True to form, Marchesa's Fall 2012 collection was filled with show stoppers, and with award season in full swing, it is certainly fitting. Many a starlet have donned a Marchesa gown on Oscar night and walked away with a golden statue. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig play to their strengths, crafting beautiful evening gowns and cocktail dresses with breathtaking details and embellishments. A voluminous feathered concoction in white was the stuff of fantasy, but several pieces, the shorter options especially, had a sense of ease in their movement down the runway. A draped dress in bronze was particularly effortless. In the past, the shoes have been a collaboration with Christian Louboutin, and I'm not sure who the ladies partnered with this season, but the footwear was a incohesive distraction. I didn't mind the latticed sandals/boots, but the Victorian looking pumps were a missed opportunity. Shoes aside, I'm sure we'll be seeing a few of these looks when Oscar night rolls around.
Shoe designers have been experimenting with the heel-less platform for a couple seasons. The gravity-defying style has been popularized by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Daphne Guinness. Walking in them may seem impossible, or at the very least, dangerous. But there are magical forces at work: physics. The shoes are weighted in the front to prevent you from tipping backwards. This season, shoe god Giuseppe Zanotti adds his offering to the trend, with a glossy pair of patent sandals. Tip safely!
Honestly, I'm torn over this collection. On one hand I think it's overdone, severe and frankly old. On the other, the construction and detailing in each piece are insane! Hair and make-up are mostly to blame for the former, but the latter is certainly proof that designer Zac Posen is an extraordinary talent. In a season typically filled with extremely commercial pieces, Posen opts for couture. It feels a bit like he's showing off; a chinoiserie red embroidered blouse with an oversized bow paired with a pleated, smocked wine colored maxi skirt was certainly overwrought. Simpler looks faired better. A strapless black velvet gown with forgiving lines was both sexy and subtle, as was a white sheath with a sleek, waist-trimming detail. Still, Posen's strength is in intricate construction; he undoubtedly proved that point with his closing number: a strapless red ball-gown with pleated bodice that literally fell apart at the waist and opened out into a cascading fan.
You can't help but fall in love with the footwear in Riccardo Tisci's latest Pre-Fall collection for Givenchy. And it's certainly not at the expense of the clothes. Boxy yet lean jackets dominated the collection -- many with oversized lapels and mixed media, a major trend for pre-fall. Fur hats and long leather gloves finished off the almost minimal look. But back to the boots! Tisci opted for consistency in the shape: knee high, covered to the toes and with a single strap at the top; but showed variety in the materials, using leather, tweed, pony hair and even crocodile. I'm predicting long waiting lists and store riots next fall when these boots hit stores. The likes of which will rival the frenzy caused by Alexander Wang's Freja booties from Spring 2010.
Christian Louboutin's Daffodile has a younger, more beautiful sister; her name is Highness. Like her sister and as her name denotes, she is exceedingly tall, but a subtle peep-toe detail has rendered her quite a bit more dainty and less clumsy. Here she is in all her sunburnt suede glory. Check it out!
At Alexander McQueen the look for pre-fall was decadent old world luxury. Plush velvet, rich embroidery and saturated colors dominated the collection. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to see in the closet of a Victorian era heiress: shamelessly expensive looking and at times, a bit too ostentatious. In fact, some looks ventured into overworked territory, but Sarah Burton was careful to include a fair share of basics and reduce the sex factor to keep the collection balanced, yet cohesive - something McQueen always did well. But even with all the embellishments, there was a clear sense of austerity in the full skirted, nipped waist silhouettes. Bosoms were fully covered (save one sheer lacy number), and only on rare occasion did an uncovered knee take stage. Glossy (but not patent) leather belts, bags and laced up boots rounded out the accessories. Stand out pieces included an egg-shaped lace covered teal dress, a divine wine colored fox fur coat and an embroidered sheer bell sleeved gown. Enjoy!
The man-bag comes in many forms, but it's sad to say that with the exception of the standard briefcase, few bags actually evade the notorious emasculation associated with carrying one. However, it still stands that men have loads of crap that we need to carry around daily; so unless you want to walk around with your pockets stuffed and bulging, a "man-bag" is the practical choice. I find that large shapes in solid colors with clean details work best. I pulled some examples from Burberry Prorsum, Yves Saint Laurent and Lanvin to illustrate my man-bag philosophy, but keep these two things in mind when shopping and you'll never go wrong: "size matters, but less is more!"
As sports fanatics were glued to their televisions for the Super Bowl, fashionistas were running out to the malls for a chance to buy anything from Jason Wu's much anticipated capsule collection for Target. The collection launched at midnight on Sunday, and overnight most items were sold out online. Let the bidding wars on eBay ensue. Wu became a household name when First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his designs for the Presidential Inaugural Ball. Three years later Wu's brand continues to grow, with his first fast fashion project under his belt. While budget conscious fashionistas are over the moon for the Target collection, Wu's long time, less parsimonious fans will be delighted that he opted for a more decadent aesthetic for his Pre-Fall Collection. Taking Indian Maharajahs as inspiration, Wu crafted a collection rife with tasteful embellishments, plush knitwear, and luxe evening wear, all of which have become house signatures. Enjoy!
Guess who's back! Just one month after giving birth, new mother Beyoncé stepped out to support her husband's charity concert last night at Carnegie Hall and showed off her post baby body in a red Alice by Temperly dress, embroidered Christian Louboutin pumps and an embellished Alexander McQueen clutch.
The season has been mild thus far, but brace yourself; Winter is coming. So bundle up and get ready for hibernation. Use this time wisely; trim the fat and double up your work[outs] because before you know it, Summer will be here. The sun will come out tomorrow, and all your hard work will have paid off. But for now, brrr.
hat by Paul Leinburd for Crown Cap