>> Alessandro Dell'Acqua tapped "Queen Elizabeth in her private life, particularly when she is gardening in the country, but in a contemporary way," as his inspiration for Fall 2012. The designer also expanded on the menswear influence he focused on for Pre-Fall, working in masculine fabrics and some sharp sartorial tailoring into his signature fit-for-an-Italian-screen-siren aesthetic. Adding an element of girlie sparkle — and Queenly glamour? — were mini-dresses embellished with holographic sequins, delicate lace, and multi-colored rhinestones.
>> Holly Golightly meets leather and lace in Alberta Ferretti's Fall 2012 collection. To the soundtrack from Breakfast at Tiffany's, models trotted out in looks tinged with '60s femininity and modern-day edge. There were cocktail dresses aplenty; most were straight-cut and embellished with fringe, beads, lace, or sheers. Separates, and especially strong-shouldered jackets, made a strong showing as well. Here, they came thigh-length and belted at the waist in textural bouclés and super-bright furs.
>> Back in black. Gucci kicks off Milan Fashion Week with a moodily enchanting Fall 2012 collection in nearly every shade of black — or near black — imaginable. Silhouettes were flowing, dramatic, and — for a touch of toughness — accented with military details. Off-the-shoulder gowns, high-neck blouses, and mullet-hemmed skirts came in flocked-velvet florals and sheer silks, while billowing riding capes and jodhpurs were cut in patterned brocades and tapestry textiles. A smattering of wintery florals and caramel-colored furs provided softness. "This is a modern-day romanticism, a dramatic sensuality, a dark glamour, with subtle games of provocative intellect," creative director Frida Giannini explained.
>> The fash pack crosses the pond this week, bringing with them lots of wildly inspirational street-snapped style. Who's on deck? UK favorites Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, and Jade Williams, of course — plus many more. See them all right here, in our best-of-London street-style slideshow.
>> Roksanda Ilincic's particular breed of edgy elegance was in full effect for Fall 2012. The designer found inspiration from "leisurewear, weekendwear, countryside wear," and mixed it with slouchy menswear silhouettes and superluxe fabrics for a sporty kind of refinement. "It is a little bit about women rebelling at having to look immaculate all the time and wanting to become more free like a man," the designer explained.
>> The theme, this season, was passion. "I liked the idea that my woman had been misbehaving down in the garden, and had to find her way back to the manor house. So she's a little disheveled and messy," Holly Fulton explained. The designer culled inspiration from Lady Chatterley's Lover and humid garden greenhouses, resulting in a selection of sleek cocktail dresses and fluid separates in a dynamic palette of scarlet, berry, teal, and black. The designer's signature deco prints were a strong point as usual; for Fall, they came in mirrored art nouveau arches or in the form of languid orchids, palm fronds, and insects.
>> Mary Katrantzou injects her signature surrealist prints with a bit of bold angularity for Fall 2012. Digitized geometric patterns and futuristic grid prints are cheekily summoned from near-obsolete items: typewriters, rotary phones, and number 2 pencils. Silhouettes are structured and full, with hourglass shapes and nipped-in waists to keep them looking superfemme. As for the color palette? It's just as eye-poppingly rich as one would expect from Katrantzou: emerald, lilac, canary yellow, and brilliant blue.
>> The first McQ show to grace London in so many years was marked by a triumphant — and theatrical — return. On a runway strewn with autumnal leaves and a set complete with a wintery forest, Sarah Burton offered up khaki colorblocked coats, embellished velvet frocks, full-skirted tartan, and fantastical tulle-and-flower confections. "A love story, a love of McQueen and a love of great British style — from military coats to overblown ball gowns," the show notes explained. And it was.
>> For his second season at Pringle of Scotland, Alistair Carr upped the rebellion factor, riffing on classic schoolgirl shapes and injecting them with a bit of deconstruction and graphic illusion. Pleated skirts were cut in architectural layers, while "cardigans" were pieced onto printed frocks for a trompe l'oeil effect. The real winners, however, were the coats: sharply tailored, they came in decadent camel or navy wool and with super-fuzzy colorblocked collars.
>> Lacquered leopard print, fuzzy cable-knit, and a heavy dose of iridescent purple. This is not a list from which fashion dreams are usually made. Throw in some black-and-white pinstripes, velvet moire print, and a dash of super-slick leather, and, well, the potential for chicness is not looking good. Unless, however, you're Christopher Kane. Kane tapped all those elements — plus a few more surprises — for Fall 2012 and whipped them into a Goth-tinged frenzy that managed to look modern, refined, and decidedly cool.