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The End of Austerity – Ornate embellishments make a comeback

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Don’t let AW13’s loose fits and slouchy beanies fool you. Fashion’s penchant for all things ostentatious once again reared its overstated head for Fall, with plenty of embroidery, beading, lace and lacquer.

Old world charm

Alexandre Herchcovitch

Alexandre Herchcovitch’s evening dresses had a botanical inspiration and a Victorian feel, unashamedly regal, with corsetry, ruffles and bountiful bustle effects in printed silk. This is where couture and ready-to-wear meet, convenience and modesty taking a backseat to artful majesty. 

Badgley Mischka

Fast-forward a hundred years to Badgley Mischka where the motive moves towards modern opulence with a hint of forties revival. Sweeping gowns, metallic sequins, weighty jacquard and jewel-encrusted seams were worn with everyday ease, topped with a fur collar, statement choker or elbow length gloves. Fausto Puglisi brought things up-to-date with cuttingly edgy, leather-clad luxe where traditional religious iconography, plaid, patent and heavy embroideries collided to re-work gothic glamour. Robes, baseball caps, appliquéd mini dresses and beaded biker jackets spun a deliciously dark tale, finished with slashed sandals and lace-up ankle boots. The Vatican wouldn’t approve but we sure do.

Fausto Puglisi

Jacquard of all trades

Aquilano Rimondi

Reflective lurex threads and seductively sombre shades were spun into checked hounds tooth effects on Aquilano Rimondi’s floor length trenches, corseted dresses and structured skirt suits. The bright sparkle of a wide A-line jacquard skirt is elegantly controlled with a fitted black top, liberally peppered with jet beading. 

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli wasn’t as restrained and went all out in his gloriously gauche-glamour Milanese way. Plush velvet jacquards in sapphire and violet with dark contrasts of swirling motifs were seen on suits and fitted coats and echoed on knitted sweaters with silk florals in equally bold colours slotted in between. Vivienne Westwood’s interpretation of the jacquard trend saw zebra stripes in holographic metallic, woven into dark fabric to create a pop princess look that touched on her punk roots, as is customary - a flared party dress, lined with black tulle and styled with pearls, purple tights and Picasso-esque pop art make-up was proof of that.

Vivienne Westwood

All that glitters…

Sass & Bide

…Is gold. And all that shimmers this season is surely silver. High-shine has returned to luxurious effect at Sass & Bide, shown on a powerfully polished maxi dress in knitted silver, easy separates and sequined gowns. Antonio Marras mixed brilliantly burnished leather dresses and lustrous knits with bobby socks, plaids and matte wools, in a collection inspired by London’s early twentieth century artistic intelligentsia. The overall effect is a kooky juxtaposition, conceptual and very cool when paired with the sneakers shown elsewhere in the collection. 

Antonio Marras

At Clements Ribeiro, a gothic street wear aesthetic was polished up with silver chiffon, beaded and sequined in intricate florals with lurex leaves. An embroidered dress was paired with a black sweater and pointed brogues, giving luxe a leisurely appeal, while a silver dress was contrasted with a black embellished collar and a fitted shift featured all-over florals in bronze and copper, with a jewelled neckline.

Clements Ribeiro

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