Friday, February 20, 2009

Julian Louie Loves Sparkly Bullfighters.

Interesting impact of the economy on the fashion industry #2,367: There were so many more "clothing presentations" this season. This means that the usual media suspects were invited to events where the collections were shown up close and in person, without the same stomping-paced, thumping-music-required, giant, maximum catwalk that everyone has come to expect as standard. Instead, models were asked to stand around in various configurations for various lengths of time while people observed them and their wears in minute detail. This is an of-the-moment necessitated throwback, actually. That's how it used to be done, before the industry blew up into the media spectacle it is. The select viewers--media representatives, buyers, tastemakers, and the like--were invited to see collections in salon style settings. There they could watch the garments function like clothes, not purely as hyped spectacle.

Yesterday's Julian Louie show was a presentation where the audience came and went at their leisure while the models walked again and again.

Julian Louie followed this old school path down presentation road for his collection viewing yesterday. Held at Drive In Studios in Chelsea, the show was a two hour long repeating parade of models in the New York Magazine-declared It-Designer's Swarovski crystalled, Spanishy flared pieces. In the blank, white studio space, the models walked out across a skylit backdrop, stepping just a few paces and then pausing for view and proceeding to the next pause point. It was kind of like a really slow, walked-in trip around the bases. Then they reset and repeated-- for two hours. It was like witnessing endurance modeling. I wonder if the castings included last man standing competitions like on Survivor. While I felt for the models on repeat, this was a great way to actually see the clothing.

Lucky for everyone involved, the clothing was very interesting. With hints of Prada and touches of Ghesquiere, Louie's pieced together, multi-colored and textured garments were futuristic with a focus on skilled fabrication. You could see the construction of the garments; visible seams, rivets holding piece to piece, shaped curves. The dresses and jackets were obviously built by a pro. They also looked like Spanish Bullfighter costumes from a new New World. The pants were tight and cropped. The jackets were too. But they were accented with sparkling sections of fabric (which looked like those magical blocks of glittering NYC asphalt) and bejeweled with crystalled flaps like sparkly circuit boards. If the models were actually fighting bulls, the bulls would be giant Judith Leiber clutches come to shiny, light diffracting life. Watch the sparkle in action in this vid I shot:

Pretty, shiny things. It was a great collection to see up close. Louie's one to watch, and watch, and repeat, and watch again.

Photos taken by me, see the below post for proof!

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