Fashion Week Roundup: Top 10 Fall 2012 Shows

For the past month, we’ve all been drooling over, staring wide eyed at and sometimes even shielding our eyes from the chaos that has been fashion week, fall 2012. Though street style from bloggers, socialites and fashion royalty has become a hot topic as of late, we can’t deny the fact that the real dazzle comes straight from the runway. After going through literally hundreds of shows from New York to Paris, Belina and I have done our share of cuts and compiled a list of our top 10 most noteworthy shows from the most recent fashion week. So, without further ado, let’s talk ready-to-wear:

10. Basso & Brooke

Basso & Brooke didn’t make our top 10 list because it was the most practical collection. In fact, of all of the shows I watched, Basso & Brooke was probably one of the most impractical and unwearable collections. Regardless, it was definitely a display worth talking about. What I saw in B&B was a new take on a huge theme for fall – big and bold. With this collection we saw very bold, harsh prints, often clashing with one another, but they were very interesting! Houndstooth in several hues made up a big part of this show, which is another theme we’ve seen on many of the fall runways. In addition to the severe prints and colors, I also really liked their usage of oversized coats.

9. Missoni

Missoni to me was reminiscent of woodland fairies dressed in warm and saturated orange, chestnut, ivory, rust and moss green. The luxurious fur trims on the masculine shaped coats nipped in at the waist was a staple fall trend that was captivating. The layered knit wear, braids and accessories were cleverly combined to create a rich textured look. A particular favourite silhouette of mine was the tightly wrapped shawl with the fur collar

8. Celine

Celine was the collection that won me over by accident. Being quick to judge, I was convinced I wasn’t too impressed on the third look, yet 10 looks later I still couldn’t take my eyes away. I loved the modern minimal feel and the manipulation of shapes. What seemed to be pointed toed pumps from the front were actually platforms with a chunky square heel – great shoes. Moving on from the shoes, the collection as a whole was very crisp, very systematic. Structured blazers and overcoats, tailored pants and oversized everything. It was nice to see multi-colorblocking and colorblocking with bold colored furs, and their contrast with the crisp white. Very good.

7. Chanel

As expected, Karl Lagerfeld finished fashion week strongly. His crystal ice palace was a fluid theme that ran throughout the show, from the stunning set, to the glittery crystalline eyebrows of the models – yet it wasn’t only the crystals that glinted in the Chanel spotlight. This season he broke away from the classic chanel twinset jackets and skirts with altered oversized shapes. Heavy layers of shaved sheepskin, dark feathers, tweed and wool were showcased in this collection with glittering accents. The metallic trimmed A- line coats and velvet trousers were a particular favourite of mine, as well as the feather embroidered evening and cocktail pieces, which were reminiscent of the usual Chanel couture romance that draws us back to Paris. The most adorable moment of the show had to be the little boy wearing a quilted Chanel handbag across his chest and leading a model down catwalk.

6. Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana had to be the prettiest collection we’ve seen. The girls were reminiscent of Italian princesses, dressed in velvet and adorned with tiaras, hair ornaments, and statement dangly earrings. The collection evoked the beauty of Italy with intricate golden embroidery draped over most of the pieces, altar lace, and androgynous choir boy ruffs and caped priest coats. Despite the collection being more editorial than ready to wear, I loved it!

5. J. Mendel

I’ll start by saying the one thing I didn’t like about J. Mendel was the lack of a common theme – there seemed to be four themes scattered throughout the show of 43 looks. Nonetheless, J. Mendel was a very fitting fall collection. He went with several fall staples – tailored coats and dresses, neutral colors, layers and of course, fur. Skirts and dresses were very feminine, very well fit, and professional, and he did wonders with white on white – in a way that would make anyone neglect the “Labor Day Law.” He took our fall favorite – fur – a little further, and a little longer, with a beautiful knee-length, ombre, faded fur coat. He also used a lot of pleating – fine, crisp pleats on maxi skirts and softer, rounded pleats on tailored dresses and skirts. As a whole the collection was ladylike and sophisticated.

4. Dries Van Noten

A play on contrasts has always been a key principle of Dries van Noten’s aesthetics. His collection screams culture and contemporary art in the form of knee length to midi skirts and tailored blazers. He displayed brilliant colour blocking using imperial yellow, turquoise, emerald, purple, magenta, salmon pink, dark blue-green against a palette of khaki, charcoal, camel, navy and black. Plush fur pieces were also included in the collection as well as tunic dresses worn over tapered trousers, a few fall favorites. An all around pleasing collection

3. Etro

Watching Etro was like watching exquisite tapestry wakling down the runway and it was nothing short of magnificent. The collection largely consisted of bold colors, paisley and other bold prints, deep reds and romantic shapes. As far as silhouettes went we saw everything from tailored straight leg pants to wide leg pants to skintight dresses, peplums, fishtail skirts and more – endless variety. Again, coats were crisply tailored, and longer/more oversized than what we’re used to, with contrasting lapels. What I loved most about Etro was the variety in shapes and fabrics – velvet, satin, wool, mesh, fur, the list goes on. I also appreciated that the theme came together seamlessly, as did the layered looks. Beautiful, beautiful artwork.

2. Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou was a collection that had the fashion industry (and me!) marvelling in awe at her spectacular prints. She expanded her silhouette repertoire and experimented with babydoll and flowing silhouettes as well as couture ruffled collars and exaggerated proportions. The clouds of beautifully patterned chiffon gracing the catwalks had me hooked from the moment I saw them. Kantrantzou has made pieces of art almost wearable for the public. I expect big things from her in the upcoming years!

1. Balmain

Balmain was almost indescribable for me. First of all I appreciated the palpable common theme that the collection held without being redundant OR predictable. Now, onto the details – every piece was intricately designed, whether it was velvet quilting, a structured piece with heavy beading or lots of embroidery. We saw masculine shapes – strong, structured shoulders in blazers and jackets – paired with feminine pastels, florals and leather. Somehow Balmain was Rock and Roll and French Victorian at the same time. Tuxedo jackets with wide lapels, skintight dresses and skirts and leather – needless to say it was a dream come true down to the last look. I can say with confidence that Balmain was the most noteworthy show of fashion week Fall 2012.

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