Fashion Week gowns take glamour cues from bygone eras

Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:06pm EST
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Elegance, sophistication and a touch of mystery dominated the runway at New York Fashion Week as designers took cues from bygone eras to feature glamorous gowns in silk, brocades, lace and velvet in their 2012 Fall/Winter collections.

Like the Hollywood hit films "The Artist" and "Midnight in Paris" and the hugely popular TV drama "Downton Abbey" that captured an earlier age, designers created sleek, sultry styles with deep-cut fronts and backs with beads, embroidery and pleats reminiscent of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

For Los Angeles-based, Japanese-born Tadashi Shoji it was 1930s Shanghai that captured his imagination. Graceful silhouettes, column gowns, drop waists, embroidered lace, handkerchief hems and cap sleeves from the Golden Age of Shanghai, when the city was known as the "Paris of the Orient," were recreated on the catwalk.

"It was a very opulent, mysterious, moody period in Shanghai and I wanted to capture it," he said after his show.

A flame-colored, washed velvet long-sleeve gown featured a beaded lace cowl back, while another hazel digital peony print hammered satin gown had an open back with hand-beaded detail.

Blouson dresses, some in tea length, and floral embroidered tulle and lace were also prominent, as was the color gold.

"Everything is gold, but it is not a flashy gold. We did a very subtle, tarnished gold. I think gold is in this season," he said.

GLAMOUR, GRANDEUR AND FEMME FATAL   Continued...

 
A model presents a creation from the Michael Kors Fall/Winter 2012 collection during New York Fashion Week February 15, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson