>> For Joanna Sykes's third season at Aquascutum, the designer offered up a strong collection of military-tinged coats and separates steeped in cool androgyny. Colors — olive green, crisp white, fog grey, deep forest — were understated and elegant, while fabrics like bonded wool and shearling felt sophisticated. The designer also worked a nice amount of modern-utilitarian detail, including leather panels, gold zippers, and fur patches.
>> Here's an up-close peek at some of the most gorgeous accessories to grace the Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week runways. From the kooky clutches at Kate Spade New York to the gold-capped oxfords at Derek Lam, there are so many goodies on tap for next season that it's going to be a very difficult six-month wait indeed. Until then, see them all here.
Left: Backstage at Gregory Parkinson Fall 2012
>> It's no secret: Sometimes the very best looks aren't on the runways at all. In honor of everyone's favorite seasonal side show, we've rounded up some of the chicest looks to be recently snapped on the streets of New York Fashion Week — as worn by some of the industry's most fashionable ladies and gents. Who's been spotted so far? Well, there's Glamour Susan Cernek, Lucky's Eleanor Strauss, Teen Vogue's Naomi Nevitt, Harper's Bazaar's Joanna Hillman, and Moda Operandi's Taylor Tomasi Hill; plus Susie Lau, Elletra Wiedemann, and Leandra Medine — just to name a few. Click through to see all those — plus lots more — here, in our best of New York Fashion Week street style slide show.
>> One can always depend on Ralph Lauren to close out the New York season with a refreshingly classic offering. This season's palette cleanser? A reinterpretation of one of Lauren's most signature references: the English countryside. The opening looks consisted of menswear-inspired suits in jaunty silhouettes and a mix of classic, cozy fabrics. Herringbone, tweed, plaid, and some very lovely fair isle intarsias were done in a rich assortment of pastels and earthy hues. A series of ocelot-printed shearling coats looked especially fresh.
Evening was another high point, with several gowns featuring beaded deco motifs or elaborate embellished collars. A series of floor-length columns in gold lamé were so breathtaking that they prompted one onlooker to comment: "I bet we'll be seeing these on the red carpet next week." Indeed.
>> Ralph Lauren's Fall 2012 collection was an ode to British fashion, loaded with menswear influences and plenty of vintage glamour. Watch the entire collection, right here.
>> Francisco Costa built volume — and a nice dose of structure — into his Fall 2012 collection for Calvin Klein. There was a strong showing of dresses, most of which came full-skirted, long-sleeved, and cinched at the waist. Silhouettes were covered-up and slightly '50s, but pressed mohair, "technical" wool, glazed cashmere, and pebbled leather provided plenty of texture and edge. The result was forward-thinking, ladylike — and powerfully sexy.
>> L'Wren Scott's "Tea Time" collection for Fall 2012 may have culled influence from early 20th century England — but the result was thoroughly now. Silhouettes were curve-conscious and hit just below the knee, while draped or ruffled necklines provided a hint of structure. Fabrics, too, were romantic, rich — and incredibly luxe. There was claret velvet, printed silk, and pony hair, many of which came lightly beaded or trimmed with fox fur. A saturated palette of olive, yellow, red, and berry injected just the right amount of quirk. "The L’Wren Scott girl is still irreverent and has a hard edge," the designer explained.
>> There have been a lot of hints this week that volume will be big for Fall 2012. A few days ago, Marc Jacobs had some very large-scale skirts in his mainline collection, and there were several oversized coats on Vera Wang's runway as well. Even Narciso Rodriguez offered up a full-bodied take on his trademark minimalism.
Last night's Proenza Schouler collection may have been the tipping point. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough riffed on the idea of clothing as protection, and the duo offered it up in boxy silhouettes and very generous proportions. Moto jackets and trousers were cut in powerful, ample shapes, while t-shirts, miniskirts, and long-sleeve dresses all had an element of architecture and structured slouch.
Also worked into the collection was another emerging trend: the Far East. However, Proenza Schouler's version was of the more minimal variety — and a lot less literal than we've seen thus far. Theirs came in the form of kimono shapes, clean lines, obi belts, asymmetric closures, and some beautifully embroidered oriental brocades. "It's Asian, but in a New York way," Hernandez explained.
>> Ladylike has been a key trend for Fall 2012, but Anna Sui decided to go against the grain with bohemian silhouettes, '70s-inspired prints, and bold colors. Most of the models the designer sent down the catwalk were clad in bright-colored tights, round sunglasses, and flowy, floral prints. These pieces are definitely not for the fashion meek; it takes mixing and clashing to be part of the Sui clan.
>> Where does one begin? So many beauties to choose from. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have always been master creators of exquisite red-carpet-worthy gowns, and Fall 2012 is no exception. Tulle, embroidery, lace, feathers, sheer . . . no kind of lavish fabric has been untouched this season. These gowns are for gals who have somewhere important to be and want to be noticed from miles away.