[All images via MercedesBenzFashionWeek.com]
For F/W 2010, Venexiana envisioned an extravagant ball, where all the guests were dressed to bedazzle in glamorous gowns of several kinds. Firstly, she started off with classic black-and-white numbers; the looks were opulent with sequins and chiffon at floor-sweeping lengths – while some posessed a funky edge – a fishtail polka dot gown, for example. The collection then segued to the way more dramatic looks strutted down the runway – you didn’t think Katie Stern was going to turn to completely classi, did you? After broadening the color palette, the collection’s most unabashedly over-the-top pieces had the enchanting quality of fairy tales reminiscent of Venexiana’s rougher couture edge.
Academy of Art University
Every year, Academy of Art University selects several outstanding students to premier their collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. This year, they chose six, all with a distinct style and determined not to be forgotten among Fashion Week’s countless shows. First came Marina Solomatnikova, who put the dreamy and the strong together by pairing a suede suit with a silk dress tantalizingly tucked underneath. We saw silk in Bethany Meuleners’s collection too, but this time as asymmetrical tops over other textures like mesh and lace. Naomi Sutton was an entirely different matter altogether; inspired by farms in Minnesota, she sent down the runway dressed-up prairie aristocrats wrapped up to the neck in long lace dresses, black bows and hats. Hyo Sun An took us back to modernity, with structured jersey dresses adorned with strings. Steven Oo spices up his wool jackets and scarves with spikes and Sabah Mansoor Husain makes his otherwise plain strong-shoulder jackets and skirts dazzling with shiny, jewel-like studs. From the little we’ve seen from each designer – less than ten from each – they have all passed their finals with a magnificent A.
Fall, Ivy H. tells us, is the season of the samurai. Inspired by the ancient Japanese warrior, she displayed tops with kimono sleeves and outfits with structured tops and loose, high-waisted bottoms. Also inspired by Japan was a print evoking their national flag that could be found in Ivy H.’s invite, dresses and tops — against a white background is red paint spontaneously splashed across her canvas. Ivy H.’s second collection is a fine example of a unifying theme adapted for chic yet practical, often office-appropriate pieces.
– Justina Lee