Fall for Spring is one of this season's underlying stories. Blame it on global warming, or our increasingly flat planet, or the bigger bang that cold-weather clothes deliver at stores. Whatever the reason, we've seen more somber colors and layers on the runways than we usually do during this part of the fashion cycle.
Filip Arickx and An Vandevorst keyed in to the trend, starting their collection with a black trenchcoat, elbow-length gloves, and a Stephen Jones-designed wide-brim transparent hat. Only slowly did their models shed their many layers and their dark colors, and by the end they were wearing summer whites, including a couple of the crisp shirts that have long been a trademark for this duo.
Along the way, the designers produced some strong looks: a sleeveless peplum and matching pants in gold-embroidered black cotton, a softly structured jacket with one lapel trailing in the model's wake, a Champagne-colored silk sleeveless wrap dress. Arickx and Vandevorst seem intent on exploring the new, more dressed-up look they introduced last season. That's smart. Too bad the show suffered from a surfeit of accessories. We'll take the Stephen Jones hats, but the embroidered scarves, the gloves, the belts, and the gold body paint only got in the way of AF Vandevorst's polished new message.
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