2011 September 30

Spring 2012: Christian Dior, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant

Christian Dior Spring 2012 Christian Dior Spring 2012
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(PARIS) Christian Dior
With an announcement about Dior's new creative director imminent, the Spring 2012 collection, presented today in Paris under the creative direction of longtime Galliano deputy Bill Gaytten, doesn't need to be newsy. Gaytten tried his hand at Galliano-esque theatrics at the July couture show, to mostly unfavorable reviews. His ready-to-wear efforts, as evidenced today, are much more successful. Despite a mild play on proportion, Gaytten went with the kind of timeless styles that women can, and will, actually wear. Draped silk chiffon cocktail dresses, romantic floor-grazing gowns, demure day dresses, and easy-on, easy-off solid skirts. Despite a clever new jacket shape that appeared, on the models, a bit too large, the collection as a whole will fill Dior's hundreds of boutiques with very useful, artfully-constructed clothing that shoppers are sure to appreciate. A job well done.

Maison Martin Margiela
A carpeted runway served as a plush, quite apropos setting for a boudoir vibe--mussed locks, tossed over both eyes, sinuous drapes of silk, tent-like silhouettes, a  touch of leather tossed in for the adventurous types. The first half of Margiela's latest straddled between coquettish, slinky gowns, snug white riding trou, and dramatic cloaks of navy done myriad ways, from a dimly shimmering knit to transparent, high-necked and floor-length poncho. Then, things got a little weird, including expanses of clear plastic resembling shower curtains swathing fringe-tailed rug-esque skirts wrapped around the hips or cut as a boxy blazer. After a flash of acid-wash denim, attention shifted to spliced and thoroughly spiced up renditions of the classic trench and tux. Always a surprise (or a few) awaiting at this Maison! 

Isabel Marant 
A heavy dose of all athletic garb's hallmarks, like the jersey-style numbers splashed upon the chest, mingled harmoniously with nubby knits and bleach-kissed, chalky separates in punchy pops of coral and pale blue. Marant knows what hip chicettes on the Left Bank or LES want to be wearing, as evidenced with pretty pairings with edge. See: roomy, slightly sports-inflected trousers trotted out with a filmy wash of delicate lacework as a top. A couple flashes of burnished metallics and a little more lace later, another must-order collection came to a close.