Francine Ballard's Rantings of the Accessory-Obsessed.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2012 couture collection was inspired by the inimitable, late Amy Winehouse. Or is she so inimitable? Winehouse was certainly an original in many ways but the first half of the looks seemed as if JPG had just sort of copied versions of her wardrobe. Some were so literal I wonder if he’d gone straight into her closet for them! (see top row)
But wait… the second half of the show was far better and proposed clothes that to my eye, look like what he would have liked to dress her in. They are exuberant, there are hints of retro and rawness that are her signature, but these are nuanced at least and not as obvious. One can easily imagine the best version of Winehouse slipping into the sheer black or orange lace gowns or throwing that fabulous pink trench on over whatever. It’s a shame that this will never be so, but Gaultier is to be praised for celebrating such a vibrant woman. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Alright, let’s wrap this up with a bang.
Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2012 dresses all in shades of silvery gunmetal, 154 hues of blue (and some black here and there) look perfect for the red-carpet season ahead of us. I can just see some of the younger starlets wearing the tiered silvery dresses, and then a grand dame or two in the wonderful organza gowns with striking necklines.
I love that the drop-waist and the hands-in-pockets continued into the evening wear that closed the show. It was also good to see some nice shapes and not too much reliance on beading and embellishment- there was just a touch, just so, and just right.
-RS (Images courtesy Chanel)
One of my favorite shapes from the Chanel couture show was this super long and lean silhouette shown on coat-dresses and little clipped jackets and ankle-length skirts. Slim, willowy, very elegant… very Chanel. And again, stuff your little hands in those pockets girls!
For the Chanel spring couture, Karl Lagerfeld showed a collection of dresses, separates and gowns in precisely 154 shades of blue. It was all about air- the blue sky, the billowing volume etc etc etc. The show opened with some very classic Chanel silhouettes updated with a hip-inset pocket situation that played out through the entire collection. The exaggerated stand-up collars looked retro but still very chic, while blues from powder to marine in the usual tweeds were mixed back with black and white.
-RS (Images courtesy: Chanel)
For the final D&G collection ever… we’ve got Samantha Gradoville, Patrycja Gardygajlo and Valerija Sestic with Simone Nobili and Alfred Kovac, photographed by Giampaolo Sgura for the Spring 2012 campaign.
I’ll take one of everything please (including that dude with those nice abs!). -RS (Image via fashiongonerogue)
If prints and pastels are your speed for Spring, Mary-Kate and Ashley have actually done a pretty legit job putting together great casual separates for their “Textile” Elizabeth and James line. Abby Brothers models lots of salmon, pink, mint green and baby yellow mixed up with floral, tie-dye and python. -RS (Images via fashiongonerogue)
Check out all the photos here, or purchase here.
Karmen Pedaru and Kate King (both with FORD) sashay in front of Glen Luchford’s lense for Chloe Spring 2012.
I’ve not liked anything Chloe as much as I like these dresses in quite some time! -RS (Image via fashiongonerogue)
Beauty at Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2012. -RS (via showstudio)
For Spring 2012, Miuccia Prada showed lots of girlish separates and stylized accessories for Miu Miu.Ordinarily I have a continuous love affair with all of Miu Miu every season, but this time… I found that it lacked strength. There were moments of that essential look that Signora Prada does- I found the mustard yellow lace skirt with blouse and fichu wrap to be one of them, the red lace dress another, and of course the cheeky accessories. But the provencal prints in patchwork combination and some of the floral motifs on the boots seemed…. Tired. For me this collection lacked the usual joy and enthusiasm of her work.
Of course the colors were unusual and beautiful- powder blue, dusty rose, claret red, mustard yellow, and a shade of something begonia-ish between bordeaux and mauve. The capelets- done up in many fabrications, sometimes gathered, sometimes with smocking details, and all tied with a sash in a big bow- were perhaps an interesting styling statement, and while adorable I couldn’t help but wonder how that would work in real life what with needing to move one’s arms and such. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Sarah Burton, in her third collection designing on her own at Alexander McQueen, has in Spring 2012 given exactly what should be for looks that speak to “the wonder of nature, Gaia”. As Emannuele Alt did after the show- I cannot thank her enough. This is really the only collection I needed to see this season.
Perhaps I exaggerate, but it is indeed breathtaking and flawless and utterly imaginative and feminine and sensual and strong at once. The amount of work put into one look is staggering. The thought process, the handwork, the beading, the ruffles, the fabrics…it’s couture really. It should be.
This is what I want to see from a sea-inspired collection- gowns that are fashion not costume, dresses that reference strange sea creatures but are still flattering on a woman. Colors that are strong but also murky, hues that convey a celebration of the ocean, and that ever-present shadow, that slight darkness at McQueen.
It’s too much, I almost can’t talk about it. I won’t go into oh she did a peplum jacket, or look at those shagreen belts… Let’s all just sit back and drink it in and be grateful that someone who has such a gift also has a means by which to convey her visual message to us all. -RS (Images via vogue.com)
Backstage at Alexander McQueen Spring 2012, sea creature princess show. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Backstage, at Alexander McQueen Spring 2012. I get shivers every time I look at these, I can only imagine what that collection is like IRL. -RS (Images via vogue.com)