Entering Rosie Assoulin’s presentation on Tuesday, one felt as if in a small art museum. Many of the garments looked like colorful works of art.
One printed silk dress was emblazoned with square panels looking like painting frames; inside the frames were squares of vivid “marbled” fabric. And there were boots to match, with the same color scheme and marbling effect. Other dresses looked like Jackson Pollock paintings, with a riot of droplets of color.
Some of Assoulin’s most popular designs used thin, pressed pleats — in metallic fabric, in silk or in cotton.
And there were the crystals, too — over 120,000 of them, according to Swarovski, which collaborated with Assoulin — on dresses, skirts, pants and other garments. One gown — a white, midriff-baring number with crystallized bands of horizontal color — was intended to evoke a layer cake. Even more, it was meant to recall that famous “cake left out in the rain” in the ubiquitous song “MacArthur Park.”
Speaking of cake: There was that, too — the real kind! — served up to the guests. There was also a crepe chef, serving up pretty crepes with dabs of color to resemble, well, a Rosie Assoulin dress.
INSPIRED BY ART AT BADGLEY MISCHKA
Even old, established fashion brands need a little inspiration and innovation to stay edgy: Badgley Mischka featured classic patterns and shapes in rich textures, combined with creative appliques and accessories, and a beacon of light running throughout.
A few models looked ready for a 19th century ballroom, with crinoline skirts and meticulous embroidery.
Designer James Mischka said the collection was inspired by a painting by the Italian artist, Caravaggio and his use of light and darkness in his work.
“We took his chiaroscuro affect and applied it to fabrics. There are a lot of dark-based fabrics that have treatments, so they have a lot of light coming through the center of them, which is really kind of a magical effect,” Mischka told The Associated Press before the show Tuesday.
Thick brocade ball skirts felt fresh with deep plunging halter tops in velvet and satin. Flowy leopard dresses and silver sequined and beaded gowns dazzled the runway. Nearly every model sported an up-do that accentuated extra-long dangly earrings, made of feathers, beading and tulle that caught the eye and added a modern touch.
The brand has long been a retail and red carpet favorite but even a successful design house needs to stay relevant. Badgley Mischka has partnered with application software company SAP to create an innovative app for fashion week aficionados. You download the app on your iPhone or iPad and interact in real time with the collection on the runway and then after the show.
The show models were the first test. “The models are millennials and they were all like, ‘this is the future! This is amazing!’ and they all have it on their phones now,” Mischka said with a smile.