Thursday, February 27, 2014
I stayed up late for the Balenciaga live stream, and even though I questioned disrupting my sleep for a few minutes of something I would have photos of the next morning, it was so worth it. The soundtrack - Crystal Castles?? - had a powerful but oddly ethereal vibe that perfectly echoed Wang's futuristic urban warrior women. I loved the crazy zipper detailing and the technical outerwear in the first half of the show, and I especially loved the looks with the models carrying a trio of uber luxe shopping bags. Apparently, this tribe of warriors loves to hit Barneys from time to time. The entire collection was just ridiculous, and I was blown away (literally, my jaw dropped) when the video reached the last few gem-encrusted cocoon sweaters. Homeboy is doing Cristóbal proud! And my heart completely stopped when Gisele came out in the last look. She was clearly aware that she was blowing minds at that moment, and it was a moment. Balenciaga was one of the first brands I really obsessed over, and Gisele was everything at that point in time in fashion, so this collection was oddly nostalgic for me. Alexander Wang has done so much more with this label than I imagined possible from his aesthetic, and though just a short while ago I feared otherwise, Balenciaga is still firmly holding its place as one of my favorite shows each season.
Monday, February 17, 2014
DESPITE THE SCORES of seasoned talents showing at Fashion Week, I am actually finding myself most inspired by a few terrific up-and-comers. New York's Sandy Liang in particular is one to watch. Her aesthetic is incredibly unique - imagining myself in her pieces, I can see the world in a whole new light. The pure joy I get from her work makes me feel like a kid again, full of hope and dreams and possibility. I don't know how she does it, but her pieces are simply magical. I know unicorns aren't real, but I feel if you are wearing one of her fluffy pink coats, they just might exist.
In addition to Miss Liang, who has yet to show to my knowledge, there were two designers in the Central Saint Martins Fall/Winter 2014 MA show that completely stole my heart. In similar fashion to Josep Font's couture sensibilities, Graham Fan and Anita Hirlekar are pushing the boundaries of ready to wear with exaggerated silhouettes finished to an extravagant level of detail. Both designers have an incredibly modern aesthetic, verging on the futuristic, although Fan accomplishes this with over the top construction and Hirlekar by way of traditional, yet intricate crafting techniques. Not surprisingly, their BA collections were equally astounding, proving these MA showings were not a one-time-wonder, and we actually have much to look forward to from these rapidly evolving talents as they make their mark on the future of fashion.
Gregory Fan's BA collection was inspired my the Marchesa Casati and sheds quite a striking light on the woman who as of late has been more notably reincarnated in the sugary sweet red carpet dresses of Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig's aptly named label. Fan's Casati, however, is much darker. She is decadently draped in crystals and cuts a strong-shouldered silhouette that brings to mind early McQueen, Natalie Portman's Amidala in Star Wars, and the powerful women of Game of Thrones. This Marchesa is no celebutante; Fan's woman is much more suited to the legend of the extravagant eccentric that paraded with leashed cheetahs and lived each day as a work of art. No doubt his future customers will be the true groundbreakers and risk-takers of our time.
In stark contrast to Fan yet no less equally inspiring, Anita Hirlekar is making a name for herself with designs constructed entirely by the traditional felting techniques of her native Iceland. Her luxe organic BA collection was inspired by the brush strokes of Rothko and Richter, and the pieced lace and tie-dye fabrics have me questioning my long-held predilection toward strong shoulders and masculine tailoring. Both her collections bring to mind the thought of wearable nature, and I would love nothing more than to walk in this dream of an enchanted, yet slightly haunting, garden. Hirlekar's BA collection is now available for custom order at Muuse. Sandy Liang pieces are also available for custom order by contacting the designer through her site. No word yet on Graham Fan.
Sandy Liang, @azizaxoxo, MyDaily, Afflante, Not Just A Label
Friday, February 14, 2014
JOSEP FONT'S DELPOZO is only in it's second year, and it's already my most looked forward to show in New York. The Fall 2014 collection certainly did not disappoint, as it was full of vibrant color and an indescribable airy quality that is unique among the fashion calendar. Standouts included a red bobble knit dress (that I am dying to own, although Moda Operandi hasn't included it, or the ivory sweater in the same material in their trunkshow - boo), a vibrant plaid quilted cape coat, and a sleek column shift that upon first glance appeared to be made of bronze chain mail but is actually intricately embroidered lightweight wool. Font's inspirations were broad, from the mid-century purist paintings of Duilio Barnabe to sci-fi novel Logan's Run, and the final product was an inspiring contrast of classic romanticism and futuristic fantasy. Something about this collection really embodies the ideal woman for me - soft but strong - and if you are looking to wear clothes that are painfully beautiful and feminine but feel fiercely empowering at the same time, then this is the label for you (and me).
Style, Jeff Koons 'Lips' via Guggenheim