For Fall 2012, designers looked all over the globe for inspiration, offering up collections that speak directly to our inner sartorial wanderlust. From Jason Wu's updated Chinese dress silhouettes to Rag & Bone's blanket striped jackets to Altuzarra's Moroccan-inspired silk jodhpurs and dangling coin dresses, the Fall 2012 runways had us ready for a world tour. To see the full trend report, watch our video now! On Allison: H&M
It was chinoiserie-chic and brocade abound at Jason Wu's impressive Fall 2012 show. The designer paid homage to his native Taiwan — the show kicked off with the opening of two dramatic red doors and the burst of a gong — breaking down his collection into three distinct themes: Mao military, Qing Dynasty, and the '30s and '40s Hollywood version of China. For his military category, Wu showed a sleek selection of Mao military jackets punctuated with luxe details like fur and quilting. The Qing Dynasty was all about sharp-shouldered sheath dresses, inspired by the traditional Chinese cheongsam dresses. Wu played up the nonauthenticity of Hollywood's depiction of China in the olden days, adding over-the-top embellishments and even quirky tasseled hats to his undeniably gorgeous array of high-slit gowns paired with sexy black and gold studded sandals.
- Trends: Military, ornate Asian embroidery, tassels, brocade.
- Colors: Army green, red, hot pink, black, burgundy.
- Key Piece: Wu's Mao military theme set, particularly the Mao jackets and shirts, showed perfect tailoring and detailed work.
- Accessories: Black and gold studded sandals, wide belts, tassel earrings, quirky tassel hats.
- Who Would Wear It: Dresses will be worn by red-carpet beauties like Blake Lively, while sporty separates will dominate style setters like Amanda Brooks.
>> For Fall 2012, Jason Wu served up his most powerful and elegant assortment yet. The designer found inspiration in China — and specifically his own relationship to it. "I went back to Taiwan, where I was born, a year and a half ago," the designer said. "I realized I was ready to take on one of the biggest subjects I grew up with: how does a Chinese designer do 'China'? I've lived in America, Canada, and Japan, but to come back to this means so much to me."
So, what does China mean to Wu? Though the references the designer chose to focus on — Mao's military, the Qing dynasty, and the 1932 film Shanghai Express — could lend themselves toward cliché, Wu managed to keep his versions modern, fresh, and tight. Silhouettes were sharp without an ounce of frill, while embellishment came in the form of lace appliqué, quilting, piping, fur, and beads. "It's my most luxurious," Wu explained. Luxurious, yes, but also utterly transportive as well.