Fall 2012 ready to wear | yohana

Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 Ready-to-WearWalking into the Marc Jacobs show tonight, a retailer remarked, "We have to come here in order to find out what we'll be seeing next season." His point: The lush colors and Lurex that have been everywhere this week were inspired by the ode to the 1970's Jacobs delivered last time out. Well, come next fall, you'd best prepare yourself for plenty of polka dots, a good deal of latex and lace, and a much more fitted silhouette. Backstage, Jacobs himself said the new collection was a reaction against the loose, fluid feeling of his Spring outing. "I wanted something strict and severe," he said.

And not without a healthy dose of kink, it would seem. Jacobs worked with the British company House of Harlot on the show's latex button-downs and "rubber to look like sequins" dresses. With all that plastic—not to mention the taut chin straps attached to Stephen Jones' vinyl berets, and Marilyn Manson screaming about "The Beautiful People" on the soundtrack—it was tempting to think Jacobs was making a comment about our contemporary fixation on self-betterment.

The idea of personal improvement played out in another way, because many of the things the designer put on this runway were redos of his own oeuvre. Take the polka dots, for instance. The first collection he showed in New York 20-odd years ago was covered in spots. Here, they appeared large and small, even in three dimensions on a ponyskin sweater and skirt studded with plastic cabochons. Jacobs is always playing with high and low, and he was back at it tonight, cutting a sweater in Shetland wool on the front and cashmere on the back, or trimming a mock-croc bomber jacket in real fox fur.

When he dipped into his own archives for his Fall show of a year ago, the results were nostalgic and romantic. With its stride-defying hobble skirts and wedge-heel patent boots, this offering demands a little more commitment from the wearer. It was provocative and somehow more precise, and all those slick surfaces had a hard allure. Backstage, Jacobs talked about the discipline of fashion, pointing out the rigor of fitting 63 girls in one day. Disciplined is a good word for it. He had his uncomplicated fun last season, and now he's prepared to get sweaty in a latex shirt buttoned up to his throat. Give the rest of us a few months and we'll be right there with him.

Resort 2012 Marc Jacobs | yohana

Marc Jacobs Resort 2012There wasn't a pencil skirt in sight at Marc Jacobs' Resort presentation. The designer, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA tonight and is in the running for Designer of the Year, made another 180, trading in the precision and severity of Fall for a collection of easy, washed, and bleached-out separates with a youthful feel.

It could give you a case of whiplash, the alacrity and enthusiasm with which Jacobs makes his switcheroos. Still, this one feels very much in keeping with the general direction of the Cruise collections we've seen so far. He's not the only designer who seems to be chasing the sun. To achieve the worn-in and faded look of the clothes, Jacobs and his design team printed wallpaper motifs and daisies on the reverse side of fabrics. And to capture the relaxed vibe they were going for, they focused on T-shirt and sweatshirt silhouettes, luxe-ing them up in laser-cut metallic faux leather or sequins. Oversize crystals likewise dotted the collar of a button-down, and cabochon studs decorated the front of a short tank dress. The accessories, too, tread the unstudied yet polished divide. Flat sandals trimmed with those same studs, in particular, looked like a lot of fun.

Ready to wear Proenza Schouler | yohana

Proenza Schouler Spring 2011 Ready-to-WearThe Proenza Schouler boys are tired of leggy. For Spring, they went lady, or at least that was the initial impression at today's delightful, inventive show. The first look out was an ivory tweed jacket in the Chanel mold worn with a skirt hand-dyed from lavender silk in the traditional shibori style the duo experimented with for Resort. The models' simple pumps were about as far away as you could get from the hyper-designed platforms and wedges the designers have favored the last couple of seasons.

"We wanted it to be a little more polished," Jack McCollough said backstage, before Lazaro Hernandez jumped in: "So we took all these feminine codes—the embroideries, the flowers—and mixed them up in our own way. We wanted to do something without any obvious references."

Their way meant a salmon matte crocodile coat with oversize hook-and-eye closure; bold, oversize, arts-and-crafts-y necklaces; and slipdresses flounced with ruffles and worn over retro bras and briefs (side note: It's nice to see that some designers can make pretty, yet practical answers to sheer). It was as over-the-top colorful as it sounds and loaded with sensory details.

By the end, the models weren't ladies anymore. With their loose tank dresses made from guipure lace in hot, sulfur colors and flat sandal-boot hybrids, they were simply cool Proenza Schouler girls. As the ecstatic scene backstage after the show confirmed, McCollough and Hernandez had given everyone a very welcome end-of-week boost.

Proenza Schouler fashions | yohana

Proenza Schouler Resort 2012Look around at the collections this month and you see a lot of Proenza Schouler-isms. If you recall, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez did tribal for pre-fall; half a year later, other designers are falling into line with ikats and ethnic embroideries. In fact, McCollough and Hernandez did a little riffling through the back catalog themselves, redoing the sold-out Baja jacket from last year's Resort line in a ropey yarn. They've definitely found a groove, delving into traditional textiles like last season's Navajo blankets and coming up with something hip and young, and yet quite couture in terms of the work involved.

For the collection they showed in their newly expanded showroom on Monday—all of those PS1 and PS11 bags take up a lot of space—they found a new vantage point, trading in the Santa Fe of their Fall collection for San Francisco circa the late sixties. Their new SF informed the earthy, mineral-y color palette, the swirling (just a shade shy of psychedelic) marble prints, and the patchworking, but the silhouette is pure Proenza Schouler—a cropped jacket over a buttoned-to-the-collar poplin shirt and a miniskirt that reads as shorts; a short apron dress with leather straps; a cardigan that skims the hem of a canvas smock. There was a lot of leg on display, the better to show off precipitously chic wedge sandals.

Accessories are no small part of Proenza's success, and the designers have duly paid a lot of attention to this season's PS1 bags; the ticking stripe trimmed in python looks destined to be a success. As for the handcrafted necklaces Jack and Lazaro made in collaboration with Alex & Lee (art jewelers who were big in the seventies and have enjoyed several fashion world revivals since), they were fabulous, and, because they will be produced in limited quantities, they'll be instant collector's items.

fashions mode new | yohana

Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearJack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez set the scene for their Spring show by laying down an orange shag carpet and installing retro light fixtures high over the runway. To this reporter, it felt like a suburban rec room straight out of the seventies, but we were only part of the way there. Backstage, Hernandez said the duo's starting point was Googie architecture. Googie what? "Mid-century road-stop architecture," he said. "It was once cutting-edge, but now it's decrepit. Lost optimism."

There are a lot of layers to peel back there, not least of which is how efficiently Hernandez's words nailed the current Zeitgeist. In the early going, the designers riffed on the forties. There were buttoned-up-to-the-neck shorts suits perched on wooden platform shoes, and button-down shirts cropped above flaring, high-waisted shorts or an A-line skirt. The colors were drab browns and blacks for the most part, with some white and shots of Formica yellow. If the results skewed a bit too nostalgic to this point, McCollough and Hernandez would have plenty more to say in this collection.

Not unlike last season, the designers explored craft, weaving raffia into backless black dresses or sweaters and skirts with graphic, geometric designs. They used eel skin to create a striped dress. About halfway through, something really clicked. Make that two things, both of which we've seen plenty of this week, though rarely handled in as interesting, moodily sophisticated a way: color and print. Sulfur yellow met sky blue and black on an aerodynamic dress, and curvaceous trompe l'oeil frocks combined Hawaiian florals with microdots. The eel skin returned, this time cut into glossy knee-length skirts and paired with tulle T-shirts stitched with swirling flowers. For the finale, McCollough and Hernandez cut that embroidered tulle into a very of-the-current-moment long-sleeved, belted sheath. Optimism found.

10 Crosby Derek Lam | yohana

10 Crosby Derek Lam Resort 2012When word got out about a month ago that Derek Lam was releasing a diffusion line, the fashion set put it in the win column. Named 10 Crosby after the address of his company's headquarters in New York, Lam's new collection is inspired by the cool, downtown girls he sees around the neighborhood—girls like top model-with-a-personality Hanne Gaby Odiele, who helped style the lookbook that she stars in. Tailored raffia trenches, denim tweed suiting separates, and cropped DB jackets in canvas have the same DNA as the designer's namesake line. Ditto goes for a signature one-shouldered goddess dress in olive matte jersey that'll set you back around $495.

These clothes aren't cheap in the fast-fashion sense (knits start at $165 and the pricier items max out at $795), but they're in no way watered down and will hang next to Lam's runway looks when they arrive in stores in November. Women looking to get in on this season's major pajama trend, for example, will find smart silk color-blocked separates that won't cost an entire paycheck—more like cutting back on a few $20 cocktails at the Crosby Bar.

Wishing You a Very Gaga Christmas | yohana

Forget about Thanksgiving. Last night at Barneys, Christmas was in full swing. Lady Gaga, decked out in Chanel Haute Couture, was on hand for the ribbon cutting and opening of her workshop on the fifth floor, where the likes of Blake Lively, Prabal Gurung, Carolyn Murphy, and Alan Cumming had all gathered to scoop up everything from $25 finger pops and $95 chocolate heels to enormous Gaga candles that drip wax out of her eye sockets and limited-edition heel-less leather shoes. Twenty-five percent of the workshop's sales will go to the pop star's new Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on youth empowerment.

"This is the first time we've been able to shop," said Gaga's right-hand man, Nicola Formichetti, as he loaded his basket full of trinkets. "I got the iPhone covers that I designed, of course, and this cake—it's chocolate." Nearby, Michelle Harper and Eli Sudbrack of Assume Astro Vivid Focus, who helped create the shop's sculptural installations, were ogling the press-on nails designed by Lady Gaga's nail artist Naomi Yasuda. "I bet my little nephew will want these," Harper said as she held up the set encrusted with silver and black stones. "He recently told me that 'holographic' is his favorite color. This place is definitely for someone like that; he'll go crazy in here."

Though there were few children in attendance last night, the adults were going crazy on their behalf, acting just like kids in a candy store. "I want a bite of that," Alan Cumming said to a partygoer standing next to him at the bar, who was holding one of the giant chocolate Gaga shoes. "Just bite right into it," she offered, "or you can have the heel if you want!"

Milan , new fashion from Prada | yohana

Prada Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear"Sweetness." Miuccia Prada's summation of her new collection was surprisingly direct. But only she could add a contrary gloss to an idea that, on the surface at least, seemed entirely benign. She'd been trying to wrap her head around this paradox: Why should a quality that the world at large considers such an asset to womanhood be so shunned by the fashion industry? That state of affairs is unlikely to prevail for much longer, given the crazy level of influence Miuccia wields over fashion (her dropped waists from Fall are other designers' big statement for Spring). So better ready yourself to Celebrate the Sweet.

Except no one else will be able to do it quite like this. Italian men have two meaningful relationships in their lives: women and cars. Miuccia put the two together—women in cars—and situated them in a moment in time (maybe the last such) when the world was awash with unambiguous hope for the future. That would be the 1950's. If the Prada men's collection for Spring was haunted by the ghost of Elvis, its female counterpart paraded echoes of Marilyn in her accordion-pleated dress from The Seven Year Itch. The models did walk over a subway grate, but it was unfortunately technically impossible to provide the updraft that would have gusted skirts skyward in a re-creation of one of Hollywood's most iconic movie moments.

There were, however, other, equally resonant ways for Miuccia to make her point. The celluloid iconography was irresistible: B-movie roadhouse gals in bandeau tops and leather pencil skirts that had been customized by their spray-painting mechanic boyfriends; David Lynch heroines in varsity jackets and sunray pleats; rhinestone cowgirls in studded Baracutas. If the sweetness in such tough cookies was a little elusive, Miuccia also offered coats in lace or crochet in palest pink and blue and bathing suits that begged for pinup poses round the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Plus, the adorable print theme from the men's collection took an automotive turn. At the very least, Italian manhood will be happy. But the rest of the world should feel just as uplifted when the double whammy of Prada menswear and womenswear hits stores next spring. Dare you not to smile

spring 2012 from Louis Vuitton | yohana

Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearThe carousel that team Louis Vuitton set up in the Louvre's Cour Carrée was echt Marc Jacobs. The designer has made an art form of the fashion 180. Last season's fetish-y rubber boots sold 2,000 pairs in the first week they were available, Jacobs reported, but he was ready for a change nonetheless. "After the hardness of Fall, we wanted something gentle and kind, fragile but strong, too," he said, touting the workmanship that went into not only the clothes but also the bags. Matte crocodile coats painstakingly hand-pieced together so that the scales match; an eggshell lacquer bag made with the assistance of the last man in Paris still in command of the 1920's technique. That sort of devotion to craft would come in handy were Jacobs to land the top design spot at Christian Dior and the couture atelier that comes with it. No?

If anyone wondered whether Jacobs wants that gig, his pavé diamond wishbone necklace (a good luck charm, he called it) sealed the deal. Same goes for the clothes. Squint and you could see the vague outlines of Dior's New Look "Bar" suit in a minty green checked cotton nylon jacket and skirt. But it wasn't quite as literal as all that. What lingers about the collection is just how sweet it was—everything candy-colored and much of it trimmed with big lacy collars or oversize white buttons. Broderie anglaise dresses came veiled in pastel shades of organza; laser-cut lace tops and skirts were sealed in silk cellophane—the suggestion being, perhaps, that the contents were too precious to be unwrapped. After an interlude of matte crocodile motorcycle jackets that fell short of edgy in their icy pastel colors, Jacobs affixed 3-D plastic paillettes to dresses with crystals and embellished tweed skirtsuits with ombré feathers.

The fashion merry-go-round keeps spinning, but there was one constant with his Fall show: Kate Moss was the last girl standing on the runway. We don't know yet if this was Jacobs' Vuitton swan song, but just in case, might as well make the parting shot count.

this new colection Jil Sander | yohana

Jil Sander Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear"The last in my couture trilogy" was Raf Simons' description of today's Jil Sander show. His fascination with traditional couture codes and the women who followed them has transformed his approach at the house, compelling him toward his best work. With this new collection, Simons pulled a whole lot of threads together to tie up his story. One thread was his undiminished sensitivity to the Sander legacy: the purity, the elitism, the artistry. But another, more interesting one was his own wonderment at the world of women and the closed societies they create for themselves.

Here, there was the beauty parlor/spa scenario that opened the show, with the signature Jil Sander white poplin shirt reconfigured to read as garb for either therapist or client. The show closed with another passage of white that reflected Simons' longtime fascination with the female rituals associated with marriage. How would a woman look if she got married in Jil Sander? he asked himself. Quite fabulous, if that last floor-sweeping, bowed-at-the-waist, Grace Kelly number was any indication.

There's something endearing, almost naive, in such a question when it's attached to a label as quintessentially sophisticated as Jil Sander, but that is what Simons has brought to the brand: a deeply inquisitive, wide-eyed open-mindedness that has allowed him to insinuate his own passions into the Sander lexicon. Today, there were some great intarsias lifted from Picasso ceramics. "The icon of modernism," Simons called him. But the visuals were also an elementary cue for the mid-century modern spirit that was the foundation of the collection. The lean, tailored, below-the-knee lines of Simons' dresses were all about complete mastery of his métier, the same quality you'd recognize in a couturier, an architect, an artist. But these are clothes we're talking about, after all, so there were color, texture, and patterns, too. Gingham and paisley, in fact. Just about as trad as they come.

Emblematic, also, of a more hope-filled era. There was that in today's show, as there was in Miuccia Prada's show the other day. These women in their glossed, pure spa world were visions of a perfectly controlled moment of unambiguous optimism about the future. "Yes, optimism," agreed Raf. "And health!" But the underlying frisson was, of course, that the millisecond complete control is relinquished, chaos will naturally reassert itself. And that may well be the cue for Raf's next chapter at Jil Sander.

Givenchy colections | yohana

Givenchy Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearOther designers may be going print-crazy for Spring, but Riccardo Tisci—he of the ubiquitous rottweilers and panthers—is moving on and focusing on tailoring. The designer claimed surfers and mermaids as influences, but we've never seen either species in sexy suits quite like these: jackets that were sharp and soft at the same time, with strong, confident shoulders, and, for contrast, suggestive, undulating lapels and come-hither peplums trimmed not in leather but eel skin, shark, or stingray. Speaking of exotic materials, the jackets themselves weren't exactly cut from workaday fabrics. Chiffon sequins and lasered leather cutouts recalled the most stunning creations in his July couture show.

The bottom half of the looks is where Tisci's hypothetical water babies came in. The second-skin tight pants could've been wet suits. And as for the satin short shorts and narrow little skirts, which revealed miles of bronzed leg perched on shark-tooth heels? Hang ten, baby.

After last season's kinky ode to Bettie Page and Amanda Lear, we're tempted to call this collection, with its focus on suiting and little polo dresses, the most accessible that Tisci has ever done. Gisele Bündchen in sequins and silk as tawny as her hair-—how could you go wrong? But close inspection revealed plenty of the designer's provocative inclinations. Truncated shirttails and pelmet belts—posterior fins, if you will—directed all eyes to his models' rear ends. It's not hard to picture the sea creatures from this powerful collection replacing the omnipresent Givenchy panthers come Spring. Tisci is riding a wave right now.

chanel fashion | yohana

Chanel Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearFor today's Chanel spectacular, Karl Lagerfeld recast himself as Prospero, conjuring a magical underwater world from the raw stuff of fashion. The Grand Palais was transformed by huge, blinding white sea shapes—corals, shells, sea horses, stingrays—and Florence Welch arose like Botticelli's Venus on the half shell to sing "What the Water Gave Me." It was a bravura performance all around.

What the water gave Karl was the kind of acute overview that only he could turn into a dazzling collection. He'd been musing on the fact that forms as modern as anything designed by the architect Zaha Hadid have been shaped at the bottom of the ocean by natural processes taking millions of years. Chanel hasn't been in existence for quite that long, but there was an impressive, graphic modernity shaped by lengthy natural processes (Karl's thoughts) in most of the 80 or so outfits that strolled around today's massive set. Lagerfeld said he wanted lightness. He'd used new fabrics even he didn't know how to define. They brought an iridescent mother-of-pearl shimmer to the collection—the lightness literally shone through. That was also why Lagerfeld strung pearls, instead of belts, around waists. And Sam McKnight dotted pearls through the models' slicked-back hair, too.

Lagerfeld's aim was nothing too "Chanel" because, he sagely noted, there are already so many other people doing that style. Still, he insisted on something that was recognizably within the codes of the house. So there were boxy tweeds, drop waists, mille-feuille pleats, and an ocean of prettiness for the fans. It was enthralling to watch the way he insinuated his underwater theme into this traditional Chanel lexicon. The ruffles on one dress looked like sea sponges, the iridescent streamers flying from another like seaweed. It wasn't always successful—one of Stella Tennant's outfits sprouted unfortunate seaweed panniers—but how many other designers are there who are prepared to take such risks after six decades in the business? Strike that. Who has this much energy and creativity at any age?

ready to wear | yohana

Celine Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearSince her debut at Celine two years ago, Phoebe Philo's legions of fans have gotten used to all things sleek and streamlined—be it the unadorned leather Classic box bag that launched so many imitators or the racing-stripe pants from Fall's car-inspired collection. But for Spring, Philo is thinking about shape. "It's just very sculptural, very three-dimensional," she said afterward. "We accentuated the bits that felt strong to accentuate, tried to create some new proportions."

You can count Philo among the growing number of designers who looked to fifties and sixties couture silhouettes for inspiration—as evidenced by the full, rounded sleeves of the army jackets, the Watteau backs of her blouses, the peplums circling the hips. You can also put her on the short list of those who made the era look modern and new. Chalk that up to the luxuriously spartan sensibility of the collection: no prints, no appliqués, few unnecessary extras save for the leather envelope bags and platform ankle-strap pumps that women will find very necessary indeed next spring (so much for the theory that platforms are over).

Basque was the designer's word for the peplums that were the show's focal point. Sometimes she used wide belts to create the effect; other times the flaring piece of fabric was only partially attached to a pair of trousers at the hips. That might draw the wrong kind of attention, but the slightly A-line leather tees and the collared cotton shirts with the graceful pleats down the back are a different story. And Philo didn't save her proportion play for the upper half. This season's pants were as billowy and fluid as last season's were linear.

It was an ambitious new message from a designer who's made a virtue of "reduced" fashion. Whether or not it has anything to do with the rumors she's been considered to replace Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton if and when he leaves for Dior, we'll have to wait and see.

purple dress | yohana

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearWith all the real-time tweeting and Facebooking and red-carpet YouTubing and Instagramming that wrapped today's Burberry show in a great big techno-bow, it's no wonder Christopher Bailey wanted to step back and, as he put it, "celebrate things that take time to do." Following on from his last men's collection, his latest was a paean to handcrafts: crochet, beading, carving, weaving, braiding, printing. And it was a smash.

"Joyous, upbeat, nostalgic" were Bailey's own words for a collection that sidestepped the digital age in favor of… well, try this scenario on for size: A military wife, whose husband is stationed in the Far East, say, fills her idle hours by watching and learning from local artisans. Then she applies her new knowledge to decorating her own clothes, maybe with the beading that ran down the placket of a trench or lined its collar, or the bigger geometric wooden beads that formed patterns around necklines, or the raffia trim on a parka hood. And maybe she'd replace the buttons on her cardigan with pretty stones she found on the beach. OK, that scenario may be a flight of fancy too far, but the charming full skirts falling to just below the knee did suggest a decorous army wife in olden times. A pleated dress in leaf green crepe with a flowing forties line elaborated on the theme. Sexpot sheaths in a stretch basket knit also looked back. And Miss Sadie Thompson herself might have stepped out in Pago Pago wearing the wrapped and tied skirt in a batik print.

If that print looked well in tune with the season's appetite for ethnic exotica, Bailey insisted it was inspired by the shapes of the legendary British artist Henry Moore. But, given that Moore was influenced by Picasso, you could say there was ultimately Africa in there somewhere. And the textures and patterns undoubtedly had a tribal edge. Still, they were just a means to Bailey's latest end: elevating the Burberry parka to the spotlight that has traditionally been occupied by the trench. It got the full treatment, from whipstitched hems to woven leather sleeves to all the beading and raffia the Burberry workshops could throw at it. And, thrown over a ruched dress in a bold block print, with a raffia bobble hat and a platform sandal with a leopard wedge, the parka took on the confident sashay of a 2012 must-have.

spring 2012 | yohana

Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearIf the day began with Prospero's aquatic sorcery at Chanel, it ended with a different kind of underwater magic at Alexander McQueen. Lagerfeld's models were nymphs; Sarah Burton's were goddesses. She based her collection on the three Gs: Grès for the pleating and draping, Gaudí for the architecture, and Gaia for the sense of all-encompassing oceanic life that infused the clothes, like the outfits composed of coral or shells. Or the incredible engineered matelassé jacquard in a barnacle pattern. Or the silk chiffon in an oyster print, which had been layered, cut into circles, and ribbed (though that hardly even begins to explain the complexity of the result). And if you carried the analogy still further, the black leather appliqué that infected a lace dress could be an oil slick; the Fortuny-pleated organza woven with copper, silver, and gold was like a pirate's buried treasure.

The details of the clothes were so obsessively conceived and realized, they could have easily sunk the clothes. That did, after all, happen with Lee McQueen now and again. But Burton has already won kudos for her woman's touch, which has literally lifted the collection. The raised waist here was an exaggerated Empire line of ruffles, which undulated as the models walked, "like a jellyfish moves in the sea," said the designer. It was most striking in an apricot baby doll, one of Burton's personal favorites. In the same vein, she compared the movement of a trapeze dress to swimming. Another dress, as pale, ruffled, and fragile as a peignoir, rolled like surf.

But this collection proved how hot-wired into the core of McQueen Burton truly is. The color palette—as translucent as the inside of a shell—had the kind of unambiguous prettiness that McQueen himself might have felt inclined to disrupt in some way. Burton duly injected the glossy black leather—a sinister barracuda slipping through the shoals of shimmer, like the spirit of her erstwhile mentor. She'll never escape him; nor, it seems, does she want to.

next dress | yohana

Andrew Gn Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear"What would happen if Madame de Pompadour met Madame Butterfly?" That was the question Andrew Gn asked himself for Spring. He answered it with a collection that married the opulence of eighteenth-century rococo with the construction of Japanese kimonos. It was a return to lavish form after the more ascetic (relatively speaking, of course) show of jackets and pants he did for Fall. Necklines were ornately beaded or accented with origamilike folds, squared-off sleeves were laboriously handworked, and skirts blossomed beneath wide belts. But the real story was the fabrics. Gn had many of them woven specially for the show.

Among the most interesting: a black and silver silk damask and microfiber material that happens to be completely waterproof. The strapless cocktail dress made from the stuff could take a midnight dip in a pool and come out unscathed. The other eye-catcher was a shimmering floral in shades of violet and gold modeled after an eighteenth-century kimono fabric that was itself inspired by the wallpaper at Versailles circa Louis XV.

Gn has been doing wedding dresses for private clients—"I'm not Vera Wang yet," he joked—so he finished the show with two white gowns. We can picture a bride saying "I do" to the one-shoulder hand-plisséd number with the burnished gold micro sequins at the waist.

NEW YORK Brittany Adams | yohana

ADAM Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearAdam Lippes' design offices overlook the High Line, and he can't help but take in and fixate on his view of that "runway in the sky." Perhaps it had something to do with all the buckets of rain that have been coming down lately, but the ADAM Spring collection was in full bloom. Backstage before the show, Lippes explained one of his floral prints—a rock rose that he "blew up and made pointy," which made a convincing statement on both an ivory silk column dress and a slouchy suit. There was quite a bit of flower-screened denim, which looked best on an A-line knee-length skirt paired with a silk polka-dot pajama top. The designer also paid lip service to the ongoing neon trend (has anyone else noticed how many of those electric Cambridge satchels are floating around Lincoln Center this week?) with the trim of a transparent sleeveless trench, as well as a hot pink long-sleeve tee.

In the eveningwear category, there were a few looks that flirted with bedazzle overkill (one model had to walk in a heavy crystal dress that probably weighed more than she does). But the finale number—an organza party dress embroidered with hundreds of tiny French knots—made up for any previous bling blips. Later on that evening, we noticed that Lippes' pal Natalie Joos had plucked that stunning closer right off the runway and was wearing it out for a night on the town.

Will You Go Big With Statement Earrings? | yohana

Earrings made a big comeback—”big” in both size and scope—at the Spring shows. Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni led the way, accessorizing her Fall collection with door knocker-sized baubles and making ear candy in the form of mod, colorful hoops a big part of her story this season. Boho glam chandeliers punctuated every look at Oscar de la Renta and Emilio Pucci, while Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni turned up the kitsch factor with garden vegetables and gilded critters, respectively. Needless to say, street-style darlings like Shala Monroque, Anna Dello Russo, and Miroslava Duma kept up with the runways, showing off their jumbo-sized earrings in many a front row. But we’ve got to give props to stylist Catherine Baba, whose rotating collection of shoulder-scrapers is arguably as signature as her ubiquitous two-speed bike.

Sexy Backs Edition! | yohana

The front of your wedding dress should be gorgeous, of course, but if there's one thing we've learned from Bella Swan's wedding dress, it's that a sexy back can transform a plain dress into something that's off the charts.
Brides rounded up three of the best "sexy back" wedding dresses from the Fall 2012 runways. What do you think of 'em?

Daily Outfit Idea: Brave The Black Friday Craziness In Comfort (Just Like Rachel Bilson!) | yohana

1124-rachel-bilson-black-friday-shopping-outfit-idea_fa.jpgAfter today's eating extravaganza, changing out of your sweatpants to hit the stores tomorrow is probably as welcomed as another scoop of mashed potatoes. But as any true STF knows, those Black Friday deals are hard to come by and that's where this next outfit idea comes in, courtesy of Rachel Bilson. Take a look and get inspired to stay comfortable while you shop tomorrow (we can't promise it'll do the same for the crowds).

My Personal Shopping Strategy | yohana

I'm pragmatic to the point of dogmatic when it comes to buying things abroad. If the answer to "Can I buy it in London?" is a firm "No", and the exchange rates are looking good (I permanently have my XE calculator app out on my phone), then I'll make a considered decision. In New York, I have my strict shopping routine of combing through Opening Ceremony (for local labels that can't be found in London), the NY flagships of American labels like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and VPL, and the routine once-overs at stores like J.Crew, Madewell and Club Monaco just to sniff out what the American 'high street' is offering up. It all sounds deathly boring and completely un-spontaneous, I know. Well, that's the strictest of shopping routines. If I have a few more days, I venture into wilder places like taxidermy shops and antique hat vendors.
I recently added Joe Fresh to my high street shopping crawl as I was goaded by Tommy Ton of the blog Jak and Jil to go check out this Canadian chain's first flagship in New York. On name and logo alone, I might have dismissed Joe Fresh as inexpensive clothing that's a little on the plain side of things. After a ten-minute gander, a few key pieces jumped out at me, including a Balenciaga-ish shaped neoprene coat that comes in green and turquoise for $99, a neoprene belted coat in a bright vivid orange to match the logo also for $99 and and a matching skirt for $49, which I picked up. I also came away with a grey wool coat with an orange neoprene collar, green neoprene pockets and belt that was a very reasonable $149. The prices match up to say a Uniqlo or a Gap and the quality, as far as I can tell, is comparable to these chains, with the added bonus of having very fashion-forward pieces.

What's your favorite winter coat look like? | yohana

People moan and groan about the cold, winter months but I happen to enjoy the process of bundling up.
Along with my love of curling up on the couch with a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a festive movie, I love putting on a warm coat and scarf to brace the crisp, icy winds.
I consider this Nine West coat to be the love child of a winter coat and a fall sweater since the sleeves are tight and knitted while the body is boxy and wooly. And while I'm not usually one for a boxy jacket, I like how this one really allows me to bundle and layer. I can wear it on those days that don't command the heaviest coat and layer it up when the temperatures really dip.

Is Optical-Illusion Fashion The Future? | yohana

Labels from to Norma Kamali to Forever 21 have been experimenting with 3-D techno magic to enhance their brands this year, like when Burberry put on a virtual spectacular of epic proportions in Beijing back in April). At the Spring shows, tastemakers like Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Marc Jacobs performed optical illusions of their own with iridescent cellophane looks that glinted with each step down the runway. Other designers, including Derek Lam, Olivier Theyskens, and Manish Arora, went for a more holographic effect. Lady Gaga (who else?) noticed. The pop supernova borrowed a dress from Arora’s Paco Rabanne debut for a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Here at Style.com, we remain divided about the wearability of these part sci-fi, part psychedelic pieces, but there’s no arguing that stylist and street-style favorite Katie Shillingford’s futuristic Christopher Kane top, spotted on the show circuit, was a hit.

What’s Your Favorite Dress Of Summer 2011? | yohana

Hurricane Irene is barreling our way, which means we’ll be hunkered down in our apartments this weekend like the rest of New York City, our crazy surfer friends excluded. What better way to remember the summer that was than look back at some of its finer red-carpet moments? Our favorite shot of the season has got to be co-stars Emma Stone and Mila Kunis redefining the term Friends With Benefits in punch-colored Giambattista Valli and Lanvin, but we won’t soon forget the image of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a see-through Gucci finale dress or Zoe Saldana giving her lamé Lanvin number a twirl, either.

Bow Ties: Not Just For College Professors (Or Brad Goreski) Anymore | yohana

The boy-meets-girl look has been bigger than ever the past few seasons (for proof, see the Tux Love story in our Fall trend reports), but the dandy-ish neckties we’ve been spotting on celebs lately are something new. Both Diane Kruger and Jaime King wore Jason Wu looks knotted at the throat last week. Kruger topped her shorts suit from Resort with a classic bow tie, while King kept things feminine with a satin ribbon that played up her lacy dress. On the Chanel Couture runway, meanwhile, Karl Lagerfeld showed a long jacket with a flared maxi skirt and a loopy tie that was right up Janelle Monáe’s alley—the Chanel muse, like the Kaiser himself, has a known penchant for black-tie ensembles.

Waist Not, Want Not? | yohana

Is the high rise era over? For several seasons, designers have focused on the natural waist. Some incarnations, like dresses cinched to create hourglass shapes, were figure-flattering; others, not so much (see: high-waisted skinny jeans, Mischa Barton). Enter the new-again drop-waist silhouette. Miu Miu’s flippy miniskirts and a clean Celine shirtdress had a touch of the sixties. At Marc by Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, meanwhile, romantic frocks with relaxed waists evoked the twenties. Thakoon Panichgul (left) cited a new focus on ease and nonchalance as a reason for the down shift. “For me, it’s the attitude,” he told Style.com. “The drop waist has a laid-back jeans-and-T-shirt feel to it, so you’re able to get a mix of casual and dressy.” Who can resist a two-for-one deal these days?

Why Wouldn’t You Wear White After Labor Day? | yohana

Once, only the brave wore white after the first weekend in September (and by brave we mean French and/or those in possession of a generous dry-cleaning budget). But that old edict hasn’t really applied for a while, and judging by Fall collections from the likes of Thakoon Panichgul and Gucci’s Frida Giannini, a pair of white pants is now a winter wardrobe essential. According to Jill Stuart, though, the shade’s prominence has less to do with breaking rules than harmonizing palettes. “Loden green and camel are big this season, and white freshens those darker shades up,” she pointed out to us. “A creamy color makes everything brighter.” That was certainly the case at Reed Krakoff, where full, ivory trousers were paired with a swaggering navy coat and charcoal sweater. And, of course, white jeans, like the cropped ones we’re coveting from Isabel Marant, can freshen up any outfit. Just remember to factor your cleaning bills into the purchase price.

Who Are You Tricking Yourself Out As? | yohana

Anything goes when it comes to dressing up on Halloween. That’s why it’s the fashion flock’s favorite holiday—well, that, and the once-a-year guilt-free opportunity to eat as much candy as possible. If we’ve seen a few too many Karl Lagerfelds and Donatella Versaces on the costume party circuit in recent years, the Spring runways and front rows were rife with alternative possibilities. Anybody dare to imitate the self-proclaimed Lady Gaga of fashion, Anna Dello Russo? Or a certain mutton-chopped, plaid shirt-favoring photographer? Or perhaps Louis Vuitton zebra paint is more your thing?

The Exposed Midriff: Innie Or Outie? | yohana

It was probably inevitable: After realizing they couldn’t make shorts any shorter, designers have flipped the switch and dropped hemlines, making a sliver of stomach the new erogenous zone. The Spring collections found everyone from the Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte to Donatella Versace at Versace showing suggestive slices of toned (but of course) midriffs. While bandeau and lingerie-inspired looks have abounded the past several seasons, this time around, designers were careful to expose just the right proportion of skin. (We’re not talking Britney Spears redux here.) For Vena Cava’s Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, the key is keeping the belly button under wraps. The design duo told Style.com, “Showing the lower portion of your midriff is tacky, but the upper portion feels very chic, like something Bette Davis would’ve done with high-waisted shorts and a printed bandeau.” For those skittish about exposing so much skin, they suggest layering the tops over bodysuits and leotards. As for the rest of us, let the crunches commence.
We never thought we’d see denim on a Valentino runway. But there it was, paper-thin, deep indigo, and spliced into shirtdresses and a shorts suit. Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli weren’t the only ones to dress up the forever-practical fabric. Stella McCartney, Celine’s Phoebe Philo, and Thakoon Panichgul cut it into full trousers, tunics, and tailored vests. For Derek Lam, who was inspired by all things California, denim was a natural, even though his ultra-chic trench is a long way, baby, from Levi Strauss dungarees. Part of the draw is the material’s versatility. “It’s a very honest fabric,” Lam told Style.com. “It stands the test of time in its endurance and functionality.” If you ask us, it just might be one of the hardest-working wardrobe investments you could make come spring.

Will You Say “Yes, Please” To Pleats? | yohana

Knife, accordion, box, plissé—however they executed them, designers sent pleats aplenty down the Spring runways. We’re not talking about the stiff folds of your starched schoolgirl uniform here. Haider Ackermann and Chloé’s Hannah MacGibbon showed fluid, body-skimming incarnations that swished with each step. Richard Nicoll achieved a similar effect with sun-ray pleats that fanned out from the waist. “I used pleats to create architectural necklines and flattering volume,” he told Style.com. “They add a mathematical, modern-looking edge to longer lengths and ethereal fabrics.” Others gave classic creases an update by using Day-Glo brights. Miuccia Prada’s sweet shirtwaist dress at Miu Miu, for example, came in an acid green. And at Rue du Mail, Martine Sitbon created a unique patterned effect by layering micro-pleated aqua tulle over a graphic shift.

How Do You Take Your Metallics? | yohana

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a look-at-me metallic dress, and Spring gave us plenty of glittery possibilities. We wouldn’t have any issues finding a suitor to smooch at the stroke of midnight if we looked like Britt Maren did in Donna Karan’s marbleized copper silk. Ditto Shena Moulton in Thakoon’s thigh-grazing electric python dress. But the real eye-opener this season was the way designers cut the shiny stuff into wearable looks that aren’t just for after dark. Paired with an easy flannel shirt and Western belt, Ralph Lauren’s silver tinsel skirt delivers a bit of flash with a dose of informality. Tory Burch, left, hit the same note with lamé pants and a baja jacket.

Will You Borrow Button-Ups From The Boys? | yohana

It’s a new year, and what better way to wipe the slate clean than with a crisp white men’s shirt? For Spring, designers focused on classic sportswear, and they put that perennial favorite, the button-up, front-row and center. At Akris and Dries Van Noten, seriously oversized shirts—worn as a day dress and over a sequined skirt, respectively—riffed on the borrowed-from-the-boyfriend look. Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren based their entire collection on the men’s shirt, though in typical V&R fashion, the results were anything but basic: A cuffed oxford paired with black pants seemed simple enough from the front, but it turned out to have a cascading train in back. There were also plenty of more straightforward options, including Michael Kors‘ untucked take. With so many designers embracing the timeless trend this season, maybe we can live out our Mad Men fantasy (well, one of them, anyway) and keep a stack of pressed shirts in our desk drawer—just like Don Draper.

What To Wear When You’re Expecting A Baby…And A Gold Statue, Too | yohana

The Golden Globes are this Sunday and the Oscars will be here in a flash, which means the red-carpet speculation has begun in earnest at Style.com’s offices. From what we’ve witnessed at our pre-fall appointments, the A-lister every designer is angling to dress seems to be Best Actress nom—and expectant mom—Natalie Portman. How else to account for the return of the empire waist, as seen on Valentino’s long and lacy black gown (left)? We can’t say for certain that Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Connelly, or Penélope Cruz will be showing off their baby bumps in the coming weeks, but if they do, body-skimming halter gowns from Derek Lam and Reem Acra are two flattering and comfortable options. On the other hand, a bit of flash is always welcome, and Peter Dundas’ neo-hippie number for Emilio Pucci would look great on a wild child with child—Kate Hudson, we’re talking to you.

David Bowie: Do You See His Influence? | yohana

It’s been a golden year for David Bowie references on the runways. Dries Van Noten and Lanvin’s Lucas Ossendrijver channeled DB’s Thin White Duke persona at the Fall 2011 men’s shows, as did Richard Nicoll at his Spring women’s presentation back in September. And the pop star’s 1983 flick, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, proved inspirational to Roland Mouret’s latest Mr. collection. But a stroll through the Style.com archives indicates that it was always thus, and it’s not just his satin jumpsuits, sharp-shouldered jackets, and jaunty hats that have influenced men’s and women’s fashion. If you look closely, you’ll notice he was rocking the no-eyebrow look way back in 1973.

What Should This Year’s Other A-List Brides Wear On Their Wedding Days? | yohana

Spring is usually the season for long white dresses. So why all the ivory gowns on the Fall runways? We’re chalking it up to royal wedding fever. It’s just over two weeks until Kate Middleton walks down the aisle, and while it isn’t likely that Prince William’s betrothed will do it in any of these dresses (she seems poised to follow in time-honored royal footsteps and choose something more conservative), there are other high-profile, fashion-loving brides tying the knot later this year. Kate Moss and Lily Aldridge are marrying their musician boyfriends Jamie Hince and Caleb Followill, respectively, and we could see those catwalkers rocking one of these frocks. You?
Sequins? So last year. But that doesn’t mean the Fall runways weren’t a sea of shimmer, and we’re not just talking about party clothes. Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs showed Lurex-shot separates for day—sparkly stovepipes and zip-up hoodies, respectively. Those have serious It potential, and so do Miuccia Prada’s glinting, glitter-dipped ankle-strap heels at Miu Miu. A personal favorite? The metallic blush pink pantsuit that Caroline Brasch Nielsen rocked on Peter Copping’s Nina Ricci catwalk.

Are You Ready For Chokers? | yohana

It’s time to put away those dangling pendants and dainty chains. For Fall, designers are hot under their collars for fierce, face-framing choker necklaces. Whether they came with door knocker-sized ornaments like Lanvin’s, Wilma Flintstone-esque pebbled jewels à la Bottega Veneta, or in fetish-y leather as they did at Emanuel Ungaro, it was all about achieving a snug fit that sits atop the collarbone. And chokers aren’t just for the runways. Street-style fixture Taylor Tomasi Hill repped a Masai-inspired number during fashion week, and we spied our industry crush Virginie Mouzat wearing her gold necklet in Moscow.

Deadly Chic—Now In Theaters And On The Runways | yohana

“Revenge is beautiful.” It’s more than the tagline for the new Zoe Saldana film Colombiana. It’s the operating principle behind the female badass movie. Recall Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft in short shorts and a low-cut tank that revealed décolletage and deltoids in equal measure. As Colombiana’s costume designer Olivier Bériot put it, the wardrobe in these movies is “a little bit unreal, but that’s as much for the men in the audience (’she’s sexy!’ [they're thinking]) as it is for the women (’she’s powerful’).”

Saldana’s dangerous woman fits the accustomed mold, but there are others these days who are breaking it. In David Fincher’s upcoming The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara sports bleached eyebrows, piercings, and an asymmetrical, dyed-black haircut that is, to quote Stieg Larsson, as “short as a fuse.” (And if you ask us, she bears an uncanny resemblance to model of the moment Saskia de Brauw.) The wintery white Inuit-inspired clothes that costume designer Lucie Bates created for Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, meanwhile, flouted genre convention; still, her character, a 16-year-old trained assassin, was no less efficient at her tasks.

Black, of course, is the wardrobe color of choice for screen killers—and for their deadly chic counterparts on the runways. In his review of Ann Demeulemeester’s Fall collection, Tim Blanks likened her models to “a lost tribe of Amazonian warrior women,” their bodies slung with bandoliers stuffed with feathers instead of bullets. Ohne Titel’s Alexa Adams and Flora Gill similarly amplified the human form, cutting a shearling leather and knit jacket with exaggerated, full sleeves. “It’s about the embrace of the female body,” Adams said, “but not being afraid of its powerful side.”

A Dose Of Pink For Those Winter Blues | yohana

The start of fall’s transition into winter is cemented for us when we have to switch concealers to account for the complete disappearance of the remnants of our summer tan. That sad day happened last week, dear readers, and while we mourn the loss of any semblance of a golden bronze, we’ve come to the realization that the only thing that will help our increasingly pallid complexion through the blustery months ahead is a concentrated dose of cheek color. We’re talking blush, highlighters, and contouring powders—anything and everything to add back a little bit of rosy-hued animation. Cream color sticks, sculpting powders, and the like have therefore made their way into our makeup bag en masse, although we’ve found that there’s an easier way to get the warm finish we’re looking for on a daily basis. Behold, NARS’ new Danmari All About Cheeks Palette. Based on Monsieur Nars’ fascination with the tradition of Kabuki theater and getting properly primped like a performance artist, the palette includes six face powders that allow you to play up your features with pigments like NARS’ classic Orgasm (a peachy pink with golden shimmer) and Desire (a cotton candy pink) to Casino (a dark brown with gilded flecks) and Hungry Heart (a golden ivory). A little Orgasm on the apples of your cheeks blended into a wash of Casino below your cheekbones will make you almost forget about a natural, sun-kissed glow.