2011 September 15
Spring 2012: Dennis Basso, Proenza Schouler, Angel Sanchez, Wayne
(NEW YORK) Dennis Basso
Dennis Basso opted for a private one-on-one session in his Madison Avenue boutique in lieu of his usual Lincoln Center runway production—he’s saving the big-scale pizzazz for his bridal debut in October. Veering away from Fall’s masculine edge, Basso steered Spring into an ultra-femme lineup of Grace Kelly gala gowns. "My true roots are here in terms of evening and cocktail dressing. I dove right in," smiled Basso, as he watched his red carpet-ready models prance out with exaggerated chignons. Delicate caviar-sized beading and hand painted feathers embellished flouncy 1920s cocktail dresses in midnight and to-the-floor satin organza gowns in dusty rose. A handful of crocheted silk dresses were especially noteworthy. As for the designer's specialty? Basso babes will particularly fawn over the furrier’s luxe sable or chinchilla boleros, swung just so over ombre chiffon gowns nipped at the waist with skinny patent leather belts.
Don’t let the groovy ‘70s orange shag carpeting fool you. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez transported their eager guests, including front row attendee Alicia Keys, back to the ‘40s and ‘50s for their Spring show, citing Googie architecture as a prime influence. The exaggerated coffee shop aesthetic, often seen off the coast of Cali, was reworked in knee-length Hawaiian-print frocks in tangerine, saffron, and aqua until the ‘40s vibe took over with print skirts or stovepipe trousers paired with an equally bold topper. Offsetting the sunny West Coast palette: moody high-waisted, button-up suiting, eel skin striped dresses, and backless noir numbers.
Citing the roaring ‘20s and ‘30s as his inspiration, Angel Sanchez presented 17 special occasion looks at his Garment District studio that were as colorful as they were varied. Select editors and buyers, by appointment only, noshed on mini Baked by Melissa cupcakes and electric-bright jelly beans (a nod to the collection’s candy-colored palette) while Sanchez pointed out the emphasis on the seams of a magenta mermaid gown with pleated skirt detailing or spoke to the open flutter sleeves of a silk crepe lavender gown with a ruffle crossover bodice. The Venezuelan designer worked his hand on subtle detailing throughout from the sheer cutout mesh back with yellow beaded embroidery to the printed white silk gauze gown with an underlying layer of sequins. Although layers were folded, pleated, and ruffled Angel-style, the tightly-edited lineup was softer and less structured than we’ve seen in seasons past. The reaction from the retail judges? Neiman Marcus and Saks gave it two thumbs up.
Just days, literally, after giving birth on the eve of FNO, Wayne Lee produced another labor of love: a crisp collection awash with white. A couple of jackets looked like lab coats with a twist, while the dark layering of black-on-black-(on-black) was practical, elegantly tossed on the body, but a bit forgettable. A magnified interlocking rope pattern in cornflower blue broke up the glut of B&W, though the strongest looks took shape in an abstract take on zebra hide, done in tank-styled dresses and a shorts and button down combo. White sneakers with sheer white ankle-length white socks, punctuated by a few pairs in black, made for a quirky, sporty, but quite clean footing for what’s going on in Wayne’s world right now.