Dior’s Classic Fall – Bill Gaytten looked towards the archives for inspiration with his second mainline collection for Dior’s fall 2012 presentation. With still no official word on a permanent creative director, the new season showcased demure forties and fifties inspired silhouettes in a muted color palette of taupe, black and burgundy. Despite the lack of Galliano opulence, Gaytten offered a lovely refinement for the autumn season with ballerina inspired shapes. Cinched jackets, pleated skirts and jewelry style embellishments dominate the Dior woman’s wardrobe for autumn.
Owens’ Fiery Fall – Taking a dark turn from spring’s parade of white, designer Rick Owens was back to black and grey for his fall 2012 collection presented during Paris Fashion Week. All the usual trappings of Owens’ creations were out in full form–the long silhouettes, leather works and futuristic undertones appeared against a setting of fire. Models took to the runway wearing stark red lips and mesh masks in the post-apocalyptic designs. For the finale, Owens offered some prints in the form of checkered plaid matched with slouchy trousers layered under skirts.
Dries’ Eastern Fall – For fall 2012, Dries Van Noten embraced an Asian inspired outing with lush coats, tailored suiting and patterned jackets influenced by designs in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The Van Noten woman takes her trip to the East with streamlined silhouettes and dragon or floral prints matched with fur adorned parkas. The Belgian designer’s distinct menswear influence loosened at times, providing delicate dresses and skirts in kaleidoscopic hues of citrus orange, turquoise, jade and ivory. Despite using a well-established theme, Van Noten brought something fresh and distinctly modern to the upcoming autumn.
Gianfranco Ferré’s Streamlined Fall – Designers Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi presented their second collection for Gianfranco Ferré with the label’s fall 2012 showing presented on the final day of Milan Fashion Week. The two embraced an androgynous aesthetic and used a color palette of inky black, silvery grey, navy and off white. Forgoing patterns or jewelry, the new season was all about shape with streamlined silhouettes that were modern if not futuristic. Ferré’s androgynous heroine also got a touch of glam with the use of lush fur and metallic fabrics for the upcoming autumn.
Cavalli’s Sumptuous Fall – Roberto Cavalli presented a sumptuous fall 2012 collection made of pure glamour for the final day of Milan Fashion Week. Cavalli’s vision of autumn included short dresses in jewel toned colors of emerald-green, plum, fuchsia, electric blue and burgundy. Animal prints, fur and leather gloves dominated the runway as models sported long bohemian locks matched with smokey eyes. As the show continued, Cavalli introduced maxi dresses layered underneath long overcoats. Saving the best for last, supermodel Naomi Campbell closed the show in a stunning beaded gown with a plunging neckline.
Pucci’s Pared Down Fall – Emilio Pucci’s bohemian chic took a turn for glamorous minimalism with its fall 2012 presentation shown during Milan Fashion Week. Creative director Peter Dundas opened with a strong showing of black dresses in slinky silhouettes. Luxe crocodile, crystal detailing and sheer cutouts brought some sex appeal to the minimal designs. As the show progressed, some color was introduced in the form of sky blue and nude tones. Menswear inspired looks such as modified tuxedo jackets and tailored pants also made an appearance. With the lack of prints and fringe, it appears that the Pucci woman might be growing up, but as Dundas’ designs suggest–it doesn’t mean a loss of sex appeal for the upcoming autumn.
Raf’s Farewell to Jil Sander – With news of Raf Simons’ departure from Jil Sander hitting this week (and a possible move to Dior), fall 2012 marks the last season that the Belgian designer will be known as creative director of the German label. It only seems fitting that his final season featured an expert showing of minimal, ladylike clothing which the house has become well-known for while under his direction. A color palette of powder pink, nude, ivory, scarlet and black set a classically refined tone for the new season. Simons also introduced his own take on well-known shapes with a play on proportion and color.
As one chapter closes, another one opens. Designer Jil Sander is set to take over her namesake label once again with Simons’ departure, and it will certainly be interesting to see what her vision is for the label’s future.
Bottega Veneta’s Somber Elegance – For fall 2012, Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier presented a collection of dark elegance during the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week. Opening with an army of somber black ensembles, the Bottega woman looks towards minimal yet form-fitting silhouettes for the new season. As the show continued, however, Maier introduced some color in the form of soft lavender, dark plum and abstract prints in shades of citrus orange. Many looks were matched with black gloves that ran far past the elbow. The display of understated elegance culminated in a finale gown of lush velvet, worn by spring campaign star Karmen Pedaru.
Versace’s Tough Glamour – Donatella Versace opted for a dark color palette with rock and roll undertones for Versace’s fall 2012 show presented during Milan Fashion Week. Sexy silhouettes, metal mesh and jewel encrusted Byzantine crosses dominated the runway as models donned short hemlines and fitted jackets for autumn. Embracing a dark edge, Versace matched form-fitting designs with leather gloves and severe hair. Adding to the glamazon looks were heeled boots made of more mesh that ended at the knee. The Versace logo was even incorporated on a few pieces in the form of bold, graphic lettering. For the finale, a gown of pure silver chains and metallic fabric hit the catwalk for an armored yet luxe end statement.
Gucci’s Gothic Fall – For fall 2012, Gucci creative director Frida Giannini presented a darkly decadent collection of billowing gowns, relaxed suiting and lush coats for the first day of Milan Fashion Week. Slinky and sensuous silhouettes dominated the runway in moody hues of inky black, dark emerald, plum, burgundy and sapphire blue. Chiffon gowns brought a romantic touch to the dark palette. Luxurious materials of feathers, crushed velvet and leather also made an appearance. For the finale, Giannini sent out sheer dresses embellished with sparkling leaf shapes–a testament to the strong yet feminine spirit of autumn.