Spring 2012 Trend: Under the Sea

under the sea looks

Photos: Imaxtree

Spring 2012 looks from Chanel, Versace, and Alexander McQueen

Perhaps The Little Mermaid was the Netflix movie du jour for designers, because the realm of Ariel was inspirational fodder for everyone from Chanel to Alexander McQueen.

In Milan, Giorgio Armani had a subtle take on the trend, with an entire collection in a pearlized pallette and watery shades from pale turquoise to deep, shimmering navy. Prints were mostly abstract, but they evoked swirling water and all things oceanic.

At Versace, Donatella went for a she-sells-seashells approach. Seahorses and shells were rendered on pencil skirts in gold studs, while prints showed mermaids, starfish and seashells. (If we really wanted to get analytical, we would mention that in Greek mythology Medusa, the figure in Versace’s iconic logo, was turned into a monster after her affair with Poseidon, the sea god.)

In Paris, Karl Lagerfeld turned his models into Chanel sea creatures (albeit beautiful ones), with pearls pinned into their hair and adorning their faces, ears, and backs. Dense ruffles on some dresses evoked coral reefs, while simpler dresses were decorated with pale streams of water. And of course, on the accessories front, clutches were shaped like spiral shells. (Speaking of aquatic accessories, notice the shark-tooth necklaces chez Givenchy?)

And Sarah Burton put her signature showstopping spin on the deep sea for the Alexander McQueen collection, with bunches of bright coral on shoulders and necks, swirling strings of pearls, shell-like ripples on fabric, and, for her breathtaking finale look: a metallic, scale-y gown with a flowing, mermaid-esque tiered skirt.

We're officially calling it: The deep sea is fashion's new frontier. And maybe, just maybe, we'll revisit that Ariel costume for Halloween.