Viral Fashion’s Top 10 of Spring Summer 2012

alexander mcqueen spring summer 2012 fashion runway sarah burton paris fashion week trend collection

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Like several other designers this season, hospital for her latest outing at Alexander McQueen, pharm creative director Sarah Burton looked to the sea for inspiration. Yet whereas McQueen himself may have sooner plundered the sinister underbelly of oceanic life as a reference point, Burton’s direction was marked by an sense of uplifting lightness and unadulterated beauty. As usual, her painstaking attention to detail alone makes the collection among the season’s most memorable and remarkable. Cascading ruffles, chiffon, lace, and intricate beading were utilized to replicate the look and feel of seaweed, coral, shells, sea anemone and jellyfish. Equally notable, though, was her knowing homage to the label’s DNA — lace masks that completely obscured the models’ faces and slick black leather details injected a perverse twist that Lee would undoubtedly approve of.

viral fashion 2012 spring summer donna karan runway trends top ten shopping tribal runway fashion week

DONNA KARAN: “Fierce” is an adjective that’s as overused as any, and yet it’s one of the only words that will do when describing Donna Karan’s gorgeous spring showing. Inspired by the island of Haiti, and some of its local crafts, the resulting collection was as soulful as it was sexy. Body-con dresses, or second skin tops paired with flaring circle skirts were adorned with neo-tribal brushstroke prints or geometric blocked panels, while Karan’s signature languid draping was pulled taut across the body to show off those killer curves. Coupled with the models’ perfectly contoured skin, severely chic high ponytails, and deep chocolate-colored lips, the look was, in a word, FIERCE.

givenchy spring summer 2012 fashion runway riccardo tisci paris fashion week trend collection

GIVENCHY: For Spring, Riccardo Tisci traded in the ornate, streetwear-inflected aesthetic that he so brilliantly executed in his Fall collection and instead set his sights on something more streamlined. With laser-like focus and precision, he constructed impeccably tailored jackets and second-skin pants, as well as sharp short suits and buttoned-up blouses. To offset any excess severity, he also included soft yet voluminous peplums on tops, jackets and dresses alike, and primarily operated from a color palette of muted neutrals, including black, white, nude, pale pink, and army green, with an occasional shot of silver sequins for diversity. Massive metal shark-tooth necklaces, lace-paneled white tops that could almost pass for netting, and eel, shark, and stingray embellishments lent an aquatic, surf-inspired feel. Is this collection more accessible than Tisci’s past efforts? Perhaps. But it’s every bit as desirable.

viral fashion 2012 jil sander spring summer trends runway top 10 shopping milan raf simons

JIL SANDER: Control, elegance and rigor were the name of the game at Jil Sander. Further exploring the codes of classical haute couture, with more than a touch of American mid-century suburbia thrown in, Raf Simons’ ode to women of another time was as fascinating as it was chic. Perfectly crisp white shirt dresses, pastel paisley shifts and suits, sky blue gingham and pearl brooches delicately clasped to the hips were as lovely as can be. But everything wasn’t quite what it seemed in the end. Knitted ski caps were given veils, replacing the more historically appropriate pillboxes. Graphic Picasso motifs were scrawled across a trio of otherwise prim sweaters. Chaste below-the-knee skirts were almost completely transparent. Beautiful and bizarre. What could be better?

viral fashion 2012 tom ford spring summer top 10 trends womens clothing shopping fashion week lanvin

LANVIN: “An angel in hell” was the starting point for Alber Elbaz’s supremely focused collection for Lanvin, and if that doesn’t epitomize the very nature of contradiction, we’re not sure what does. Taking a razor to his signature softness and volume, Elbaz’s collection was uncharacteristically assertive, sharp and dangerously sexy. Rigid shoulders anchored his lean silhouette, peek-a-boo slashes in the seams of skirts, blouses and dresses offered more than one flash of skin, and snakes, of both the printed and embroidered variety, added a suggestion of the forbidden. Elbaz may have envisioned an angel in hell, but we’re not so sure he doesn’t have it backwards, ’cause this new Lanvin woman is mad, bad and dangerous to know.

louis vuitton spring summer 2012 fashion runway marc jacobs paris fashion week trend collection

LOUIS VUITTON: If there’s anything that we can decisively say about Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, it’s that we should never come to expect the same thing from him twice. In stark contrast to his Fall showing — a dark, racy and fetishist S&M-style romp — the Vuitton woman is actually quite girlish this time around. White lace figured prominently throughout the collection, in the form of eyelet and broderie anglaise. The array of pastel colors used, the impossibly pouffy skirts, and a seres of shifts festooned with floral appliques were frothy, frivolous and fun, but never affected. To keep things from getting too precious, Jacobs peppered in a few tougher staples, like motorcycle jackets in baby blue and pale yellow crocodile. The wisp-like Easter-egg colored feathers that bedecked the finale dresses looked as if they were freshly spun from the world’s chicest cotton-candy machine, ready for consumption; when all is said and done, what more could a girl want?

viral fashion 2012 PRABAL GURUNG tom ford spring summer top 10 trends womens clothing shopping fashion week

PRABAL GURUNG: Delivering yet another statement-making collection, New York’s Prabal Gurung has proven he’s more than ready to live up to his hype. This season Gurung had sex on the brain, specifically the erotically charged photography of Japanese artist Araki, and his obsession resulted in a confident, uncompromising assortment of clothes. Lurid purple and fuchsia was paired against stark black and white in mutant floral prints that looked more like a Rorschach inkblot than anything growing in a greenhouse, while perverse touches like gaping sheer panels and pearlized latex added even more of a sinister edge. If all eyes weren’t already on Gurung, they must certainly be now.

prada spring summer ready to wear 2012 fashion viralfashion.comPRADA: In her latest tour de force showing, Miuccia Prada sent out a series of ’50s-era roadhouse sirens as only she could — with a cerebral, decidedly feminist bent. Accordion pleated skirts and dresses, floral patterns, lace and antique-y rosette jewelry were tempered by leather pencil skirts, oversized varsity jackets and a flame motif that appeared in the form of prints screened on skirts, as well as the three-dimensional accoutrements emerging from the shoes (which will almost certainly be spotted on many a well-heeled editor and street style photographer subject in the coming months). If the Hot Rod-inspired fare fails to get your motor running, perhaps the pinup-style swimsuits that were strewn throughout the collection will. Amazingly enough, even when she intentionally references a bygone era, Prada’s vision is entirely modern.

VIRALFASHION.COM proenza schouler spring summer 2012 fashion runway jack mccollough lazaro hernandez new york fashion week trend collectionPROENZA SCHOULER: Much like a handful of their peers, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have taken the mid-century woman and breathed new life into her. Drawing upon the architecture of the 1950s — namely, Googie architecture, which was seemingly futuristic at the time but is now regarded as an antiquated relic — the designers sent out a collection rife with nostalgic elements; sharply constructed jackets worn over barely-there briefs, swingy poodle skirts, modest knee-length dresses with long sleeves and a color palette seemingly cribbed from those kitschy pre-fab motels, rec rooms and diners all hinted at the past. As always, the indelible Proenza touch was there, in the form of unconventional fabrics used in innovative ways (this time, it was raffia and eel skin, among others), and the duo’s proclivity for making even the archaic edgy. Rarely has something so old and abandoned felt this new and reinvigorated.

viral fashion 2012 tom ford spring summer top 10 trends womens clothing shopping fashion weekTOM FORD: In a collection that covered everything from silk jogging pants, to python skin, to powder pink ostrich plumes — and you best believe there was more — Tom Ford proved once again that he’s doing it his way, and his way alone. Packed into the mix of knock-em-dead clothes was a bit of tribalism, a touch of safari, provincial peasantry, corsetry, athletic-wear, lingerie, and a passing wink to Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus, none of which really works together in theory, yet works perfectly in practice…if you’re Mr. Ford. Threads of inspiration aside, it was pure Ford in all its glammed-out and gorgeous glory. It’s difficult enough to argue with such conviction, but even more so when the results are this good.

by The Viral Fashion Editorial Staff