News & Runway

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 Hits and Misses: Part 1 (Forum Buzz)

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2012 Paris

With Paris Fashion Week come high expectations that the best of the best in fashion will cap off a month of runway shows with truly excellent and awe-inspiring designs. Some of the designers who have shown thus far rose to the challenge and met those expectations, while others fell flat and disappointed us. Here are some of the Fashion Spot forums’ picks for the best and worst in Paris so far this season.
Paris Spring 2012 Hits - A.F. Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, Jean Paul Gaultier

The Hits: A.F. Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, Jean Paul Gaultier


“Paris gets me so excited and A.F. Vandevorst is one of the reasons why. The details are perfection; the cuts and draping are heavenly; and the marching band reference has been used in such a unique way.” [TREVOFASHIONISTO]
“It's brilliant as usual. I can't wait to see a 360 view or video, because that is what makes them such geniuses, their detail to every single angle. Gosh, I love the way their designs are so masculine, but balanced with sexy draping, which gives it a touch of femininity. The printed pieces are out of this world.” [HeatherAnne]
“I love it. Great color palette, very cohesive, amazing styling. I just love that very feminine but strong look that only Belgian designers seem to master so amazingly well. And I think this is the first time ever that I think the headpieces actually enhance the collection. I normally hate everything they put on models' heads in fashion shows. It looks cool here because the headpieces are interesting but not ridiculous.” [Psylocke]
“I have never seen a collection of Ann Demeulemeester's that I don't like, and most of them, like this one, I love. The delicate sheerness, the drama of the ombre pieces, the shoes that you can walk – nay, stomp – in, the hats, the tassels and probably other brilliant little details that I am missing at the moment, all make for a strong and beautiful ‘Goth-Gypsy’ collection.” [Not Plain Jane]
“The ombre effects win me over. I actually really like the softness compared with last season which was very tough and almost rigid. It's like she was purging that harder emotion last season that was very cathartic and now she feels a little more euphoric.” [Scott]
“Such a beautiful vagabond vibe with the floppy hats, the retro blazers with the perfectly placed flower detail, the earthy ombre tones, the vintage looking crocheted sweaters, wind-whipped hair, and all those beautiful flowing sheers. It's so refreshing to me to see something a bit lighter from her, and to not see her resort to her go-to elements like feathers and corsets. What an absolute dream.” [HeatherAnne]
“What a fun blast of deconstruction and fetish wear. I like how shirts and suits are pulled apart and twisted, with bloomers showing and so forth. And those tattoo prints, especially on the tights, are fabulous, especially because real skin tattoos are mixed in via the eclectic cast … Yes, Jean Paul, we do tend to compartmentalize our lives, but kindly you blur all the lines for us and we get to see the sexy stuff underneath the suits and shirt! Never take your tongue out of your cheek.” [Not Plain Jane]
“For once, I really love Gaultier. The clothes were beautiful, the hair and makeup was beautiful, and I'm definitely glad he's back to his previous way of showing; the coziness really compliments his collections.” [VogueParisLover]
“Definitely my favorite S/S 2012 collection so far! I'm just stunned how JPG can excite me season after season. This is all so over the top and that's exactly what fashion is supposed to be in my eyes. Those pieces with the corsets are amazing; no one can make lingerie look so desirable as him. Fantastic!!! And I also love those number cards he uses in his shows, gives me the feel of the old golden times of fashion.” [yesitsdagny]
Paris Spring 2012 Misses - Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf, Kanye West

The Misses: Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf, Kanye West


“Balenciaga looks pretty bad as of late, and it could very well have to do with both Sebastien Peigné and Alistair Carr not working with the house anymore. You look at both designers’ work and even though there is more than a hint of previous Balenciaga in it, it has a much more uncontrived flair about it than what Nicolas Guesquière is doing on his own. These clothes look like a forced, fashion-y statement and do not come up as being instantly desirable as previous Balenciaga smash hits such as the brocaded silk blazers, the motorcycle jackets, the aviator shearlings or archival egg-shaped coats.” [tricotineacetat]
“I cant unsee Darth Vader when I see the hats.” [FND74]
“Balenciaga is just another name to add to the reams of uninspired and unoriginal collections being shown this season. Ghesquiere appears to have been so uninspired this season that he has badly draped a lot of different fabrics on a stand, added some cheap patch pockets and some of Cristobal's own hats and called it a concept. Twelve out of thirty-six looks were tops matched with hot pants, is this Ghesquiere trying to do wearable?” [Crying Diamonds]
“This collection is gimmicky, tacky, and just plain bad. What happened to the Viktor & Rolf I used to love? Lately they've only been able to put out sub-par collections; this one being the worst to date. The only thing I remotely liked was the casting.” [VogueParisLover]
“There are one or two reasonable looks, but it is all too costume-y, and it looks pretty cheap too. I'm expecting to see lots of this in a local fancy-dress store soon. As a staged spectacle it's fine, as actual wearable garments it's not.” [Northern Star]
“There are a few nice pieces but I do expect more from them and I feel like we didn't get that.” [Label Basher]
“I was hoping for something over the top tacky but it's actually pretty tame and boring. Some nice ideas, bad execution. It's not that bad for someone's debut collection, but it's not good enough to be shown at Paris Fashion Week either.” [Psylocke]
“It's not that bad, seriously. There are some cute ideas but the fit is just embarrassingly awful. All and all it's average, a lot of hype and hot air. We've seen way way worse this season.” [Vitamine W]
“[The collection is] certainly not worse than other shows this season, his biggest mistake was to not have well made clothes. I could forgive some of the design if it were at least well constructed. I think he was a little pretentious to think that he could show this in Paris, if this had been in NYFW I think people wouldn't bash as much. I think people had high expectations since it's being shown in Paris and he didn't live up to that.” [fantastical]
“Not as bad as I was expecting but not great either. I can't help but feel he doesn't have a perspective to offer on womenswear. Some of the knit pieces are interesting but it doesn't blow me away. It's way too chunky in some outfits with loads of heavy layers and some of the looks are quite derivative. So it will be interesting to see what he can offer in the next round.” [Meg]

All images – IMAXtree, except Kanye West image –