2010 October 4

Runway Reviews: Akris, Viktor & Rolf, Costume National

Akris Spring 2011 Akris Spring 2011
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Albert Kriemler's take on Spring originated from a visit to the Kyoto gardens—"more relaxed refinement, more simplicity and more ease." But make no mistake—she's dressed very seriously, beginning with an abundance of buttery soft calfskin that cropped up in pieces ranging from a doubleface cotton cardigan to a grass-colored short-sleeved bomber. But Kriemler's newest idea involved the use of chiffon tubing, which hung in strands and was stitched down at the hemline. In a white shirt dress with an asymmetrical hemline, another Spring 2011 marquee, it just could become an "it" item.

It began with—and doesn't it often?—a men's shirt, some version of which appeared in most looks Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren presented for Spring 2011. The closest-to-literal version hit the runway by look 4. Body-con on one half and loosely draped on the other, one could interpret it as the Dutch duo's seasonal update on the style they have pioneered so seriously. The play on cuffs and collars were considerably more fun, especially when they appeared as multiples decking out an otherwise straightforward striped silk dress or blouse. A series of satin frocks with lace panels wrapping around the shoulder, waist, and arm were especially successful, but the big idea here came in the last look, a wedding dress cobbled together from at least 10 cuffs, gravity-defying silks, and plenty of hardworking backing. It seemed to poke fun at the very notion of bridal dressing, even when (especially when?) it attempts to be tempered—in this case, by menswear. But whatever Horsting and Snoeren meant to say, it was still pretty beautiful to think about.

Consider it a trend: designers looking to color, almost exclusively, to make a seasonal statement. Ennio Capasa identified four memorable hues—pumpkin, black, royal blue, and neon turquoise—and presented distinct stories focused on minimal silhouettes and for the most part, an absence of shine or embellishment. The only exception? Organza panels, which were mostly tucked away in the back and lent a bit of airiness to all that saturation. Chunky patent leather sandals and long clutches guaranteed no jarring interruptions.

Inspired by all the action happening on the banks of the Tigre river in Buenos Aires, Vanessa Seward focused on sailor style in her latest effort for Azzaro. Navy knit dresses and rompers were decked out with a sailor's rope, while the evening looks were attended to with different shades of gold, from chestnut to lamé. Another series of ruffled dresses, some decked out in a bow belt, evoked the girlishness Shirley Temple and Dorothy Gale. Seward's palette of butter yellow, aqua, chocolate, and pale sky blue were especially appealing, as was a sweet little floral print in red and navy. On the accesory front, metal mesh heels for evening were blessedly walk-able, while two multi-srand pearl and bead pieces (one tahitian, one amber) could be used as necklaces or, for the more Seward-esque fashionette, headbands.