2012 February 12
Fall 2012: Monique Llhullier, Tibi, Rachel Zoe
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(NEW YORK) Monique Lhullier
Nearly 50 looks (whew!), yet Monique Lhuillier showed nary a single wedding gown archetype in this show. Thus, the designer is branching out from the pretty, perfectly princess-y Lhuillier look of yore to try her hand at RTW. Case in point: a number of long sleeved mid-length dresses in red and black floral prints, leather with contrasting waists, plus a fiery red screen print licked with flames. A standout: the sheer red top with blouson sleeves, tucked into black leather-waisted trou. For the change-averse, gowns were still on offer in abundance. One floor-sweeping red hourglass number highlighting the collarbones and beck hewed to Ingrid Bergman in Hitchcock flicks; one-shouldered numbers were also on tap, with plenty of signature Lhuillier lace, sometimes in the form of femme sheer paneling. It was all classic Lhuillier until the final number: a bright red gown with a lace bodice and leather detailing at the waistline that blossomed into an enormous, over the top ruffled skirt that only Sofia Vergara or perhaps a very chic flamenco dancer could pull off. Regardless, that look can cha-cha our way anytime.
Black, white, and blue with birds all over. It may not be a complete summary of looks, but the best ones included those four elements. A white geometric outlined dress with a shiny tuxedo overcoat of the same length looked so wearable, the model should have kept walking off the runway and onto the pavement. Designer Amy Smilovic dabbled in pencil skirts with slouchy, often heavy sweater knit tops, trying out a "body shape that mixes something big on top with a skinny item on the bottom" for a change. Those in search of more tailoring will warm to looks like a monochrome white suiting get-up, sporting double breasted blazer and matching cropped silk pants, sharpened with black sleeves peeking out and a pointy collar framing the face. And then, the birds flew the coop and hit the catwalk, occasionally getting lost in the fray by being a bit too busy. But redemption was won with slick metallics head to toe, in sapphire and emerald tones, achieving Smilovic's quest for texture, as she told The Daily, in shapes simple enough to wear anywhere.
Referencing her endless heaps of covetable vintage togs, Zoe showed a staggering 46 looks, rife with chunky faux pelts, heavy on the sequins. Silhouette-wise, there was an emphasis on the very seventies flared pantsuit, often also shot through with sequins, paired with tied-neck blouses and slimly cut. Intended for work or play? Well, depends what your job is, we guess. A long sleeved gold brocade dress spotted a deep U-shaped scoop in the back, looking ambitiously skewed for the price points of Zoe's collection, but perhaps that's what a runway show in lieu of a presentation is all about. One thing is for sure: Zoe has the rabid following for her personality as well as her signature look, which was splashed over a good three-quarters of the collection, to make registers sing when the threads hit stores.
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