>> At first glance, Derek Lam's Fall 2012 collection might have looked a little safe. Silhouettes were ladylike and sweetly printed — nothing too tight, too short, too bare, or too loud here. But the devil is always in the details, and, upon closer inspection, these looks were spot-on. The designer worked with some amazingly luxe-looking fabrics — woven cashmere, high-shine leather, printed satin, and metallic-threaded wools — and cut them with a slight sports-inspired slant: a long-sleeve top in cashmere was cut with raglan sleeves to resemble a sweatshirt, and there were several baseball-style zip-ups in floral satin. Lam also injected a bit of slouchiness into the mix — sleeveless cable-knit sweaters with split side seams, and floor-grazing skirts in lush silk georgette — for just a hint of undone cool. All this made for some very appealing, easy-to-wear clothing that, come next Fall, many a girl will be reaching for.
Supermodels and Super Smiles — Behind the Scenes at Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Peter Som, & Hervé Léger
>> Day three of New York's Fall 2012 season brought some big shows — and some big models. Natasha Poly, Karolina Kurkova, Shalom Harlow, Carmen Kass, and Gisele Bundchen all walked Alexander Wang's show, and — from the looks of the mile-wide smiles backstage — seemed to have a pretty great time doing it. Click through to see all the backstage shenanigans from Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Peter Som, and Hervé Léger — here in the slideshow.
>> Geometric prints, chevron stripes, and graphic fabrics dominated Lela Rose's Fall 2012 collection. The designer was inspired by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and so there was an emphasis on angular layers, movement, and linear cuts. Rose kept the color palette architecturally inspired as well, with industrial grays and inky blacks mingling with patina-inspired mustards and rusts.
>> Victoria Beckham continues to establish her sleek, structured aesthetic for Fall 2012. This season, the mostly body-conscious silhouettes were injected with sporty stripes and pert collars, as well as some militaristic details. It was a fierce take on ladylike dressing, completely stripped of frills. Color-wise, there was a lot of black and gray, which made the occasional burst of cobalt, red, olive, and teal quite a relief.
>> Though Monique Lhuillier injected an element of toughness into her Fall 2012 collection — leather, metallics, and sheer paneled cutouts — no Lhuillier collection would be complete without some utterly breathtaking gowns. And while there were plenty of lovely cocktail numbers printed in a dramatic molten-lava motif — and even some chic-looking pant options — it was the floor-grazing, decadent evening dresses that really stole the show.
Effortless was the message at Tibi's Fall 2012 collection, delivered through two major trends — minimalism and menswear. Cropped menswear suits, oversized wool coats, and structured crewneck tops over slouchy pants dominated the runway for a collection that was understated and utterly wearable. Even the palette was understated, with an emphasis on black and cream. There was no fussiness in this collection, and next season rest assured girls like Olivia Palermo will be wearing Tibi's can't-go-wrong separates.
>> "I just wanted to do things that women want to wear, to figure out how to make clothes that look rich but feel easy," Joseph Altuzarra said before his Fall 2012 show. Sounds simple enough, but there was a lot of depth here: the designer culled influences from Morocco, India, and the '60s-era Italian comic-book hero Corto Maltese — and it all melded together beautifully. Silk, jodhpur-shaped cargo pants — some lavishly printed — were tucked into slick, thigh-high boots and topped with Mongolian-fur vests; wrapped dresses and blouses were embroidered with dangling rows of coins; and — for those who prefer not to jingle — there were thickly knit intarsias patterned in Berber motifs.
The designer also injected a nice bit of structure into the mix, and so — for every tapestry print or bit of fringe — there was also a well-tailored naval coat, a strict-collared shirt, or a sharp black sheath. "It was really about mixing it," he explained.
>> For Fall 2012, Wes Gordon went for a "disheveled kind of elegance" — and he delivered. Silhouettes were dramatic with graduated hems and strong shoulders — and cut in an assortment of evening fabrics that ranged from velvet to brocade. There were billowing skirts in marigold silk, slouchy tanks in metallic mesh, and blouses in iridescent organza. But our favorite look? A smartly cropped jacket in lush forest green, complete with a matching, laser-cut peplum that tumbled out over a pair of silk, oxblood trousers. Also of note were the shoes: Manolo Blahnik for Wes Gordon peep-toes in shimmering silver chainmail.