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Paul & Joe Fall 2012

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Designer Sophie Albou stuck to the classics for Paul & Joe’s Fall 2012 offering. She found herself inspired by her men’s collection, shown in January: “I thought it was cool,” she said, “Why do we need to do something so complicated for women?”

Relaxed trousers, mannish tweeds, tailored jackets and blazers ruled the runway, and an autumnal palette of ochre, hunter’s orange, jewel blues and moss greens dominated. Feminine touches came via a natty leopard print, sublime fox furs and lace embellishment. The whole collection had an extremely wearable, laid back, well-fitting and well-made feel that no doubt will make it a hit amongst women everywhere.

Issey Miyake Fall 2012

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Yoshiyuki Miyamae is the mastermind behind Issey Miyakes Fall RTW collection for this year. Models streamed down the catwalk in symmetrically perfect garments that included: jersey-like dresses that hugged the silhouette, had the allure of stunning printed silk, jacquard styled coats, stockings, metallic gold cuffed ankle boots, and intricate knee length coats. This year gorgeous and signature pleating of the brand has evolved into a newer form of its self. Bold colors blended into the subtle greys, darks and neutrals with ease. The finest details of the collection were to the tee with a true show of an architect’s fantasy. The Issey Miyake woman has evolved in to a mature woman who knows exactly what she wants and how she wants it.

The collection blew us away in a sense that was both fascinating and aesthetically pleasing. A fantastic effort to spark off new trends using geometry.

Nina Ricci Fall 2012

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Classy yet sexy, Nina Ricci Fall 2012 is all about dressing up in glamorous evening wear with a seductive twist. This season we see strong references to vintage french glamour – lavish furs, silky lingerie, tweed suits and disheveled gowns are frequent throughout the collection. The styling played on subtle but very sexy rebellion – smart tweed skirt suits were split to the thigh, furs were nonchalantly thrown over the shoulder, fabrics were sheer slinky, and the dresses were tattered and worn. The interesting use of texture was a beautiful touch to the collection, using everything from silks, ruffles and super fine knits to fur, leather gloves and tough tweed. Pale skin and a rouge lip worked perfectly with the colour scheme of black, maroon red, mauve, and a soft hint of pastels for a stunning finale.

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2012

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Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2012 collection evoked dark romance. A moonlit backdrop casting shadows of the models in elaborate poses set the scene, whilst a midnight-hunt inspired collection demanded our full attention.

The show began with heavy fabrics and thick silks covering every inch of the body in an almost gothic manor. PJ inspired trouser suits and jumpsuits with excess material and pussy bows and extra long, glamorous nighty’s  in a colour scheme of chocolate, navy, white and champagne made up the first half of the show. Then out came thick, heavy furs which lined suits, dresses and jackets, eventually developing into show stoppingly extravagant fur coats. In opposition to the covered up, reserved looks at the beginning of the collection, the second half showed a sexier, seductive side. Stockings, short hems and sheer fabrics combined with leather and fur kept us hooked and wanting more, rounding off a beautifully developed collection.

Junya Watanabe Fall 2012

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Many designers had the wardrobe of the working woman on their minds for Fall 2012. We’ve had Donna Karan, Nicholas Ghesquiére for Balenciaga, and now we have seen Junya Watanabe’s vision. It is a vision that encapsulates two very different aspects of Watanabe’s singular aesthetic: the dandy and the romantic.

The dandyism made itself apparent throughout the first half of the show, in a range of exquisitely tailored trouser suits, overcoats and cape hybrids that drew their inspiration from heritage British menswear. Pinstripes, Prince of Wales checks, Oxford shoes and camel coats dominated the presentation initially.

But then came the romance. A succession of rose-print, dévoré velvet dresses in vibrant jewel tones appeared to help the collection strike a harmonious balance between hard and soft, masculine and feminine. The cumulative effect being that Watanabe’s woman herself has two sides: fiercely independent and willing to go toe-to-toe with the boys, but not afraid to embrace her own femininity.

Balmain Fall 2012

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Twenty-five year old designer Olivier Rousteing is now in his second season at Balmain, having taken the reins from Christophe Decarnin last year. And he has wasted no time in bringing his opulent, over-the-top vision to the venerable old house.

For his Fall 2012 outing, he has found inspiration in a Fabergé egg. To be specific, a Fabergé egg that was given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton. Some of this inspiration was interpreted very literally, in a series of heavily brocaded pieces, the loveliest of which bore an embroidered floral cameo. Boxy silhouettes abounded, the Balmain signature jacket now slouchier and somehow cooler in a multitude of permutations from crushed velvet to quilted leather. Rock and roll elements from Decarnin’s days at the label still remained intact however: skinny trousers and biker-style jackets were some of the collections more wearable elements. All in all, a study in ornate, luxe chic by an impressive young designer.

Haider Ackermann Fall 2012

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What exactly do you create when the person that everyone expects you to best is yourself?

It’s a question that Haider Ackermann undoubtedly must pose to himself since creating his emotional Fall 2011 collection and the timely demise of John Galliano. And while Spring 2012 didn’t quite do the job, the Colombian-born, Antwerp-trained Frenchman, went back to the cutting room floor and injected a bit of stability into the collection.

Stability not like that of another designer, which corresponds to consistency, but instead stability as it relates to structure.  While not completely gone, for Fall 2012 Ackermann chose to remove some of the fragility from his woman and instill her with a bit of fortitude by way of boxy blazers, thicker materials and cinched waists – cinched not with a soft and supple sink but instead with strong leather bands and obi belts.

Leather actually seemed to rule the collection, coming manifest in gloves, skirts, belts, boots and even jackets.  The asymmetrical motorcycle jacket nods back to the lover from last season, who is no doubt pleased by the flash of leg snaking out from the slit of the skirts, all anchored by beautifully done high heeled boots.  Haider’s talent for creating pieces that are so effortlessly layered, evoking what can only be explained as the most organic, and possibly even Dada, of tones.

Balenciaga Fall 2012

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The Balenciaga backbone always has a very strong feminine story. Whether she was once an amazon in the year 3000, this upcoming season was no different. The Fall 2012  Balenciaga woman decided to showcase her hobby, a certain Sci-Fi movie admiration, on her voluminous-cocoon-sleeve neoprene sweater. Stylist, Marie Amelie Sauve paired them with elastic waist wool sweat pants. Note that in 1999 a heel and a sweatpants combination was really a train wreck. Well done!

It’s clear by the collection that the Balenciaga woman works, hence the sharpness of her portfolio and also her school girl-like messenger bag. The space power shoulders traveled across the outerwear, experimenting in what can be properly called “space paneling”. Color included vibrant punches in a dominated pool of grays, blacks, and iridescent.

According to director Robert Zemeckis in ” Back to the Feature 2″, the year 2015 technology would reflect in our ready to wear. So why hasn’t it? This is the renaissance Nicholas Ghesquiere has pushed since his initiation as head of the Balenciaga design house. Ghesquiere has invited all the female nerds to join the women who lavishly treat themselves to powerful luxury garments.

Acne Fall 2012

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Last on the bill for Paris was an Acne show that resembled a Whiskey Sour; a bit uneasy at first then you welcome it with open arms as it slips back into your life comfortably.
Acne started in a cloud of black with what I can only imagine a stereotyped Communist America would look like. Baseball jacket styles in reserved fabrics and dark colours were teamed with boxy shapes and Daz white shirts. With an almost medical air to the outfit the trousers hit an ankle-grazing length, showing us socks even Jacko would be proud of. Like the Edwardian women found showing a little ankle drove their opposites into a frenzy, I am loving this new found confidence in a slightly shorter trouser.
It’s not all dark as the collection moves into a more playful tone adding youth and fun with a brighter palette. Pastel mohair knits and dainty prints add a little cartoon couture without being feminine and the pale faux leather biker is a must have for your wardrobe. The use of white remains throughout for a wholesome accent but don’t be fooled, the Acne man shows his mischievous manner through pattern mixing and layered up quilting.

Qasimi Fall 2012

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Qasimi Homme’s Fall 2012 collection was one composed of various takes on a plaid print; some in a sheer, with others in a synthetic almost plastic looking fabric. Woolen jerseys gave a slick nostalgic effect to the collection. Loose pajama inspired pants as well as shorts were a staple in the collection and seemed to give it a whimsical feel to the other wise modern overall look of the Qasimi Homme man. Modern coats padded and in linen as well as double breasted and parkas also came down the runway, which just carried out the sophistication of the pieces. Oversized scarves and horse riding helmets accompanied many of the looks showing us direct theme almost. Gorgeous shoes in suede and patent leather featured in almost every look, in tan and black.

Arnys Fall 2012

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Arnys is the epitome of traditional Parisian elegance and their first full catwalk show this Fall season proved that fact. The classically-cut jackets and exquisitely tailored trousers in neutral blacks, greys and browns were offset by flashes of burnt orange, vivid red and vibrant blue.
With previous clientele including the likes of Orson Welles and Yves Saint Laurent himself, there was no doubt that the standard of the pieces sent down the Arnys runway would be no less than perfect. The anticipated meticulous 3-piece suits in blacks and greys were present but there were also a range of trousers and jackets in bold reds and olive green. Alongside the formalwear was a range of more casual (although still suave) pieces, including grey sweaters with contrasting coloured sleeves in blues and yellows.
Years of painstakingly hand-crafted work and great attention to detail result in this tailored perfection from Paris’ Left Bank region. This is distinguished menswear with a welcome modern twist that ensures that Arnys is the ideal sartorial pit-stop any refined, well-dressed gentleman who favours timeless fashion with a subtle contemporary feel.

Rynshu Fall 2012

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For his Fall-Winter collection Rynshu Hashimoto’s predominate colour was black, shown in coats, blazers, jackets and pants. Black and white horizontal stripes were also a big feature, shown as an accent on sleeves of coats as well as on a dress and a two-piece suit of a waistcoat and trousers. Pants shown in the collection were a mix of tailored and harem pants with a dropped crotch that were baggy on the thigh and then fitted from below the knee, somewhat resembling those worn in the 1920’s.

Gold was also a major feature in the collection that provided a strong contrast against the black and was shown in the form of pants, shirts and blazers. Other colours such as red and white were also shown, along with a few prints and patterned elements.

Simple, small details added a lot to this collection, such as the inclusion of the Rynshu “R”, shown in a few of the jackets, as well as oversized/wool collars.

Simple accessories such as black straps around the neck, hats, round framed sunglasses and scarves were shown and calf length boots were mainly shown on male models, whilst the majority of the womenswear was shown with knee-length boots.

3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2012

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This is Phillip Lim in his element. Phillip confidently exhibits his love affair with minimalist luxury effortlessly yet again this season producing strong utilitarian basics, a trend which we’re seeing more and more of. This collection showcased a refined mix of casual key pieces styled up with some nice eyewear, Doc Marten style army boots and clean cut leather satchels, complimented by an array of desirable suede bomber jackets and duffel coats as well as more formal tailored suit jackets. Another point of interest for me was trouser style, straight out of 1940′s, tenderly matched with structured knitted jumpers and coats. Though not the most inventive collection, he remains an undeniable master of tailored minimalism.

Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2012

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For Fall/Winter 2012, Ann Demeulemeester exhibits signature Victorian tinged gothica along with a shock burst of color found in heart-quickening blues and bold, blood reds. Gratuitous use of gradients and daring pops of hue played a key role in telling this seasons story. Creeping degradé tones mirrored the vibe on the smoke filled runway and added a touch of fleeting romance to the looks.

Over the course of a well-outfitted 34 look collection, an emphasis on high necklines and low hemlines emerged. The lengthened hem, which is by no means a new venture of the brands DNA, exemplified a new sensibility for the open minded man. For all purposes, aesthetic and avant-garde, the skirt and dress seem to be the new standard to strut by in forward menswear. Knee grazing tunics and zipaway jackets plunged to new depths as most looks carried out a flirtatious shuffle with proportion.

Damir Doma Fall 2012

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Damir Doma presented a collection of deep colour tones and layered textures for Fall 2012. The collection felt rich and dramatic as fur vests and coats were layered over printed suit jackets with loose, drop crotched trousers. The collection began with a real tribal feel, as the use of prints, blanket capes and beaded necklaces had a Tibetan vibe running through. The combination of burgundy with brown/grey tones created a warm and sumptuous luxury.

Like at Westwood and Yohji, Damir also chose to present print combination suits, with one half of the suit sporting a thick stripe and the other side a much finer stripe print. Silhouettes were asymmetrical with a deconstructed feel to the loose fitting blazers. Tunics layered over slim leg trousers with grand dad collars again added to the Tibetan like vibe of the collection.

The third phase in the collection was the sharpest and the most sophisticated with jet black suiting and layered, asymmetrically cut outerwear and tightly belted jackets that carried strong military inspirations. Trousers were slouchy or stopped short as ankle swingers, while blazers carried a longer line sitting comfortably at the hip.

As the collection drew to a close, the lighter charcoal grey suiting returned infused with dove grey shirts, fur gilets and jewel coloured, tailed shirts that brought the collection full circle to its tribal roots.

A wonderful journey through interesting cutting techniques, strong colour combinations and striking silhouettes.

John Galliano Fall 2012

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John Galliano has gone gangster for Fall/Winter 2012 flaunting shadowy vibes straight from the realm of film noir.

Under the reign of new creative director, Bill Gaytten, the show opened with a striking patent leather trench marched down the runway by FORD model and Fiasco favorite, Francisco Lachowski. The collection lightens up from its depression-era stream of straight legged suits and opens up into a range that displays an ode to the “quirky aeronautic”. Shimmers of metallic accents accentuate looks fit for flight as the Galliano guy takes to the skies. A brief story contains some interesting standout pieces; notably, metallic jodhpurs, a leather sports jacket and some seriously bold footwear sporting emphatic metal plaques.

Gayten gets his kicks up above before returning to terra firma with a closing moment which seems to be influenced by speakeasies and the retro, smoky sex appeal of the Jazz Age. Sassy embellishments, lush velvets and tuxedo touches lend authenticity to last looks which give nothing but smoldering appeal in their confidence and gentle exuberance.

Dries van Noten Fall 2012

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The scene was something akin to a bohemian studio. Dutch artists, Gijs Frieling and Job Wouters created freely along the gallery space that would serve as the backdrop for the latest Dries van Noten collection in Paris.

Fall/Winter 2012 opens with an explosion of color and a clear message told through gradiented text, playful proportions and a vibrant palette of color and print.  This collection lends to suggest that menswear should be directed toward a less rigid, simplistic brand of elegance. Dries was clearly having a touch of fun here as he rendered a painterly reworking of the beatnik youth. A stream of looks showcasing DIY painting techniques and street art inspired graphics as prints were certainly optimistic if not entirely playful, exhibited in sharp suit à la Look 30.

The Dries man remains eclectic as ever in his sensibilities this season boasting a discreet eccentricity. Jackets and coordinates in vivid hues and busy prints were pared down against the occasional carrot legged trouser in cool grays and poignant blacks.  As far as textiles are concerned, we find present the usual suspects of fine menswear suiting;  wool, tweed and a poplin shown in contrast alongside webby knits, hairy textures and even a few pops of velvet. Accessories were silent yet strong save for a standout matching pair of crocodile loafers and a clutchfolio sporting a wild sienna racing stripe.

Always the closet romantic, van Noten plays it slick with a dollop of color here, a hint of volume there and lots of experimentation  While the look was definitely groovy in its ease and vibrance, certain retro-naval distinctions will catch ones eye. Touches are subtle yet direct as whip-smart but easy going outerwear and interpretations of the suit take center stage for Fall/Winter 2012.

Dsquared2 Fall 2012

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To any knowledgeable Fashionista/Fashionisto, the day the Caten twins of Dsquared2 forgo their trademark schtick-y camp for a sharp, extremely focused collection of contemporary sportswear, seems like the day hell would most assuredly freeze over! Fret not, because that is exactly what they did. For Fall/Winter 2012 Dsquared2 offers us military grade tailoring and sophisticated classics inspired by a classroom full of stylish l’enfant terribles in oxfords and peacoats. A parka and jean jacket with glittery, studded sleeves showed that the Caten twins are still in there somewhere, in all of their glitzy glam glory.