Fall Fashion 2011: Fantasy Shopping- YSL | Givenchy

The tents are down and ostensibly fashion week is over but they were showing spring anyway so I’m not compelled to follow suit. I have one more subject to discuss- fantasy shopping. I made an initial foray into this in the spring but it included home goods. Now, after perusing over 10 magazines and 1,000s of photos online I’m rewarding myself with a hypothetical fall shopping trip. This is where I show you the pieces from various designers I would love to own even if I had nowhere to wear them but CostCo (wouldn’t that be fun!). You might be thinking ‘dear God she’s already shown us 6 designers with clothes for a life she doesn’t have’ but that’s different. In the case of Herrera, Karan, and Saab (my 3 absolute favorites) I want their entire collection. For this I’m talking about beautiful individual pieces.

My first choices are about pattern which is not my first choice simply because it doesn’t seem as practical- but what the hell, nothing about these picks is practical.

Dries van Noten (upper left and bottom) is not one of my favorite designers. While I understand his aesthetic it doesn't appeal to me. Too much color and pattern in each piece- it feels disjointed and frenetic and my eye becomes confused and tired. Not what I look for in fashion. However, this dress strikes a perfect balance of both color and pattern. Yes, there’s a lot going on but somehow it’s cohesive. I also love the mix of printed silk and the panels embroidered with black beads.

Pucci (upper right) is synonymous print and color so this dress is not breaking any design barriers. What attracts me are the smaller touches- the squared portrait neckline, the lace tucked into it at the bottom, and peeking out of the cuff. They add a ladylike touch to his exuberance.

My next two choices epitomize opulence: Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. YSL designer Stefano Pilati did an amazing array of menswear fabrics this fall (which I reviewed in trends) while Givenchy took seemingly athletic silhouettes and executed them into fresh chic separates.

For YSL I love both of these dresses for a multitude of reasons. On the left, the fabric has such depth of color it’s enough on its own but instead of overkill the feathery feel of the fringed plaid on the skirt elevates the whole look to another level of chic. Fresh. The dress on the right is a marvelous play on the menswear looks. The fabric is a rich black/taupe twist and the style is almost severe with its keyhole neck and belted waist. How fabulous then to add a Mildred Pierce 1940s fur shrug to top it off. A perfect blend of simple with extravagant. For those of you who are anti-fur I’m almost certain, based on the way the light is reflecting off the shrug, that it’s fake but I may be very mistaken because YSL would roll over in his grave to have anything fake on his runway. It will have to remain a mystery until I start getting invited to these shows and receive a look book (gives fabric details).

With Givenchy I went back to patterns but in a more refined way and a wonderful contrast to the styles themselves. The shirt dress is an almost austere silhouette with a point collar, straight sleeves, and an A-line skirt but all is softened by rich tones of navy and black played off against a pale yellow. Add to this a knee length black crinoline and it’s refinement meets fun.

I love this bright yellow even if it is a color that only works against certain skin tones. Here Tisci (Givenchy’s designer) takes a midriff baring sweatshirt (ala Flashdance) and amps it up in cashmere with silk iris patterned medallions on the sleeve. I’m not thrilled with the bared belly look but am willing to bet it will be cut a bit longer for retail. The skirt is a perfect high waisted pencil silhouette in silk printed with the same purple iris’ favored throughout the collection.

There you have it. I’ve lived in the land of designer fashion for as long as I can this fall. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And because I’m bad at goodbye (and need positive fun things to think about these days) there may be a practical fall fashion post in the not too distant future. I’m having too much fun!


  1. I think you should keep writing about fashion, as I love your voice when you do. A practical guide would be fun. How about shoes? I love shoes. You should do a shoe post ;)

  2. Ooh yes, shoes & bags please!


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