by Chloe Karaskiewicz, Fashion Writer
Every season a handful of designers stand out from all the rest with collections of impressive scope, with defining fashion houses of each capitol making waves in the industry. Take a look at the major players of Spring 2013 below.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta has acquired a reputation for dressing professional women, including many a lady in the political spotlight. This season’s collection put a slight twist on this idea: pencil skirts had thigh high slits and tee shirts were made of latex, though all was still very much for the uptown woman. Powerfully feminine with a punch of quirk, the evening gowns had classic silhouettes but included pompom and feather appliqués and stunningly bright colors.
Alexander Wang, the current toast of New York, is celebrated once again for his unique construction of “floating garments,” a precisely deconstructed garment suspended back together with invisible fishing line. Striping made an appearance as cutouts in many of the garments, creating a zebra like design. Wang also stuck primarily to American sportswear design with jersey inspired tee shirt dresses and windbreakers, accessorizing all of the looks with strappy sandals containing a single strap extended to just below the knee.
Altuzarra puts women back to work for spring with a brand new blazer for the warmer weather: instead of limiting women to sleeves, this blazer takes a cue from fashion editors around the world and is worn as a cape with vents for armholes. Jeweled embellishments and embroidery characterize these evening pieces, and many of which are adorned with scarves, layered or worn as belts. Knee high gladiator sandals, over-the-knee open toe boots and fringe accents round out each look. Finishing up the show, scallop detailed tops stunned with their intricate detailing and golden luster.
An expert printswoman, Katrantzou is inspired by the world, using stamp inspired patterns and motifs. She applies her skill to familiar silhouettes like sheaths, shifts and shirtdresses, and though the prints are surely busy, the cohesiveness of the evolving color palette with strong black and white bordering patterns with many striking colors ties it neatly together.
With a theme of “Corsets and Capes,” designer Christopher Bailey hoped to convey British glamour. He achieved this in cropped capes over corseted bodices and introduced the world to a new kind of trench coat. The wardrobe staple became something of a plaything in a variety of colors and fabrics from classic white to ruched pink, and was adorned with all manner of appliqué from lace to feathers. The looks had a very 1940s vibe with high-waisted, knee length pencil skirts and brief tap shorts.
When asked about her inspiration for her minimalistic Spring collection, Miuccia Prada answered, “the impossible dream.” This is especially relevant in pop culture, as Prada will be dressing the legendary characters of the upcoming Hollywood revival of The Great Gatsby, due in theatres July 2013. The flower motif shown this past spring for Fall 2012 continues to evolve in its art deco expression, but at Prada is more minimalist than the patterns of the recent past. Many of the looks are reminiscent of cropped kimonos, further emphasized by the flat geta-inspired, bow-adorned sandals each model wore.
Fendi continues to advance futurism with a “meditation on modernism” for Spring. The entire collection was made by hand and has a unique feature in its seamless construction. Electrical welding and saldatura were used in place of stitching, creating a very cohesive look to each garment. Three-dimensionality was a strong inspiration for the collection, which can be seen in the colored borders that frame the garments and the structural nature of the silhouettes.
Bottega Venetta’s runway was vintage and ladylike with 1940s silhouettes and a collection comprised entirely of dresses and skirts. The looks were characterized by strong shoulders and slender shapes, and were modernized with their impeccable cut and intricate embroidery. Tomas Maier, creative director of the house, wanted his pieces to inspire confidence in the Bottega Venetta woman, which he easily achieved with his incredible detailing and flattering cuts. The looks were paired with black stockings, and many featured floral prints and elements of gilding, seen with gold detailing and shimmering fabrics.
As pairs of models walked the Louis Vuitton runway, checkerboard prints ruled the day in a variety of sizes and colors. The whole show was rather mod and 60s-inspired with bandeaus, mini dresses and maxi skirts. Models were accessorized with prim hair bows and pointed toe heels and flats.
That Raf Simons of Dior was inspired by the idea of freedom for his Spring collection was apparent, as the bright colors, fluid movement and fresh ideas of the collection reflect this inspiration. The show opened with suits and suit dresses: impeccably tailored, pristinely cut and accessorized with neck scarves. Simons then incorporated sheer, iridescent fabric as draped tops and mini dresses, as well as overlay on structured pieces, and as full, mid-calf skirts. The collection also incorporated movement with tulle veiled sheath dresses and a stunning tulle high-low gown.
Balenciaga’s show was full of sensuality: from structured bras paired with pants to miles of leg exposed in micro minis and hip baring slits, this collection showed skin. Movement was also a big part of this show with giant, two-toned ruffles edging skirt slits and tops alike.