Click on the links below to view photos of the complete collections.
Always the unofficial kickoff to Paris Fashion Week (meaning the first show on the calendar that really counts), Dries started the ready to wear collections off with timeless, beautifully crafted clothes that, in some ways, represented a departure from his trademark flair for color and print. The patterns were there, but they were quieter than usual and juxtaposed images of nature with digital graphics in a color palette that evoked the outdoors (saffron, forest green, lemon, turquoise, black and white). It was a smart move. The show, set against a stark white backdrop, felt like a calm moment, giving a little peaceful yin to a season dominated by loud, frenetic colored and patterned yang. Standouts included his tailored trousers with ruffled peplums attached to the front and his richly embroidered jackets and coats, which came cropped and boxy, hip-length and cinched at the waist or long and slouchy.
Was Yohji Yamamoto’s designing daughter having a Janelle Monae moment? It sure looked that way with all the tomboyish, rockabilly flavored black and white looks she showed. Feu worked a lot with volume, going big and slouchy for her dresses and skirts. This is her trademark and it worked well. The pieces read young and fun. But her more elegant silk dresses in leaner silhouettes that came out at the end of the show stood out the most, mainly because they gave some needed diversity to the collection.
As far as decades go, the Twenties look to be the most trendy for spring/summer 12. And yet there is a strong mid-century moment happening this season as well. We saw it at Prada and Jil Sander and now at Rochas. According to his press notes, the house’s creative director Marco Zanini wanted to “express a nostalgic hope for an imagined future.” That meant chic, simple A-line coats, skirt suits, and dresses with full skirts in the palest duchess satin. Neat coifs and head kerchiefs polished off the retro looks. The only problem was that they almost looked too prim and restrained for the average twenty- or thirtysomething. The clothes were untouchable and almost cold in a way that seemed out of step with today’s generation, which is always online and accessible thanks to blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc. But maybe that was the point. His lurex sweater and knit skirt pairings, however, struck the right balance between the mid-century and now.