Runway success

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2012, 12:00am


Rick Owens

It was a thrilling and fresh performance from Owens, who put on a sleek display of figure-defining constructions. The silhouette was longer and leaner - skintight sleeves elongated the arms. Cropped double-breasted jackets were simply pinned back by one button so that it bisected the middle of the abdomen - creating a new shape. High-rise trousers featured a drop-crotch falling mid-thigh.

Leather may have been his guiding light, but unexpected shaggy textures also made up the winter vocabulary. There was a lightness of touch throughout the collection, including a translucent blue top which was artfully draped so that it looked steely but liquid.


The Japanese designer is noted for his thoughtful constructions. But in this instance, it was his use of ancient Japanese Nishijin-ori brocade that set him apart from the rest. Sticking to the military trend seen throughout the autumn and winter collection - camouflage suits using this technique shone, literally. Meanwhile, on jackets and trousers, details on the inside and outside cuffs and sleeves made statements too - like the embroidered dragon motifs.

Commes des Garcons

Was it Gothic, 1980s rocker, Manga-inspired or was there a hint of Louis XVI? It was not one but all. Rei Kawakubo triumphed with a looser-fitting silhouette that managed to strike a chord of insouciance and romance at the same time. But androgyny rarely needs to prove itself as Kawakubo's title for the show told us, 'Neither Man nor Woman'. Roses on blazers, oversized capes, skirts, shaggy-wool Chanelesque jackets, a check suit with a black brocade pattern, another jacket with occult and zodiac symbols - all winning, joyful combinations.


At YSL, chief designer Stefano Pilati showed he was back on form with an incisive collection that paid a dark homage to leather. Adorning collars, cuffs, lapels and slim-fitted ankle-cropped trousers, if there's a collection that defines leather for next winter, it will be Pilati's. The almost entirely black collection showed some aggressive, sexual undercurrents and fitted sharp proportions. The tailoring was refined and elegant, yet the dark leathers and motorcycle jackets bought out an edge and tension that tethered the collection together beautifully.