Cindy Weber Cleary's Picks
Cindy Weber Cleary's Picks
InStyle’s fashion director Cindy Weber Cleary is picking her favorite looks for spring 2012 straight from the runway. Click through to see her top choices for next season.
Since taking over the Alexander McQueen label, Sarah Burton, the late designer's longtime collaborator, has astonished the fashion world with her ability to channel McQueen's extravagant artistic sensibility, and also to bring her own feminine one into play. This look was unmistakably McQueen—a perfectly tailored suit with a corseted waist and defined shoulder. The sensuous sway of the gilded flounce on the skirt mesmerized.
Marc Jacobs’ confection of a show for Louis Vuitton ended Paris Fashion Week on a giddy note with one delicious look after another. My favorite was a sheer dream of a dress with a leather lace-style applique that looked lighter than air.
This is the perfect Little White Dress for spring. It's tailored like a coatdress, but the scroll effect is utterly feminine.
Peplums have been a major trend in Europe for Spring 2012. This feminine suit from Givenchy almost looks like a sculpture in the way it winds around the model’s body. Beautiful!
How does Alber Elbaz do it season after season for Lanvin? He delivers elegance on a continuum, with each collection building upon the last. He doesn't feel the need to reinvent the wheel; he just feels he must offer beautiful, thoughtful, real-life clothes for his devoted customers. Case in point: This variation on the classic tuxedo look—a black-trimmed white blouse and low-slung black trousers with white side-stripes. The proportions are perfect, and absolutely chic!
Dries Van Noten
The Dries Van Noten show was stunning. A master of prints who always designs his own, the designer sent out one beauty after another in different combinations. I can't stop thinking about the nighttime cityscape print of twinkling lights. A simple silk chemise in this print is at the top of my Spring 2012 wish list.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce amp Gabbana sent out a light-hearted collection full of floral-like vegetable prints. One of the prettiest had a ‘50s feeling with a full skirt that would look as at home in Los Angeles or Hilton Head as in Portofino, Italy.
The Jil Sander show was a game-changer—deceptively simple and utterly elegant. It was based on the idea of shirts and shirtdresses, and designer Raf Simons played with sheer and opaque fabrics within each look. The violet and green plaid silk shirt paired with a diaphanous full skirt in a sheer, darker version of the same pattern was a standout, both ladylike and sensual at the same time.
In a collection that was very true to the spirit of her brother's house, Donatella Versace sent out a sexy, colorful studded and draped lineup with her own soft, feminine spin. A fitted leather sheath dress in a pale shade of aqua embroidered with gold studs was among the most memorable looks. The neckline and length are almost demure, while the details are anything but!
Prada's spring 2012 collection was one of my all-time favorites! The exquisite fabrics and feminine silhouettes like pleated skirts were offset by racy stilettos and sandals with “wings” like a ‘50s Cadillac. It was hard to pick one look, but the burgundy pleated chiffon coat and blouse with the sky blue knife-pleated skirt made me scrawl three stars next to it on the show notes. I can't wait to see the fabrics, jewelry and shoes up close.
Pleats are turning out to be a key trend for Spring 2012. This pretty tiered halter has a surprising flirtiness in a collection that designer Frida Giannini described as "hard deco."
Francisco Costa’s collection for Calvin Klein was gorgeous from start to finish, making it hard to pick just one favorite look. In a season of great dresses, here are two; one for day and one for evening. These are worth the splurge because you will wear them forever.
My pick is Reed Krakoff's ivory leather jacket with a peak lapel worn tucked into ivory trousers and over skin like a shirt. The fact that you can tuck it tells you how supple the leather is! This look is the epitome of understated elegance.
Narciso Rodriguez’s asymmetric aqua silk cocktail dress is somehow both modern and timeless in a color that reminds me of the Caribbean sea.
Carolina Herrera's crisscross-cross halter gown in a gorgeous shade of celery green is the essence of Spring.
Victoria Beckham’s label has evolved from just dresses into a full-fledged collection including separates and outerwear. I love the sporty attitude of this zip-front jacket and short dress. The couture-like fabrics and subtle cosmetic colors take it to a whole other level of polish.
My favorite from this show was the purple metallic sleeveless dress with white pleated skirt. The strictness of the bodice is very modern while the movement of the diaphanous pleats is feminine and alluring. And the color—gorgeous!
At The Row, I liked the simplicity of the silhouettes contrasting with the gorgeous textures. I also loved the shell-encrusted sleeveless tunic over chiffon pants—simple, yet incredibly elegant.