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2011 September 14

Spring 2012: Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Narcisco Rodriguez, Tibi

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Marchesa Spring 2012 Marchesa Spring 2012
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(NEW YORK) Marchesa
The magic was alive, well, and submerged underwater at Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig’s first runway show, inspired by an Ilya Repin painting of oceanic splendor, “Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom.” Exquisite plumes of horsehair, undulating swoops of intricate beading, and deftly contoured nude tulle holding curlicues of embroideries in place, scrolling over the body, were all sorts of marvelous. The Plaza’s decadent Palm Court as backdrop didn’t hurt, either. As always, the duo’s sheer artistry was something to behold: Cascading nips, tucks, and folds, like glorious napkin art, caught the light in pewter sequins on one gown while fluttering in the breeze like orbs of pollen on another number. Quiet, quite chic wedges in dove gray and various shades of nude, with mesh paneling or simple T-straps on the vamps, lent a firm, grounded footing to the confections, sculpturally silhouetted but also able to disappear from one’s attention. The Marchesa princess is still explicitly pretty—as were the top-notch beauties making this fantasy come to life—but in the predominantly light-hued, underwater haze, the fantasy feels a little softer and sophisticated. 

Oscar de la Renta
Kicking off with a kicky profusion of dramatically ruched ballgown skirts, just barely grazing the ground, in a subsequent series of solid taffeta the color of stop lights, Oscar de la Renta’s latest was a go for the red carpet and gala circuit come Spring. Intricately wrought lace, bold in pattern and beading, topped the voluminous skirting ivory or black, lending a shimmy of flamenco. Trumpet skirts in white eyelet, followed by floaty shin-length shifts and shorter ruffled minis gave way to a splash of lime—in proper skirt suits, flared florals fit for a garden party, and chiffon topped with a matching fur bolero. Bright blue surfaced in the form a plumed peacock print, then a bit of lipstick red The designer’s 60+ looks spanned the gamut, as per usual—the surprises lay in the breezier, hippie-tinged, chestnut leather-belted looks, and a number featuring ostrich feathers dyed lime on a a cropped shell and paired with billowing harem pants to match, But by Oscar’s bow, the final taste was of refined beauty—and, with the last dozen or so looks to hit the catwalk (save for a medieval mass of Pepto Bismol-pink with enormous sleeves and covered in heavy black flowers), the requisite red carpet drama sure to make the rounds on the awards circuit.

Narcisco Rodriguez
A touch of the sporty and a departure from the minimalism that’s been Rodriguez’s hallmark throughout his career emerged in the designer’s Spring looks. Inspired by Korean artist Kim Joon, the looks involved sinuously cut washed-out floral motifs—cut sinuously on some looks and done in low-slung skirting on others, wide squiggles undulating around the body, and a more intriguing, choppy take on colorblocking than the myriad other iterations seen for Spring. Dashes of paprika and robin’s egg blues (even on some of the slicked-back coiffures) spiced up the primarily B&W palette. Gauzy whites, translucent, patterned and with a slight greenish glow akin to the buzz of fluorescent lighting, were also in the mix. In its entirety, a bit louder than Rodriguez’s regular looks, but most of it easy to imagine off the runway, perhaps sans blue hair.

Straying from the super-girly getups she’s made her name on, Amy Smilovic pared down with fluid silhouettes,  shades of dusky grey-blues, muted peaches, yellow in mustard or lemon variations, and a ttouch of electric blue, all anchored by lots of neturals. Smilovic aimed to “really put out there what  I thought someone would want to wear—not just what they’d want to see from Tibi” with her latest, and with that, she certainly succeeded. Literally every look was imminently wearable; the type of collection you’d like to see just materialize in the closet, without particular attention or preference for specific pieces that lingered on the mind. Patterns made an appearance only at the end, and only in the form of a cornered scroll of storybook-esque bordering in white on colorblocked black and mint. A quiet collection, to be certain, but a welcome breather from the cacophonic florals exploding off many other runways this season.

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