wish list: reed krakoff atlantique

I am so over winter. Granted, this has been the warmest winter in recent memory, but I'm ready for the sun to stick around past 6:30 p.m. Until that happens, this bag is the next best thing. Irresistibly bright, Reed Krakoff's Atlantique handbag in solar is a chic carryall that let's you tote a ray of sunshine with you no matter where you go.
$1,490, ReedKrakoff.com

more to love from milan

I had a shoot yesterday so I am way behind on the Milan shows, and with Paris underway, it's time to get caught up! In no particular order, here are more of the Milan collections I loved this season:

1/ Baroque romance at Dolce & Gabbana (this was a seriously beautiful collection - bravissimo!)

Dolce & Gabbana f/w 2012


emilio pucci f/w 2012

Over the weekend, I tuned in for the livestream of the Pucci show, and Peter Dundas had me from hello. The trio of models who opened the show were dressed in variations on the little black dress, spliced with sheer veiling in slashes that sort of resembled claw marks. The looks that followed included a reptilian leather dress, a scale patterned burnout velvet dress, and moody interpretations of the prints that made Pucci famous. The first half of the show had a dark, strong sensuality. The soft pastels and delicate silhouettes that marked the middle of the show were beautiful, and they played on the dark vs. light dichotomy that's dominated the runways this season. The show closed with a trip back to the dark side, with glam takes on the tuxedo and more slashed gowns. Revisiting the reptile theme, at least in my mind, the insets on the final two gowns were surrounded by crystals, making them look like incredibly gorgeous, glittering wounds. See the complete collection and watch video of the full runway shoe here.

watch this: the fashion fund, episode 5

I got a little distracted last week and forgot to share the fifth episode of The Fashion Fund with everyone. Anyway, here it is, and in this episode we get to see the finalists photographed for the November issue of Vogue, and here is what I learned: 1) I'm really jealous of those location trailers, 2) Karlie Kloss is soooo tall and Charlotte Free is the cutest thing ever, and 3) Since he's so obviously Anna's favorite, Joseph Altuzarra gets three muses.


oscars red carpet: pretty, but not that exciting

Let me start by saying I had a great time watching the Oscars last night. One of my good friends celebrated her birthday yesterday by hosting a viewing party, and since there ain't no party like a theme party, we all dressed up in our favorite, old school velour track suits and played Oscars bingo. Oh yeah, we keep it classy.

So yes, I had fun last night, but wasn't the red carpet...boring?!? Lots of people looked really pretty, but they also looked really safe. One of my friends and I were left pining for the wild days of Cher on the carpet in Bob Mackie, or even someone - anyone! - willing to take a fashion risk, like Cate Blanchett always does. (Seriously, where was Tilda Swinton when you need her?) Overall, the red carpet was a snoozefest, but there were a few looks that left a lasting impression:

Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture

I adore Rooney Mara. She dresses for fashion, and this Givenchy Couture gown was a perfect choice for her. There was a lot of buzz about who would dress Mara for her first Oscar nomination - Calvin Klein was deemed a strong contender when she showed up front row at the fall show - but I had a feeling it would be Givenchy. I mean, the French house's spring couture show looked like it was created expressly for Lisbeth Salander, her character in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This dress was a softer, more accessible choice, but it's flawlessly constructed with interesting, challenging design details. Not just anyone could pull this off, but Mara makes wearing it look effortless.


jil sander f/w 2012

This season marks designer Raf Simons final collection for Jil Sander. When he took over the house in 2005, when Jil Sander the person left her eponymous label for the second time because of conflict with parent company Prada, Simons was an on-the-rise menswear designer. He was known for incredible tailoring and suits, but he had no experience designing womenswear. It was a huge risk, but it paid off - big time. In the years since, Simons has created beautiful collection after beautiful collection, remaining true to the minimalism of his predecessor while introducing new shapes and constantly moving the narrative forward. His collections were marked by a couture sensibility, and their impact was felt across the fashion world.

His final collection was no exception. Set in an austere white space, the runway was lined with preserved floral arrangements in clear plexiglass cubes. Rather than setting the scene for a funereal collection, the flowers were reflected in the delicate color palette, subtle sensuality, and quiet power of the clothes. Blushy nude and barely there pastels dominated the collection, in clutch coats, full skirts with patent insets, and corset dresses with draped skirts. The collection had an understated '50s couture vibe without feeling retro. For someone who got his start in menswear, it was one of the most exquisitely feminine collections of the season. Jil Sander the person, who is returning to her namesake label when Simons departs, has some big shoes to fill.

See the complete fall collection here and a retrospective of Simons' collections for Jil Sander here.

Photos: WWD


versace f/w 2012

Add Versace to the list of Italian designers embracing their dark sides this season, much to my delight - the clothes are some of the most exciting in years! Ornate crosses, black leather, dark crystals, chainmail, and lots of curves - it was all still very va-va-Versace but added an element of sharp-edged glamour. The collection was certainly gothic, but more in an architectural way than a stereotypically counter culture way. The only real misstep in the collection was the series of dresses with crystal lettering that spelled "Versace." The silhouettes were great, but the look-at-me branding was a little cheesy, especially considering the agressive luxury of the rest of the collection. See the complete collection here and watch video of the runway here.

Photos: WWD


maxmara f/w 2012

The girls on the MaxMara runway this season looked like the most stylish brigade of army engineers, officers and soldiers ever. The show opened with Saskia de Brauw in an army green aviatrix jumpsuit with a crocodile half belt slung around her hips. The military attitude was carried through in the collection's rigorously tailored outerwear, sailor stripe sweaters, and silk bell bottom pants. Inspired by films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Querelle, MaxMara's fall collection is a gorgeous example of the powerful woman trend that's dominating the fall runways. See the complete collection here and watch video of the show here.

Photos: WWD

watch this: mcq f/w 2012

If you missed the livestream of the absolutely incredible McQ fall show, shame on you! But that's ok, because life is full of second chances, and now you can watch it anytime you want right here. Enjoy!

prada f/w 2012

Only Miuccia Prada can make huge, oversize jewels look chic instead of tacky. She also manages to make her collection look totally new season after season after season. For fall, she focused on tailoring, and it was gorgeous. The show opened with black bejeweled jackets and skirts layered over cropped trousers and moved onto geometrically printed versions of the same. The new silhouettes this season, though, are the dresses with slits up the front worn with pants and the cropped tailcoats - I am seriously obsessed with those tailcoats. The structured bags were all absolutely beautiful, but the shoes - people will surely go crazy for them because they're, well, Prada, but the clunky, second generation Creeper flats just aren't my style (although the heels are fantastic). Watch the full show below.

beauty buzz: estee lauder mad men collection

Estee Lauder Mad Men Collection Creme Rouge in Evening Rose
and Signature Lipstick in Cherry

Are you as excited for the return of Mad Men as I am? The '60s hair, makeup and wardrobe is just as compelling as the drama at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, so I can't wait to get my hands on the limited edition Estee Lauder Mad Men Collection. Launching on March 18, just in time for the premiere of the fifth season of the show, the collection is "inspired by a concept that we call 'handbag elegance' - beautiful things you take out of your purse," Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estee Lauder, told Style.com. If that doesn't conjure up images of Betty and Joan, I don't know what does.



from the archives: open hunt

Much to my delight, there has been a very British equestrian influence on the fall runways of designers as divergent as Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Emilia Wickstead. I grew up with horses, riding pretty regularly until college took over my life, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for horses - and the clothes worn while riding them. I always preferred riding English, not only because it was more exciting (hello, jumping) but because it was more stylish. Trim hacking jackets, breeches, tall black leather boots - it's a look that's equally chic in the show ring and on the runway.

Flashback to fall 2008, when I styled a shoot at the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club for the September/October issue of Ambassador Magazine. Photographed by Michelle Matiyow and Lians for LM Studios, the concept was to juxtapose formal, aristocratic portraits of the models with sexier, cinematic shots that told a different story. Check out the full shoot, with credits, below.

audrey goes viral and ifb links a la mode!

Earlier this week, I wrote an Ode to the Little Black Dress, as worn by the inimitable Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The movie's official Facebook page picked it up, and BAM! Before I knew it I was welcoming a whole bunch of new readers to my dear little blog. I also submitted the story to the weekly Independent Fashion Bloggers Links a la Mode roundup, and BAM! They like it too! So, without further ado, here is this week's Links a la Mode, featuring yours truly and 19 other awesome style bloggers. Enjoy!

Springing Forward

Edited By Taylor Davies
I don't know about all of you, but I've been ready for spring since about, mmm, December. I love cold weather, I love snow, I love bundling up - but I saw so many amazing trends and looks during September's fashion week that I could hardly wait to wear. At least in New York, it seems like winter barely even arrived this year. Today for example, it's about 60 degrees in Manhattan! Everywhere people are in their shirtsleeves and sunglasses, it feels and awful lot like spring is already here.

From the looks of this week's Links a La Mode submissions, I'm not the only one with spring fashion fever. There were so many posts about trends and looks we'll all be embracing - or are already! From printed pants to neon bags, ladylike dresses and the upcoming Marni for H&M collection - and of course some inspiring DIY projects - everything's coming up floral! Check out this week's inspiring and fashionable posts, and as always, thank you for the wonderful submissions!


Dresses at Shopbop: Milly, Kalmanovich, Joie dresses, James Perse, ISSA, Thakoon Addition, Minkoff, Tibi, Black Halo, Nation LTD, Ohne Titel, Chalayan & Velvet Dresses

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

alberta ferretti f/w 2012

It looks like the Italian designers are in a dark place right now - Gucci and Alberta Ferretti both presented fall collections marked by a dusky elegance. At Ferretti, the palette was broken up by electric violet, sapphire and ruby, but the predominantly black fabrics - ranging from leather to chiffon - gave the collection a harder edge than Ferretti's traditionally uber feminine collections.

And that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

Sometimes Ferretti's shows feel a little too predictable, filled with sparkly red carpet-friendly frocks that fall right into her star-studded fan base's comfort zone. But this season she challenged them with body skimming leather dresses complete with curve enhancing panel details. Her tailored pieces - suits and outerwear in wool or leather - were impeccable, the furs and knits beautiful, and the evening wear had a daring sensuality. Overall, it was gorgeous, and there's still plenty for those starlets to love. See the complete collection here and watch video of the runway show here.

Photos: WWD


gucci f/w 2012

What an incredible way to kick off Milan Fashion Week! At 8 a.m. this morning, I tuned into the Gucci livestream, and watching the luxe, opulent collection come down the runway was the perfect start to my day. If I had the means, I would wear all Gucci, all day, every day. I adore Gucci. And I adore Frida Giannini's romantic fall collection. Drawing on the house's equestrian heritage - but in a darker, more Victorian direction than Ralph Lauren's equally stellar fall outing - the collection was a sumptuous mix of velvet, fur, silk, leather, jacquard, brocade and silk chiffon in burgundy, deep olive, navy, plum and black. A pair of jodhpur pants tucked into stiletto field boots and worn with a leather cape jacket and chunky sweater looked fantastic, as did the languid, flowing wide leg pants in silk and velvet. Actually, all of the day clothes were pretty fabulous, and the evening wear, from the feathered long sleeve dress to the closing series of chiffon gowns with glimmering embroidery, was exquisite. See the complete collection here.

UPDATE: Check out the full runway show below.

marni at h&m

I usually tune out all the hubbub over a new designer collaboration at H&M. I mean, the collections are never available in Detroit, and I can't justify driving to Chicago to wait in line with a bunch of frenzied fashionistas hoping that I can throw enough elbows to actually get something in my size. And forget ebay - I can't bring myself to support people who do stuff like this.

But I am so in love with the Marni at H&M collection, you guys. First of all, it looks like real Marni, with funky prints, statement necklaces and designer Consuelo Castiglioni trademark cool girl ease. Second of all, I dare you to watch the Sofia Coppola directed commercial for the line and tell me you don't want to have a dreamy summer romance wearing the collection. It may just be worth it to drive to Chicago and throw some 'bows for this line after all.

Check out the gorgeous commercial and lookbook images below, and find out if Marni at H&M is coming to your hood here.


wish list: alexander wang rocco satchel

I've loved Alexander Wang's Rocco bag since it first hit the runway, but I'm even more obsessed with it now that it has rose gold hardware. I love rose gold - it has a rich warmth and feels so fresh and unexpected as an accent on such a tough bag. Love, love, love.
$875, Bergdorf Goodman

more to love from london

London Fashion Week has come to a close, and before the madness of Milan kicks off, I wanted to share some of the things I loved that didn't get their own posts (man, taking a couple days off to read a book really makes it hard to keep up with the shows). In no particular order, here is more of what I loved from London:

1/ Naughty school girls at Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely f/w 2012

simone rocha f/w 2012

I love discovering a new designer to add to my list of ones to watch. Earlier this season, in New York, there was Calla. Now, in London, there's Simone Rocha.

Rocha, a Dublin native, studied fashion at the National College of Art and Design in Ireland before getting her MA at the prestigious Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in London. Since then, she has shown two collections with Fashion East, collaborated with Topshop, been named one of Selfridges "Bright Young Things" of 2011, and had her line picked up by Colette and Opening Ceremony.

For fall 2012, the second season she has shown solo, Rocha dreamed up a collection of delicate dresses, coats and peplum tops in shimmery lace and tulle, fuzzy knits, tweed and clear PVC accented with silver leather and ponyhair. It was an absolutely lovely collection that makes me very excited to see what Rocha does next. See the complete collection here and watch the runway video below.

mcq f/w 2012

Watching the livestream of the McQ show was the highlight of the fall shows so far (if missed the broadcast, never fear - I will share video of the show as soon as it's available). This season was the first time the house of McQueen showed the contemporary little sister line on the runway, and what creative director Sarah Burton sent down the leaf covered catwalk did not disappoint. The models, looking like an army of hyper fashionable aliens stomping through a deliciously creepy forest, were dressed in house signatures like sharply tailored military coats, sheer embroidered bodysuits layered under tartan plaid or velvet dresses with tone-on-tone embroidery, and lots and lots of tulle. The collection perfectly translated the dark romanticism and Savile Row tailoring the house is renowned for without dumbing it down for the contemporary customer. The clothes are at once fantastical and accessible, luxurious but attainable. The show was so good it made me shiver. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

burberry prorsum f/w 2012

A Burberry show is always about the outwear first. This season, the coats were incredibly beautiful, done in fabrics like herringbone tweed, plaid wool cashmere, down filled silk, and in silhouettes ranging from cropped aviators and to iridescent skirted puffers. Many of the coats had peplums, big utility pockets, or both, a theme that was carried through on pencil skirts. Other must-haves from the clothing side of the equation include so-adorable-I-want-them-all sweaters with whimsical animal motifs including owls, puppies, and songbirds, and pencil skirts with a cascading ruffle down the front.

A Burberry show is also about the accessories. Oh, the accessories. Every bag carried down the runway was lust worthy, the studded gloves on the hands holding them equally so. The studded clutch with fox head detail will surely be on many wish lists (and in fact can be purchased right now on the Burberry website, along with lots of other bags and many of the coats from the collection, through February 26), and the bow belts are a wardrobe no brainer.

All in all, the fall 2012 Burberry Prorsum collection is filled with the fantastic, quintessentially British, beautifully made pieces the 156-year-old luxury brand is known for. See the complete collection here and watch the full show below.


erdem f/w 2012

The colors, prints and textures in Erdem's fall collection are fascinating. Known for his quintessentially feminine designs, Erdem Moralioglu (who I sometimes think of as London Fashion Week's Jason Wu), explored some darker territory this season. His signature ladylike silhouettes appeared in an acidic color palette overlayed with black lace that looked like paint splatters or black leather cut to look like the shadow of that lace. "This time I wanted to feel very strong," he told WWD. "I like the idea of mixing the wrong with the right." See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

jonathan saunders f/w 2012

I took a little break from stalking online images of the fall collections to read a fascinating book about the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's over the weekend, but I'm back to my old ways, and I'm pretty excited about what I'm seeing on the London runways. Jonathan Saunders colorful collection is one example of what make London Fashion Week so exciting. Season after season, I adore the way Saunders uses prints and color. For fall, the prints run the gamut from geometric to floral, in a vibrant assortment of colors and textures that all end working together in perfect harmony. I'm particularly in love with the sweaters and the plaid dresses with sheer insets in the pleated skirts. They're the kind of thing I want to wear immediately. Right. Now. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

sole seekers, show your love and win some louboutin!

In celebration of 20 years of red-soled wonders, Neiman Marcus has launched the "Sole Seekers" social media challenge. Now through March 10, Twitter and Instagram users can upload images of Christian Louboutin shoes to an online photo spread in the hopes of winning a pair of the coveted heels for their own closet. This is how it works:

1/ Submit photos of either your own Christian Louboutin shoes, Christian Louboutin shoes you see at Neiman Marcus stores, or Louboutins on NeimanMarcus.com using Instagram or Twitter.

2/ Make sure to include @NeimanMarcus, @LouboutinWorld, AND #NMLoubiLove in the tweet/caption to be entered to win.

3/ Enter as many times as you want from both Instagram and Twitter, but you have to submit a different image each time, and the images you submit must be of shoes manufactured by Louboutin or you'll be disqualified.

4/ All images will be aggregated into a single feed and compiled into an album under the Sole Seekers tab on the Neiman Marcus Facebook page and as a post on NMDaily, the Neiman Marcus Blog.

5/ One winner will be selected at random.

Simple enough, right? So what are you waiting for? Start showing your Loubi Love now for your chance to win!!!

an ode to the little black dress

Audrey Hepburn, her hair piled on top of her head, draped in Tiffany jewels and wearing that Givenchy black dress, cigarette holder in hand as she smiles coyly. How that image - the image that catapulted Audrey from ingenue to fashion icon when Breakfast at Tiffany's premiered 50 years ago - came to be is the subject of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., the charming book by Sam Wasson that I read cover to cover over the weekend.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite movies of all time, for so many reasons. Despite its flaws (hello, Mickey Rooney as Yunioshi), the story of Holly Golightly, the little call girl who could, is so absolutely endearing and romantic, Audrey so incredibly chic and fabulous.

And there's that Givenchy dress.


wish list: prada spring 2012 runway shoe collection

The Prada spring 2012 runway shoe collection has hit Neiman Marcus, and I can't decide which pair I love the most. Prada always turns out gorgeous, creative, trendsetting accessories, as well as timeless classics, season after season. The brand's spring shoes are a playful take on classic car motifs like flames and taillights. They are the perfect compliment to the '50s pinup bodysuits and wasp waist dresses in the spring ready-to-wear collection, but they would also look amazing with a pair of cuffed skinny jeans and a simple white shirt. Which pair do you want in your closet?

tune in: mcq live from london fashion week!

The fact that some of my favorite designers have been live streaming their shows this season makes me so happy. I've had front row seats to Cushnie et Ochs, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and Marc by Marc Jacobs, all from the comfort of my office. So you can bet your Manolos I'll be tuning into the McQ show on Monday, February 20. The broadcast starts at 3 p.m. EST over at www.facebook.com/alexandermcqueen.


watch this: gladys picks her lfw wardrobe

London Fashion Week kicked off today, and want to know what makes it so fun? Besides being in London, of course. London Fashion Week is quirky. It has things like an official Canine Correspondent, Gladys, a Pug with a runway resume that includes Mulberry. Check her out as she tries to find the perfect thing to wear to the shows this season.

calvin klein f/w 2012

Beautiful and powerfully feminine without descending into the warrior woman stereotype, Calvin Klein's fall collection was deceptively simple and streamlined. Inspired by the Bauhaus women of the 1920s, the collection had an architectural grace that isn't easy to come by. The colors, textures and silhouettes were gorgeous, especially a leather bodice dress with a white wool skirt that perfectly combined the hard and soft aspects of the collection. What a beautiful way to end New York Fashion Week. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

ralph lauren f/w 2012

This season, the Ralph Lauren woman left spring's glittering world of Gatsby behind to go hunting in the English countryside. It's not unfamiliar territory for Ralph Lauren, who does tweedy jodhpurs and three-piece suits better than anyone, but the collection still felt fresh. The use of leopard was an unexpected complement to all the equestriana, and the velvet pieces gave the collection a lush appeal. Several of the evening gowns were absolutely breathtaking, including a black velvet gown with a jeweled turtleneck collar that draped down the open back. Plus, there were top hats. And who can resist a good top hat? See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

elizabeth and james f/w 2012

Elizabeth and James, the five-year-old contemporary label designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, is one of my longtime favorites (seriously, between Elizabeth and James and their high-end line The Row, aren't you so glad they shelved their teenybopper acting careers to turn into serious fashion designers?). This season, for the first time they showed Elizabeth and James during fashion week. Why? "It just felt like the right time," Mary-Kate told WWD. Good enough for me, because the clothes were definitely right. Let's see...what must I have for fall...hmm, pretty much everything. Definitely the opening olive drab parka with the luxe fur trimmed hood. Ditto the white oxford shirtdress with asymmetrical hem, the ivory peacoat, cable sweater, plaid pencil skirt, burgundy suit and cardigan, and the jacquard peplum top. The look is deliciously chic with a touch of Ivy League co-ed, and I can't resist it. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

proenza schouler f/w 2012

Proenza Schouler's fall collection is the apotheosis of the aggressive feminine energy and Asian influence that are two of the season's biggest trends so far. The show opened with voluminous, oversize-yet-still-minimalistic white poplin jackets, shirt dresses and trousers before segueing into some utterly brilliant leather pieces. Here, the focus was on texture, with intricate woven leather miniskirts, fur lined moto jackets and sweatshirts. Karate coats came in a leather net and quilted leather. The show closed with gorgeous silk and chinoiserie brocade sweatshirts, skirts and mini dresses. In a video interview with WWD, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez said they wanted to create a textural collection while avoiding typical fall fabrics like wool and cashmere. They succeeded, and then some. Their fall offering is anything but typical and one of the most exciting of the week. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD


watch this: the fashion fund, episode 4

In this week's episode of The Fashion Fund, the 10 finalists are given a design challenge: Using an inspiration kit from L'Oreal, create a head-to-toe look for a "red carpet rebel" that will be presented at a cocktail party at Anna Wintour's home. No pressure or anything.

marchesa f/w 2012

You can always count on Marchesa for an absolutely beautiful collection. This season, design duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig found inspiration in "Soul Carried To Heaven," a 19th Century painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Most of the collection focused on the angelic side of the equation - winged embroidery, a profusion of white feathers - but some of the pieces explored the dark side. I mean, that soul going to heaven is dead, after all. The human - aka, mortal - side was explored in the more grounded looks, including an exquisite laser cut leather dress, as well as some sheer dresses layered over anatomical skeleton embroidered bodysuits. As interesting as those pieces are, though, don't expect to see them on the Oscars red carpet, which is a mere 10 days away. No, the starlets in attendance, including George Clooney's current arm candy, Stacy Keibler, will stick with the full on angelic glamour of the collection's heavenly gowns. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD


michael kors f/w 2012

Michael Kors is as all-American as baseball or apple pie, and this season his beautiful collection looked like it would be right at home on the range and in the mountains of West. Buffalo check and red and black striped blanket wool, thick knit sweaters, and leather gave outerwear, skirts and dresses a rugged sensibility. Of course, Kors' name is also synonymous with luxury, so there was plenty of that to go around as well. The plethora of fur on the runway came in all forms, from plush coats to accessories, including hats and gloves. Some of the rugged sweaters were paired with delicate, shimmering lace skirts, and his evening gowns were a study in glamour. Seriously, it will be a crime if the silver deco gown or the black long sleeved gown with keyhole front and open back isn't on the Oscars red carpet. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

rodarte f/w 2012

For fall 2012, the Mulleavy sisters found the inspiration for their latest Rodarte collection in the Australian Outback. As dreamy, offbeat and romantic as ever, this season the designers focused on dusty hues, subtle aboriginal elements, and brilliant shearling aviator coats, jackets and even a dress. Those shearling pieces were some of the best in the collection, as were the two exquisite black leather sheath dresses and the cave painting hand print that closed the show. This season also marks the first-ever Rodarte shoe collection (in the past they've collaborated with the likes of Christian Louboutin), and the footwear didn't disappoint. The lucite heels on several pairs were filled with colorblocked sand, and the lace-up boots with geometric tribal beading are amazing. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

oscar de la renta f/w 2012

The brilliant Oscar de la Renta will turn 80 this year, but that didn't stop him from creating one of the freshest, most youthful collections of New York Fashion Week. Girly and frothy with clever prints and styling, this collection was de la Renta for the digital generation - with plenty thrown in to keep Oscar lovers of all ages happy. The youth quake began when the first model hit the runway wearing a short skirt and fur-trimmed parka in a boldly graphic print featuring oversize crystal baubles. The print dominated the collection, appearing on everything from sugary pink and pastel blue to deep peacock, and was accompanied by a fantastic print of the facets of a gemstone as seen through the extreme close-up of a microscope. There were also plenty of real jewels in the show, accenting belts and collars or encrusting the sleeves of a pink sweater. Without sacrificing any of his trademark sophistication and luxury, de la Renta's latest collection is sure to capture the hearts - and pocketbooks - of a new generation of fashion lovers. See the complete collection here.

Photos: Style.com

narciso rodriguez f/w 2012

The first thing that struck me when I saw the Narciso Rodriguez collection was that the color palette - olive, orange, burgundy, chartreuse, charcoal - was particularly lovely (and a welcome relief from the black and white dominating the fall runways). I was also struck by the beauty of interplay between those colors as well as the textures of the various fabrics used in the collection. Rodriguez told WWD that "collaging, collecting, color, film stills, many artists, the film world" were the inspirations for the collection. It's a cerebral approach to fashion that resulted in a pretty great collection. (But I could have done without the mullet skirts that closed the show.) See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD