It's a predominately black palette from Armani, black head-to-toe looks — but should this make you think that the runway was short on variety, you'd be wrong. For Fall '11, Armani delivers a wardrobe for the modern women, 'laxed silhouettes, heavy on the texture and accessories. There is no singular cut, Armani plays with it all: calf-length skirts, easy trousers, long, flowing sheer dresses. Then, we get a dose of sequins, of fuzzy, fur details, and a pop of blue and green on bags, shoes, and shawls. It's a little edgy, just the way today's confident woman would wear her black.
Bottega Veneta began with Karolina Kurkova in a shaggy mustard coat and bouffant 'do — a seemingly direct ode to the '60s lady — before morphing into something much more modern and original. Designer Tomas Maier made ingenious use of fabrics and textures to tweak classic silhouettes like prim skirtsuits and make them feel young again. Sheer panels trimmed coats, lace was cut into strips and draped along the front of dresses, and an ombré effect on rough-edged skirts looked as though an artist had spray-painted it black. This was no '60s housewife. The collection was ultra cool, but completely sophisticated.
- Trends: Draping, lace, '60s, colorblocking, boucé.
- Colors: Mustard, orange, purple, slate green, black, black ombré, white.
- Key Looks: The lace-detailed cocktail dresses were incredible.
- Accessories: White tights, delicate t-strap shoes, an amazing python bag.
- Who Would Wear It: Polished girls who take sartorial risks and can pull it off, like Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger.
Fans of Jil Sander's light and color-filled Spring collection might have freaked out a little over the all-black beginning to Fall. Thankfully, it was temporary, before designer Raf Simons introduced a nod to '60s ski motifs with his aviator-capped models in bright, slim knits. Minimalist silhouettes that define the Jil Sander brand got a fresh look through the maximalist lens of last season; shift dresses and boxy tops were blown up, and some fabrics had the thickness of sleeping bags in an interesting but not-so-figure-flattering way. Florals returned, this time smaller and darker, but, thankfully, the bold color stayed on.
- Trends: Minimalism, '60s ski, knits, florals, graphic prints.
- Colors: Mint green, royal blue, red, yellow, teal.
- Key Looks: A floral oversized sheath, the graphic knits under boxy tops and coats.
- Accessories: Aviator caps, elbow-length gloves, pointy-toe black boots.
- Who Would Wear It: Art gallery-types, minimalist fans, and Tilda Swinton.