While in London for a ten-day trip, I gathered literally all the magazines I could find. From Vogue to Instyle and Glamour, the whole of London is abuzz with the upcoming Fashion Week, and the past S/S 2012 shows, which left a huge impression on both retail and catwalk. The spring shows are bursting with candy and pastels, luridly mixed with lace and chiffon. Mixing pastels? Why not. Combining seemingly discordant textures. Not in 2012.
It seems like this year is one for innovations- a new range of artificial materials is being used, from neoprene at Zuo Corp., plastics at Peter Pilotto and cellophane-like materials at Marc Jacobs. This gives a different malleability in the cuts- they have become more architectural and expressive, mainly by focusing on layering and metallic effects. The designers are trying to astound us not only with the feel and sound of the new found fabrics but also with their other-than-fashion qualities.
Not only on the catwalks womenswear collections, as transparent plastic soles hit Kurt Geiger, and Jimmy Choo present shoes of foamed neoprene, the same material that is used in wetsuits. With innovations in mind, designers have turned to colour and metallics- their holographic qualities, which help with the illusion of space in the outfit. Designers have ranged for more 3D formats from the Marc Jacobs tier cellophane skirt to broderie Anglaise at Louis Vuitton and Christopher Kane’s suspended flowers between the sheets of organza. Although not forgetting the classical – ‘lights, flowers and lace’ motifs for Spring, autumnal colours have also appeared- quite surprisingly, with the best example being Burberry, with their teals, plum purples and pinks.
With such sudden diversity, the retailers are quick to follow the new look. H&M launched with one large excess company, Versace, and are planning their next collection with Marni, who are known for their adoration of print and classic Italian styling. Although H&M do not concentrate as such on the materials used for the production of each line, there is a hope that Marni might change that, and allow a different touch to the pieces from their designer collaboration. A small peek may also show Chanel and Alexander McQueen (or Sarah Burton, otherwise) who have plunged head first into nautical reefs and natures ocean gifts, with inspiration ranging from corals to aquatic creatures and anemones, while Chanel focused on pearls in hair, a beautiful installation of huge seashells and rocks. So water played a large part in these shows, as well as enriching the fabric style for the collections.
These countless observations were simply a dig into the magazines, but primary sources still remain the most mind-blowing. Hoping that the A/W 2012/2013 collection in a week will be equally astounding.
A couple of the photos to show exact what I mean… If you would prefer a more detailed account in terms of pictures, I recommend Vogue, who have a whole spread on all the S/S 2012 trends.