S/S 2011: Looking Back

The bi-yearly fashion calendars are all about the future must-haves, trends, micro-trends, the new beauty ideals and what will be in store.

By Stephanie Rivers

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Published: Fri 29 Oct 2010, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:28 PM


· Josephine Baker’s iconic finger waves showed up in various incarnations at many shows, and most notably at Prada. The models’ hair was slicked down with a deep side part, side finger waves sans curly-cues and a deep side part with bun at the nape.

· Fairy tales can come true; they can happen to you, if you purchase a few of the D&G S/S 11 pieces. Think Seven Dwarf tees, tank tops and pinafore dress styles.

· 1920s-inspired Shanghai was a driving force in Marc Jacob’s collection for Louis Vuitton. He reinvented the silhouette of the Cheongsam, traditional Chinese shirts with frog closures and flapper dresses. The looks were cool, elegant, sexy and a little bit camp.

· Rock ‘n’ roll androgyny stormed many runways in the form of David Bowie and Punk. Richard Nicoll gave his ladies edgy open-weave sweaters, leather shorts, gothic belt buckles, Fortuny-inspired long skirts and ‘I wear my sunglasses at night’ shades.

· Who knew Princess Margaret would be a royal muse for the latest fashion season? Her living by her own rules was the perfect mix of good girl gone rebel that Christopher Kane was looking for. Acid neon colours, proper skirt suits made out of lace with sheer insets, box pleats and perforated leathers.

· Dance in the form of Isadora Duncan: Diane von Furstenberg took in an Isadora Duncan prospective while in Paris and let its inspiration be her guide. The results were wonderful billowy tops and Grecian-like columns.

· It’s a jungle out there with a little Walt thrown in for good measure. There were zebras, giraffes, tigers and monkeys, along with a few Disney dwellers in the form of Bambi and friends.

· Ms Joan Jett inspired not one, but several collections this time around. Jean Paul Gaultier’s eponymous show showcased Jett’s iconic black spiky coif, Dr Martens, ripped body stockings and leather cuffs. For Marios Schwab, Joan appeared in spiky hairdos, lingerie tops paired with leather pants, rocker leggings and punk platforms.

· English garden-inspired floral blooms were popping up in almost every collection. They appeared in soft pastels and saturated colours, were in full bloom from tiny buds, and vines, to poppies, to oversized blossoms.


· What’s old is new again. Fuchsia paired with orange, and turquoise with purples, the colour combinations associated with rich resort towns from the 60s, are hip and chic again. Think corals and raspberry, like a Madras Sunrise which starts with a sunshine yellow on top and blends into a deep saturated cranberry; or emerald green or turquoise worn atop of a plum or deep berry colour.

· Mixing decades works well if the fabric and proportions are right. The best example of this was Louis Vuitton. The mix of Shanghai, French chinoiserie, seventies disco and flapper chic can turn out beautiful fluid looks that are fit for any occasion.

· Citrus fruits — lemons, limes and oranges — make for an interesting and fun backdrop for more than the Palm Beach set. Imagine white cropped pants with ballet slippers and ¾ sleeve silk patterned tunic top. Stella McCartney made fruit seem so luscious piling them upon silk or satin for a fluid, ethereal appeal.

· White is always right for the spring and summer months. Bright chalk, milk, creamy off-whites, fresh fallen snow and the like, freshened up almost every collection this season. Givenchy’s S/S 2011 made one want to chuck on ones cozy knits and overcoats for sheer white layers and zipper embellished fitted jackets, slacks and minis. Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa’s crisp white minimalist pieces were the smartest way to wear non-colour this season.

· Spiky 60-inspired punk rock hairdos are fresh again for the season. Soften the look with pearls and sweet sundresses or pull off of the rebel punk references with skinny pants, cropped jackets and bold silver jewellery. Jean Paul Gaultier and Marios Schwab were spot on.

· The seventies, the sixties, the forties and twenties are alive and seriously stylish for the upcoming season. There was a little Talitha Getty, Joan Jett, Woodstock, Shanghai, flappers and YSL making the rounds. Thank Louis Vuitton, JPG and Givenchy for their inspiration and interpretations of the decades.

· The hot fabric of the season? Cotton, that everyday fabric which touches almost every aspect of our lives, got the accolades it deserved in very chic territory. Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati gave cotton a chic new attitude. There were wonderful high-slit skirts with black piping and sleek jackets belted just so.

· Patterns, crazy prints and architectural lines are the way to go this season. Art nouveau, graphic prints, colour blocking, nature’s garden and animals were the muses for many, producing some of the most visually interesting designs in a few seasons. Prada and Mary Katrantzou did it best, hands down.

· Below-the-knee is the new length of the season. That is not to say that minis and shorts did not give the new length a run for its money but it was a clear signal that rang through the entire season from country to country. Thank Calvin Klein, Prada and Narciso Rodriguez for such clear and forward direction.

· The boyfriend shirt worn loose over flare-leg pants with a cropped or tuxedo jacket. For a few seasons it was all about the oversized blazer, better known as the boyfriend blazer but now the freshest silhouette straight out of your man’s closet is the elongated shirt that is as cool on pants as it is over skirts. Thank you Akris, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Viktor & Rolf.

· The trouser jean is the pant silhouette to have in your closet this season, if nothing else. These high-waisted trousers are perfect with tucked in shirts, with cropped jackets or tunics. Akris and Derek Lam hit a home run with this look.

· The shoe silhouette of the season is the platform wedge. The hot new accessory showed up on designer runways from Chanel and Marc Jacobs to Fendi, Akris and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Wooden platforms with leather and suede uppers, with platforms in solid wood, abstract patterns and colour blocking.

· Geometric patterns were across the board. Puzzle-like layered skirts formed a paired down geometric/ architectural dynamic and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Exaggerated geometric shapes were the basis of the patterns seen at DVF and cut-outs at Alexis Mabille.


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