Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall ’12. Carmen Marc Valvo’s Film Noire Femme Fatales

February 12, 2012 • Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Fall '12

Summary: No one can turn back the clock quite like Carmen Marc Valvo. At once a master of glitz and refinement, Valvo is one of the few remaining designers today who bases much of his design philosophy on the feminine poise, strength and beauty of bygone eras. We’ve seen his take to the full skirts of the 50’s and the ladylike sheaths of the Mad Men 60’s; but for Fall ’12, when other designers were either embracing the boho chic of the 70’s or looking ahead to the as yet undiscovered decades, Valvo went the other way, and chose to exude the quiet glamour of the Film Noire 40’s. Based on the femme fatales of the classic movie genre, Valvo wanted to create a collection that possessed the strength of the era’s menswear fashions with the sensuality of a silver screen siren.

Pantsuits, a none too often seen piece in the a CMV collection, channeled a Katherine Hepburn-like elegance but updated with cashmere flannel insets. Long coats in double-faced wool were reminiscent of the Casablanca-era Ingrid Bergman, though slim-cut and belted for a more modern shape. And the silk evening gowns with crystal beading resonated with all the playful sexuality of Rita Hayworth, complete with sheer, peek-a-boo swatches. Valvo reminded us of a time when fashion was unfussy, tasteful and flattering. Instead of baring skin, he alluded to it, choosing liquid silks and crepes in floor-dusting lengths to carve out the feminine figure. And while Valvo may not be the most cutting edge or youthful designer, a turn many have taken in recent seasons, he has at least stayed true to his vision and signature aesthetic. And as always, I was thrilled to bear witness to it.

Color Palette: black, nude, ivory, camel, pewter, espresso, chocolate, ruby, moss, oatmeal, grey, glen plaid print, smoke,

Fabrics and Textures: double-face wool, embroidered, stretch crepe, sueded python, double-face cashmere, camel hair, beaded lace, sheared mink, wool, four-ply silk, wool felt, double-face stretch crepe, leather, cashmere flannel, feathered fox, silk organza, sequins, tropical wool, crystal

Key Looks: Black double-face stretch crepe dress with sueded python insets, Espresso sheared mink coat, Ivory wool felt coat, Ruby double-face stretch crepe dress, Pewter double-face cashmere pantsuit, Camel double-faced gown with beaded lace inset, Gray cashmere flannel illusion cocktail dress, Smoke tropical wool evening gown with sequined yoke, Ruby four-ply silk crepe illusion gown

-Alia Rajput

Photos: WWD

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