Photographs by Katsianis D. Konstantinos
Lila Nova Fall/Winter 2012
Athens Xclusive Designers Week
Written by Bolanile Shennu
Photographs by Julie Badin
Manish Arora knows how to throw a kitchen sink at a collection and land on the chic side of the coin. The Indian-based designer’s Fall 2012/2013 collection was slapped with colorful glitter, emphasized even more by the occasional hint of graffiti (yes, I said it). And if you missed these “street” tags, the house cleverly decked its catwalk with a couple hooded artists to spray paint the background of the white-on-white catwalk in neon.
The fashion house exceeded what is expected of just prêt-a-porter collection. Arora’s fall collection showcased stunningly handcrafted beaded work. Each creation was more dazzling than the next as cramped spectators drooled over floor-grazing gowns that featured three-dimensional flower appliqué. But once the fairy dust of the opening dresses cleared, the designer hiked up the hemlines to tea-length cocktail dresses – all infused with a Street Art Meet Lotus Flower play. Even the collection’s silhouettes were a bit of fashion gumbo – riding the fence between the 50s and the 80s.
One of the most impressive aspects of the collection was Arora’s use of reflective trim. This restrictive fabric, usually reserved for flashy clubwear (leftovers from 1990s rave-wear), was masterfully transformed into sleek collars and attention-grabbing belts. Mix the trim with a saturated jewel-tone color palette and you have a collection that transcends into the upper echelons of fashion royalty. If the models had sported halos and wings, the effect would have been appropriately celestial. The designer finished the presentation with a slew of colorful dresses that blended seamlessly into the graffiti wall, poignantly reading “Life is Beautiful.”
For more of Manish Arora, visit her website at www.manisharora.ws.
Like a complex musical piece, Zuzu Kim seems to hit every note in her recent collection, “Romanza.” Primarily inspired by Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 20, “Romanza” encompasses the dynamics of a classical music composition. From dandy inspired suiting to feminine lace silhouettes, this collection successfully displays the classic juxtaposition of femininity and masculinity and also adds an artistic edge with amazing attention to detail. Each look exhibited in the collection includes an element that makes the viewer look twice, be it an unexpected pleating detail in the back of a conductor jacket or a high, ornate collar on a tuxedo blouse. Kim also successfully portrays her point of view through the collection’s unique styling. Colorful fur-covered earmuffs, cloaks, and bowties give the collection a playful yet refined look.
Ultimately, this collection reflects Kim’s musical background and inspiration while simultaneously creating a fresh take on Mozart inspired suiting. Kim’s collection and designs are young, feminine, and imaginative. The crescendo of “Romanza” may not be obvious or specifically defined, given that each look can ultimately stand on its own, but Kim does succeed by creating a harmonious story of fantasy-like fashions with a wearable feel. Christina “Zuzu” Kim will undoubtedly continue to infuse fashion with her pianist past but there is no telling where she will take it next.
For more of Zuzu Kim, visit zuzukim.com.