Pacific Jean Paul Gaultier – Spring/Summer 2012

There is a natural confidence and willingness to take risks that comes with the experience and success of couturier.  A daring to channel the dark recesses of one’s right brain to create unique yet wearable new pieces using a mix of materials, patterns, and prints that nobody’s ever dreamed of.  The French Breton-clad Fashion Czar had just recently kicked-off his international five-city retrospective Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier tour and was back in Paris to present his bold new collection on Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week.

In unconventionally modest Gaultier fashion, a modest Spring/Summer 2012 production featured an eclectic mix of tailored looks inspired by the Pacific West Coast, Southern French Riviera, and Scotland Highlands.  Californian beach prints found in a matching jacket, dress shirt and trouser ensemble brought back memories of 1980s Ocean Pacific.  Kitschy Hawaiian floral prints ripped from tourist T-shirts were reworked into dress shirts, trousers, and sports jackets.  Tailored plaids, window-plane checks, houndstooth and printed tweeds looked playful when mixed with jean jackets, floral shirts, and sneakers.  The styling saw sports jackets tucked into trousers, tuxedo pants replaced with shorts, and relaxed pinstriped suits married up with leather biker jackets and plimsolls.

An eruption of creativity and styling brilliance, SS12 Gaultier is about deconstructing sophisticated tailoring and having some fun with it.  Great finale featuring classic Gaultier Breton Tees and gingham swimwear.  Save me one of those doiley-cut dress shirts please.

Jean Paul Gaultier SS12

Travelling With Louis Vuitton – Spring/Summer 2012

A big show for Louis Vuitton as many in the fashion world were curious to see what the collaborative efforts of 14-year LV veteran Artistic Director, Marc Jacobs and freshman Style Director, Kim Jones would produce.  Former Creative Director for Dunhill, Jones joined LV four months ago and at the time, one could have only speculated as to the potential creative chemistry between these two fashion heavyweights.  It could have gone either way really, the result however is praiseworthy.

Whether by plane, train, automobile, or boat, the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is designed with the posh jet-set business traveler in mind.  One who likes to mix business with unostentatious pleasure and the odd philanthropic mission to Africa.  Uncharacteristically wearable when compared to some of the bizarre creations to come out of Paris this week, Louis Vuitton’s Mad Men office/nautical/safari/cocktail-themed pieces were subtle enough to not overwhelm and luxurious enough to scream Louis Vuitton.  Classic fitted two-button suits in a range of neutrals worked well with some of the best leather footwear to come out of this Paris this week.  LV scores major points for their cream sweater (third in photo below), signature quilted jackets, and bold red and blue checks.  Printed dress shirts and bold stripes are on trend for SS12 and do I even need to mention the leather bags?  One of the best collections of Paris Fashion Week SS12.

Louis Vuitton SS12

DSquared2’s European Vacation – Spring/Summer 2012

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Dean and Dan Caten do Canada proud by always trying to design and produce a collection bigger and better than the one before it.  Sounds cliché I know, but mission accomplished this week as the twin brother duo put on an over-the-top spectacle of a fashion show in Milan (see video above, click here for part two).  The Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is a brilliantly designed revolving carousel of European looks – literally.  The American tourist and their travel itinerary inspired a collection that found their muse spending summer vacation in Europe.  Starting with a trek through the mountains and fjords of Scandinavia, possibly making some extra money on a fishing trawler before paying their way through the rest of their vacation through the sun-drenched beaches of Mykonos, those scenic romantic nights of Florence, and posh party streets of central London.

Aside from the first outfit with the Breton sweater (first photo below), the black fisherman’s sweater and cool new specs that looked vaguely familiar (first & second photo below), most of the Norwegian looks were lost on me.  Our spring and summer isn’t the warmest here in Canada, but unless you’re spending them in Nunavut, there certainly is no need for the work gloves, boots, and double socks.  I’m guessing that the same holds true for Scandinavia.  I generally didn’t like the Scandinavian looks which could have passed for a DSquared2 capsule collection for Old Navy.

“Did you say dance?”  Queue up the sirtaki from Zorba The Greek, a turn on the carousel to reveal some bottle-popping boys chilling on Super-Paradise to the summer 2010 smash hit by Nickos Ganos, Last Summer.  Campy Mykonos-inspired bikinis, trunks, and mesh tanks on freshly waxed bodies booted the fashion show into second gear.  The swimwear and accessories were impressive, especially the sunglasses, parrot-printed white swim trunks, and sandals.  Seriously though guys, time to retire the baseball/trucker caps.

Another turn of the carousel and the scene shifted to a romantic evening in Firenze.  Here we find some of the best pieces of the collection.  Suede moccasins, yellow pants, double-breasted white sports jackets, and dressy leather sandals – this collection was made for me.  As the stage transformed itself into a London loft, DSquared2 demonstrated a selection of incredible looks that picked up where their SS11 collection left off.  Amazing pieces for a day or night out on in any European town or anywhere really.  This collection proved that for a bunch of Canadians, we do a great job keeping up with the Italians in their own backyard no less.  Not bad eh?

Dsquared2 SS12

Versace Goes “Versace” – Spring/Summer 2012

Seventeenth century Baroque architecture and art was used by the Roman Empire to impress visitors by expressing triumphant power and control.  The Versace name has always lived and breathed Baroque.  While many of the fashion houses are muting or getting rid of colour altogether for next spring/summer, Donatella has cranked up the volume.  Sure, there are plenty of timid grey and beige suits, but even they have nuances of Baroque in the detailing.  SS12 is about classic, raw, in-your-face Versace.  Highlights of the collection included Glen plaid suits, a canary yellow suit (featured in several of the Milan collections), the footwear including the gladiator sandals, the buckled sports jackets/suits, an elaborately studded black leather jacket, the swimsuits, and definitely those gorgeous terrycloth robes.  Versace in all its glory.  A return to vibrant intrepid colours, audacious zebra prints, buckles, shackles, and gold studs –  a return to 1980s Miami.

Versace SS12

Versace to Design Iconic Collection for H&M Fall/Winter 2011

Margareta Van Den Bosch, Creative Advisor for H&M announces plans for a Versace capsule collection for Fall/Winter 2011.  The collection is scheduled to launch here in Canada on November 19th amidst a consumer frenzy the likes of last year’s Lanvin, maybe worse.  The collection will feature reworked iconic pieces from Versace’s past and present.  Donatella promises a glamorous 40-piece collection for the women and 20-piece for men, accessories on top of that.  She was so excited about the collaboration that she actually wore one of the leather Versace for H&M dresses to the Men’s Spring/Summer 2012 show in Milan yesterday.

Versace for H&M

Versace for H&M - Photo c/o Style.com

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