skinny cigarette pants were having just as much fun as Arora seems to have designing his clothes.
[pictures and commentary courtesy of Vogue.uk, Vogue.it, Style.com]