Today we will share with you our top picks from this Fall's runway presentations. It was a killer season with such a range of ideas and themes, so when we tell you it was damn near impossible to make a concise list, we really mean it. So here goes nothing.
We've chosen alphabetical order in an effort to not show favoritism. And because we'd end up meticulously ranking them otherwise...and who has time to measure and compare the value of Kenzo's Pre-Fall statement pieces to Celine's voluminous proportions? Not the Miistas. So let us begin ladies! And, as always, we live for your contributions, ideas, comments and whatever else sprouts from the brains of our beloved customers, fans and friends -- so take to the comment section and tell us what you thought of this season!
CELINE: Pumped Up, Colorblocked Cool
Phoebe Philo's done it again. She's gone to work with her minimalistic lens in place and created a collection focused upon volume and vibrancy. As Philo was 8 months pregnant at the time of the show she chose a more relaxed route, she superseded the standard runway show with two smaller presentations. The collection's debut was dialed down and much more intimate, but the collection itself was supersized. The proportions were pumped all the way up for Celine this Fall -- XL coats, wide pleated trousers that just grazed the ankle, boxy tanks, and dresses featuring rounded shoulders. The androgynous and sporty outerwear spoke to Celine's signature styling; the lines were clean but the color was heavy. This is where Philo seemed to depart from her usual work, bold pops of color were used and some serious texture integrated. Brightly colored fur accented puffed up overcoats, tops were paneled geometrically, and really the colorblocking was just out of this world. Tomato, cobalt, navy and camel played nicely next to the neutrals. Full monochromatic pieces and even a few looks oozed modern elegance. Philo's certain brand of 'uncomplicated cool' showed beautifully and was expertly topped off with clean lined, oversize clutches and the perfect pointy toe pumps.
CHANEL: Crystalline Couture
Uncle Karl is never one for understated. This Fall the Chanel show was staged in a mineral cave -- models stomped around protruding crystals in a major expression of understated glamor. The subdued nature of it all was embodied in dark textures and blurred geometrics; a quiet decadence. The crystals invaded, they took over the runway, their shape decorated the clothes and they sat, of all places, decorating the eyebrows of each model. The silhouette was loose, arms wide, dresses flowing. Texture abounded -- fringe, piping, feathers, the collection had it all. The metallics gave it a futuristic feel, but there was something comfortingly classic and calm about the clothing. The muted jewel tones and a range of greys let the embellishments steal the show, but the shoes certainly gave them a run for their money. Lagerfeld designed a maryjane/boot hybrid, open and delicately buckled on one side, entirely closed on the other all finished off with a lucite heel. The hair and makeup perfectly reflected the embellishment-centric clothing with a basic slicked back chignon atop wildly unexpected bejeweled eyebrows. Clearly, the devil's in the details with this one.
FENDI: Funhouse Furs
Animals were the star of the show this season on the Fendi runway. Italy's premiere furrier showed what media outlets are referring to as 'the return of fun fur' by integrating colorful panels and unexpected detailing. The clothing modernized classic feminine detailing, bringing words like 'peplum' and 'bustle' back into our vocabularies thanks to Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. The silhouettes were clean and straight for the coats, the dresses tightly waisted and the skirts pleated. The proportions were dainty but highly relevant due to the various animal based embellishments. Fur and leather panels in a range of neutrals and jewel tones amped up the looks, and really reinforced the true luxury of the brand. Many of the looks showed to be patchworks of texture, construction and material, causing the eye to jump from one place to the next until finally able to settle on the enormity of the styling. The hair, equally detail oriented, was done up in pigtails consisting of numerous thick braids topped off with a double braided crown across each models head. Sleek flat cases were shown next to handbags covered in extra long goat hair. The collection is truly the product of expert eyes, with so much going on it straddles the line of excess yet somehow manages to leave you yearning. Yearning for a world where clothing like this were everyday wear. Or even just a world in which you could afford Fendi. Yup, the latter would do just fine.
JUNYA WATANABE: Corporate, Punky & Quite Dandy
Apparently this season many designers have been providing an answer to what women could be wearing in the workplace. Junya Watanabe is providing his two cents in the form of a neatly pragmatic juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. His love of classic British tailoring and Dandysim shines through these highly wearable looks, and the collection seems to be focused on demonstrating his vast range of ability rather than one specific story or theme. The smart pantsuits and overcoats are cheeked up by crushed and burnt out velvet, presented with rose patterns and coin dots. His knitwear -- gorgeous argyle sweaters and sailor stripe turtlenecks -- give balance to a base of mostly gray and navy. Extreme layering creates a padded silhouette, and then there's the hair. So filled with product it appears almost plastic, the models walk proudly showing off their vibrantly dyed tresses. Yellow, pink, purple -- Junya gives us it all. Seems 'business casual' might be gaining new meaning?
KENZO [PRE-FALL]: Enthusiastically at Ease
Kenzo has come under new creative direction and they've certainly started out with a bang. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are now manning the fashion of this historic French house and they've released a full season of playfulness. A series of minidresses and suit separates, the looks are predominantly monochromatically bright and filled with texture and pattern mixing. Drawing inspiration from the fluorescent artist Dan Flavin, the colors are fun and reflect an enthusiasm and vigor that is just contagious. Everything about it is quirky and alive. The layering is prevalent and inspired, playing on proportions while really making the viewer consider what in their own closet could accomplish this look. The bold prints are eye catching, particularly when they're shown head to toe in an eccentric, boundary pushing manner. There is luxury in each piece, making the layering all the more covetable, and beyond the clothing, the accessories are entirely on point. The creeper cum brogue is perfection and the bags -- carried upside down -- add another level of eccentricity. This is one of those rare collections that is equally as rich and luxe as it is fun and vibrant. If fashion is life and life is fun then Kenzo is king.
LOUIS VUITTON: Orient Expressway
Marc Jacobs went over the top with this presentation, and pulled out all the stops. In an homage to the brand's travel luggage origins, Jacobs employed an honest to god steam engine to start the show off. No old world luxury was spared, as the models even had porters to carry their bags down this time traveling runway. The turn of the century silhouettes, with modern twists, were decadently accessorized with oversize jewel brooches and sparkly appliques. Ornate and luxury are the key words. Brown, tan, blue and orange ran freely through the collection, particularly within the prints, ranging from oversize, wallpaper-esque, to teeny check print reminiscent of early Louis baggage. Tall hats, high waists and flared pants presented the perfect mix of old world and new for this highly transportive collection.
SASS & BIDE: Obscure Elegance
This fascinating Australian line is known for their play with large patterns, vibrant colors and extremely bold cuts and this season it seems that they have streamlined their quirkiness and brought us a collection as elegant as it is eccentric. From BFFs Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, Sass & Bide is one of the unmistakable lines. You know when it's them. Their AW collection is no different, it contains that signature Sass & Bide feel -- playful scale and proportion, strong prints and precise execution -- but this time around it also contains a more grown up vibe. Starting with the hair, a sleek middle parted chignon sits on the head of every model, the silhouettes are calmer and edging on classic even. The focus of the collection is on marrying opposing forces and is seen through their work in burnished sequins, batik polka dots and bright silks. The use of neoprene and metallic leather bring vibrancy and youth, while the minimalistic execution opens up their market to a more subdued lady. This was their first time using a stylist for their show and it seems to have brought a more cohesive feel to it all. Julia Sarr-Jamois brought it all together to show that Sass & Bide is still as confident and carefree as ever.
SIMONE ROCHA: Delicate Dreamscape
Simone Rocha's AW12 collection is expertly dainty and delicate, suited perfectly for a futuristic tea party. The structured yet soft dresses feature tulle overlays, knit collars and surprise pops and panels of fur and leather. The silhouettes are fitted and tidy, ladylike to a t, and the mixing of textures -- lace and thick knits, leather and pony, wool and tulle -- is done in a rather unique way. In contrast to the perfectly constructed dresses and pantsuits, a few oversize overcoats are thrown in -- both in fabric and leather -- which overwhelm the frame and play with proportion. Shiny metallics and a bright, beautiful shade of yellow bring the futuristic element into play and create an interesting dynamic when paired next to the dreamy lace and tulle. It's not everyday that clothing this dainty captivates the Miistas, so you know that something major really must be going on here.
SISTER BY SIBLING: Fetish Texas Barbie
Well first of all, I cannot take credit for the name -- Fashionista.com
is responsible for the hilariously on point title of "Fetish Texas Barbie," brava ladies! But back to the runway at hand. Sister by Sibling is a London based line and its AW12 collection is really it's first full presentation, having debuted a soft launch for SS12. The line is strictly knitwear; design trio Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery revel in the challenge, explaining that creative constraints keep them honest. They are also responsible for the menswear line Sibling (get it now? Sister by Sibling, a-ha!) which is similarly known for punky, quirk addled knits. This collection called "Diamond Lil" drew inspiration from the film Paris, Texas
as well as a collaboration they did with Barbie
. Each model strutted about in a glittery, skin tight elastic-y face mask, effectively transforming them into living mannequins. The masks gave the collection an eerie but still fun feel, which nicely complemented the skull and crossbones Mickey Mouse which adorned many of the pieces. The line emphasizes the humor that lies within fashion -- they exhibit a fun, youthful quality that wouldn't seem complete without glitter and sparkles. The designers love to mutate the classics, which can be seen both in their knitwear designs and techniques, while also in that freaky little Mickey. This line is definitely going to be one to watch -- both for their technical skills and for the breath of fresh air and inspiration they bring to the table.
[caption id="attachment_8659" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="Barbie collaboration"]