Fashion Forecast: Eastern Empire


Diane Kruger, Zac Posen, Proenza Schouler, Armani Prive (PacificCoastNews.com, Imax Tree)

Designers leaned toward the East for Fall 2012, their inspiration manifesting itself in the form of rich brocades, obi belts, and painterly florals. Interpretations ranged from Jason Wu's grandiose tongue-in-cheek Chinoiserie to Proenza Schouler's sporty kimono jackets.

As always, Hollywood's leading ladies were the first to try the new trend, with stars like Jessica Alba and Taylor Swift showing us precisely how it's done.

Couture Fall 2011, Armani Prive
(Imax Tree)
Giorgio Armani's Japanese-inspired Privé collection for fall masterfully applied traditional geisha elements to pantsuits and sultry gowns. Philip Treacy's head pieces were icing on the visually dynamic cake.

Jessica+Alba in Armani Hotel Milano Opening
(Getty)
Jessica Alba was the first to wear one of Armani's couture creations. She was the perfect amalgamation of sophistication and artistry in this velvet-clad number at the designer's hotel opening. Brilliant.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Zac Posen
(Imax Tree)
Jacquards, bright obis, and geisha-inspired 'dos conveyed Zac Posen's theme loud and clear. Of course, the designer would never leave out his signature staples of crisp taffeta, nipped waists, and mermaid trains, which offered an (occasionally campy) Old Hollywood vibe.

Katy+Perry in 2011 American Music Awards - Arrivals
(Getty)
Never the wallflower, Katy Perry's hot pink hair and Vivienne Westwood gown at the 2011 American Music Awards had people talking. The British designer's dress was inspired by a Chinese floral painting and featured a popular Communist slogan translated to Green Economy. The verdict is still out on whether this was intentional or not.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Proenza Schouler
(Imax Tree)
The boys of Proenza Schouler also brought a taste of the East to the catwalk in the form of sporty asymmetrical layers that channeled karate and kimonos. Oh, and it should be mentioned that Yoko Ono provided the soundtrack to the edgy show.

Taylor+Swift in The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
(Getty)
Even country music's sweetheart, Taylor Swift, took to the movement with her Zuhair Murad Grammys gown. The gold dragon-emblazoned Mandarin collar design was an unexpected choice, but you have to love a sartorial surprise like this.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Jason Wu
Imax Tree
Fashion's golden boy, Jason Wu, kicked off NYFW with a bang. Literally. Well, in this case the crash of a cymbal. "I almost wanted to poke fun at [Asian influence] a little bit by interpreting it through stereotypes," the designer explained, "But also by incorporating all of that in a way that is elegant and powerful at the same time." Mission accomplished.

Diane+Kruger in Diane Kruger at the St. Regis in Miami
Getty
Wu's biggest fan, Diane Kruger, put her own spin on one of the designer's fall looks by wearing this strong-shouldered cape...without pants. She managed to avoid looking costume-y and enchanted us with her chameleon style prowess.
I'm an Editor/Designer for StyleBistro.com, a fashion illustrator and vintage shopper. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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