I dared London to ring my bell, and there were quite a few designers who rose to the calling. Here is a brief highlight of my favorite London Spring 2012 catwalk collections, with looks that were ‘off the hook’ IN-sane.

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARY KATRANTZOU What can I say?  I’m a glutton for irony.  The combination of vivid photographic imagery and trompe-l’oiel effects– what she’s innately known for– nearly knocked me over. Garments cut from fabrics bearing lifelike undersea and garden images seemed so real they beckoned viewers to kick off their shoes and jump inside. Another exquisitely artful trick of the eye involved a completely embellished dress that from a distance appeared to mimic the garden print, yet upon closer inspection was revealed to be rendered in sequins, tacks and an eclectic mix of other metal ‘junk.’ And to top it all off, the runway set (alternating blocks of vibrant-colored flowers) brought yet-an-extra dimension to an already 3-D experience.

 

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTOPHER KANE
His penchant for a sick twist manifested itself in the contrasted pairing of delicate luxury fabrics with modern technology. What I loved most about the collection was the innovative use of applique. The hyper-real photo-flower ‘stickers’ fused to transparent organza just blew me away. His cut-and-fold origami-like pieces were equally impressive. So clean, simple and daytime-wearable when paired with a crisp white button-down shirt and sneaker-sandal, these were (dare I say?) ‘effortless.’

 

Giles

Giles

Giles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GILES
Don’t be fooled by the crafty silver foil backdrop and costume-y swan headdress that clearly put those from the “Black Swan” movie wardrobe to shame. There were plenty of seriously modern elements present, here, to transport the collection back to the future several times over.  My two favorite things: (1) a print created from the blurred/warped photo-imagery of swans, and (2) ‘lace’ and ‘fringe,’ precision-cut with a laser-beam from reflective silver leather. If the latter doesn’t radiate ‘FUTURE,’ I’m at a loss for what would.

 

J.W. Anderson

J.W. Anderson

J.W. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.W. ANDERSON
I was all over this collection, and its underlying tongue-in-cheek playfulness. There were multiple levels of interest here and several pieces that had the power to defy time and trend status–what these ii’s look for in a potential wardrobe investment item. While I did think some of the asymmetric knit dresses with dangling sleeves appeared a bit gimmicky, I still very much appreciated the artistry of the intricate weaves and workmanship of the leathers. In the end, though, the multi-textured-and-paneled wovens, in addition to the architectural X-ray bibbery (did I just say that?!), are what brought it home for me.

 

Acne

Acne

Acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACNE
The motocross elements and futuristic texture of the materials is what revved up the collection and got my attention. Sparkly blue plastic, laser-cut-out stars, and a great biker-style statement jacket and IT-pant solidified my ride on the back of that bike. The key to this less-literal interpretation, making it more palpable, was in the styling. Simple, loose and flowy items in natural fabrics were paired back to the harder, stiffer scene-stealers, striking the perfect balance for the kind of dynamic fashion that is still very wearable.
 

Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

Ann-Sofie Back Atelje


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANN-SOFIE BACK ATELJE
I loved the sophisticated simplicity of the pieces, each with just the right hint of special interest that would turn heads in a variety of settings. Typically not a major fan of minimalist fashion, I do easily see myself wearing more than a few of these looks for quite a longtime into the future. (Between washings, of course.)

 

Mark Fast

Mark Fast

Mark Fast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARK FAST
What drew me in was the campy paradox: Marilyn Monroe meets Mom’s macrame plant hanger from the 70’s, on a trip that stops at Gilligan’s Island. The glamorous ‘shipwrecked’ moviestar washed ashore on a pile of Vuitton trunks, sips from a coconut while awaiting her rescue shuttle. After a long day without a snack (with her coconuts sitting out in the hot sun), she gets resourceful. A dress that was previously destined to ‘catch dinner and a show’ suddenly becomes her only means of catching dinner.

I highly doubt, though, that this is the type of versatility Fast had in mind when designing the collection. My guess is that Fast’s clientele will be paying much more attention to the artful crochet handiwork involved in sculpting a unique personality for each of his pieces.

 

All photos from Style.com.

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