It’s no secret that fashion is having an affair to remember with punk right now, so it’s fitting that vinyl and PVC also made subversive waves on the Fall runways. Donatella Versace ratcheted up the fetish factor with her “Vunk”-themed lineup full of the shiny stuff (left), while Joseph Altuzarra and Jonathan Saunders gave corseted looks a kinky kick by whipping them up in technical poly- and patent leather, respectively. (Speaking of kick, we couldn’t get enough of Karl Lagerfeld’s glossy thigh-high boots.) But slick synthetics weren’t exclusively used in a sexy context this season. The rain-resistant material was a practical yet eye-catching choice for the classic trenches and mackintosh coats that turned up at Burberry Prorsum, Maison Martin Margiela, and Salvatore Ferragamo, to name a few.
Here, our roundup of the best in vinyl, on and off the runway >>
Anyone who has scanned through this week’s snaps from Coachella or Tommy Ton’s recent street-style dispatches from Australia knows that crop tops and exposed midriffs are still enjoying a major moment. (Who could’ve guessed Britney Spears was such a visionary?) But if the Fall collections serve as an indication of things to come, the clavicle is the new new erogenous zone. Off-the-shoulder necklines that trace the collarbone made a memorable impact on the runways of Céline (left), Valentino, Mary Katrantzou, and Christopher Kane, but the trend’s biggest supporter was none other than Miuccia Prada. The designer sent out nape-baring parkas at Miu Miu and showed shrugged-off sweaters at Prada that were gorgeous in their disarray.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of the season’s best off-the-shoulder styles.
Retailers have a soft spot for exotic spots. Leopard was ubiquitous yet again this season, but there is absolutely zilch new about it. The cure for our animal-print ennui came in the form of Fall’s fresh-looking zebra stripes. The graphic zigzags were rendered glam at Emilio Pucci, Tom Ford, and Versace, and casual at Sacai (left), Joseph, and A.L.C. Designers incorporated the black and white streaks into accessories, too. Katie Grand went wild for the pattern with her second Hogan collaboration, and Alice + Olivia’s adorable zebra-shaped cross-body bag also turned heads.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Fall’s best zebra looks.
As the self-proclaimed “first weird-looking model,” Kristen McMenamy has broken just about every rule there is during her thirty years (and counting) in fashion, which exactly is why we chose to profile her in the new issue of Style.com/Print. Throughout her career, the irreverent icon became renowned for her androgynous appeal, eccentric personality, madwoman-on-a-mission runway walk, and willingness to sacrifice life and limb in pursuit of the elusive perfect picture.
McMenamy was a fixture in the glossies during her nineties heyday (back then, her cropped hair, shaved eyebrows, unconventional features, and sinewy frame made her an ideal poster girl for the grunge movement); she has shot with the likes of Steven Meisel, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Juergen Teller, and Nick Knight, who took the pared-down portraits of her that run in Style.com/Print. Along the way, she has cultivated a support system of designers. “If fashion is her family, then Donatella Versace is her big sister,” writes Jo-Ann Furniss in her profile. That makes Karl Lagerfeld McMenamy’s proverbial father. Lagerfeld did, after all, walk her down the aisle at her ’99 wedding to photographer Miles Aldridge, in addition to casting her in a multitude of campaigns and runway shows.
See them all in our slideshow roundup of McMenamy’s career highlights >
With gala season kicking off in earnest this week, we’ve been contemplating alternatives to predictable strapless cocktail frocks and princess gowns. Don’t get us wrong: We’ve got nothing against a nice dress, but the elegantly tailored evening trousers we saw in the Fall collections look so much more modern. Alexander Wang featured sharp slacks on his New York runway and at his Balenciaga debut, and we noticed similar styles at Narciso Rodriguez and The Row. Draped camisole and bustier tops accompanied by long trains that float behind slim pants have been in the air since Haider Ackermann’s Spring ’11 show. Raf Simons nailed that look at his first Haute Couture presentation for Christian Dior last July, and we’ve witnessed its popularity rise with designers like Jason Wu, Mary Katrantzou, Juan Carlos Obando, and Vera Wang in the months since.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of our favorite evening pants.