Fashion Show: Top Ten Collections: Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Top Ten Collections: Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Alexander Wang

After a couple of collections That erred too far on the experimental side of edgy, Alexander Wang was back in peak form for Fall, teaming a sexy, Streetwise attitude with a new sense of luxury. His bomber-jacket poncho Furs hybrids and boyfriend-guaranteed to fly out of his SoHo store opened just set the season's bold outerwear movement in motion. Trend-wise, his mink sandals proved equally prescient. And he gets bonus points for his dressed-down dress-up clothes, ESPECIALLY the peach mohair sweater and matching bias-cut, slit silk skirt.


There's no one like Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquière for changing fashion's collective eye, but this season he mixed the avant-garde with the accessible to brilliant effect. Perhaps only the bravest will venture to don one of his knitted faux leather jackets, but everything else he showed landed high on the wearability meter—from the sporty color-blocked tunics worn over slim track pants to the archive-inspired sculptural coats. And if you're wondering what next season's statement skirt will be, look no further than Aline Weber in exit 1.  

Bottega Veneta

Paper-shredder hems, lace stencils, hand-dyed silks, overlays—all those painstaking details went into Tomas Maier's dresses this season, but he finessed them in such a manner that the results were more couture than crafty, and drop-dead gorgeous to boot. If the silhouettes said 1960's, the way the designer harnessed the artisanal skills of the Bottega Veneta studios ensured that his cocktail frocks were as modern as they come. 


"Fast, strong, powerful." That was Phoebe Philo backstage, talking about her unlikely Fall inspiration, cars. Those words could also serve as a spot-on description of her Celine collection. We'd add another adjective to the mix: "essential," because that's the feeling her silhouette-elongating, second-skin turtlenecks and tapered, ankle-zip pants gave the women in her crowd this season. As for the coats—streamlined dusters, color-blocked furs, upholstery vinyl jackets—they can best be summed up as follows: "hard to pick just one." 


Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci is hot, and not just because he appears to be first in line for the Dior job left vacant by his former LVMH colleague John Galliano. With Bettie Page and Amanda Lear as muses, Tisci played up his subversive streak for Fall, sending out sheer pencil skirts topped by patent peplums and sweatshirts stamped with either black panthers or pinup girls. The effect was hard yet soft, aggressive yet fragile, and as darkly glamorous as anything we saw this season. 

Haider Ackermann

Leonard Cohen and his love song "A Thousand Kisses Deep" may deserve a cut of the Fall sales, but no show moved the fashion flock more convincingly than Haider Ackermann's did this season. Why so persuasive, soundtrack aside? Ackermann's sublime color sense, for one. And for another, the gorgeous way he drapes and sculpts everything from silk to suede. This isn't easy fashion, and we're grateful for that. Ultimately, what enraptures us is his unwavering, straight-from-the-heart, and increasingly sophisticated vision. 

Marc Jacobs

Out went the 1970's glamorama of Spring, and in CAME restraint-in all senses of the word. Marc Jacobs' collection womanly hugged the body, yet left barely an inch of flesh exposed. But you could not call it for one second Prim-nots with all Those polka dots or the fetishy rubber (which the designer would Revisit to entertainingly Provocative if less mysterious effect at Louis Vuitton). And, to be sure, Those car-finish paint accessories Will have fans kneeling at his feet.


Minimalism from Marni? Not exactly, but Consuelo Castiglioni did show off a more disciplined side this season, and with utterly charming results. Jackets and skirts matched instead of clashed; what's more, The Octagon print that dominated the collection (and the runway decor) was more subtle than the patterns this house has tended to prefer in the past. But That does not mean there Was not color: Castiglioni showed one of the season's loveliest Furs, an emerald green and brown mink and beaver Belted coat over a camel and coral dress. 

Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada wrapped up the Fall season with a bow at Miu Miu. Make That a bow tied at the hip of a pretty, flower-printed dress of a 1940's extraction. This collection of modern vintage dresses looked tailor-made for Starlets Hailee Steinfeld and Mila Kunis, WHO sat front-row in what Had to be the location of the season, Paris' Palais d'iena. But the gold cat-eye sunglasses heels and glitter-dipped Will have a life well beyond the red carpet. 


Reinventing a label as Venerable at Valentino's, and while the designer is still alive to watch, is no easy feat. But Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have been quieting naysayers almost from the get-go, and no one Could argue with the way Their Fall collection married the house's signature romance with Modernity. Cue the studs That dotted the front of a double-face cashmere coat or the lace That was spliced ​​with leather for a strapless dress. This duo knows That the way forward is to balance respect for the house codes with a healthy dose of irreverence. 

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