Monday, March 7, 2011

Fall 2011 Shows: More Art Deco and Snakeskin Than You Can Shake A Stick At

I was entering into the fashion doldrums after viewing the Fall 2011 collections. Most of the shows left me feeling bored or utterly disinterested. Either there no new ideas (the 70's again, lots of orange, minimalism to dull effect) OR the collection was too conceptual and not wearable. I love me a good concept or two, but...this is fashion. What good is your idea if one doesn't desire to wear it? After a bit of this I clicked on Hermes, and after that my faith in the power of fashion was restored. At Hermes, look after look sauntered down the catwalk and headed straight into my imagination. Although according to the inspirations were said to be Asian, with notions of travel, long robes, jade jewelry, etc, I couldn't see anything except 20's art deco from where I was sitting. This is an era I feel is finally getting it's longstanding due in fashion this season. Favorite looks from this collection posted below. All photos in this post from

The biggest trends on runways this season were the masculine feminine mix, Asia, and snakeskin. Religious garb seems to have evolved from Celine'sminimalism, just ask Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, who referenced the priesthood in his collection, especially with his hats:

Alber Elbaz preps his models for the priesthood at Lanvin.

Ralph Lauren referenced China for his collection. He was one of many designers with references to Asia.

I loved Missoni's use of snakeskin.

Said or unsaid in the liner notes, the influence of 20's drop waist silhouettes and art deco style geometric prints, were everywhere:

Marni: No Waist, Geometric Print, don't tell me there is not a 20's influence.

Prada, of course, scored the fashion double whammy with Art Deco and snakeskin.

Versus by Versace proves it's still hip to be square

Also of interest is a return to a certain type of formality, pulled together, perfectly matched, prim and proper, suits. Maybe old lady, yes, but I love it. As far as new ideas, this old one seems as fresh to me as ideas go. Both Donna Karan with her Grace Kelly inspired collection and Jean Paul Gaultier totally seemed to understand this. I felt as if it was a reference to an old-fashioned sort of glam that I would like to see returned to fashion. How far can we take this era of casual dress, jeans and t-shirts?

It was go granny go at Jean Paul Gaultier.

And lets not forget Stella McCartney, who reinvents power dressing with her version of the masculine/feminine mix:

Stella truly gave us the bold shoulder. I love the strong but at the same time soft silhouettes she created.

All in all after show after show referencing the 1970's fashion we finally did find some fresh, new ideas in the mix. The trends I am most excited about are the snake, the geometric prints, and hints of Asia. I can't wait to see these items referenced for the market next season.

1 comment:

  1. I like the first collection, I like the browns and yellows, and I like Missioni! Just thought you should know.
    PS I linked you