Talbot Runhof hit a perfect note

Update: the full set of runway images can now be found after the jump.

If Louis Vuitton’s showing this morning had been decadent as a result of having the most impressive staging of all of the fashion shows for the season, then it can be said of Talbot Runhof’s that they had selected the most opulent of venues for the day. Corinthian columns were staccatoed amongst a room of illusionistic ceiling paintings and gold leaf. That opulence wouldn’t translate into Runhof’s autumn / winter collection, but the fact that this baroque room sat in contrast to the modernised walkway that led to it certainly would. For what we were presented with was something a re-emerging fall 2011 fashion trend in Paris: the masculinisation of women’s fashion for the season.

Look-after-look on Talbot Runhof’s runway nailed precisely that, and in fact it offered up the best take on the boyfriend shirt dress that I believe I’ve ever been privy to. But it did it all without leaning so heavily towards the masculine that the feminine was lost altogether.

While it opened with a female dandy look of a men’s hat and pleated trousers set against a bowed cravat shirt, it was the subsequent look of a backwards boyfriend shirt dress that really set the perfect tone for Talbot Runhof and this re-emerging trend. Cut with French cuffs, it looked as if it were a black and white shirt taken direct from my wardrobe. Yet this was no simple interpretation of the look. Where others have required a belt, the design duo behind Talbot Runhof included a set of ‘sleeves’ that tied at the nape of the back. And that’s where this shirt dress starts and finishes, leaving the back sensually exposed in a plunging v. It was nothing short of intoxicating. All boyfriend shirts should be this good.

Look after look emerged hitting the same man-style note. Few surpassed the shirt and fewer still were rooted wholly in womenswear. Each of these sat amongst the collection’s dress and gown component, with sheers presented against black and white ginghams. None came close to being as having as much impact as the shirt even though some leaned towards the coquettish courtesy of the splits and flashes thigh that achieved what the collection’s more voluminous cuts could not.

If there’s one criticism worth making of Talbot Runhof’s collection it’s that it was too devoid mid-length skirts. A masculine edge is all well and good and it sexually provokes in an elusive manner, but sometimes that elusiveness needs to be more pronounced, more overt. This collection could have done with just the odd inclusion of the overt to take the collection up another notch.

You can see all the photos from Talbot Runhof‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below. For ease I’ve also left in this picture of the boyfriend shirt.

Talbot Runhof boyfriend shirt