Fall 2011: Best in show

Fall 2011 Best in Show

After a long and exhausting month of shows (it’s a hard life… we know), we’ve finally had a few minutes to digest the thrills and frills that we saw on the runways in New York, London, Milan and Paris. So, here they are. Our top ten hits, in no particular order. (Ordering them would be like choosing favourite children, and we simply CANNOT go that far… )

Photography by JP YIM/WireImage.

Marc Jacobs

A little bit futuristic (liquid silver), a little bit retro (polka dots and peplums), Marc Jacobs’ fall 2011 collection proved why he’s on top. From the covered-up-yet-slightly-subversive looks (a la the narrow and naughty silhouettes) to the giant rubber pailettes that resembled snakeskin to tiny lacquered, cabochon-studded berets to the model’s take-no-prisoners stomp down the runway, it was a sensory overload in the best way possible.

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Photography by Mattero Bazzi/EPA/Keystone Press.


Miuccia put the mod in modern with drop waists, back belts and geometric patterns on trim boxy coats. Giant sequins, faux furs, boxy bags and snake Mary Jane boots showed off a new way to embellish.

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Photography by Eric Ryan/Getty Images.

Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton has done a phenomenal job of carrying on the McQueen legacy. She has his sense of drama without his angst. In a quiet show at La Concieregie, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before heading off to the guillotine, Burton worked complex fabric treatments into classic McQueen silhouettes. Velvety white or black squares were actually woven fur, strips of lilac silk had been frayed using toothbrushes, dresses too heavy to lift with one hand were covered in nailheads, and broken china decorated the bodice of gowns. Burton’s larger than life sensibility has put her at the top of the list to make Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.

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Photography by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images.


Giles Deacon held his show at the Royal Court of Justice, and the verdict was unanimous: yes! Honestly, his best, most wickedly beautiful show ever. Seems like everyone did sexy-secretary vibes this season, but Giles did it in a Maggie Gyllenhaal way. Add a Daphne Guinness colour scheme, kinky Delaroche-inspired prints, and lashings of goat fur, and we’re all asking for more.

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Photography by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Michael Kors

Thirty years calls for a celebration, so Michael Kors churned out his greatest glam-o-rama hits: luxe fur chubbies (in blush, plum and mauve), pared-down gowns, sprays of sequins, impeccably tailored cashmere coats, California-cool draped tops and slick silver accessories. It was the best of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. If this is Kors’ idea of an anniversary party, let the good times roll!

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Photography by Keystone Press.

Jil Sander

We love the sculptural shapes and volumes, the strong and clear colours and the ski references from graphic hoods and ski sweaters to stirrup pants! Raf Simons makes everything else seem a touch excessive.

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Photography by Tim Whitby/Getty Images.

Mary Katrantzou

Katrantzou took her profuse inspiration from Diana Vreeland‘s “Garden of Hell,” and all we can say is, if this is hell, we’re happy to be going there.

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Photography by Keystone Press.

Haider Ackermann

With Leonard Cohen’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep” on the soundtrack there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after this romantic parade of draped silk. Coats had majestic trains, blouses swooped around the neck like oversized scarves, jackets twisted around the waist or were cutaway over tunic-y layers ⎯all in a jeweled palette of garnet, emerald and sapphire. This was a masterful collection by a guy who has not yet had his due.

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Photography by Keystone Press.


Consuelo Castiglioni was at her grown-up best with strong geometric patterns, luxe layering of leathers and furs, cocooning shapes and a wicked, original colour palette. This season was one of her best to date.

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Photography by Jemal Countess/Getty Images.

Jason Wu

Opulence ruled the runway at Jason Wu: Baroque-inspired embellishment adorned gowns, lace crept across bodices, sleeves and skirts, a sophisticated black-and-cream palette instilled a lady-meets-tomboy luxury and colour was used sparingly yet strategically; a strapless floor-sweeping gown was drenched in a rich, crimson red. And oh my, those sexy thigh-high slits; it seems a new erogenous zone has strutted onto the scene this fall.

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