Fashion Week Spring 2012: The Halftime Report

fashion week halftime report

Photos: Imaxtree

Spring 2012 looks from Victoria Beckham, Jason Wu, and Prabal Gurung

Four days down, four days to go: We’re midway through New York’s Spring 2012 Fashion Week. Let’s review, shall we?

Like last season, the group that’s generated the most buzz so far is New York’s younger set: Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, and Prabal Gurung.

Wu’s pop-art spin on his usual lovely ladylike fare resulted in rave reviews across the board. “Another impressive outing, an expression of young glam with a whiff of mischief,” wrote Women’s Wear Daily, while pronounced that “Knowing just how far to push things may be one of Wu’s most valuable gifts.”

Wang, whose collection was called “stellar” by WWD, didn’t get much love from the New York Times' Cathy Horyn, who wrote that “Mr. Wang is a boy disguised as a designer — or maybe it’s the other way around — but whatever the case, he doesn’t want to grow up, and the clothes naturally follow that youthful spirit. In fact, about the only time Mr. Wang gets in trouble is when he attempts to do serious Fashion, an understandable temptation if you want the challenge, and the grown-up respect.”

Reactions to Gurung’s Spring show were also a bit mixed, with critics noting themes borrowed from Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. “Some of the sheer panel dresses might seem iffy,” wrote Horyn, “but Mr. Gurung’s risk-taking help keeps the fashion industry vital.”

“It was more than a lot to take in,” commented

The other must-discuss collections thus far come from those so-called celebrity designers, the Olsens and Victoria Beckham. While the fashion world can be a less-than-welcoming bunch when it comes to stars trying their hand at designing, The Row and the Victoria Beckham collection have garnered more respect than many a Parsons-trained ingenue or industry vet.

“Something about the twins’ attitude towards designing and presenting generates a sense of calm and separation around them—nothing pretentious or intellectual, just an apartness that allows them to concentrate on the reality of how clothes will be worn, and the details,” Sarah Mower wrote of The Row’s collection for “The Olsens’ aesthetic continuum is convincing.”

As for Ms. Beckham: “Season by season, in perfectionist fashion, she's added new elements: volume, print, embroideries, a bag range, and now, for Spring, a timely new interest in utility and sport,” wrote Nicole Phelps for, noting that, even with the sporty touches, Beckham’s glamour factor hasn’t dipped a bit.

Other hits so far have come courtesy of Suno, which Cathy Horyn called “much more relevant,” Altuzarra, described by as “confident,” with “a depth and complexity,” DNKY, which WWD called "no-brainer chic,"and Diane von Furstenberg, unanimously declared a feel-good outing by everyone from the New York Daily News to the Wall Street Journal.

Whew … and yet we’re only halfway through. Keep checking back with FashionEtc for all this weeks hits and happenings!