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October 4, 2012

Premature Evaluation: Spring Fashion Is Sea Crazed

Ok, so fashion month isn’t over…Technically, it’s as still-happening as a sneaker wedges in an Isabel Marant store, but that won’t stop us from drawing a few premi conclusions about runway style – we don’t care about waiting for the final curtain call in Paris, so why should you? Just go ahead and peel that look of shock and awe off that punim right this instant, because we’ve got an important announcement: spring/summer style is feeling some serious sea change. 

It appears that designers from New York to London to Milan have collectively swigged on sea-spiked Kool-aid; presenting colors, textures and shapes that just so happen to have a very oceanic after taste. Take the New York runways: Cynthia Rowley gave us her ultra-chic version of a sexy scuba suit, and Alexander Wang premiered a collection that remained true to the edgy minimalism he does so well, but wasn’t so consistent that new themes couldn’t make birth. Enter one silver lamé leather frock that takes the aluminum sheen of space age thinking, slashed it with a plunging v neck, then mapped it all over with a positively reptilian disposition — this one is definitely sea-worthy, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fare on dry land. We see the same all-terrain capabilities in the latest Joseph Altuzarra collection – but would we expect any less than surf-to-turf flexibility from a CFDA winner? His highly detailed womenswear premiered a veritable slew of spring staples, but it was one particular tube dress — with gilded, scaly embellishment — that looked as up for dip, as it seemed down for cocktail hour.

In London, sea thematics were far less subtly handled. Take the currency-covered collection from empress of prints, Mary Katrantzou – I’m willing to accept that the design origin of her brocade pantsuit is in the banknote, but the combination of midnight blue and glittering lurex, place it more in Ursula territory for me. Then there is Milan-émigré Antonio Berardi, who shows us what pearlescent embellishments can mean to egg-shell chiffon. Notice the art deco panel of iridescent beadwork; at the risk of mixing metaphors, the glamor he induced upon a simple drop-waist evening gown, is just like the pearl waiting within the unopened mollusk – think about it. Taking more of an outwear outlook, the “corsets and capes” show from Burburry Prorsum premiered an entire pool of absolutely stunning ensembles. Though each outfit seems keyed to the underwatery world, it’s in just one stunning teal bolero that the brand really gained its sea legs.

Milan also had offered its take on a water-logged wardrobe – expressed less thoroughly in Prada’s stiff satin flotation device of a jumper, than by Gucci’s riptide-toned maxi.  Most clear-cut of them all was Anna Molinari for Bluemarine. If silver lace accents or flowing silk trousers weren’t enough of an indication, her peplum halter dress – pattered vertically lie undulating seaweeds, and colored in white and eau de nil – definitely tunes into the motion of the ocean.

Hope you know how to swim – but if you don’t, there’s gotta be some floaties in the Rick Owens archive…

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