Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson cast several bombshells for her Spring 2012 show, celebrating the female form with a roster of models with names like “Long Legged” Lauren and “Sexy Snakes” Simone. With busts pushed to the sky and legs elongated by spiked Steve Madden heels, the ladies modeled Johnson’s signature frothy frocks with their underpinnings exposed: a bra strap here, a panty line there. In her show notes, Johnson said she was inspired by Brigitte Bardot and the burlesque dancers of the 1940s; fittingly everything was on display. Hems were high, shirts fell playfully off shoulders, and hips could be seen under frothy sheer skirts.

Perry Ellis
Let’s hear it for the boys! Perry Ellis creative director John Crocco imagined several tailored silhouettes for men for Spring 2012, including tailored suits over striped salmon knit shirts, plaid shorts with cabled v-necks, and loose white knit hoodies with linen pants. For the weekend: marigold knee shorts with brown piped cardigans and laced up sneakers; for evening, a boxy gray linen suit anchored by a muted tie. The clean simple looks could work for any men, from any walk of life.

Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera tapped into her signature sophisticated elegance for Spring 2012, proposing a series of gowns and separates dominated by geometric and sparrow prints in green, yellow, red, black, and white. Piped gold trenches played over v-neck sweaters and A-line skirts; colorblocked black and white shifts were cinched at the waist by red belts. For Nicki Minaj, who was perched front row in a confectionery getup, these pieces would be the perfect picks for a style evolution. A geometric green and yellow column gown with whisper thin fabric bellowing out along the skirt would be a great alternative to a few of Nicki’s more inventive red carpet choices. Even the sparrow print dresses with touches of red and yellow could work for the fashion eccentric looking to add a tamer twist to their everyday wear.
Rebecca Minkoff
A desert theme permeated Rebecca Minkoff’s Spring 2012 collection, where buffs, beiges, and whites played with pops of mango, sunset stripes, neons, and snakeskin prints. Mirage psychedelic print tops mixing red, blue, and white were paired with snake print pants; a light brown deep v-neck gown grazed the body and fell away in swaths of flowing fabric. The brown girls will undoubtedly love the collections brighter offerings. A mango silk faux wrap dress with an asymmetrical hem would look bad (meaning good) with a pair of stilettos. And the neon knit v-neck mini dress? Sheer heaven.
Donna Karan
Donna Karan has been traveling quite a bit to Haiti post-earthquake, and used her voyages and the work of Haitian artist Philippe Dodar to inspire her Afro-Caribbean Spring 2012 collection. One-shoulder, close-fit dresses were uplifted by brushtrokes in clay, black, and white, accessorized by fringed bracelets and beaded sandals. A-line pleated skirts came replete with paintings of face masks, and shifts, some with sheer detailing, were modeled in orange, brown, black, green, and various earth tones. To drive the collection home, Karan focused on accessories: Boned necklaces, wooden bangles, and intricate beadwork completed, perfected and uplifted each look.