It’s time to pull out those saris and scarves…it looks like the Spring/Summer 2012 fashion season will be filled with global influences in vibrant, electric colors! Mixing culture with cool, several designers at New York Fashion Week grabbed inspiration from the constant multicultural influences around us. From the Haitian-inspired geometry at Donna Karan, to Egyptian exploration from Elie Tahari, a global mindset—and may we add “gilded” as gold was a strong steady)– was definitely a prevalent theme.

Thakoon

Of course, India, with its luscious textiles, also found its way onto the runways, most interestingly enough, with Thakoon Panichgul who married the exoticism of Bollywood with the rough and rugged American West. It was a collection to be seen: vivid colors of saffron, turquoise, orange and gold electrified silhouettes such as yoked western shirts, long, flowy skirts, short layered skirts and peplum blouses over shorts. Rich paisley prints, metallic borders on both pants and skirts and draped diaphanous scarves draped over the shoulder sari-style added a punch of Bollywood. Overall, the collection had all-around cool vibe and a very unique point of view.

Rachel Roy

Over at Rachel Roy, colonial era Vietnam (circs 1920-1930’s) inspired black and white dressing that borrowed heavily from schoolboy style. Asian floral prints danced around slouchy pajama pants worn under relaxed jackets while rich silks and hints of deep orange color brought the collection together.

Sachin + Babi

Sachin + Babi, headed by the design duo Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia, is bringing youthful playfulness in their normally restrained line. With the success of color from its last showing, SS2012 also brought a strong smattering of coral, yellow and navy accents. The cuts, though a bit boxy, gave a hipster appeal to the tailored collection.

Naeem Khan

At Naeem Khan, the three words printed on the show’s program were: colorful, racy and glamour, and judging by the standing ovation the designer received at the end, his followers were impressed. This collection was inspired by famed costume designer Edith Head and Ava Gardner, circa The Barefoot Contessa. Fluid caftans, scratched-feather beaded gowns, ostrich feather skirts, jersey dresses mixed with unexpected fabrics and beading, these were some of the offerings at this show. Hemlines ranged from short cocktail to sweeping-the-floor black tie. Ranjana Khan’s bold jewelry accompanied the collection. With the front row lined with the likes of Mischa Barton and Rachel Roy, there is little doubt that the collection will soon be seen on some red carpet very quickly.

Bibhu Mohapatra

Bibhu Mohapatra found inspiration in Helmut Newton’s erotically charge black and white photographs that have been a mainstay at publications like Vogue. Chain link prints and laser cut silhouettes hinted at Newton’s bondage fetish while well-tailored circular jackets topped long, wide legged trousers. Mohapatra’s use of nudes, sheers and body conscious cuts lent itself to a strong, sensual vibe.

Falguni + Shane Peacock

It was all rock and roll over at Falguni & Shane Peacock where the designer duo, true to form, presented a collection cohesive in its many juxtapositions. From leather striped dressed, to sheer fabrics mixed with bold prints and FSP’s signature feathers, the collection consists of dresses that stand alone, loud and proud. Military accents were found in strong shoulders, officer’s stripes and leather harnesses, while statuesque jersey dresses were a fabulous study in the unexpected mix of materials. Joan Rivers sat in the front row and the show closed with upcoming pop/heavy metal singer Porcelain Black, whose latest single, “This is What Rock and Roll Looks Like,” accurately summed up the show.

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