Jan 18, 2012 12:00AM

Oyster #96: Trend Report

Our picks from the Spring Summer 2012 collections hitting stores soon.

With the latest Spring Summer 2012 collections arriving in stores very soon, we thought we'd share our trend report with you. Get ready to bare your mid-riff, wear some freaked-out florals, go Gatsby or become a deranged Stepford wife!

The Midriff-raff

Start working out now, because come Spring Summer 2012 your abs will be on show. Versace's kitschy, seahorse-adorned styles were reminiscent of Cher from Clueless and the fun continued at Prada, where bandeau tops were paired with high-waisted, Cadillac-emblazoned leather skirts (that description was such a pleasure to write). Miuccia continued to focus on the midriff at Miu Miu, showing a refreshingly girlish collection with moody folk vibes, clashing prints, A-line skirts and Little Red Riding Hood capelets. There were also abs aplenty on the runway at Alexander Wang, Hakaan and Christopher Kane, while Peter Copping made strides towards the street at Nina Ricci with bras and bomber jackets (though the tiaras stayed true to Copping's new Ricci woman). We doubt the models were nervous about having their abdominals scrutinised by the fashion pack, but there was one clear winner: Kinga Rajzak's stomach looked like it was carved from stone.

Freaked-Out Florals

Florals for spring? No surprises there! We've seen it season-in, season-out for years, and clearly designers were thinking the same thing, because this time round they reinvented flora like never before. In New York there were the intoxicating purple blooms that burst all over Prabal Gurung's collection; Joseph Altuzarra's tropical patterns; Proenza Schouler's tribal florals; and Alexander Wang's don't-mess-with-me monochrome Hawaiian prints. Psychedelic florals exploded in London with Mary Katrantzou's surreal motifs; perfect fields of cultivated flora created serendipitous colour-blocking that gave way to nuts, bolts and polished metallic surfaces, all rendered in her trademark trompe-l'oeil. Christopher Kane continued to prove his stellar talent with a dreamy show featuring trippy floral applique and, in Paris, Dries Van Noten patched together an assortment of tropical prints to create something that was simultaneously organic and geometric. All in all, it was blooming marvellous!

The Roaring Twenties

With the release of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby looming, forward-thinking designers looked to the twenties. We saw flapper fringing develop at Marchesa and Etro before Gucci's 90th anniversary 'Hard Deco' presentation, where Frida Giannini re-imagined the roaring twenties for the noughties party-girl, showing colour-blocked flapper dresses in black, white and gold. Even Karl Lagerfeld nodded his head in the art-deco direction with a pair of nude dresses at Chanel that had clean black graphic lines and elegantly dropped waists. Looser styles towards the end of Calvin Klein also transported us back to the glory days, but if anyone already had a natural inclination towards a twenties silhouette it was Giorgio Armani, who didn't disappoint with his sinuous silver gowns. We can only hope to see it all again, both on the red carpet and styled for the street, when Gatsby fever hits in 2012.

Stepford Wives

Due in part to the Madame Gres exhibition earlier this year in Paris, couture shapes were all over the Spring runways. Bill Gaytten played it safe in stormy waters by showing what Dior does best: immaculate lady-like looks (hello, Carla Bruni). Other designers followed suit, from nipped-in waists at Oscar de la Renta and Rochas to knee-length hemlines at Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten. At Jil Sander, Raf Simons concocted another season-defining show, his brilliant-white Grace Kelly dresses all but burning our retinas with their pristine glamour. The other approach to playing on traditional couture codes was to channel The Stepford Wives, still neat as a new pin, but ever so slightly on the edge of crazy. Whether it was juicy vegetable prints at Dolce and Gabbana (aubergine, anyone?) or hot rods on pleated dresses at Prada, we saw this character develop across several runways. Lucinda Chambers styled Marni with a deranged fifties housewife in mind, and the unhinged vibes continued over at Fendi but, rather than feeling desperate (housewives), the feminine form was worshipped in the best way possible.

Words: Rupert Bickersteth

Photography: Imaxtree

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