PRE-FALL COLLECTIONS 2013 : 2MATTHEW WILLIAMSON - ZAC POSEN
Part 2 of my look at the current Pre-Fall Collections, which are still going on right now - (and I'd thought they'd finished !! That's what comes of not having an official schedule for them !!) - consists of Matthew Williamson, McQ (the fairly new diffusion line from Alexander McQueen), Michael Kors, Monique L'Huillier, Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Vera Wang, Versace and if course, that master of the wiggle dress for curvy women, Zac Posen, whose divine 50s style photo-shoot provided my cover shot - isn't it fine ?!!MATTHEW WILLIAMSON
Matthew Williamson's collection was mostly really great day-wear, for work and at out and about - but his evening designs were fabulous too - not that many, but enough to get me going !! I loved his short cocktail dress embellished with ostrich feathers round the hemline, and the silver/midnight blue colour combination sequinned shift, which were my first two choices here:-
Elsewhere, he really went for the bead-embellished neckline and/or necklaces , using coral and brass colours...I think the dress on the right below is the same design as the dress above left, but in a different colour...
In the long length, he did some really nice designs, especially the draped chestnut brown dress on the left !! I'd love to see the neckline on the right-hand dress, but we can't at the mo' - someone will just have to wear it somewhere...
Here's one dress in two colour-ways - both with beaded necklines - and they're both beautiful in their own individual ways...
I'm glad he resisted the temptation to give this coral-coloured dress some coral beading, as it really doesn't need it, and the diagonal neckline won't really sit well with any necklace anyway. Instead he put the beading onto the bag, but I do wish it had some of the coral colour in it to tie it to the dress.McQ
I loved these amazing prints from the McQ label, especially the fiery orange/pink one - it's gorgeous !! They look like a digital version of a zebra skin, on repeat mode... MICHAEL KORS
There was a very strong 1950s retro vibe going on over at Michael Kor's collection, with plenty of pencil skirts teamed with strapless bodices and a couple of deep V-neckline sweaters, one worn with a full rose print skirt, and the other worn with a leather pencil skirt.
I loved the whole high stand-away collar look on some of his black dresses - they were wonderfully theatrical, and very flattering at the same time. I also loved the colour scheme, which was very simple but striking - black, white, shocking pink, yellow-ochre and a sort of chartreuse/lime green.
Cat's eye sunglasses, long gloves and high stiletto courts finished the whole look off completely... MONIQUE L'HUILLIER
Monique came out with a beautiful collection of evening dresses, draped with sheer chiffon and lace, and dripping with crystal beading - whilst it was quite a modern and forward-looking collection where her day-wear was concerned, her evening gowns felt much more like her usual line of thinking. She is an immensely popular designer for the red carpet, and so we can certainly expect some of these to be making an appearance at the Oscars, I reckon !!
I particularly loved dress no. 6 here - the pale grey column gown with diagonal chevron-effect beading down the front of the dress and similar beading down the outside of the sheer sleeves - very unusual. I also really liked no. 7, the midnight blue dress with sequins all down the front in a big rectangular block.
Monique L'Huillier also does a fine line in wedding dresses, for which she brings out a separate collection during Bridal Couture Week, but she also often includes a white dress at the end of her RTW Collections, in the traditional wedding dress spot. It's usually a dress that can work as a wedding dress or an evening gown - here's the white dress that appeared at the end of this collection - very beautiful it is too !!NAEEM KHAN
Oh - how I love
Naeem Khan's gorgeous work - he is the absolute master
of the beaded evening gown, and comes out with rather Asian and Oriental-inspired motifs quite often. This time around though, he went off to Medieval Europe for some of his ideas, namely the small selection of black dresses with black, red, white and silver beading down the bodice, that had a really heavy Tudor/Baroque feel to them.
The other line of thought that he pursued was the era of the 20s/30s with heavily beaded flapper-style shift dresses and languid bias-cut evening gowns, all heavily encrusted with tiny crystal beads in Art Deco stripes and sinuous curves - absolutely beautiful work, and very labour-intensive indeed - perfect for making a real entrance on the red carpet.
He is immensely popular too, of course, and so he is currently in LA, meeting with several stylists who have big client lists to fulfil this awards season - so we can deduce from that that he may be a big player this Spring. OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Oscar de la Renta is another popular designer when it comes to the big red carpet events - he is a very safe option if you want to make a big entrance, as his dresses tend to be of the traditional ball-gown variety. There were quite a few options in this collection towards the end, and quite a few choices for cocktail dresses too, for the after-parties...
Don't forget, lots of stars choose two dresses - one for the actual awards ceremony, to make their entrance on the red carpet, and maybe, hopefully, go up on stage to collect an award, and then a second little cocktail-length party dress to change into for the after-party !! Your average red carpet event tends to be very long night indeed if you are lucky enough to be a nominee...
I'd be very interested in seeing gown no. 6 here being worn by someone - although I kind of wish that it had been a strapless design rather than having superfluous shoulder-straps, I do really like the beautiful double butterfly-like fastenings down the front.
Two of his usual big ball-gowns, both heavily embellished with silver embroidery and beading down the bodice, and all over the skirt - these dresses are truly for making an entrance in... PRABAL GURUNG
Prabal Gurung is yet another Asian designer, from Nepal, who is very popular with the red carpet stars of Hollywood - and this time, he brought out some cracking designs for the up and coming awards season. I loved the second dress here, in black and white - it's a lovely and unusual halter-neck style. I also was rather taken by the gorgeous pink lily print on a deep teal background - it struck me as exotic and very striking !!
Two designs from this collection have already been seen out and about this month, worn by actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is pictured within the set below...
Here's Jennifer, wearing the teal, black and pink stripe shift dress at the AFI Awards earlier this month, accessorised with the same shoes as the model, designed by Casadei for Prabal Gurung's collection.
Here's the second dress chosen by Jennifer, this time for the Critic's Choice Movie Awards 2013 - a really interesting black dress with a black harness-like leather yoke... VERA WANG
Vera Wang's designs haven't been seen on the major red carpets for a while, as she has gone away from designing full length ultra-glamorous evening gowns for a couple of seasons - this collection is no exception - just a few long designs, including this purple top and matching skirt below. However. we may well see some of these amazing satin jacquard designs at the after-parties this year - so keep your eyes peeled for them, as I think they're lovely... VERSACE
Wow - this really felt like a revisit to the old Versace style of Gianni's day, back in the late 80s - lots and lots of highly coloured gold embroidery on black. Now I know that Donnatella did a little revisit to Gianni's last ever collection a few season's back, in order to finish off some ideas that really were left hanging in the air when he was so brutally murdered, but now she has been carrying on in that vein for a while, and really getting to grips with the original Versace style !!
This is an interesting prospect because she has done so
well at making the House of Versace her own over the last ten years or so - now it's a toss-up between being a total retrograde-step and generally a bad thing, OR a forward step by coming up with a new signature style that combines the two together.
My money's on the second option...
Fabulous accessories, as always with Versace - I loved the sassy heels, both the gold-studded cowboy boots and the ankle-strap stilettos... ZAC POSEN
Zac Posen, as we all know, loves a good 50s style fishtail-sheath dress, and also has a taste for 50s style photo-shoots for his Pre-Fall and Resort Collections - so much so that he was one of the designers being talked about for the Head Designer at Christian Dior - a position that he may well hold someday, but not now...
His Pre-Fall Collection was his usual over-the-top selection of extravagant evening gowns that we all love so much, and, especially as the major red carpet events are just round the corner, I am looking forward to seeing some of these sashaying down that red carpet - it'll have to be a star with real presence already who pulls these off successfully, as they will look really
daft on someone who doesn't know how to carry them off !!
Guess which one of these amazing gowns we'll see first, and who will be wearing it ?!! The Golden Globes are tonight, and so, let's lay our predictions down now - feel free to make a guess in the comments below...