|Zac Posen's highly structured evening gowns go Hollywood glam. (Diane Bondareff/Associated Press)|
Designers embrace new directions
NEW YORK - While traffic remained gridlocked and security measures high, there was little sign of change at the Spring/Summer 2012 fashion shows taking place this week at Lincoln Center. Aside from Diane von Furstenberg handing out American flags to the audience on Sept. 11 as fellow designers Oscar de la Renta and Valentino looked on, the focus remains on hemlines and color. Here are a few favorites.
Zac Posen: It wasn’t long ago that Posen, who once wowed the crowds at the Bryant Park tents, brought his show to Paris. He was embraced on his Sunday night return to New York. Just outside Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Posen opened with demure cocktail dresses but quickly progressed to the main course: luscious evening gowns. There was more than a glimmer of old Hollywood to these highly structured mermaid gowns with tulle spilling out at the train. No doubt actresses will begin choosing their award season dresses shortly. Paris’s loss is New York’s gain.
Prabal Gurung: For his Spring/Summer 2012 collection Gurung took his feminine aesthetic in new directions that hinted at the power of fashion. Remarkably, he did this while injecting his work with both sex appeal and classic shapes. In lesser hands, these leather bondage-meets-sexy-tulle-panel combinations would be a mess. But Gurung struck an ideal balance as evident in pieces such as his final floral frock. Here he bravely created the illusion of a row of flowers sprouting at the hem of his model’s gown, and then topped it all with a leather corselet.
Nicole Miller: The designer’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection was a muted and minimalist parade of white, beige, and black. But for 2012, she turned her runway show into an explosion of color. The program notes, which included descriptions such as “circa 1985,’’ were almost unnecessary. Miller’s collection was youthful and her palette filled with exuberant pink and sunshine yellow, blocked and splashed into patterns. This was a hugely successful leap for Miller. Her banquet of periwinkle and teal was a welcome change.