Pre-Fall 2012 Collections: Part III

At long last, as promised, here is the third and final post covering the Pre-Fall 2011 Collections – Part I & Part II are available as well for your viewing pleasure.

The first word that popped into my mind when I surveyed the photographs of the BCBG Max Azaria Pre-Fall 2012 collection was clean. Clean color schemes, clean lines, clean accessorizing. The show was full of beautiful details, patterns, fabrics and accessories, but the pairings still managed to be clean. As only Max and Lubov Azria can do. I especially liked the inclusion of dramatic leather hippie-inspired fringed belts. (You can read what FabSugar has to say about the BCBG show here.)

Wide royal blue and black stripes - Check. Bright colored laced - Check. Pleats - Check. Sheer fabrics - Check. Hippie inspired fringe - Check. Kick @$$ heels - Check. And yet, this looks clean and polished, not busy and overwhelming. Perfection.

Chic black & white evening wear that manages to be simultaneously reminiscent of medieval fashion and utterly modern. Now that's a hard combination to manage!

 
As much as I adored watching stars like Emma Stone, Diane Kruger and Zoe Saldana on the red carpet in Francisco’s pastel, second-skin creations this past year, I gasped when I saw his Pre-Fall 2011 collection. While the minimalism he’s known for was still present, the thicker fabrics and darker colors paired with more structured looks took Calvin Klein to a whole new level this season. Blacks, greys and taupes with a splash of burnt orange, all done in heavy wools and leathers.
 

I predict that this dress will be VERY popular this season. It has a cut and a color that are both incredibly flattering and the ribbing and pleat details are perfect for the red carpet. Can't you just picture Eva Mendes looking stunning in this at a movie premiere?

A belted black two piece look in wool and leather with pleats and a braided belt paired with peeptoe platforms, this could almost be mistaken for Michael Kors if the exquisite details and tailoring didn't scream Francisco Costa.

 
I’ve been a fan of Temperley London since I saw her Fall 2008 Ready-To-Wear show, which I thought was really fun, edgy and well done, sort of biker chick meets supermodel. That show had a much harder edge to it than this latest Temperley London show – hot off her successes of the past year (heard of Pippa Middleton, have you?) she presented a show with a more demure, high society vibe. Pearls, sequins, Swiss-dot tights, headbands, silk blouses, pewter rose belt buckles, A-line skirts, satin evening gowns, leather leggings, opera-length gloves… It was quite a collection (Emma Roberts’s holiday look was inspired by this show).
 

It's hard to imagine making a cheetah print look proper and ladylike. I guess the key is a shift silhouette, stockings, white driving gloves and a multi-strand pearl necklace.

This dress is beautifully done, with the buttons and subtle panelling of the fabric it is anything but plain. And the styling is perfect with the tights, pumps and belt.

 
While a lot of the shows that I’ve reviewed thus far have showcased separates, outerwear and dresses that the “average woman” could see herself wearing, there were also a number of houses that focused on a very different, very specific purpose. The red carpet. With the award season almost upon on, Badgle Mischka proved that they’re ready to dress their A-list clients for all their events in the coming months. The collection was on the conservative side, but in a classic, old-school glamour kind of way.
 

I love, love, love long-sleeved evening gowns. They're the height of elegance in my mind, evoking Hollywood's Golden Age - Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich...

This gown has Julianne Moore's name all over it. It's elegant and understated, but the color and the details at the shoulders & chest keep it interesting. I say hem it a little, add a slit up on side, throw on jeweled sandals and add a serious gold cuff.

 
Monique Lhuillier is another designer who has recently expanded her repertoire to include more separates and daywear, but who still specializes in red carpet statement gowns. This collection was mostly black, white and grey, with standout splashes of cobalt blue. Florals and lace were the primary patterns and there was very little styling or jewelry, the dresses were left to stand alone.
 

I don't love the peekaboo hemlines that were all over last season, but somehow the demure length and the gorgeous lace and neckline of this dress make it work.

Interesting necklines are a great way to distinguish yourself in a sea of beautiful women in beautiful dresses. I like the combination of the halter, the belted waist and the slit, it makes the gown formal, but still youthful. This would be a good one for choice for one of the younger stars this season.

How much does this look like one of the gowns that Grace Kelly wore when she was still gracing the red carpets of Hollywood?

 
Seriously, look!
 
 
 
Brazilian Carlos Miele’s Pre-Fall 2011 collection was entirely made up of red carpet worthy dresses, from movie premieres to the Oscars, he had something for everyone.
 

This is a beautiful gown that appears very simple but is anything but. I like that its one-shouldered but not a Goddess gown, I think the small skirt-like extra fabric at the waist helps. I also like the ribbon detailing at the hems.

I'm going to go ahead and guess that this print was inspired by Monet's Water Lilies series. What I love about this column gown is the unusual line along the bust, it's neither a traditional sweetheart neckline nor a strictly asymmetrical one.

 
Another Oscar-season regular is Naeem Khan, whose Pre-Fall 2012 collection included floor length gowns in black & white, florals, sequins and shimmering pastels. I was especially impressed by the printed dresses and the intricate beading. All of these dresses could be styled to be perfect for the red-carpet with some killer heels and tons of costume jewelry.
 

Paging Studio 54. Paging Studio 54. Everything about this gown, from the cut to the beading to the geometric belt, is calling for a dramatic, statuesque woman to make it hers. I hope Iman finds it!

Gorgeous beading adds a little something extra to this floral gown, which is really well done with its deep v-neck and skinny patent leather belted waist.

 
FabSugar has a final round-up of the looks 
 
Photos from Style.com unless otherwise cited.

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