2012 February 14
Fall 2012: Donna Karan, Theyskens' Theory, Ohne Titel, Chris Benz
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(NEW YORK) Donna Karan
Power suits made a triumphant return to Donna Karan's Fall catwalk, by way of thirties femme fatales. Make no mistake, cheris. There was nothing boring about this boardroom presentation! In fact, it was a glitzy power hour with Ashley Greene, Rose McGowan, Adriana Lima, and Emmy Rossum that would make even the staunchest exec loosen up their double Windsor. At chez Donna, corporate blazers came elongated and pinstriped with a boxy, mannish silhouette for day or sleek, fitted, and nipped at the waist for an angular evening look in black, red, and gray. Meanwhile, trousers hit high on the ankle, skirt suits stayed demure and classic at the knee, and chapeaux ran off-kilter with the help of famed milliner Stephen Jones. As for Karan's signature dresses? They transformed everyday work wear into sexy wear everywhere pieces with asymmetrical slits, pointed shoulders, and, of course, side draping galore.
After just a handful of collections, Olivier Theyskens has nailed down his niche: the ultra-hip downtown woman who effortlessly blends into the seen-and-be-seen crowd, whether she's frequenting a Brooklyn dive bar or a high-brow soiree uptown. This season, Theyskens leaned on Theory's classic mainstays like relaxed trousers, casual shorts, blazers and floor-grazing maxis. True to form, the young designer added his own twist, shrinking the pleated denim or leather shorties, sheering the black maxis and tricking out various toppers, as in the case of a gold tweed jacket and a velvet overcoat. Eveningwear was sparse, but quality trumps quantity in sparkly long-sleeved dresses and voluminous black and white ballgowns.
Alexa Adams and Flora Gill turned up the drame (a repeat theme for Fall) with a 22-piece collection inspired by textile artist Sheila Hicks and her trademark graphic prints. Per usual, knits reigned king, in strategic cuts and pattern placements to quite favorable ends for one's figure. A light flurry of B&W animal print made an appearance, as did lots of pretty piping, plus a healthy dose of a bright blueberry hue. Stripes covered wooly knits and sporty frocks; leather tees topped pleated black and white skirts; and a scattered bird motif sprinkled tailored trousers and skirtsuits, which remain a top seller for the brand since their launch in 2006. Easy dressing with chic results and an emphasis on deftly done knits? Sign us up.
The set up: A single row of models stood on what looked like soap boxes emblazoned with "Chris Benz," in front of a gold pailleté backdrop. The mood: holiday-hewed, festive, and a bit kitsch, filled with cool twists to a menu of frills and thrills. There were long gowns and short A-line dresses of the same heavy red and navy flower brocade. Big oversized bows adorned he fronts of necklines and waistlines; but don't fret, they were big and unstructured enough to look cool, not prim in the slightest. Take, for example, the yellow housewife dress adorned said bow plus a jeweled belt, bringing the kitsch in the best way possible. Benz's cropped fur toppers color blocked in brown and black, with gray trim on sleeves and a neon green drawstring through the collar were genius, melding a smidge of sporty chic with all-out luxury. A little bit of Ella Fitzgerald (which played in the background) emerged in the form of a white shirred mink pencil skirt, cream spaghetti strap sequin tank, and a long strand of pearls. All the looks were high notes, save, perhaps, for a single chiffon daisy floral skirt that was simply outshone by the rest of the lot. But when it's too hard to play favorites because there's simply too much that appeals? Well, that's the best conundrum of all. Bravo Benz!
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