Jean Paul Gaultier made references to writer George Sand's scandal-inducing cross-dressing in the 1850s and the art deco movement of the 1920s for his Fall 2012 Couture show. The presentation combined looks for men and women seamlessly, as many of the women's looks had a decidedly masculine bent. Erin O'Connor opened dressed in a tuxedo, top hat, and cane, while Pete Doherty's voice was overheard lamenting that he has the "disease of the century" (the voiceover is a clipping from Doherty's turn in the film Confession of a Child of the Century, in which he plays a 19th century dandy). The looks that weren't borrowed from the boys were over the top in their delivery: a colorblocked fur coat provided a shroud of warmth to a sheer pale yellow dress embroidered with flowers, while a sleeveless jumpsuit in an intricate gold fabric was paired with a similarly spangled overcoat. Gaultier's finale bridal gown brought the focus back to the blend of masculine and feminine in the collection with a bodice that resembled a man's tail coat worn backward.
Those stories and more here, in our daily report.
- Rihanna may look super svelte on the cover of Harper's Bazaar's August 2012 issue, but she says she misses a certain, ahem, asset. "I miss my ass. It just went away! I need a butt. I have an idea of one, but it's not living up to its full potential right now," the newly size-zero singer says. The issue hits newsstands July 17. [Fashionologie Inbox]
- Karl Lagerfeld's latest muse Choupette already has a bag named after her — and soon she'll make her modeling debut as well. The kitten will appear alongside Laetitia Casta in an upcoming issue of V. [Fashionista]
- Speaking of muses, Arizona Muse stars with actor Caleb Landry in G-Star's Fall 2012 campaign. Photographer Anton Corbijn shot the duo in the frosty heights of the French Alps. [Style.com]
- Eco maven Livia Firth has designed a sustainably conscious capsule collection. The five-piece assortment will be available on her Yooxygen-powered site Eco-Age.com and comprises an organic wool dress, a hand-embroidered pashmina, a hand-crafted necklace, and two cloche hats. [Telegraph UK]
- In other partnership news, Leandra Medine has teamed with French brand Maje to design and install an exclusive window display for the brand's New York SoHo boutique. The creation will debut July 17. [Fashionologie Inbox]
- Last time it was tennis; now it's swimming. In the latest video campaign for her line Under.Me, Bar Refaeli shows off a new batch of cotton tees and thongs whilst taking a nice leisurely dip — and wearing black-rimmed reading glasses. [Modelinia]
Giorgio Armani's Fall 2012 Couture collection for Armani Privé was inspired by beauty found in the everyday: the sun rising in the morning and setting in the afternoon, the sky yielding to constellations of stars at night. That message was grounded in clothing colored to resemble the sky at various times of day: sunrise pinks, oranges, dusky purples, and midnight blues were featured prominently on colorblocked shirts, subtle ombre jackets, and cardigans with sheer sleeves — many of which were paired with Armani's signature full-cut trousers in black. By the time the show had progressed to evening, the looks looked more like night, too. Futuristic dresses (one asymmetrical gown featured a spike of fabric that veered off over the left shoulder) embroidered with crystals or affixed with sequins dominated the latter half of the collection and were shown on models wearing sheer, beaded veils that called to mind shooting stars and meteor showers. With those, Armani said he was trying to create an air of mystery, but they also added a textural layer of beauty to a show already infused with plenty of sparkle and glamour.
Alexis Mabille said he was "imagining women as jewels" when he created his Fall 2012 Couture collection, and that meant an assortment of gowns in jewel-toned fabrics studded with lots of sparkle. Mabille showed his dresses in shades of onyx, amethyst, tanzanite, silver, and gold, and decorated them with lace embellishments and Swarovski Crystallized Elements. (One long-sleeved black dress had over 600 Swarovski buttons applied to it.) But perhaps the most obvious sign of Mabille's bejeweled inspiration came in the form of a hair decoration: All the models in the show had their hair plastered into sickles with brooches hanging from the tips.
Don't let the cast of newbies — Juliet Ingelby, Rosie Tapner, Linn Arvidsson, Sophie Hirschfelder, and Anniek Kortleve — fool you. Balenciaga's Fall 2012 ad campaign is '80s glam-azing, all the way. The girls — dressed in Fall 2012's space-invader tops, big-shouldered jackets, and iridescent carrot pants — pose on windswept sand dunes while the darkly lit sky overhead creates a moody vibe.
The images will grace the pages of major magazines this Fall, but you can preview them right now in the slideshow.
Photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé.
Those stories and more in our daily news digest.
Yves Saint Laurent — or Saint Laurent Paris, rather — has been presenting Hedi Slimane's Resort 2013 collection to buyers since late June, and so far, the people who have seen the garments called them "very tailored and sharp." The collection is also said to be said to be "significantly more expensive than Stefano Pilati's era."
So, what's offered? There are reportedly "lots of silky, girly tops" as well as plenty of pinstripes, skinny jeans, hot pants, tuxedos, and cigarette pants. Colors range from black, white, and gray to red and fuschia, with sequins and animal prints, as well. Initial feedback to the collection was said to be "resoundingly positive."
Nevertheless, the house is definitely keeping Slimane's first two collections under wraps. In May, the house decided not to show women's Resort 2013 and men's Spring 2013 to the press so that the designer would be free to make his first big fashion statement for the house with his women's Spring 2013 collection during Paris Fashion Week. Buyers were also not allowed to take pictures during the Resort presentation, and the house didn't provide anyone with lookbooks.
On Thursday, WWD released some artistic renderings of the collection, but YSL was quick to point out that the drawings, which were penned by noted fashion illustrator Steven Stipelman, are not official representations of the collection.
"The sketches released in WWD dated July 4, 2012, do not represent YSL Cruise '13 Collection and obviously were not designed by Hedi Slimane," the brand tweeted . WWD has since removed the illustrations.
Find a look at Steven Stipelman's Saint Laurent Paris Resort 2013 illustrations, here.
— Additional reporting by Christina Pérez
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli kept up the dark streak from their Fall ready-to-wear line when they created their evening-focused Fall 2012 Couture collection. The show was partly inspired by the painter Gustave Moreau, who, according to the house, was "a lover of dark colors but never painted with black." The resulting assortment traveled to visual extremes: at times it relied on heavy brocades, painted floral patterns, and intricate beadwork for a sense of richness and luxury, and at others the simplicity of long-sleeved dresses in dark, solid colors made for stark contrast. But even the dresses in basic black carried more than meets the eye — the first dress that came down the runway, a sheer, pleated number in black chiffon and crepe de chine, took 500 hours to create. Offering both forms of high-concept design seems an effective strategy: Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi said couture orders are now back to the volume they enjoyed in 2008, when Valentino Garavani was still designing.
Pre-Fall 2012 pieces may be rolling into stores, but right now it's definitely all about a Summer state of mind. And why not? With temperatures on the rise and the season's fun just hitting its stride, it's hard to think of anything but staying breezy. That's why this week's just-in picks are all about multitasking. In streamlined shapes, textural materials, and crisp hues, they'll look chic now — and straight through Fall.
Simons may have accomplished that goal: the reviews of the show have been universally positive, and many noted that Simons's work might cause a shift in the way couture is viewed. Cathy Horyn said Simons "gets the most and the best out of couture," while Tim Blanks observed that the designer "can't help himself; he will bring a heart-on-his-sleeve human dimension to this remote and rarefied world."
As Simons later explained to Blanks, he's doing that by re-imagining the possibilities and limits of the couture customer.
"I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy," he said. "A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft. . . . It's mind-blowing when you start investigating what is done here. But I want to approach it with a new energy. I'm interested to see how people will pick up on it."