Spring/Summer 2013 runway looks by Tom Ford, Gucci and Stella McCartney

The color that many recognize as cobalt is known formally in the art community as IKB (International Klein Blue) developed by French painter, Yves Klein. Klein first mixed the color, made up primarily of the blue pigment Ultramarine, at the start of his career and registered the unique shade as IKB in 1960. The color covered everything from sculptures and furniture to women’s bodies – Klein would often paint a female’s torso and lay them directly on his canvases (pictured below). Unfortunately, his time as a working artist was cut feverishly short due to a string of heart attacks in 1962, but nevertheless, his work made enough of a cultural impact in a few short years that the term IKB is still used today.

Yves Klein at work

Painting by Yves Klein

This season, the spring 2013 runways from New York to Paris saw pops of Klein’s iconic color. Beginning in New York, Joseph Altuzarra showed pieces accented with rich blue fabric while in London, Tom Ford used the same hue for two looks in his women’s presentation as did Antonio Berardi. In Milan, Gucci sent a collection of monochromatic looks down the runway, two of which were head-to-toe IKB. Finally in Paris, designers from Stella McCartney to Hermes and Elie Saab featured the iconic shade in their collections for spring.

Altuzarra – Spring/Summer 2013

Antonio Berardi – Spring/Summer 2013

Hermes – Spring/Summer 2013

Elie Saab – Spring/Summer 2013

The color made such a statement on the runway that Gucci even shot the two monochromatic IKB looks for their spring 2013 ad campaign. No woman can resist Klein.

Gucci Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign

Gucci Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign

From Left: Vogue cover by Salvador Dali, photograph by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Elle Fanning photographed by Will Cotton

Collectively, both the fashion and art worlds are about the new and the next. When artists and designers show work that is considered groundbreaking by modern day standards, the question is, is it truly something that either industry hasn’t seen before? Looking at the most recent Paris collections from a beauty standpoint, the hair at Givenchy (pictured below) immediately caught my eye. The helmet-like ringlets compressed to the models’ heads and then spray-painted was a fresh take on beauty that could only be the product of an innovative mind like Ricardo Tisci. As I took a closer look at the backstage shots, the hair began looking more and more like dried, shriveled up flowers. Seeing, instead, a bouquet atop each head took me back to the golden age of magazine covers.

Right around the time of the Second World War and during the heyday of Surrealism, Salavdor Dali was accepted as a great talent not only in the art community but the fashion world. In addition to his close relationship with designer Elsa Schiaparelli and his collection of surrealist jewels (previously featured here), he guest edited a few, select issues of Vogue. His art appeared on covers, including the June 1939 issue (above, left), which depicts a woman jumping rope in the background and a girl sitting with a flower bouquet for a head in the foreground.

Fast-forward to the iconic Louise Dahl Wolfe photograph of Ivy Nicholson on the April 1958 cover of Harper’s Bazaar (above, center) featuring Nicholson with a flower-like helmet. This image was clearly inspired by Dali’s cover and subsequently influenced countless fashion photographs in the later years; most recently, Elle Fanning’s cover of New York Magazine’s Spring 2013 fashion issue, photographed by Will Cotton (above, right).

Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013

In addition to the photograph’s influence on Givenchy’s fall show, these same flower-like ringlets also made their way onto the McQueen runway, under Sarah Burton’s ornate crowns (pictured below).

Alexander McQueen FW 2013

This wasn’t, however, the first time the celebrated Dahl-Wolfe photo has been referenced, who could forget John Galliano’s floral-inspired penultimate couture collection for Christian Dior. For fall/winter 2010 Galliano sent floral looks down the runway, accompanied by petal-inspired hairpieces (pictured below), a subtle ode to Dahl-Wolfe.

Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2010 Couture

Similarly, in Karl Lagerfeld’s spring/summer 2009 Chanel couture show (previously referenced here, pictured below), models wore paper flowers atop their heads, morphing from delicate tiaras into floral hats and a flower helmet – worn by Feja, Karl’s bride for the season, in place of a veil.

Chanel Fall/Winter 2009

Lastly, milliner Philip Treacy took a cue from Dahl-Wolfe and created a floral helmet (pictured below), which was most recently worn by Lady Gaga (for a bit of pop culture).

Lady Gaga in Philip Treacy

(From Left) Marc Jacobs, Thakoon and Cushnie et Ochs Fall/Winter 2013

Season-after-season there is always a trend so widespread you wonder if the entire fashion world pulled from the same inspiration board. For fall/winter 2013 designers from New York to Paris looked for innovative ways to show fall’s favorite texture – fur. While there are still enough classic animal coats to go around, it looks as though there will also be plenty of fur tops, skirts, dresses, cuffs, gloves, bags and shoes to keep the entire fashion world warm come 2013’s chilly winter months.

Beginning in New York, Marc Jacobs, Thakoon and Cushnie et Ochs (pictured above) all showed looks of monochromatic fur separates while Joseph Altuzarra (pictured below) showed sculptural dresses with fur sleeves and black and white gloves/fur paws.

Altuzarra Fall/Winter 2013

J.W. Anderson Fall/Winter 2013

In London, J.W. Anderson (pictured above) made up for his sleeveless fall tops and short dresses by doing them in elephant grey and black mink.

Moving on to Milan, Miuccia Prada accented her fall jackets for her namesake label (pictured below) with thick fur cuffs in contrasting hues.

Prada Fall/Winter 2013

For Acne’s premier Paris fashion week show, models were accessorized with fur necklace-collars and fur trimmed heels.

Acne Fall/Winter 2013

(From Left) Jean Paul Gaultier and Chloe Fall/Winter 2013

Both Jean Paul Gaultier and Clare Waight Keller for Chloe (pictured above) sent fur skirts in varying lengths down the runway while Phoebe Philo at Céline and Richard Nicoll (who shows in London) explored the concept of a fur dress (pictured below).

(From Left) Céline and Richard Nicoll Fall/Winter 2013

Isabel Marant Fall/Winter 2013

Isabel Marant showed black and cream boots covered in fur and pony hair while Karl Lagerfeld used little to no fur this season at Chanel except for colorful hats in various hues – that bear a striking resemblance to the bright bobs from the fall/winter 2012 Comme Des Garçons show.

Chanel Fall/Winter 2013

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2013

Marc Jacobs showed his fall/winter collection for Louis Vuitton on the final day of Paris fashion week and kept the season’s hottest trend alive with fur-accented dresses and reinterpretations of classic LV bag – such as the speedy – using fur and muted tones.

Louis Vuitton Accessories Fall/Winter 2013

Giambattista Valli Fall/Winter 2013

While almost every designer this season used fur in some capacity, Giambattista Valli and Consuelo Castiglioni for Marni showed the most fur-accented looks. Along with his collection for Moncler Gamme Rouge, Giambattista used the texture for his own line on everything from dresses, to collars, shoes, bags and belts.

The Marni show was so furry that it was at some points reminiscent of Lagerfeld’s Chanel iceberg collection from fall/winter 2010. Nearly every one of Castiglioni’s 42 runway looks was shown with a furry coat, top, scarf, collar, hem, gloves, purse or boots. Sorry PETA, fall 2013 is not the season for you…

Marni Fall/Winter 2013

The trickiest part of a good season of shows – fall, especially – comes when having to choose a favorite. While I like different collections for different reasons, it was hard to choose one, two, or even three that stood out to me – so I have compiled a top ten list. After much deliberation here are my standout collections for the fall/winter 2013 season and my favorite looks from each show… Enjoy!

Joseph Altuzarra showed one of the most cohesively wearable, yet modern collections of the entire season. His cinched waists, fur sleeves, discrete pops of color and cropped jackets over longer, interior pieces stood out amongst the slew of oversized coats and forgiving cuts many designers showed for fall.

Altuzarra Fall/Winter 2013

Phoebe Philo, the queen of tomboy separates, made this coming winter the season for feminine minimalism. Her past fall collections have been a slew of black, navy and camel but for 2013 the primarily light pallet with few patterns and pops of color was a fresh take on cold weather dressing. I can’t wait to get my hands on a below-the-knee skirt and oversized clutch come fall.

Céline Fall/Winter 2013

When it comes to mixing colors, textures, patterns and prints no one can do it quite like Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci. For fall, Tisci showed everything from sheer to fur; entirely black leather looks to flowers, plaid and even Bambi, all accompanied by the perfect mid-calf, non-platform skin boot and bright, flower-filled helmet hair.

Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013

Haider Ackermann’s collections are nothing short of perfection but typically look as though they require a team to drape, button, zip, and pull each look to make it appear as it was styled on the runway. For fall 2013 he opted for a few more user-friendly ensembles – like two dream collar-less fur coats and the most simple, sleek black velvet gown in the history of fashion (all pictured below) – giving women hope for a more simple season ahead.

Haider Ackermann Fall/Winter 2013

No one can compete with the house of Hermes when it comes to quality and craftsmanship. While it may have taken former Lacoste creative director, Christophe Lemaire a few seasons to find himself following Gaultier’s departure from the French house, his fall 2013 collection was the epitome of what a chic French woman – or any woman, for that matter – should wear each and every winter.

Hèrmes Fall/Winter 2013

As if Marc’s Olafur Eliasson-inspired show backdrop didn’t shine bright enough, the accompanying looks in his fall/winter 2013 collection were filled with boy shorts, pajama tops, oversized coats and floor-length dresses all made of shimmering fabrics and a never-ending string if sequins. My favorite evening look of the entire season (pictured below, middle) walked in the show and his makeshift-looking animal stoles were such fun amongst the abundance of more serious fall furs.

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013

I always love what Nicola Formichetti puts out for Mugler. This season, his soft color pallet and monochromatic, exaggerated skirt suits were futuristic classics in the making.

Mugler Fall/Winter 2013

No single designer can set a season’s trends quite like the brilliant Miuccia Prada. Her modern day Hitchcock show filled with pops of red, rich blues, oversized bags, unexpected fur cuffs and off-the-shoulder necklines epitomize chic for fall 2013.

Prada Fall/Winter 2013

Jack and Lazaro’s fall collection for Proenza Schouler was the perfect downtown meets uptown mix. Their muted color pallet of boyish, oversized separates were made lush by expensive fabrics and textures – leather, ostrich, fur, feathers and chains; their conservative heels will also make for the perfect shoes to run around in come fall.

Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2013

I have always been on the fence regarding Rodarte but Fall 2013 has converted me into a major believer. The entire show beginning with the dozens of monochromatic layers to sheer fabrics and colorful patters were made all the better when topped off by their incredible barbed wire accessories.

Rodarte Fall/Winter 2013

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013

Before I attempt to address some of the fall/winter 2013 fashions shown over the past month, there was one exciting trend that literally shined brighter – in Marc Jacob’s case – than the clothing on the runway. From Rodarte and Marc in New York, to Christian Dior and Chanel in Paris, fashion designers turned to art as the backdrop for their latest collections.

Kate and Laura’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection for Rodarte was my favorite of their’s to date. In addition to the perfectly layered looks and barbed wire accessories, their runway was scattered with Dan Flavin-esque light sculptures, the ideal compliments to a clean yet edgy show.

Rodarte Fall/Winter 2013

Dan Flavin

Marc Jacobs closed New York fashion week this season at the Lexington Avenue Armory with a groundbreaking collection, per usual, and an even more unbelievable backdrop. Marc took a cue from Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s 2003 installation, The Weather Project, at London’s Tate Modern. Eliasson took over Turbine Hall at the Tate and installed a radiating yellow sun-like disk. In turn, Marc showed on a round runway amidst a yellow, glowing circular backdrop. The perfect sunset to the New York shows.

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013

Olafur Eliasson

For Raf Simons’ second ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior he drew inspiration from Andy Warhol’s fashion illustrations and devised a setting to compliment the delicately painted runway looks. Simons transformed the show’s backdrop with large shiny spheres similar to the legendary silver clouds that filled Warhol’s ever-famous factory.

Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2013

Andy Warhol’s Factory

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Coco Chanel’s first boutique and Karl’s 30th year designing for the house, Mr.Lagerfeld went global. The spinning sphere amidst the Grand Palais was covered in Chanel flags, each signifying a modern-day Chanel boutique or retailer. While the globe may not have been directly linked to the work of photographer Andres Gursky, it brought me back to the ocean images in Gursky’s Satellite Series that were shown at Gagosian New York in the fall of 2011.

Chanel Fall/Winter 2013

Andres Gursky

Andres Gursky

Proenza Schouler’s, Desert Tide

Lately I have been digging deep into the world of video art, which prompted me to rediscover Proenza Schouler’s promotional video, Desert Tide, this weekend. Desert Tide (shown below) was released in November 2012 featuring animated versions of looks from their internet-inspired spring/summer 2013 collection. While the SS13 show, in particular, lends itself extremely well to animation, looking back at past collections I wish they had explored video in spring/summer 2010, collaborating with one of my favorites in the field, Takeshi Murata.

Takeshi Murata, Cone Eater

Murata’s work, Cone Eater, from 2004 is a 4-minute abstract digital video (pictured above) featuring a kaleidoscope-esque stream of colors and symmetrical images similar to the patterns used in Proenza’s spring 2010 collection (pictured below).

Proenza Schouler, Spring/Summer 2010

In the hope that they will continue producing promotional videos there is no better artist to collaborate with for their fall 2013 collection (pictured below) filled with winter white than Jordan Wolfson.

Proenza Schouler, Fall/Winter 2013

Wolfson’s 22-minute 2009 animation, Con Leche, features milk-filled diet coke bottles marching around abandoned Detroit sidewalks (pictured below). The hand drawn cartoons juxtaposed against raw footage of Detroit, is the perfect compliment to Proenza’s downtown meets uptown aesthetic. Fingers crossed that a collaboration is in the works!

Jordan Wolfson, Con Leche