Paris Fall/Winter 2012 Collections

For this year’s Alexander McQueen spring collection Sarah Burton gave us colors of the sea – beautiful blues and corals. For Fall 2012 Burton takes us far into the sea and gives us various anemones disguised as fashion. Sarah’s visions for fall were encased with thoughts of ” a beautiful future, positivity and optimism”. Like an under water dream, designs made from organza, marabou feathers and layers upon layer of tulle floated down the runway.

The beginning consisted of “pods”, short shaped skirts, with decoration embedded in the fabric which turned into “doilies” of laser-cut ponyskin mounted on leather, and finally fur pompoms. Then the pods exploded, like puffballs, into extravagantly shaggy shapes in goat fur, ostrich feather, or Mongolian lamb. Referring to a show that didn’t delineate a rational working wardrobe for fall, Burton said, “I think it’s the icing on the cake of what we do, you want something magical”. Magical it was.

But Burton is not one to leave any stone unturned. She delivered, at the temporary Paris atelier, racks of the practical, wearable commercial collection which reflected the ideas that glided down the runway — everything from jeans to floral knitted sheath dresses, pastel tailoring, and curvaceous coats and jackets.

Besides McQueen, Haider Ackerman is a designer that has always delivered for me and his fall 2012 collection was no exception. More body conscious than spring — note the wide, molded leather belts that cinched in the waist — the collection was dominated by full-bodied Melton wools, Mikado shantung, satins and rough-textured leather which Ackerman molded into very sexy and modern ensembles. The master of draping and color didn’t disappoint, there was a paprika satin blouse and mustard peplum worn with a berry-brown wool jacket and skirt that was divine, and an eggplant shantung 7/8 coat with smoke-gray satin pants and a chestnut blouse flourished with a bois-de-rose scarf to die for. His folds and drapes were those that could only be made by a master technician, they seem so natural and easy as if that was how nature would have them fall.

Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have come into their own at Valentino this fall.  The overall concept for their fall collection, according to the designers, was “folk, but in a modern, faceted way.” They have been modernizing their sweetly feminine silhouettes — black leather gave the duo’s by-now familiar dresses and jumpsuits a new edge — and are designing for a more natural less perscriptive kind of beauty. I look forward to their future envisions for the Valentino woman.

The following are a few of my other favorite looks from Paris.

First group of 4 photos – ALexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012. Second group of 4 photos – Haider Ackermann Fall/Winter 2012. Third group of 4 photos – Valentino Fall/Winter 2012.

Second Group – clockwise from top left: Lanvin, Lanvin, Balmain, Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Leroy, Chanel, Balmain — all from Fall/Winter 2012.

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