2011 September 11
Spring 2012: Monique Lhuillier, Charlotte Ronson, Lacoste, Honor, Gregory Parkinson
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(NEW YORK) Monique Lhuillier
Not a bride-to-be? Even better, as far as Lhuillier's latest looks are concerned. The elegant designer turned out a collection for a sports-inclined goddess. "Women are focused on fitness in spring and summer, so I created athletic silhouettes out of couture fabrics," said Lhuillier. She presented a show that completely played to her strengths—crafting confections that undoubtedly induce feelings of femininity and sexiness—while delivering an always-welcome element of surprise. The line-up included lots of long column dresses and gowns, but instead of strictly Lhuillier's typical repertoire of frothy, lacy numbers, there were stylish shocks to be had, like a twisted-neckline number with pops of electric pink. Options were aplenty, as with a white one-shouldered mid-length dress with thin black leather trim around the sleeves, followed by a black version with white patent trim, presenting myriad options. The designer even likened the Manolo Blahnik shoes employed in her show to a “swoosh” of cobalt blue color--sounding uncannily like onomonopia for a sporty footwear stalwart's logo. Always one to wrap up the runway with aplomb, the final dress was a silk white strapless confection with blue dye printed from the top curling gracefully down to the bottom into the full, flouncy train. Not recommended for a game of badminton, but for the game of climbing the fashion ladder? Bien sur!
As per usual, the Charlotte Ronson girl loves her denim and unfussy separates, with ample boho references. Patchwork jeans and overalls were an instant nod to the era, along with crop-top knit tanks and matching scalloped maxi skirts. The vibe got even more cowgirl with rich suede in caramel colors fashioned into T-shirt minidresses and leather asymmetrical jackets and shorts. Her true hits came at the end of the show, thanks to a dip-dyed trio of looks: a shirt, minidress, then floor-length tank dress, the crimson hem barely grazing the floor. Bring on the sunset, cowgirl!
As the music's airplane engine-esque roar began, the Lacoste show opened up with a Top Gu-worthy slew of crisp navy jumpsuits. Rugby dresses proceeded in thick bands of camel and more navy, adorned by D-rings at the collars. Things even got sexy (albeit still casual) with a light knit dress, sassed up with hip-grazing arm holes and thigh-high slits. Minimalism was felt on the men’s and women’s looks as the guys strolled out in white wool peacoats with monochromatic leather accents under the popped collars (of course the collars were popped). Nary an embroidered alligator came out to play, until almost the end of the show, where the ubiquitous logo appeared on a crop-top polo with blouson three quarter length sleeves. The brand seems intent on clinging to its casual roots, but its spring turnout indicates aspirations for a cleaner, chicer take on polished threads made for kicking back.
Welcome to the ‘50s soda fountain shop that Giovanna Randall created in her latest collection, complete with hard candies on each seat for a sweet post-show treat. The first look, a paisley silk organza cupcake dress, merited a Marilyn Monroe moment—fans set up on the runway blew up the frothy layers much to the delight of the crowd. Working the most with her preferred fabric of silk lace, Randall delivered sheer tulle knee- highs and lace leggings, in addition to long-sleeved white lace dresses with rectangular back cut-outs. It was like the boudoir met the dainty girl-next-door, ripe with juxtapositions of Mary Jane heels and fabulous pastel patent leather oxfords. The collection also maintained modernity by mixing in a hot pink sharkskin suit, after a series of apricot, nude, and cream lace drifted by. She danced the line between badass and demure with bright gold Peter Pan collar necklaces set on nude leather. It was so effortless and lovely that the audience simple could not hold back a hearty round of applause at the end.
Parkinson is perhaps best known for his mélange of saucy colors and prints, but his hazy Spring ’12 collection of whites, creams, and watery, washed-out shades made quite the splash sans any attention-demanding touches. "It's all about the texture!" Parkinson said of the multi-layered "non color" looks. Inspired by his Hawaiian travels, the overlay of French cotton laces, voiles, cotton tweed, lurex-threaded jersey, and laces appliquéd to crinkle cottons amounted to soft sophistication. When handled with a deft, thoughtful touch, a seemingly bland palette milky monochromes looks so blissfully right.