Alexander McQueen


If garments could talk, they certainly spoke in high volume on the Pre-fall ’12 runways…and THE SLEEVE, in its most pumped-up form, stood out on a limb to scream the loudest. At varying decibels, the noise it created was both off-the-charts stunningly strident and soothingly sculptural at the same time.


Viktor & Rolf


Yves Saint Laurent






































NOTE: Dabbling in volume requires an equal dose of restraint where the rest of the silhouette is concerned.

For Pre-fall 2012, the voluminous sleeve walked arm-in-arm with a fitted bodice and/or a lean bottom. Designers most often sought to tame it with a corset belt, a nipped-in waist, a tight pencil skirt, or a cigarette pant.


Narciso Rodriguez




Jean Paul Gaultier


Burberry Prorsum





























Additionally, the volume of the sleeve was either exacerbated or tempered by the fabric used in its construct. The heavier fabrications offered a more bulky or sculptural effect, while the lighter, more sheer ones contributed an airy ethereal quality to the aesthetic.




Alexander McQueen














So, the key to successfully achieving the desired symphony of this look boils down to the careful combination of notes in the overall silhouette. It could mean the difference between volume that has a strong voice versus that which is just-plain screamingly obnoxious and off-key. Bottom line…when done right, it sings.


Issey Miyake




All looks shown here are from Pre-fall 2012 collections.
Photographs are from