>> For Fall 2012, Michael and Nicole Colovos offered up a confident collection of strong-lined separates steeped in Helmut Lang's intrinsic cool. This time around, the brand's signature pieces — draped dresses, funnel-neck sweaters, power blazers, and skinny pants — were done up in a tactile assortment of Winter-ready fabrics: pebbled leather, cobweb knits, structured wool, and high-pile fur. Also on hand was a surprising — and welcome — amount of color and pattern in the form of crimson, oxblood, and molten lava prints.
>> Sophisticated to the max; that's how Doo.Ri is doing it for Fall 2012. Gorgeous draping, moody hues, wool pants, and mixed-knit turtlenecks are streamlined and chic. Hemlines are demure; silhouettes are loose with bouts of airy asymmetry. Even leather pants are less tough and more ladylike. Finishing off the polished looks are slick ponytails accentuated with beautiful black ribbon headbands.
>> If ladylike and badass made love, Yigal Azrouel's Fall 2012 collection would be their genius offspring. And, like any love child, two genes must each lend their unique touches. Here, the demure (midcalf skirts) met the totally edgy (leather touches and sheer dresses) — still, it's obvious the genes of badass reigned supreme. Fur trapper hats, aviator sunglasses, silver chokers, and leather gloves set the tone, while baby-blue hues and outerwear worn over the models' shoulders lent an air of femininity. Bursts of maroon, forest green, ivory, and oatmeal further kept the collection — and audience — on its toes.
>> For Fall 2012, Jason Wu served up his most powerful and elegant assortment yet. The designer found inspiration in China — and specifically his own relationship to it. "I went back to Taiwan, where I was born, a year and a half ago," the designer said. "I realized I was ready to take on one of the biggest subjects I grew up with: how does a Chinese designer do 'China'? I've lived in America, Canada, and Japan, but to come back to this means so much to me."
So, what does China mean to Wu? Though the references the designer chose to focus on — Mao's military, the Qing dynasty, and the 1932 film Shanghai Express — could lend themselves toward cliché, Wu managed to keep his versions modern, fresh, and tight. Silhouettes were sharp without an ounce of frill, while embellishment came in the form of lace appliqué, quilting, piping, fur, and beads. "It's my most luxurious," Wu explained. Luxurious, yes, but also utterly transportive as well.
>>Kate Spade's quirky, color-filled aesthetic got a jolt of joie de vivre this season. With creative director Deborah Lloyd using classic Parisian motifs as inspiration, and Brad Goreski styling, the collection was a tongue-in-cheek ode to Parisian women. Classic, ladylike silhouettes were rendered in juicy colors and classic prints like florals and leopard, while ruffles, bow ties, and feathers referenced Parisian coquette. Accessory highlights included polka-dot pumps, sleek envelope clutches, and deliciously flirty car gloves.
>> The models were dressed to look like smudge-faced metal workers, and the setting — complete with steaming pipes and industrial lighting — made to feel like the inside of a factory. The product? Pamela Love's strong, intensely sculptural jewelry. Following the architectural trend that is emerging for Fall, many of Love's pieces loosely referenced steel beams for building. Countering this notion of industry was the use of turquoise, which added an earthiness to the collection as well as a welcome jolt of color.
Melding sculptural tailoring with soft details, Peter Som played with the differences between masculine and feminine aesthetics for his Fall collection. He cited Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, Hollywood icons who mastered menswear, as muses for the clothing. "I wanted to convey a sense of strength and beauty — this collection is about a streamlined and bold silhouette with lots of textural mixes inspired by John Chamberlain and Brancusi." Balloon-sleeved wrap jackets and peplum tops gave pieces a sculptural feel, while the use of organza and fur offered Som fans more glamorous options.
>> There's girls gone wild, then there's the Fall 2012 collection of Creature of the Wind, which is more like grannies gone wild. Vintage-inspired duds were vibrant in color and print and modest in silhouette and cut. The off-kilter collection included mixed prints, A-line styles, midcalf lengths, and menswear-inspired cuts. Plaid-on-plaid lent an eclectic touch, while ruffled frocks and circle skirts served as demure counterparts. And of course, it wouldn't be granny-chic without a little crochet.
>> Mary Katrantzou's 10-piece capsule for Topshop hits stores on Feb. 17, exactly one week from today. Now, thanks to UK Vogue, the collection's entire assortment has been revealed — and it doesn't disappoint. The collection features easy shapes — structured dresses, clean-lined tops, and slim trousers — covered from top to tail in a wild mix of Katrantzou's pretty prints. Priced from $63 to $550, they're just the thing to kick-start Spring.
>> Charlotte Ronson offered up a Fall 2012 collection rich in dark plums, maroon, hunter green, and camel. Take a look at the entire runway show, here.