Desigual offers colorful start to NY fashion week
By Fran Blandy ,AFPNEW YORK -- Spanish brand Desigual took the New York fashion crowd to the Mediterranean on Thursday, offering up a colorful spring collection that clearly bore the stamp of collaborator Christian Lacroix.
September 7, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The lively catwalk show came on the first day of fashion week in the Big Apple — a frenetic seven days of presentations for spring-summer 2014 before the style parade moves over to London, Milan and Paris.
Lacroix, who made his couture comeback in July in Paris with a one-off collection for the revived house of Schiaparelli, has worked with Desigual since 2011, and his Mediterranean roots were clearly on display.
The fast-growing Spanish brand offered up a more chic and subtle version of its trademark look: intense prints, vibrant colors and flamboyant graffiti art.
Typically stony-faced models pranced, laughed and at one point even skipped down the runway to upbeat music in the brand's debut show.
Desigual CEO Manel Jadraque said the collection was “more quiet, more sophisticated” than usual, but there was still plenty of color on the catwalk.
Jadraque said the collection was “practically Lacroix,” highlighting the designer's key role for the label.
Seated in the front row, Italian actress and model Isabella Rossellini smiled broadly throughout what she told AFP was a “very cheerful” show, saying that she particularly liked a series of geometrical black and white dresses.
Harem pants were paired with a bomber jacket, there were jacquard shorts and a T-shirt with a hypnotizing motif, as well as jungle prints with florals.
One model wore a cropped top with a long striped skirt embellished with flowers on the side, while several maxi-dresses were also on show.
Earlier in the day, brother-sister duo Nicholas K offered up an earthy collection with a Native American feel.
To the beat of drums and Apache calls, models with fishtail braids over mussed hair — often with a feather sticking out — took spectators on what the designers called a spiritual journey.
A subdued palette of alabaster, granite, onyx and rich brown reflected the New York-based designers' origins in Arizona.
Knee-high and ankle boots accompanied loose, draping dresses, long light jackets, translucent tops and loose-fitting shorts.
Christopher Kunz, the female half of the duo, said the clothes were “very medicine man — they had a surreal look to them.”
She said the collection targeted “a strong, spiritual woman.”
David Tlale, who last year became the first ever South African designer to secure a stand-alone spot at New York Fashion Week, was back again with his latest collection, “The A-lister.”
Showcasing craftsmanship in his homeland, where all the pieces were made, Tlale mixed different textures, beads, bits of leather, silk organza and chiffon for a “punk fusion” collection he said was a clash between the 50s and the 80s.
Several dresses had daring see-through bodices, and he mixed leather pants, shorts and dresses with a geometric print.
Celebrities and fashionistas have flocked to the city for the event, which runs through Sept. 12. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend various shows and parties throughout the week.