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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fall 2012 shows: David Koma, MaxMara, Donna Karan, and Duro Olowu.

David Koma
Business casual by way of Blade Runner? That's what I got from the earlier looks in this collection, anyhow. Unfortunately I was dead wrong, because Koma claims one of his primary inspirations was the art of Thierry Poncelot who, first of all, has the awesome name of Poncelot, and secondly... well, google him. Thierry Poncelot's work is exclusively portraits of dogs wearing human clothing. Perhaps I'm just not smart enough to see how that intersects with the various themes exhibited in this collection, but I doubt it.
While not exactly peculiar-looking, this wasn't a very ready-to-wear RTW collection. The majority of the show was taken up with full-outfit looks that would look decidedly odd if broken down into separates and combined with clothes from other sources. On a more positive note, Koma's structure design was appealingly retro-futurist, with several of the outfits entering Space Race flight attendant territory thanks to fabric and colour choices.

This purple dress was one of the flight attendant looks that definitely didn't work. The neck/chestpiece is quite intriguing, but I have no doubt that if anyone other than a model was wearing this then it'd look bizarre and costumey, especially considering the fact that every aspect of the dress is very neat and tight except the wrinkled peplum. The current trend for peplums on everything is a real dud, in my opinion, since it's a look that works on so few dresses (and body-shapes), and often looks like it's literally been tacked on.
Love the peep-holes in the jacket below, but it's not clear whether they're revealing what's uder the coat, or just the coat's own lining.
Coats are, a real focal point for MaxMara, and this season they were accompanied by a masculine military/sailor theme. But while my love for button-braces continues unabated, my favourite thing was definitely the spats some of the models were wearing from knee to ankle.

This is the sort of adjustable clothing I hope to see more of in coming years -- the kind of designs that I expect from young designers such as this, who have more room to experiment with unconventional clothing forms.
And regarding the set-design -- matching the runway backdrop to the marbled prints on the dresses shouldn't have worked, but somehow it ended up making the collection look cleaner and more put-together.
Donna Karan
Honestly I loved almost every look in this collection. It was that rare thing, a womenswear show that took inspiration from formal menswear but didn't fall into the trap of awful tuxedo pastiche. The diagonal wraparound cut of the figure-hugging dresses was exquisite, and the Stephen Jones hats complemented each outfit perfectly, transforming them from businesswear to faux-vintage cabaret.

Duro Olowu
What I wouldn't give to see more people dressing like this in real life.


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