Maison Martin Margiela always finds a way to surprise and to seduce in a wholly new way season after season. This seemingly minimalist label is a treasure-trove of funky sportswear that is cool and intelligent. For fall 2012, volume is the calling card with turtlenecks/collars that grazed the eyes, sleeves that channeled a football quarterback’s brawny arms and draped coats that challenged Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. Then came the furs….ooh là là! Simply magnifique!
Sonia Rykiel is going through a fine-tuning lately; the company not only changed head designers to answer to Sonia, the company was recently sold. Still the Rykiels are overseeing the label and making sure that the transition doesn’t damage the label’s identity. Sonia Rykiel has always favored colored furs to complement her knit sportswear. This season, she opted for plush, sorbet-colored mouton (lamb shearling) instead of her trademark fox. For that glam note, she also introduced beautiful broadtail and astrakhan pieces in darker hues. At the end of the day, it was a fun and happy line-up, the way only Rykiel can do it.
Yohji Yamamoto’s latest collection might simply be described as RAW! There was something rather edgy about this line-up that played body consciousness against hard-edged cuts. The silhouette was very late 80’s/early 90’s whereas the colors were much more reminiscent of the late 70’s/early 80’s industrial color palettes of red, black and purple. The great knitwear – incredibly well cut jerseys – will definitely influence many designers for their masterful handling. The introduction of sheared furs, as well as longer haired types, not only complemented the materials and cuts, but gave the collection a timelessness that even omitted cultural references. This collection is its own thing, completely modern.
Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin is simply divine. Of course, it takes a great designer to take an esteemed name, reinvent it and not vulgarize it. Sorry, but plenty of designers have quasi-murdered labels by disregarding established heritage. Lanvin is one of the exceptions. It happens to be utterly modern while retaining its historic creative prestige. This season didn’t disappoint; there were enough novelties to excite even the most jaded in the audience, and enough sportswear for a wardrobe of beautiful and comfortable dressing.. Our favorite is the black mink coat with dyed white goat trim; it defied eras, yet channeled the glamour of yesteryears.