Felipe Oliveira Baptista made his debut this season as creative director of Lacoste, and thus proposed a contemporary twist on the brand’s sport chic aesthetic with close fit colorblocked sweaters, high hemmed striped rugby dresses, slashed maxi dresses with suggestive slits, and patterned tunics in turquoise, cobalt, and black. While the athletic influences were obvious, Baptiste imagined many outfits that could work for even a casual workday—the buttoned minimalist shirt dresses and wide legged pants spring to mind. Red and cyan blue silk anoraks offered welcomed jolts of color and funnel neck trench coats added an urban edge to the traditional French brand.
Jill Stuart’s Spring 2012 collection seemed destined for the wardrobe of a Palm Beach princess with drop waist shifts and 60’s inspired car coats in colors like bubblegum pink, lemon, mint, poppy red, and buff. Scalloped hems, flowing silk, and close fit knits decorated with palm trees, flying birds, and polka dots cemented this season’s sweet girly flair. Even gold hot pants were made demure with matching gold cardigans and multicolored silk scarves. Our favorite look: a colorblocked blazer in powder, orange, and buff worn with a sherbert top and burnt orange stretch cigarette pants.
Monique Lhuillier showed she wasn’t a one trick pony with her Spring 2012 collection, going for sleek athleticism and close fits over her signature wedding wear. In her show notes, she said, “With women more into fitness and healthy lifestyles, I complement their physiques using intricate seaming to outline the body.” Fittingly, her line up included bold colorblocked strapless dress, hourglass shape forming shifts, and gowns banded by leather harnesses. A sharp, fresh color palette of cadmium yellow, cobalt, cyan, and magenta, along with pops of sequins and sparkle also underscored Lhuillier’s renewed outlook. Even frothy ball gowns were given a makeover with ink brushstrokes and gathered, exaggerated shoulders.