"Minimal military chic" was the name of the game for Ennio Capasa earlier today at C'N'C Costume National. To that end, the designer offered up plenty of re-imagined utility gear in slouchy silhouettes and a palette of army green, black, and oyster. Epaulets, cargo pockets, and asymmetry — in the form of surplice wraps and draped panels — each featured heavily, as did sheer and shiny fabrics in the form of charmeuse, chiffon, and leather. It was a formula that, for the most part, worked well — especially in the form of a chiffon t-shirt with leather sleeves and a relaxed jumpsuit made up of a sheer bodice and pants with leather pockets at the knee.
"Cavalli should be quiet because the 'Little King' could start to get angry," was all an amused Armani had to say when asked about the other designer's rant.
The post, which appeared on Cavalli's blog on Sept. 11, was a little more verbose. In it, Cavalli complained that the Italian Chamber of Fashion bows its head to major design houses like Armani and Dolce & Gabbana when it schedules Milan Fashion Week and gives them preferential placement. Cavalli worries that journalists leaving Milan early for Paris Fashion Week, which starts on Sept. 25, will miss his show, scheduled for Sept. 24.
"As usual, the Camera Nazionale della Moda is washing its hands of the situation and it will not go against the wishes of 'Little King' Armani, and therefore the problems are mine alone," Cavalli wrote.
Roberto Cavalli has joined the small handful of designers who took his cues from the sea this season: his Spring 2013 collection for Just Cavalli was inspired by a large tank of tropical fish he keeps at home. Vibrant colors like bright yellow, green, and purple combined with deep-sea blue to form interesting prints, and sequins that looked like glittering scales were applied all over one sweater and as accents on shirts. A blue-and-white print that featured conch shells was a cool addition to the mix, and it shone when paired with leopard print on the runway. Leopards may not be creatures of the sea, but this is a Cavalli collection, after all.
Veronica Etro clearly had florals on her brain when designing for Spring 2013, but not in the way that one would expect. Bold and colorful Spanish flamenco-inspired florals were beautiful on pant suits, shirtdresses, pencil skirts, and elaborate flowy gowns. As the collection grew, so did the size and brightness of the flowers on the clothes. By the end, it was a mesmerizing garden scene. Likewise, sleek Japanese influences were felt throughout the show. Structured kimono jackets with cropped, cuffed, wide-leg trousers brought a modern twist to the traditional garb. Of course Etro's signature paisley print was also present, as were a few striped suits and dresses. There were a few solid pieces sprinkled in, but it was generally a mixed-prints party.
Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- "Are you kidding? If you have a social conscience, you have to vote Obama," declared Tom Ford at a fundraiser for the president's campaign in London, which he cohosted with Anna Wintour. [WWD]
- Tommy Hilfiger will partner with hotelier Vikram Chatwal when Chatwal acquires 30 percent of the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City, according to reports. Should Hilfiger ever have to deal with the hotel's business directly, it'll be an easy commute to the office: he and his wife Dee already live there. [Page Six]
- Calvin Klein tapped blogger Greta Larkins of FashGif to create moving images of the brand's Spring 2013 collection for its Tumblr. Our favorite so far is a black dress whose breast panels move up and down its shoulder straps. [Styleite]
- The apple never falls that far from the tree. Betsey Johnson's daughter Lulu is staring her own fashion line, called Lulu and Allison, for "women who still want to be hip, sexy, and cool." [Racked]
- For a fashion person, Erin Wasson doesn't shop much for garments. "I shop a lot more for furniture than I do for clothes," she says. "I much prefer going to an antique shop full of obscurities." [Elle.com]
Photo: President Obama and the first lady, wearing Tom Ford, at a dinner at Buckingham Palace in May 2011.
In this age of instant fashion gratification, it really shouldn't be surprising that pieces from the Spring 2013 collections — which debuted only a few short weeks ago in New York — are becoming available for preorder by the minute. Yesterday it was Proenza Schouler's lust-worthy Record bag; today it's nearly the entire Cushnie et Ochs collection — and it's just as covetable as those PS bags.
Available now via the latest trunk show on Moda Operandi, the collection is filled with sexy-sleek pieces in a monochrome palette (aqua, cobalt, black, white) inspired by the beaches and architecture of co-designer Michelle Ochs's home country of the Philippines. Click through to see the options on offer, and watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at the brand's Spring 2013 show, lensed by Bettina Santo Domingo. If you watch carefully you'll see cameos by Kate Bosworth, Lynn Yaeger, and Bill Cunningham who all sat front row.
White was clearly the color that designer Fiona Cibani had on the brain when designing for Spring 2013. She sent down a handful of crisp pieces in the hue, including lace-sleeved jackets, boxy coats, lace-hem dresses, high-low dresses, and button-down blouses. But white wasn't the only shade that popped up on Ports 1961's runway; soft pink, bright pink, yellow, and black were also plenty present. Notable details were lace-and-pleated hemlines, sporty pants with elastic waists, and flowy dresses with a sheer overlay. And though solids were the centerpiece, a few subtle circle prints also made cameos.
After last season's dazzling, print-on-print pantsuit action, it was anyone's guess what Miuccia Prada would offer up for Spring 2013. It's fairly certain, though, that an army of robotic geisha dressed in black, satin, and pale pink was not on anyone's list. Wearing teetering geta flatforms or slipper-like tabi sock shoes, they marched, faces deadpan and hair piled high in messy pixie spikes.
And as for the clothes, they came in vaguely Japanese silhouettes and slickly saturated hues. Crewneck tops, kimono jackets, below-the-knee shorts, A-line miniskirts, off-the-shoulder wraps, and three-quarter-sleeve shifts were cut in boxy shapes that hung crisply off the body in unfussy lines. But it wasn't all cold android emotion and dark sobriety; for a hint of playful innocence, nearly every look came adorned with cartoon-like floral appliqué or prints, and a series of pastel-hued pieces toward the end of the show were sculpted artfully in origami folds.
Laura Lusuardi dispensed with this season's prevailing pastels and used leopard, plaid, khaki, and olive in her safari-themed Spring 2013 collection for Max Mara. The direction was obvious as soon as the first model came down the runway in a tone-on-tone khaki jacket with epaulets and plenty of pockets. Have pockets, will travel.
The journey continued with a variety of similarly militaristic looks (the multipocketed shirts continued, on occasion appearing in a cornflower-blue color that broke up the khaki and green well), but eventually spilled into ensembles that mixed prints: leopard mixed with plaid and with florals. Those materials appeared in alternating panels on skirts and in different sections of one wild trench coat. Just the sort of clothing the Max Mara woman will be hunting for come Spring.