(images via intermoda)
so we, like, not only saw an awesome hooded evening dress at alina assi (Алина Асси)’s f/w 2012 show today, but an exposed vagina. yes, really. apparently in-between her pretty-if-standard nature prints, lacy finery, and her signature quirks-in-drapery thing, the designer felt the need to (ahem, i’m sorry, but i can’t help this one) snatch a more outrageous moment. yeah, that was a bad joke. but geez, i’m not sure i really got the gowns slit up to there, either. we’re at alina assi, after all, and none of her archives (see f/w 2010, s/s 2012) have ever shown her to be exactly the equivalent of the ‘panting-and-lusting’ peter dundas at emilio pucci or julien macdonald. but maybe she’s realizing in-between her thirty/forty/fifty-something smart-dressed lady, she too needs a bit of gimmick to keep the kids awake. or something.
anyway, i don’t mean to give the designer a hard time. in fact, there was plenty from her fall range that i liked quite a lot. it’s just that if during her spring show, i charged her with having a short attention span at times, shuffling in influences that didn’t really fit with the overall picture she was trying to convey, then here maybe there was some of the same. only this time it wasn’t really prints or colours that were the problem—it was the youthful pops of almost streetwear-inflected looks (the screenprints of faces, short shorts, tight pants with the knee socks, hooded items) that were juxtaposed against stunning, lace-infused ballgowns of supreme glamour and sweet little floral print frocks and separates. two pretty distinctly different girls, non?
but i suppose we ought give the girl credit for trying (and even succeeding, most of the time). intermoda contended that ms. assi worked with a (trans.) “harmonious floral inspiration,” but i’d argue that we had something of an affluent suburbanite who must dress smartly most of the time for her various affairs—meetings, dinners, the theatre, evenings on the town—but gets bored with her restrictive wardrobe on occasion, for all that it is lovely, longing for something younger and spicier. so she goes into the city, check out what the club girls are wearing, and…ta da! rockin’ (and slightly eerie) sketchy face print and a whole lotta’ leg! and even though there were some differing aesthetics, i do want to give ms. assi credit for her designs. for the most part, they were quite solid, and i found her story for fall more intriguing and unique than her pretty, but sometimes a bit mundane spring range.
anyway, in terms of colour and print, we got a fair amount of both, as we are at alina assi, after all. in addition to the sketch, we got a few floral and garden-y motifs frolicking through the collection, in hues that the russian site pure trend rather humourously referred to as (trans.) “an aristocratic rich colour palette”: navy, cream, teal, forest green, white, tan, pink, wine, and black, with bright pops of goldfish orange for the california poppies that were liberally sprinkled throughout the prints. ms. assi’s textiles, reported the blog fashion highlighter, included knitwear, leather, satin, silk, chiffon, and lace, with embellishments in the form of beading, crystals, and embroidery, which trimmed a good number of the opening a-line, fifties/sixties-style trenches and dresses.
ms. assi’s fall collection, pointed out the russian fashion week site, (trans.) “include(d) the full range of clothing,” and though i’d certainly agree her girl would be set for dresses, eveningwear, jackets, and maybe even tops (and certainly she’s good on the bermuda shorts front), i did notice a rather curious lack of trousers within the assortment trotted out on the catwalk. to be sure, we did glimpse a pair of leggings or two, as well as the odd look that appeared to be shorts, but when tucked into a pair of boots, might be squeezed into the pants realm, yet considering the designer’s usual tendency to market herself on providing the complete wardrobe (and especially as this was for a winter collection), things felt curiously amiss (also especially because she had more trousers in her spring show).
but, like, maybe pants are just out. after all, new york, brazil, and berlin all seemed to be saying so. and i don’t want to focus so much on the traumas, because there were a lot of positives here (and i keep saying that, but let’s actually get to them). the tailoring for the range was impressive, and as the russian site mode-art reflected, many of the outerwear items appeared quite enveloping and cozy; they (trans.) “seem specifically designed to warm even the coldest, rainy day,” they argued. and maybe those flowers were intended to give us a ‘summer in the winter’-style perk, like we’ve recently seen ludmila kislenko claiming to do (though i’d argue the palette and motifs here were a lot more appropriate for the cause). those slouchy, rounded necks (as below)—not quite a cowl, but not fully structured, either, were an unexpected pop of awesome as well.
so i think we all need to leave giving ms. assi good marks for this presentation. to be sure, there were some threads that didn’t quite link up in her narrative, but taken individually, most of the pieces boasted a lot of love and care (and the silky evening gowns, like the draped and twisted one-shouldered prussian blue number, below, were particularly swell), and i’d say we have the added bonus of ‘varied aesthetic? doesn’t matter! alina assi’s got something for you!’-style design. certainly my goal for her as a designer would be to have one thrust to the storyline, and to understand exactly who her customer is from season to season, but as things go, i’d say she’s improving her consistency and quality, grinding her multiple design personalities down fewer with each season. so this is a good thing. mostly. save maybe that one unfortunate flash of skin.
(watch the full fashion show video here)