Fashion Radar: Ocean-Inspired SS12 Runways Looks

While we can always expect floral prints and vibrant colors in our summer wardrobe, this year’s Spring / Summer collections brought us to the depth of the ocean. Inspired by the iridescent shades of the sea and the tropic colors of coral reefs, designers had their models grace the catwalk as mythical sea creatures and urban mermaids. Here’s a roundup of labels that brought the enchanting underwater world to the land above.

MARY KATRANTZOU

No matter the season or collection, Mary Katrantzou awakens our senses with an array of vivid colors and wild prints. This year, the Greek designer has merged nature with the industrial world, combining structure in her cuts with abstract floral and aquarium prints. Katrantzou dived right into the sea and explored the underwater rainbow of tropical fish and coral reefs, bringing to life such an exotic world with tailored trousers and coquettish dresses.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend

EMANUEL UNGARO

Emanuel Ungaro’s newly-named designer Jeanne Labib-Lamour was inspired by NASA aerial photos and the attract swirls of color from above. With shades of blue and splashes of coral, Labib-Lamour creates the allusion of ocean waves with silky jumpsuits and fluttery gowns. The movement and lightness of her designs reflect the sensuality and femininity of the sea.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend

 PETER PILOTTO

Inspired by the “exotic floral and fauna of Indonesia,” Pilotto had his models strut the runway with slicked back hair  in fish scale printed dresses. Though the top part of his dresses may resemble scuba sportswear, Pilotto explores the different elements of the ocean below the waist. While the pleated skirts mirrored the movement of water and sand, the models in pencil skirts looked like badass mermaids.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend

 ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Once again, we stare in awe at the dramatic pieces and the theatrical aspect Alexander McQueen brings to the fashion world. In such powerful and elegant designs, the models appeared on the catwalk like mythical sea creatures. While the designs are rich in textiles, pleats and embellishments, Sarah Burton introduces a feminine lightness to her pieces with a seashell color palette, creating a collection that would perfect for none other than Venus.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend

 VERSACE

If The Little Mermaid was brought to life on the big screen, I can only imagine modern-day Ariel in Versace’s SS12 Ready-to-Wear collection. Donatella Versace’s designs are feminine, flirtatious and light in color and textile. The collection is a mix of coquettish mini skirts and elegant stream-lines gowns. Playing with the current trend of pastels, Versace introduces the seashells starfish to the summer mix.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend

  CHANEL

Beyond his aquatic designs, Karl Lagerfeld rented the Grand Palais and created his underwater world with bright white ocean corals, sea horses, stingrays and seashells. Dressed in sheer fabrics and pearly shades, the models appeared on the luminous catwalk like ethereal aquatic creatures. While some designs resembled fish gills, other shimmered like jellyfish and decorated with seaweed-life ruffles.

Under the Sea Fashion Trend


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