>> Donatella Versace went tough and glam for Fall 2012, offering up a collection filled with Byzantine crosses, chain mail, burnout velvet, studded leather — and plenty of "dark seduction". Silhouettes were short and body-con, fabrics decadent and fiercely embellished, and — adding to the rebellious mood — models wore supersevere mini bangs, à la Rooney Mara.
>> Metamorphosis and "the woman who is at first calm and easy and then is drawn out of her own skin" were the themes behind Giorgio Armani's Spring 2012 couture outing. Armani also tapped inspiration from reptiles — and, in particular, their shimmering, textural skins, which he rendered in nearly every shade of green. For day, the reptilian theme was present on sharp-shouldered blazers in croc or snakeskin, iridescent draped-front skirts, and slickly tailored pants. For evening, there were mermaid dresses in glistening sequins, scale-printed silk ballgowns, and swirling, second-skin sheaths. With a front row crowd of red-carpet hopefuls — including Jessica Chastain, who learned of her Oscar nod via phone just before the show began — it's safe to say we may be seeing a lot more of these looks very, very soon.
>> Marios Schwab’s third collection for Halston was a direct reference to the ‘70s. “The Halston girl is a temptress,” said Schwab, who referenced Lauren Hutton’s character in “American Gigolo” as his inspiration. The presentation, which took place last night at Cedar Lake, had models set up on a pedestal wearing an array of gowns and dresses fitting for a glamorous party at Studio 54. Fluid Grecian-inspired chiffon gowns, pleated and draped cocktail dresses, and even sequined glow-in-the-dark creations — the lights dimmed down every 10 minutes to show off the display — were all present and dipped in hues of white, melon green, olive, and brown. However, it was Schwab’s daywear selection that really stood out amongst the crowd, most notably, a knotted shirtdress made in supple brown leather. Schwab has to head back to London to present his namesake collection, but not before indulging in a “a couple of cocktails” to celebrate the Halston collection. And what exactly will he be drinking to toast the night? “I like the mixed berry kind,” said Schwab.
Jen Kao Puts Up a Psychedelic Collection Filled With Acid Rainbow Hues and Aquatic Fringe For Fall 2011
>> Jen Kao has quite the cult following and the list only seems to be growing: Ally Hilfiger was spotted sitting front and center in addition to Sarah Rutson, who went backstage to congratulate Kao after the show. For Fall 2011, the designer took us on a psychedelic adventure — quite the departure from her beachy Spring 2011 line — filled with vibrant fringe, aerial planetary prints, and multi-colored fur. “I think that appearance-wise, it might seem like an acid trip,” Kao told the WSJ, post-show. “But I was inspired by finding images that were non-specific, whether they were underwater or space or something you can’t quite place.”
The collection was vibrant, as Kao experimented with rich hues of green, teal, blue, purple, orange, and yellow — along with more muted colors such as grey and ink. Sharp shouldered printed blazers, colored fringed dresses, iridescent flared pants, shimmering lurex leggings paired, and purple satin platform boots all eluded to a Ziggy Stardust — David Bowie was party of the runway soundtrack — meets Avatar vibe. Furthermore, stylist Keegan Singh finished off the looks with gold eyebrows, funky satin platform boots, and peacock fingertips. “I think it’s a really fine line, especially with this collection,” said Kao. “I wanted to be as fun and as free as I could be, but if I have one weakness, it’s figuring out what to edit.” And the fun didn’t stop there: Kao’s after party at the Bowery Hotel kept everyone on the same cerebral wavelength with face-painting and even a bounce house.