For Spring 2012, Burberry designer Christopher Bailey infused the British label's classic trenches, parkas, cardigans and frocks with handcrafted techniques like crochet, beading, carving, weaving, braiding, and printing. The entire collection was a celebration of "things that take time to do," the designer said. What won't take time is falling in love with this collection. Like what you see? Then hurry over to Burberry's website - select coats and accessories from the spring 2012 collection are exclusively available online until September 26. www.burberry.com
Christopher Kane is a true artist. For spring he was inspired by photographs of girls in bedrooms with peeling wallpaper, as well as "the girls you hate at school" - the ones who bullied the boys as much as the girls. This vision of femininity was played out in the opening dresses of Lurex and brocade, the sporty sweater vests, and appliqud flowers and sequins. The collection was otherworldly, ethereal and absolutely lovely.
Designer Giles Deacon swear his spring collection has nothing to do with "Black Swan." Ok, fair enough - but what about all the swans? The epic swan headdresses and 3-D swan printed satin were actually inspired by The Silver Swan, an automaton from the Bowes Museum. That also explains some of the best pieces in the show - silver laser-cut leather that looked almost robotic yet still incredibly delicate. Society swans also had their place in this collection - those red gowns that closed the show are just begging to be worn this awards season.
The star of any Mulberry show is always the bags. The clothes - for spring floaty maxi skirts paired with swingy little raincoats and jackets, cute little dresses, and the season's requisite floral prints - were just an excuse (albeit a super cute, you're-going-to-want-everything excuse) to trot out the new bags, including updates on the Alexa satchel and Evelina hobo, as well as the new travel collection. But honestly, this season the mini schnauzer in the yellow doggy raincoat stole the show - even from the bags. www.mulberry.com
Designer Marios Schwab took his inspiration for spring from chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark. What resulted was a collection of dresses as mysterious and seductive as the femme fatale in a film noir. Inserts of net and perforated fabric alternately concealed and revealed the bodies underneath the otherwise classic dresses, while also nodding to a slight athleticism that's right on trend this season. See the show for yourself streaming on the designer's website. www.mariosschwab.com
Drenched in the pastels of South Beach, Jonathan Saunders spring collection makes you long for the ocean. The ombre effect on some of the dresses suggests a sunset dipping into the sea, and the perfectly pretty little white dresses are reminiscent of a flawless white sand beach. There's a sexy primness in this collection that is deliciously offset by the flashes of skin - perfect for hot Miami nights. www.jonathan-saunders.com
No one does prints like the king himself, Matthew Williamson. For spring, Williamson abstracted a floral until it looked like ikat and printed chiffon blouses with digitized Japanese blooms. He also sent out some of the best orange and yellow (two of spring's biggest colors) of the season. And if the feathery, sparkly cocktail dresses don't make you want to dance, there may be something wrong with you. www.matthewwilliamson.com
London's answer to the ladylike designs of Jason Wu, designer Erdem Moralioglu was inspired by French novel "Bonjour Tristesse," by Francoise Sagan, for spring. The resulting collection of off-the-shoulder dresses, white shirts, lacy gowns and Wedgewood blue florals was at once innocent and worldly, demure and devastatingly sexy. www.erdem.co.uk
There was a lot to take in at the Antonio Berardi show this season. Beaded dresses, most of them cut short in the front, long in the back, sashayed down the runway with patent leather plates that resembled armor. Sharply tailored suits - especially a red and white color blocked beauty - made a strong case for power dressing. All is all, it was a drop dead gorgeous collection for the modern woman warrior. www.antonioberardi.com