1. Jil Sander
A tribute to color, probably is supposed to be a theme for this collection. Or perhaps a return to true minimalism? Whatever it is, Raf Simmons' Spring collection for Jil Sander exceeds my expectations. It's minimal, in a way that we can almost say it's couture. Combining a T-shirt with an almost couture skirt, with the fit that is just sheer genius, also the way he tailors layers and layers of coats in a way that it was structured but also soft at the same time. And this is perhaps the first time we get colors from him, and it's almost like
the spring just hit you in the face.
Miuccia Prada's take on minimalism with a twist somehow makes one of the most interesting show this season for me. Her boldness to just put minimalism in an almost harsh colors, daring silhouette, and sort of comical print is just outstanding. And the fact the the collection is so cohesive while we're seeing so many different things going down the runway is almost sophisticated and yet modern. Truly one of the greatest moments for Prada.
3. Jason Wu
One of the young generation of designers in New York, Jason Wu impressed me this season. Not only that he chose to do lady like while every one else in New York city is going 70s glamor or 90s minimalism, but also because he chose to show women how to look proper all over again. The collection have pieces that would work right away, and dresses that are super chic and that we can see being instantly worn by Hollywood stars.
It was probably the most thought provoking collection in Paris. Starting from the way it was presented, down to Ricardo Tisci's decision to use Lea T. a transgender model to walk the runway. But despite all the drama, this is one of the daring collection. We can see every essential trends of 2011 (except for colors) like animal prints, see trhough cothes, and striking pair of pants. In a nutshell, though it was daring and bold, there's still a string commercial appeal in the collection.
I think there is no question about Alber Elbaz's world fashion domination through his lead at Lanvin. After proofing that he could also do commercial hit with his collaboration with H&M, he did yet another amazing collection. I can't recall any women seeing this collection that didn't go, "that's stunning" or "I want that" which you can't really always say about a collection designed by a male designer. The collection itself is like always, feminine but strong and confident, just like a Lanvin woman.
6. Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton's first womenswear collection after the passing of the late Alexander McQueen is nothing but short of anticipation, and thank God, she didn't disappoint. It matches the theatricality of McQueen himself, it was comparable to McQueen's intricate detailing which was one of his signature, and it was definitely bringing the same structural quality that McQueen is synonymous for. But being a female designer, it was somehow more gentle, and soft, and feminine, which was sometimes what's lacking in McQueen's works. So bravo Sarah for continuing McQueen's legacy without loosing her signature in the process.
7. Rick Owens
It's always fun to see a different point of view from a fashion "outsider" almost. Watching a Rick Owens show is like watching a tribe of women from some other side of the world that is untouchable from normal people, if not alien. This time in particular, I get the sense that this collection is more wearable than usual, also softer and prettier without loosing the strength. Which is why this collection in particular is one of my favorites, there's a sense of evolution that I like about his work.
8. Dries Van Noten
As a designer who's constantly inspired by artists, I always look forward to every collection that he does. This time it was Jef Verheyen whose paintings are about catching the light in simple tone colors gradating from solid to just pure white. It reflected in his collection in how he treated a very beautiful japanese inspired print and just bleach it to create the color gradation that was just breathtaking. There's also a sense of freedom and lightness in the clothes, which is amazing considering some of the incredible beading involved in making these clothes.
9. Calvin Klein Collection
Since the 90s minimalism is back this season, it was only appropriate to look at the hero of the trend, and see what his successor can do with the inspiration. Francisco Costa certainly didn't disappoint. He has done minimalism before, but at times it felt robotic, and not soft and womanly. This time there's a different mood and feel about his minimalism, it's more soft and womanly. Perhaps it was his choice of fabric that changes, it wasn't stiff or stand away from the body, but more fluid and sort of fall on the body. Truly a nice and gentle way to evolve his style without loosing the core of Calvin Klein.
10. Yves Saint Laurent
Have you ever had a fantasy about the chic Parisian woman with her impeccable outfit and one heck of an attitude, this collection is exactly a reflection of that. It was the truest to the DNA of Yves Saint Laurent that Stefano Pilati has ever done, meaning that there's a sense of chicness and decadence that is so synonymous to the DNA of the brand, creating one of the strongest collection that Stefano has ever done for the brand. It is the true French fashion at it's best.
Images from style.com