Designers embraced their inner Cleopatras and Tutankhamens this season, offering fresh takes on Egyptian costume (click for slideshow). At Anna Sui, hieroglyphs provided the basis for elaborate prints, while Sophia Kokosalaki worked in a pharaoh-worthy palette of lapis lazuli and gold. Andrew Gn amped up tunic dresses with embroidered metal collars, and Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava accessorized with slinky silver breastplates. “Fashion is about escape. It makes sense to fixate on a historical era that no one can get to,” says Mayock. “I think everyone just wants to dream right now.” We’re all for that, but it’s probably best to leave Orlando Pita’s “Nefertiti-chic” hairdos at Christian Dior to the ancients.
Balenciaga’s Fall 2007 collection signaled the return of the jacket—remember the shrunken schoolboy blazer that launched a thousand copies? Now the look has received a major makeover (click for slideshow). For spring it’s less Blair Waldorf, more Lloyd Dobler. (For those of you born in the nineties, that’s Say Anything‘s Lloyd Dobler.) Scott Sternberg included several roomy options in his womenswear collection Boy by Band of Outsiders. “Designers are finally acknowledging that menswear for women is less of a trend and really just a way that women feel like dressing sometimes,” he said. “The boyfriend blazer is very democratic; it looks good on anyone.” There were day-friendly looks punctuated with rolled or pushed-up sleeves at Ruffian, DKNY, and Rag & Bone, while evening jackets came embroidered with sequined panels at Dries Van Noten or with an allover metallic sheen at Maison Martin Margiela. Now, if we could just find someone willing to stand outside our window with a boom box.
Wearing fringe to the Country Music Awards? That might not sound wildly original, but Nicole Kidman turned the cliché on its head when she showed up in this Jil Sander stunner last week. Ironic or not, the embellishment was easy to find on the Spring runways (click for slideshow). Undercover’s Jun Takahashi used it in tiers to liven up a T-shirt dress, while William Rast’s Johan and Marcella Lindeberg trimmed studded jackets with long suede strings. As a finishing touch on eveningwear, the effect was latter-day flapper (Alberta Ferretti) or Wild, Wild West (Alessandro Dell’Acqua). Either way, in times like these, a few shimmies in the stuff could warm your achy breaky heart. Here’s proof.
Stow that chunky necklace in your jewelry box. Bold earrings are the next, um, big thing (click for slideshow). On the Spring runways, they came in diamond barbell form at Jil Sander and in eighties retro plastic fan shapes at Proenza Schouler. Rachel Comey took a more-is-merrier approach, piling lobes with a mix of vintage-inspired clip-ons that she plans to sell in five-packs. Other designers played with scale. Zac Posen’s massive door-knockers grazed his models’ shoulders. Only Marc Jacobs’ over-the-top tribal-chic hoops for Louis Vuitton were bigger. If you’re going to part with some of your carefully hoarded cash come spring, it better be for something that makes a major statement.
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Do you enjoy the same things as Lindsay Lohan? By which we mean, do you share the actress’ scandalous taste for leggings? If so, you’re in luck (click for slideshow). The familiar silhouette was reinvented on the Spring runways in cutout patterns at A.F. Vandevorst and Rodarte, and in a flurry of slashes at Meadham Kirchhoff and Rad Hourani. Other designers went print-mad, with bold stripes, graphic patterns, and painterly florals all making appearances. “Leggings have gone to another level; they’re not just for casual wear,” said Adi Gil of Threeasfour. “We’ve used prints that will encourage the wearer’s self-confidence and consciousness of her body.” In other words, these statement-makers require a starlet’s fearlessness. Here’s the evidence.