Whatever your style, one very necessary addition to your wardrobe this season is the tuxedo – time to get suited up ladies!

Break out the port and Cuban cigars. Add a monocle and air of mystery if it so strikes your fancy. Give 007 a call and invite him round for martinis – shaken, not stirred, of course. You’ll be suited up day or night in this season’s hottest tuxedos. From McQueen’s buzzing beehive print to Balmain’s bold shoulders, SS13’s alpha females ruled the runways in tailored tuxedos and slick smoking jackets, androgyny be damned.

BLACK AND WHITE RULE THE RUNWAY
Be it in classic black à la Dior (pictured below), or white-hot for summer in Calvin Klein or DKNY (pictured below), no decked out, devil-may-care diva will be left by the wayside. Though these two opposing hues may indicate a split fashion personality amongst designers, in actuality, both genres proffered classic silhouettes as well as angular, manly shapes for the spring/summer season.

Dior and DKNY tuxedos
It goes without saying that, while graphic black and white has the print market cornered this spring, pure white head-to-toe looks are summer’s go-to sartorial staple. Designers Vionnet, Saint Laurent and Barbara Bui focused their fashion attention on designing the perfect structured men’s tuxedo shirt for women– a button-down just masculine enough to beg the question as to whether or not the lovely lady stole the shirt from her own boyfriend’s closet.

Roberto Cavalli’s embellished white tux featured his celebrated peekaboo lace detail, adding the layer of femininity necessary to a traditionally male statement suit. With the release of the Ryan Gosling film ‘Gangster Squad‘, I could have easily mistaken Ralph Lauren for the head of the film’s costuming department. I half expected the models, appearing in modern Zoot suits and wide-brimmed fedoras, to hold up the nearest speakeasy with their Tommy guns and take off in a Ford Model A with John Dillinger at the wheel.

MODERN MASCULINITY
British darling Stella McCartney wasn’t far behind with her cubic costumes, placing tiny women in large overcoats ignoring the classic feminine silhouette, not so much as to box them into their ensembles but, instead, to present strong and imposing female leaders of industry who ensure they are noticed when arriving on the scene.

Balenciaga’s working women will also make quite the strong ’80s statement in the workplace with oversized blazers and male-cut trousers – though thankfully without Melanie Griffith’s standby shoulder pads and white sneakers.

The masculine theme prevailed at Mugler (pictured below – right) where model Kate Kondas was a hot mess in Nicola Formichetti’s men’s tux. She appeared to prefer to skip school in order to smoke Virginia Slims she stole from her mother’s purse rather than take the Paris runway by storm. Honestly, a good night’s sleep wouldn’t hurt, hunny.

Tuxedos by Céline and Mugler
Céline (pictured above – left) stayed true to form with languid pantsuits and draped jackets – horrible furry Birkenstocks aside. Pheobe Philo’s loose lounge textiles will allow for a pyjamas-cum-daywear look this summer for those of you in a permanent state of Riviera relaxation.

PRINT IMPRESSION
This season, print lovers are covered in the couture they crave as Mary Katrantzou paraded her prominent head-to-toe printed suits down the catwalk in the most amazing ultramarine. However, fellow Brits Mulberry ensured they weren’t tardy to the print party with their own brocaded blue version of the patterned pantsuit.

Dries Van Noten’s perfect plaid suit was so on pointe this season that the look and their line scored them the top spot on Style.com’s SS13 Collections list and the moniker “a one-way ticket to fashion Nirvana.” I too kneel before the Belgian church of Dries.

For those of you feeling lighter than a heavy religious fashion experience, Diane von Furstenberg strikes the perfect balance between young and mature with her all-over polka-dot printed suit that added a much needed cuteness factor to an otherwise stuffy silhouette.

MISSES
Tommy Hilfiger, as expected, didn’t stray from his stateside sartorial love of all fabric red, white and blue (below – left). I’d sooner place his designs front and centre upon any American Ivy league brochure than in my own closet but, to each their own, if their own includes a sorority rush week circus theme that is.

Tuxedos by Tommy Hilfiger and Yohji Yamamoto
And if you haven’t yet hit the theatres to catch the much Oscar-buzzed ‘Les Misérables‘, look no further than Yohji Yamamoto’s rag tag band of messy misfits (above – right) who would be perfectly cast as extras in Fantine’s unfortunate whore house.

HITS
Lanvin is easily the lady-tux rainmaker. The singular white lapel makes an elegant statement any woman would don proudly (see right panel, lead image). The perfect cut of the trouser ending just above the ankle to show off the sassiest of strappy pumps is almost as sexy as the slightly raised shoulder of Alber Elbaz’s warrior woman.

Giving Lanvin a good run for its money is Viktor & Rolf’s inimitable, deconstructed all-white pristine pantsuit (see middle panel, lead image). Half long lapel, half button-up top with luscious draping in all the right places, call their muse a goddess, call her a modern maven, but call her outfit mine!

All images courtesy Style.com

2 Responses

  1. Dave Palmer

    Wow, CeeBee, an awesome article. An incredibly fun and bubbly description that was entertainingly to the point. A bang on piece. Well done CeeBee.
    Ta-Ta
    Ciao
    Dave

    Reply

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