By Tanya Dukes
Smartly tailored pieces have always been Armani’s calling card and the fall 2009 collection played to that strength. Soft skirts and body-conscious cropped pants were shown with jackets that were cropped and tweedy, with soft peplums or gently draped from the anchor of a strong shoulder, all seemingly perfectly effortless to wear. The color scheme didn’t stray far from grey, navy and black but accessories in majorly glossy patent leather — newsboy caps, clutch handbags, and gamine driving gloves — gave the neutral colors a reflective lift. Stunning evening columns doused with crystal beadwork that set off fireworks were a reminder that Giorgio Armani’s talents extend beyond the perfect suit.
There’s nothing like going back to one’s roots to get a strong, clear vision for the future. At Burberry, Christopher Bailey subtly revamped the brand’s heritage pieces and added inspiration from British cultural icons for a mix dubbed “modern nostalgia.” The Burberry trench coat underwent just enough tweaking to see the standard in a fresh, feminine new light: One crowd favorite trailed a fan of pleats, another, with slouchy shoulders and exaggerated lapels looked like a hip, downtown version of something plucked from Virginia Woolf’s wardrobe. A parade of dresses and skirts with pleated silk and silk velvet-brocade had an undeniable, almost-vintage prettiness.
Under Cristina Ortiz, Salvatore Ferragamo produced a pitch-perfect, strong, feminine collection. A line-up of pencil skirts and cropped, high-waisted pants topped with wide sleeved jackets in a range of proportions possessed a beautifully down-to-business attitude. And first-rate knitwear in oversized ribbing that curved around the body in dramatic lines offer a chic alternative to the run-of-the-mill pullover. Happily, in contrast to many fall collections, rich color didn’t take a back seat. Rich shades of raisin, tomato red, winter white and amethyst were integrated throughout.
Gucci will be the well-heeled rocker’s outfitter of choice. Everything an ultra-cool night crawler could want came down the runway, including fiercely sexy micro, micro minis, second-skin, leather and suede pants, tunics with graphic prints and glammed-out fur jackets. Start the workout regime now to be in top form in time for fall. In case the nocturnal crowd needs to make a smart showing during the day, a double-breasted tweed coat, and a series of slick, close-fitting suits won’t cramp the style.