Monday, September 19, 2011
Set the Mood, Set Sail
Regularly during the summer I seek artistic inspiration around the steamy streets of the Big Apple. My thirst takes me on quests to Tompkins Square, Central and Washington Square parks where the people hesitate to stop moving and there's enough energy in the air that it almost seems synergistic in nature, them channeling your tastes, you cataloguing their hustle-bustle. Now while the excess of people in all kinds of activities, dress and traits are tremendously intriguing there is a great deal of serenity in going by the West Side Hudson Piers and just letting my mind clear itself so I can soak in the city's energies by fixating on the open expanse of its ever-flowing waterways. It's these quiet moments, oftentimes, that help those designers inspired to create and those in a creation process reflect on how to cohesively assemble it all.
I can only imagine that the journey for Christian Siriano has been a non-stop once since his thrust into the often turbulent, deliberately fickle but ever-rewarding fashion arena. It's always different once the cycle starts and you realize that it's not just enough to make a pretty show-stopping frock; you have to convince investors, buyers and consumers that it should be acquired through methods of not just good design but profitability, advertising appeal and lifestyle necessity alike.
I always like to imagine what a mood board looks likes in a design house. Judging by Mr. Siriano's Spring 2012 show I can only guess his mood board had tacked beneath the gorgeously layered, tucked, gathered and rusched chiffon and georgettte swatches, images of waves cresting, crystal clear rippling waters and pics of sea-foamed kissed maidens.
Never content on just giving you halfheartedness, the collection showed the growth of a young designer in the age where a multitasking business eye must coexist with an eye that can manipulate the wispiest silk into a gown and that gown onto an attention-fawning starlet. There were strong focuses on lightness and transparency in delicately smocked chiffon dresses and skirts that seemed to want to evoke an air of effortlessness. His color palette this season ranged from vibrant corals to Caribbean azures and sandy sun-kissed tans.
Adding to the air of effortless was the attention paid to the beautification of the models and in particular, their hair. The Aveda hair team headed by Antionette Beenders recreated Mr. Siriano's vision with beachy locks reminiscent of a seaside day of frolicking by applying a bevy of products, one of which mimicked that gritty sand-hewn windswept coif a day of beachcombing brings about. Make-up was kept light and fresh with brightened eyes and dewy natural enhancing hues atop glowing bronze-beat skin tones.
What stood out here for Mr. Siriano was the consistency that every designer trying to establish their label as either a cult brand or household name realizes early on. The laurels under which you become famous is what become your trademark. Right out of the box it was clear that this designer was a lover of vampish sophisticated fashion rooted in grand even campy silhouettes. His aesthetic wants to empower women with colorful flourishes, sumptuous fabrics and bold shapes celebrating womenswear the same way tailoring, textile and tradition embody menswear. The realest design challenge on the way to infamy for this 'Runway' alumni is to now continue to infuse the realities of fashion and commerce while not becoming jaded on his search to keep his artistic inspiration. To thine own mood board be true.