#1. Versace Ready-to-Wear
And the most incredible gowns:
[pictures and commentary courtesy of Vogue.]
The entire collection oozed Versace sex appeal and the glossiest, poutiest glamour imaginable – the white leather dresses, much shorter on the models, were held on by snakes of studded leather and had bold zips up the back. Later, they came in pale lilac and sky blue in a puffy neoprene fabric that featured a sea bed print of star fish and sea horses – which later reappeared on full length evening gowns held on by glittering sea creatures across the body.
The neoprene made for little bloomer-shaped shorts with matching bra tops and bomber jackets and some mini dresses came with a curtain of gently pleated chiffon over one shoulder to soften the look. The girls, who had been preened and perfected for the show like no other, teetered on huge Perspex platforms – so they looked, said one fashion editor, “like Malibu Barbie”.
Personally I'm obsessed with anything mermaid-related, so naturally I was all over this resplendent little collection from Versace brimful of seashell and starfish designs and sea greens, lilacs, baby blues and canary yellows. I've only in my life ever watched two Disney movies (Tarzan and Tangled), but ever since I was young, Ariel from the Little Mermaid was the one Disney princess I idolised and wanted to be. As an adult, I'm still most obsessed with the mermaid concept, out of all the other mystical beings and characters I became familiar with as I grew older.
To me, this collection is perfect because it embodies this childhood and ongoing obsession of mine, but adds the necessary touch of maturity by crossing it (in my opinion) with a luxurious and glamourous resort pool party.
#2. Phillip Lim Ready-to-Wear
Lim's show notes mentioned kites as the impetus for this collection, opening with an effortless, white top with pale pink pants with thick black stripes down the side. Easter egg pastels comprised most of the colour in the collection, with mauve and orange contrasting against a versatile piece in black and white. As usual, layering was a strong part of the designer's story, with elongated, sleeveless blazers and vests over gauzy, loose blouses and generously cut pants. A faded yellow anorak, bleached-out denim vest, and roomy shorts that stopped at the knee were standout pieces and suitable for a variety of customers. A filmy, opaque top was inlaid with strips of fabric, creating a novel take on stripes. Pattern was kept to a minimum, and garments were streamlined and airy, sleek without coming across as confrontational in their sophisticated mien.
There was an unaffected simplicity and innocence to the collection, an un-ironic view of Nineties minimalism, but with more heart. While trend analysts and street style hopefuls already have a long list of must-have pieces on their spring check list—peplums, mesh, showy florals, eye-catching colour—Lim remained confident that some shoppers won't fall victim to the ephemeral nature of trends, and that a timeless wardrobe is still the objective of many savvy consumers.
#3. Antonio Berardi Ready-to-Wear
[pictures and commentary courtesy of Vogue.]
It began with a pearl story that pulled in voluminous chiffon waves to stiff patent leather shoulder pieces, the chiffon pieces sometimes encrusted with a million sparkling beads. Shorter shift dresses with panels of embellishment or shiny leather were built up at each shoulder and followed a strict body con silhouette, serving to further emphasise the roomy nature of empire line evening dresses – that billowed out from patent leather bustier tops - and beautiful tailoring that, while as formal as we’re used to from Berardi, allowed slightly more room for manoeuvre than the past couple of seasons. Softly draped kimono tops and fluid trouser underlined the point.
Pale trouser suits were translucent to show off the elegant structure within, they were accented by darker versions in panels of dark green and cream – and then an orange and cream print went by in a flash of fiery colour, before more form fitting dresses and leggings emblazoned with sequins down the front was a taste of the full on sex appeal we always like from Berardi.
Flesh pink with claret, pale spearmint, scarlet and turquoise – the colour palette was as delicious as the tailoring was precise – and then the mermaid hemmed skirts, worn with fabulous multi-strapped heels of pearly cream or green, were pure fairy tale glamour.
So these are my top 3 favourite collections for Spring/Summer 2012 so far. Compiling all the images and making this post took a surprisingly long amount of time since it's not easy to extract images from Vogue's website (and then collage everything). Nonetheless it's such a pleasure going through all the different beautiful shows and noting the new trends in the upcoming months, so I'll probably be making more similar posts in the future!