Anthony Vaccarello Womenswear A/W12

The young Belgian designer shows he has more strings to his bow than little black dresses

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“That dress! I want to be buried in that black dress!” exclaimed Karlie Kloss, who opened the show this season but closed it last season, wearing a S/S12 Anthony Vaccarello dress that gaped open at the thigh revealing a whole lotta leg as well as ambition on the part of this young Paris-based, Belgian-born designer.

I wanted to make more tailored pieces. The tailoring was the main centre of the collection. I wanted to make jackets, half jackets, dresses with half a jacket as a sleeve - a lot of sleeves in general

That dress has catapulted Vaccarello to another league with a throng of the big editors and buyers turning up, eager to see whether he could step it up another gear. Make that three gears then, as Kloss opened the show in a decidedly more covered up navy coat worked with vaguely sportswear-derived detailing, high waisted trousers and buttoned up shirt all done up in a sensual and rich midnight blue duchesse satin.  Vaccarello took control of this slippery and difficult fabric, reining it in so that tailoring became the main focus and whilst there were more trousers than in any of his other collections, the short and tight was still very much a constant presence. 

Mini skirts would come laced up with toggles, inspired by fifties lingerie that would later grace bra tops with a multitude of metallic straps. The central motif of the collection was the half jacket, or more loosely the sleeve. “I wanted to make more tailored pieces. The tailoring was the main centre of the collection. I wanted to make jackets, half jackets, dresses with half a jacket as a sleeve - a lot of sleeves in general. The attitude of the girl was someone who after partying through the night would casually drape her jacket over one shoulder. I wanted to recreate that not in styling but in the construction,” explained Vaccarello. So these half jackets ran riot in the collection, spliced with Vaccarello’s signature suspended bra tops and daring cut-outs, and then later with an end passage of gold lame gowns that fell to the floor.

The attitude of the girl was someone who after partying through the night would casually drape her jacket over one shoulder. I wanted to recreate that not in styling but in the construction

Vaccarello’s comparatively brave move into colour resulted in an electric jolt of iridescent green that slashed its way around mini dresses. He’s not sure why it turned up in the collection but mused that perhaps it was a subconscious decision to show that he wasn’t just the guy who did sexy black dresses. This collection showed that in spades and will gain him several rungs up the ladder that elevates a young designer to becoming a proper brand.

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