Designers seem to be looking to the East this season for inspiration. Fashion is, indeed, following the golden BRIC road (BRIC being Brazil/Russia/India/China). Whereas many are literally introducing direct Chinese references, Barbara Bui decided to look at the golden jet set 70′s, and its muse, Bianca Jagger. The line-up was actually a fun exercise in historical references such as Mao-style military suits and patchwork shearling outerwear. But, leave it to Ms. Bui to whip up super sleek pieces that defy expectations.
The fashion king of darkness, Rick Owens, wowed the crowds at his latest collection with a room that was literally on fire. He credited Brutalism, the imposing architectural movement, as his inspiration this time, which might explain the strong grey presence. The collection’s rectilinear take on the outerwear may have been the clearest correlation with the architectural inspiration. But it was the dresses and pants that defied it all. The fluidity of the lines made this collection one of the most feminine to date.
Nina Ricci’s guiding force, Peter Copping, is making the label proud. After a few tumultuous years, this venerable label is finally embracing a healthy direction that will please clients and retailers alike. Really, this collection was feminine and polite (both Nina Ricci musts) and still managed to excite without resorting to gimmicks. The daywear, eveningwear and outerwear provided plenty of options to dress the Nina Ricci woman as a classic muse, though one living in the modern world. The proportions and fit of the collection looked easy and fluid with enough touches of fur to boost the glamour quotient. We liked what we saw.
There is something about A.F. Vandevorst that we can’t stop loving. As odd as the collections can look at times – whether due to the edgy styling or the intricate fashion presentations – the clothes are always impeccably tailored and always seem to bring something new and exciting to the table. The inspiration for fall 2012 is the one and only Joseph Beuys. Want to interact with mystery? This is your chance. The Vandevorst duo wrapped many of their models in oversized rabbit fur scarves (a direct reference to Beuys’ performances). But regardless of the art, the clothing was beautifully crafted and the rabbit fur was treated and draped like heavy velvet. This show was just too cool for words.
Like art? Bernhard Wilhelm will peak your interest then. Each model presented not just a look, but a full tableau. This enfant terrible always finds ways to surprise. Of course, in classic Wilhelm vocabulary, the references defy conventional wisdom and always seem to morph the world or art with humanity.
Je’taime Paris!!! Still more fantastic fashion to come…..