Here's a round-up of our favorite Spring/Summer 2011 collections, ones that are destined to inspire our future buys.
Alexander McQueen(and above).
The lighter hand that Sarah Burton has brought to McQueen is destined to bring the house new devotees now that the wearability factor has expanded. Besides the expected craftsmanship, digital prints and Edwardian drama, Burton's take on ra-ra skirts, the high-low dress and the shoulder, now slashed, were winners in our books.
So many things come to mind when looking at Raf Simon's blockbuster collection for Jil Sander Spring 2011. For one, he is the right man for the job(in case you hadn't noticed before), for another, this may have been his best collection at the house ever. Why? Because it's clear that after five years, Simons is confident enough to take the house codes in a new direction while continuing to cater to it's most ardent fans. Now he can make both sides of the fashion world happy with a collection that took what Isaac Mizrahi did with evening wear in the early 90's(juxtaposing old-world couture notions with uniform pieces such as a denim jacket), mixing it with a hyper color palette that could rival Yves Saint Laurent's and his own knack for what you could call intense techno-couture. He opened with a passage of vivid variations on maxi skirts with attached white tee's that made a strong case for minimalism having the ability to make a big impact. He moved on to maxi parachute dresses, some in optical contrasting stripes, followed by a series of origami folded pieces(ones that could make Helmut Lang proud), and layered jackets, three at a time, all contrasting, all ultra-thin, over today's ubiquitous skinny pant. While the pieces retain the house's requisite codes for clean, cool sportswear, Simons may have just upped Jil Sander's status quo exponentially.
What can we say, we like many of you, can't get enough of what Phoebe Philo is doing at Celine and Spring's effort was once again, right on the money. Her focus on the confident woman is still there, but it was the collections take on the yetti coat's free-spirited rawness that felt fresh this time around. And while her covetable leather separates and crisp takes on the white button down made an appearance, we're especially keen on her new fluid pant.
The quirky Mulleavy sisters behind Rodarte have built a considerable following with breathtaking sci-fi couture quality options that place them in an entirely different arena stateside. They do what they want with such conviction and stand apart with such indifference, we for one, can't look at the craftsmanship and ethereal wizardry of each past collection without thinking that at this point, it's a no-brainer that they are gifted designers and have moved well past the "young" detractor. Problem is, while they do what they do obviously well, many of the pieces have had such a one-of-a-kind heirloom appeal to them that they seemed almost unapproachable. Well, the sisters delivered on that memo for Spring 2011 with a collection that was supposedly inspired by the interiors of the house they grew up in. This concept gave the duo a treasure trove of endearing prints to showcase, from a selection of wood-paneling prints to frothy ming vase inspired embroideries. Yet its genius factor came from its pieces patterns and silhouettes, making it their most wearable ever. Dotted high-waisted pants, layered skirts, cut-outs galore, are sure to lift the appeal of the label without overshadowing the distinct level of execution & the viewpoint these designers have made their own.
You can always expect an appropriate amount of femininity packaged in an Erdem collection mixed into contemporary shapes for a look that's as easy on the eye as it is on the wear. Spring's notes included a bold palette of painterly botanical hues, lace, digital prints, maxi lengths and Peter Pan collars for looks that could look just as good on royalty as they could on a 20-something.