Lacoste

Felipe Oliveira Baptista's debut effort at Lacoste had the French brand's signature crocodile swapped out for relaxed resort wear in a Pop Art palette of fire red, royal blue and plenty of colour blocking. Portugese-born Baptista said the 'scandalously simple' designs for stylish boys and chic girls were just right for drinks by the pool at a Mallet-Stevens villa. Easy tricks on classics created fancy effects - like Lacoste's signature piqué dress shown in knitted silk, or a polo dress in an evening length. Best of all? The orange-lens goggle glasses.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Lacoste

Lacoste

Alexander Wang

We're guessing that night-crawling, club-loving Alexander Wang probably doesn't spend much time on the tennis courts or the fishing docks, but laser-cut netting played a big role in his spring collection anyway. The cool see-through effect allowed bright shirts to pop out from behind black perforated-nylon jumpsuits, skirts and boxy jackets. It was the perfect melding of kinky fetish and fresh sport. In the same vein Wang played with a rich fauna print, rendered in denim-blue degradé, which he placed on zipped puff jackets and pencil skirts. It was a totally cool, hardcore look - just right for the off-duty athlete at 3am.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Altuzarra

We're keeping our eye on Joseph Altuzarra, one of New York's most exciting young talents. His fresh take on tired silhouettes and been-there prints is what keeps his audience - and growing customer base - coming back for more. This season he plucked wildly bright florals from a fecund tropical garden and transmuted them with zigzag stripes, surf-ready scuba gear and black-leather belts. Nothing is white-bread boring in Altuzarra's imaginative hands: his black long-sleeved, fishtail cocktail dress is sliced with diamond cut-outs and patent harlequin inserts. And a red-leather biker jacket gets radiator padding, a thick gold zip and cream cuffs.

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Victoria Beckham

This season soccer wife and style slave Victoria Beckham took a 180-degree turn away from the ladies-who-lunch aesthetic that has dominated her collections thus far. In its place was a sporty lineup of scuba-ready dresses with latch straps and big zips, paired with scrunched-up vinyl baseball caps. We like the idea that Beckham may have done her research for this collection while planted in the sand on a Malibu beach. Of course, by not abandoning Beckham's beloved cling-wrap silhouette the look retained its established allure. But the designer also played with volume in the form of pastel-satin anoraks (just right for the rain), worn with miniskirts and ankle-tied flats a girl could really run around in.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Y-3

For men of a certain age, Y-3's spring collection must have felt like a nostalgic flick through their vinyl collections, the ghosts of the Specials, the Clash (Sandinista era) and even the Bay City Rollers all stalking the runway. Sport – and London's impending role as host of the 2012 Olympics – were the official themes, but the heart of this collection was an homage to British youth culture, with Yohji Yamamoto and creative director Dirk Schönberger taking us on a whistle stop tour of UK street style, taking in 2 Tone pork pie hats, classic English checks, Mod-era prints and even a touch of tartan. For the men, things were kept relatively simple, the most dandified touch being an unstructured suit in exaggerated houndstooth check. For the women, meanwhile, there were a few more surprises, mainly in the form of skirts that converted into shorts – worn with one side as each – ruffles and plaid jeggings. Most striking of all was the eyebrow-raising combination of Union Jack scuba shoes and military fatigues. Rule Britannia

Y-3

Y-3

Thakoon

Print is a hallmark of Thakoon Panichgul's work, especially when the print in question looks like it's been the victim of a car crash. Pulling off clashing patterns and cuts is no easy feat, but this designer makes it look easy. His dancing botanicals were the perfect foil for blurred pixels and sweeping paisleys, with thick bands of metallic taping holding it all together. Even the models' hair, sprayed electric blue or bubble-gum pink, got in on the spin cycle and added an irreverent twist to this strong collection.

Thakoon

Thakoon

Thakoon

Thakoon

Tommy Hilfiger

We love the voyage Tommy Hilfiger has been on since he rediscovered his preppy roots; it's been fresh, fun and remarkably desirable. This season's highlights came in the form of pastel plaids, pyjama striping and giant asymmetrical blocks of colour. Like the blue camouflage print, also presented this season, none of it seems convincing on paper. But trust us, and take a look at the photos here: it works.

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Donna Karan

The sight of a sprightly ponytail never fails to put us in a good mood. So seeing the hair at Donna Karan yanked to new horizontal heights, her models prancing more like stallions than ponies, was a certain happy pill yesterday in New York. It all fitted in nicely with an African-tinged collection where stacked-wood tribal jewellery and graphic paint-brush prints were updated on fresh silhouettes. Skin-tight dresses were draped with clingy silks and looked as if Madame Grès had made a run with her surfboard down to Topanga Canyon. Which, like the rest of this strong collection, was not a wrong turn at all.

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Rodarte

The Mulleavy sisters were inspired by Van Gogh this season so it came as no surprise to find more than one sunflower and swirling star making an appearance on stage. But being artists themselves, Kate and Laura had no intention of literally knocking off the great man. In fact there was something almost cosmic about this collection, with arm holes taking on the angular structure of a Star Trek uniform, neon green leather puckered in a space-age style, and the models' eyes at times resembling black holes. Not that the collection was all hard-core. In fact, the tulle or silk dresses were soft feminine concoctions that combined pattern, painterly strokes and beautiful construction - most of which was hidden to the naked eye.

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Diesel Black Label

There is no chance of clearing the security check at Heathrow in any one of the pieces that Sophia Kokosalaki dreamed up for the Diesel Black Label show. The collection was a metallic fest from start to finish with the designer crinkling and tinting the shiny metal leather fabric into every texture possible, including a beguiling reptilian surface. The shades ranged from classic robot silver all the way to tinny peach pastel and reflective petrol green. The heavy metal was toned down with wearable pinstripe cotton shirts and mannish jackets in cotton or suede.

Diesel Black Label

Diesel Black Label

Diesel Black Label

Diesel Black Label

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Clean is a relative term, especially when used in reference to Marc Jacobs, who is known to pile on more than a little frill, flounce and well, at times, the whole kitchen sink. But for spring, Marc went positively minimal (for him), reducing his second Marc by Marc Jacobs line to a collection of sharp silhouettes in plain (for him) colours and practically no (for him) pattern. What we were left with was a wonderfully clean colour play where orange and navy made big noise, next to a bit of well-behaved striping and a few non-quacking bird prints. The loudest action occurred on the models' feet, which were planted inside multi-coloured leather high top sneakers with built in platforms, a visual conceit Jacobs clearly could not resist.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

3.1 Phillip Lim

The fabrics at 3.1 Phillip Lim were so light and crispy they almost inspired us to dream up potato chip advertising copy. But this is cotton we're dealing with, not carbohydrates. So Lim worked his darling summer material into mini skirts, pants, brief coloured jackets and airy shorts in a well-judged show with muted tones atop clear plastic sandals or chunky heeled pumps. The shapes were all minimal but tweaked slightly - with curved hems and a flap here and there to avoid just your average old cut. It was as satisfying as a guilt-free crisp, except for the price tag of course.

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

Proenza Schouler

It's not easy to strike a balance between ladylike and smoking hot, but Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez seem to have a cool handle on this slippery concept. The shapes from their spring 2012 show could have been pulled right out of Mrs. Cleaver's kitchen in Leave it to Beaver: nipped waists, appropriate below knee lengths, the shoulder just so. But the fabrics - floral fauna, African-esque raffia and sporty netting - rocked the looks out of 1957 and into a club near you. The striped printed leather patchwork shorts were awesome, as were the handbags, whose print effect was somewhere between pebbles and alligator scales.

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Ralph Lauren

Is Ralph Lauren auditioning as costume designer for Baz Luhrmann's remake of The Great Gatsby? It wouldn't be too much of a stretch given that Lauren was in fact responsible for Robert Redford's millionaire look in the 1974 version of the film. Whatever the motivation, the abundance of pastels, debutante printed tulle and cloche hats on Lauren's runway would feel right at home with a mint julep, sipped while lounging on the lawn. For an archetypal Daisy Buchanan-style champagne-soaked soirée - fountain included - there were the requisite satin or richly embroidered mermaid gowns finished off with glamorous tufts of ostrich feathers. Crisp whites, in sharply cut mannish suits or elegant flowing dresses, completed this ode to chicer times in the early 20th century.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Calvin Klein Collection

You will never get hit over the head or have anything shoved down your throat at a Calvin Klein fashion show. Francisco Costa is a subtle designer, which means you are forced to take a closer look - otherwise you might miss all the good stuff. Peer closely and you'll notice how Costa's neutral ivory colour has just a tinge of yellow to it, as if an egg yolk was added to a barrel of cream. The backs of sleeveless shirts have been gathered just so, creating a mini peplum. Hems are ever so slightly higher at the back of ladylike dresses than in the front, while collarless jackets are actually doubled, in über-thin bonding. In this age of in-your-face statements, sometimes it's nice to take a little break with a fashion whisperer.

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Marc Jacobs

The Marc Jacobs show, which consistently boasts the best edit and strongest point of view in all of New York, provides a barometer of where fashion is inevitably going to go in the next 12 months. The quick recap: we're rewinding to the 1920s, with plenty of flapper fringe, waistless dresses, headbands and dingy dance halls to boot. The cool thing about this show, and standard in the Jacobian world, is the mishmash of references that come crashing down onto the runway in a remarkably cohesive and cool way. Jacobs layered his retro-jazz shapes with a healthy dose of 1960s crumpled plastics, vinyl paillettes, mid-calf socks, droopy pantyhose, even sporty sweatshirts. Girls were missing their trousers, or the bottom half of their jackets, but no matter. It all made sense – including the good, old-fashioned 1980s cowboy boots, reimagined in a cropped, sheer-plastic and sliver-leather version. Yee-haw!

Photographs courtesy of Dan Lecca

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

Lacoste

Felipe Oliveira Baptista's debut effort at Lacoste had the French brand's signature crocodile swapped out for relaxed resort wear in a Pop Art palette of fire red, royal blue and plenty of colour blocking. Portugese-born Baptista said the 'scandalously simple' designs for stylish boys and chic girls were just right for drinks by the pool at a Mallet-Stevens villa. Easy tricks on classics created fancy effects - like Lacoste's signature piqué dress shown in knitted silk, or a polo dress in an evening length. Best of all? The orange-lens goggle glasses.


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