Peter Copping picked up where he left off last season at the Nina Ricci show. The collection tapped into the feminine sensibilities from the spring show, especially on the floral printed dress and chiffon skirts but the combination of slip dresses styled under tweed jackets was more covered up than before. The lingerie combined with oversized sheer chiffon blouses and dresses brought back memories of dressing up in your mother's wardrobe as a child but in a good way.
That said, the collection was actually a lot more grown up than last season. The peek-a-boo blouses teamed with knee length skirts and braces and that black cut out thigh baring dress worn by Liu Wen were more powerful and sexy than there were girly and and feminine. The deep red ruffled dress was beautiful but sadly there wasn't many other memorable statement dresses as Copping opted not to close the show with his usual statement gowns.
With his last two collections at Mugler, Nicola Formichetti has put on a show. Whether it's Lady Gaga's links with the brand or Formichetti's own celebrity, the shows have undoubtedly always been a spectacle. This season felt different. Rather than focusing on what the soundtrack was or whether Gaga would walk in the show or sit front row, this season was all about the clothes.
Designers have really played with highlighting the female form this season and this is something that Mugler is known for so it was no surprise to see Formichetti explore the brand's feminine silhouette.The shoulders were dramatic, which emphasised the waist especially on the series of white peplum looks that opened the show.
Though it was clear that the designer was conscious of the past, the sci-fi space-age feeling created on the white looks felt modern and fresh. What was particularly interesting about this collection was his ability to have those dramatic pieces like the fringed white coats with fur sleeves whilst also being conscious of presenting looks that would sit easily on any shop floor.
Marco Zanini's collection at Rochas moved away from movie references this season and instead, the pottery of Swedish artist Wilhelm Kage served as the starting point. This translated onto a collection that was full of geometric contrasting prints and despite Zanini calling the combinations a 'certain disregard for quiet good taste', it really worked.
His latest offerings were a lot more desirable and in tune with what people want to wear compared to the formal fifties theme that he showed for spring. The clashing prints - particularly on shirts tucked into high waisted skirts - isn't for the faint hearted but will undoubtedly be seen on the backs of the fashion pack at the shows next season. On the more wearable looks, the prints were toned down by teaming them with simple pieces like a textured skirt or simple ribbed knits. Colour-wise there was everything you could ask for from a fall collection like rich goldish-browns, navys and autumnal green.
There's no question about it, Anthony Vaccarello's S/S12 collection catapulted him to fame. Shortly after Karlie Kloss sported 'that' dress on the runway, Carine Roitfeld wore it at her fashion week closing party and Gwyneth Paltrow reminded us just how banging her body is when she wore it on the cover of Harper's Bazaar last month. But Vaccarello's fall show was different. To open the show he sent Kloss down the runway completely covered up wearing high waisted slim line trousers, a shirt and a simple utility jacket. Instantly it was clear that he wanted to make a statement this season and show that he has more than one string under his bow.
While his spring collection was met with much critical acclaim, the common feeling was that his clothes do not extend beyond being suitable for the young and super slim and this is something he took to heart. Trousers appeared throughout in high waisted streamlined styles that most women could pull off and the introduction of simple knits and great utilitarian outerwear also added to the accessibility of the collection. In the second look the hemline on the skirt was high but unlike last season, the feeling was more of power and strength rather than overt sexuality. Don't be fooled though, there were some teeny weeny dresses in there, but on the whole the collection hit all the right notes and the statement gowns that he showed at the end will undoubtedly make the rounds this season.
Fall was all about textures for Guy Laroche designer Marcel Marongiu. The collection opened with a patent high shine pencil skirt which contrasted the black turtleneck it was teamed with that wasn't as basic as it seemed on first look with its rounded sleeves and molded form. As the collection progressed he introduced textured black wool and a handful of strong sequins towards the end.
The molded formed high neck tops sat along great chunky knits, tuxedo jackets, over-the-elbow leather gloves and great tailored trousers. The introduction of bright orange and gold sequins on dresses and knitwear offered a slightly softer aesthetic to what was otherwise a very stark and powerful collection.
Creating clothes that are both creative and wearable is an age old challenge for designers but it's something that Dries Van Noten has mastered. This season his penchant for innovative prints saw him travel to London's V&A Museum where he was inspired by Chinese, Japanese and Korean costumes, which resulted in a collection that played homage to the East but in a way that extremely modern and ready to be worn on the street.
The prints were incorporated on everything from the sleeves of tops to patchwork and block panelled styles on dresses and shirts and towards the end, coats came embroidered with elements like the traditional bird motive, which also appeared on structured jackets throughout. While the outerwear was predominantly heavy, dresses and skirts came in lightweight printed silks and kimonos came in similar styles. Alongside the prints, though, Van Noten tapped into his love of the exotic by introducing fox fur on collars and Suri alpaca fur on cropped jackets styled over the patchwork prints and oversized clutches came in black crocodile skin.
Damir Doma's fall collection was interesting. The black looks that he used to open the show created a false sense of security but as the collection progressed, the Dutch designer played with new elements. This came in the form of a new interest with proportions as trousers often came in parachute styles and traditional Indian sarouel shapes. Outerwear was also scaled up, as has been the case in all four cities this season, especially on a great wool and leather mix jacket and ankle grazing double breasted cat.
The opening black looks gave way to browns on leather jackets, fur and suede jackets and high neck tops that had an air of 'luxury traveller' about it. Inspired by all things 'Renaissance', Doma introduced pieces like a tabard-style vest that felt like a protective armour but is unlikely to get his customer excited. While his experimentation with new elements should be applauded, especially since it was a risk deviating away from the aesthetic that works, these pieces didn't quite work.