Ralph Lauren’s Dapper and Divine Fall – On the final day of New York Fashion Week, Ralph Lauren presented a fall 2012 collection of refined glamour inspired by English aristocrats in autumn hues of navy, black, grey, plum and gold accents. The first section focused on menswear inspired pantsuits with dapper tailoring and newspaper boy hats softened by feminine curves and eclectic patterns. As the show progressed, the garments became more feminine featuring slinky gowns in long and fluid shapes of satin and velvet. A bit of glitz appeared in the form of sparkling sequins and ostrich feathers, culminating in a stunning finale gown of gold lamé worn by model Olga Sherer.
Proenza Schouler’s Cool Woman – After spring’s secretarial inspired fashion, Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough focused on modern, Japanese inspired silhouettes for fall 2012. Models hit the runway in androgynous shapes with asymmetrical necklines and skin-baring hemlines. A color palette of pure white graduated into electric blue, burgundy and crimson red hues matched with Eastern patterns. A story of contrast, Proenza’s protagonist was elegant yet sporty, modern yet classic, youthful yet mature for the new season.
Sui’s Delightful Fall – Anna Sui continued to reign as one of New York Fashion Week’s most whimsical designers with her fall 2012 collection featuring playful prints, youthful shapes and owl caps. Overlooking the more quirky elements, however, the showing also delivered solid fashion featuring divine color and fabric combinations ranging from fuchsia silks to olive-green velvets. Light layers with a hint of 60′s flavor dominated the runway with large kaftans, tweed skirts and faux fur coats.
Mendel’s Glam Fall – For fall 2012, J. Mendel offered slinky gowns, lush fur coats and tweed dresses for the new season. Grounded in ash, black, ivory, champagne and amethyst hues–autumn had a romantic levity despite the dark color palette. Designer Giles Mendel also offered shorter hemlines with flirty, above the knee skirts matched with furry vests. For the finale, model Kati Nescher closed the show in a completely sheer number adorned with patchwork-like patterns.
Kors’ Casual Luxury – For fall 2012, Michael Kors offered up a relaxed sense of luxury with a strong opening of tartan, plaid and tweed. This season, Kors focused on layering with heavy blanket coats and fluid dresses for a contrasting effect. The color palette was simple–steeped in rich hues of crimson, inky black, chocolate and camel. As the show progressed, the clothing became more sophisticated and tailored with cinched waists and fur-embellished coats. For the finale, Kors ended on a sensual note with sparkling and slinky gowns reminiscent of an era gone by.
Jewels for Autumn – Despite the autumn-winter season, Oscar de la Renta chose a jovial color palette of sky blue, powder pink and neutrals for his fall 2012 collection presented yesterday. Alongside the usual elegance from de la Renta, the showing was dominated by light layering, ladylike hemlines just above the knee and jewel prints made of actual photographs. Models also had jewels decorating their hair with crystal-encrusted headbands. Luxurious fabrics of silk, fur, lace, chiffon and cashmere brought a playful ambiance to the new season.
Charm School by Marc – The fall 2012 collection of Marc Jacobs’ wearable offshoot line–Marc by Marc Jacobs–featured a parade of school girl inspired ensembles complete with pleated skirts, modest sweaters and no-fuss dresses. The color palette was grounded in traditional colors of black, red, navy and sapphire. Prints ranged from tartan to stripes to floral. For outerwear, Jacobs also played with bulky shapes reminiscent of his mainline show but with a less severe outcome.
The Mad Hatter – For fall 2012, Marc Jacobs teamed up with milliner Stephen Jones to help envision his latest collection filled with oversize and floppy hats that could easily belong to Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter. Playing with the fairytale theme, Jacobs offered a fantastical play on proportions in the form of bulky skirts and jackets layered expertly for the autumn season. The color palette was steeped in moody hues with accents of gold, powder pink and lilac. Patterns ranged from paisley to floral which broke up the heavy silhouettes with levity. The show ended on a more subdued note, featuring a few pared down ensembles that lengthened in hemlines and flattened in shape.
Donna Karan’s Strong Suiting – Last season it was the country of Haiti that inspired Donna Karan’s namesake line, and for fall 2012 it is the confidence and allure of woman–even in the menswear dominated field of suiting–which influenced the American designer’s latest collection. A color palette of grey, red and black was offered on the runway with models donning pinstripes, mohair and jersey in sharply tailored shapes. Outerwear also had a masculine influence made of boxy silhouettes and strong shoulders. Saving a sense of ultra-femininity until the end, Karan closed the show with drapey silhouettes that showcased bare arms and legs in slinky fabric.
Back to Nature – English author Beatrix Potter’s botanical illustrations inspired Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi for the label’s fall 2012 collection. The pair, originally from Britain, brought a bit of the English countryside to New York Fashion Week with floral patterns, butterfly prints and bold color blocking on the runway. Silhouettes hinged on classic with ’40s inspired dress shapes and tapered pants. The final section embraced a ladylike demureness with sheer lace tops and sequin embellished skirts.