by Beth Hammarlund
At last Thursday night’s Nordstrom Designer Preview, guests were treated with the opportunity to enjoy the Fall 2012 collections from a runway seat. All the looks shown had already been down the runway in New York, London, Milan and Paris, so plenty of the pieces had already been scrutinized by fashion nuts obsessed with style.com. But a photo can never capture the true presence of fashion, and seeing the garments in person changed several of the first impressions that I had formed while hunched over my laptop.
Two collections that adored during fashion week and love even more after last night’s runway presentation were Italian labels Marni and Prada. Marni’s first floral silk dress was exceptional, and a black and gold brocade coat was a show-stopper. Prada’s tailored purple print suit gave a subtle nod to the pajama trend, without making the model look like she’d just woken up from a nap.
Dries Van Noten is a personal favorite, and though I appreciated the fall collection when it was shown in Paris, in person it was clear that the photos did not do any of the clothing justice. Models walked down the runway in fluid silk dresses and heavy wool coats, while Björk’s melancholy trill rang through the speakers.
My feelings about Oscar de la Renta’s collection remained the same, though more extreme. His gowns were glorious creations that transformed the models into other-worldly creatures, but many of his suits and daywear were a bit of a snoozefest. This is in no small part due to the fact that his loyal consumer base is an older, more conservative one, but it’s hard to get excited about a tweed sheath when you know what he can do with a gown.
I’m not a huge Michael Kors fan, and I can’t bring myself to buy fur unless it’s vintage, but I must admit that the Pologeorgis for Michael Kors furs that went down the runway were shockingly beautiful. I couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship.
The models were styling in Old Hollywood glam, with matte red lips and bedroom waves. Towards the end of the show, a dab of red glitter was added to the center of their lips, creating an awesome Dorothy’s ruby slippers effect that I hope to try out myself.
Though the volume of the music could have been turned down five or six notches, the song selections and mixes mostly worked, except for the odd choice of a remix of “California Dreamin’” which played as Oscar de la Renta’s stiff autumnal suits were shown. Rye Rye’s “Shake Twist Drop” was hilariously paired with St. John’s collection, while Prada’s display was musically accessorized with Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp’s cover of “You’re So Vain.” That combination delighted me to no end, and may have been what tipped the scales for Prada to take my personal Best in Show Award over Marni.
all photos courtesy of Nordstrom