John Galliano took a trip to the South Pacific with a nautical themed collection that mixed masculine and feminine silhouettes with a taste of the
tropics. Fluttering floral print dresses in purple and orange billowed under loose fit parkas in bone and navy, all topped by sailor’s caps. Bright red lips, cat eye sunglasses, and Betty Paige hairstyles gave the collections a 50’s pin up feel.
Alber Elbaz proposed sensuality for Lanvin’s Spring/Summer 2011, but not in
the typical seductive sense of skin clinging fabrics and short hems. Instead
he opted for fluidity and fluttering parachute silk, with soupcons of sex
offered with well-placed slits, asymmetrical necklines, and sheer chiffon.
Stefano Pilati offered a sleek and minimalist interpretation of Yves Saint
Laurent classics for the brand’s Spring/Summer 2011 show. Trench coats, tie neck tops, and the ubiquitous le smoking were re-imagined in colors like
burnt amber, navy, and classic black. Keyhole jumpsuits and pencil skirts
took a turn for flirtatious with the addition of well placed cutouts and
Alexander McQueen’s untimely death last fashion week sent shockwaves through
the fashion industry. The resounding questions were: how could someone so
talented die so soon? And also: What will be the future of his company? Over
the summer, the house announced that McQueen’s assistant of 15 years, Sarah
Burton, would take over creative control of the avant-garde line.
Spring/Summer 2011 was her first chance to show her skills, and she proved
she was more than capable.
For his last show for French heritage brand Hermès, creative director Jean
Paul Gaultier paid homage to the house’s history of fashioning leather goods for noble horsemen with a collection bubbling over with chaps and horse bit
Christophe Decarnin continued with his signature rock and roll aesthetic for
his latest collection for Balmain, sending lithe models down the runway in
an assortment of studded, pinned, zippered, and sequined jackets, paired
with tie-dye jeans and dangerously short shorts. Balmain’s well-known tennis ball shoulders were noticeably gone, but the house’s spirit of moneyed
nonchalance spiked with glorified biker chic lingered on.
Oversized hounds tooth prints on coats, vests, and leather skirts opened
Nicolas Ghesquiere’s collection for Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2011. Etched
in vivid blue, red, and white, speckled with sequins and mini prints, the
show offered feminine colors with menswear silhouettes.
For Spring/Summer 2011 Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy mixed classic black and
white with dashes of leopard print for animal edge. Simple
Marc Jacobs took a trip to the Orient for Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2011
show, parading sequin addled kimonos, silken pantsuits, and bead fringed
dresses down a black marble runway. Rich purple, turquoise, magenta, and
orange played on satin separates, artfully paired with sheer lace garments
embossed with the house’s monogram. Accessories included tasseled cross body
bags, compact clutches in violet and teal, sheer lace fans, sequined belts,
and color blocked sandals.
Karl Lagerfeld created a reproduction of the Versailles Gardens in the Grand
Palais for Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2011 show, recasting the symbol of French
grandeur and opulence in sedate black and white. The collection itself was
the perfect complement to its setting, offering a series of tweed separates
in classic colors that underlined Chanel’s tradition of glamour and Parisian chic.