I love wordplay (see the title—alliteration for the win!).
Last week, I had the privilege of attending a private press viewing for the fall 2012 collections of Alice Yim, Stella & Jamie, Amber Sakai, Johanna Johnson and Lemaresca. It was a terribly windy day in late March, one of those days that would cause someone to like this Facebook page upon their arrival home. I was a little worried that I’d look like a disheveled hobo once I finally reached my destination, seeing as I got a little turned around. Lower Manhattan is a confusing place.
I entered a small room on the 8th floor of a really nice building and was greeted by an awesome woman named Raphie. The tiny space was occupied by four racks of clothing and a table covered in spiffy handbags and accessories. I pulled out my camera and notepad and was presently guided through each of the four collections. I will now recount the information bestowed upon me to you, my dear readers. You’re welcome.
She’s a New-York based designer who worked with brands such as Michael Kors and Geoffrey Beene before starting her own line in 2007, beginning with knitwear. I have a theory that everyone secretly has a love affair with sweaters at some point in their lives. She has presented her collections at Fashion Coterie New York (snaps for Alice!). Her fall line displayed a lot of feminine details such as lace, as well as leather —there’s that classic juxtaposition of soft and hard for ya! Her designs are clean, and the true workmanship is in the details. My favorite piece was the quilted leather jacket; what’s not to love? Quilts are reminiscent of that episode of Spongebob where his grandma stops making him cookies, and leather jackets remind me of that other Spongebob episode where the biker gang comes into town. I highly doubt Alice Yim’s intention when designing her fall collection was to invoke thoughts of a talking yellow sponge, but hey, different strokes for different folks, as they say.
STELLA & JAMIE
Despite how deceiving the brand name is, this line is actually designed by a woman named April in LA. I made the mistake of asking Raphie if Stella and Jamie were related, and she was like, “Actually…[fill in the above information here.]” April started her line six years ago, and has gained popularity since then. For her fall collection, there were a lot of knits and some really cool leather jackets with interesting details; there were tweed jackets (!); a lot of interesting juxtaposition of opposing fabrics or textures, like leather and chiffon, or fur and tweed, or leather and tweed. Lots o’ tweed n’ leather, if you didn’t already pick up on that. She also has a bag collection, including the super rad iPad case-purse hybrid with awesome fringe. Overall, this was one of the most cohesive and incredibly beautiful collections I saw, especially in person. The pictures don’t even do the clothing justice.
Amber is a former model, which is possibly why she began her design career making lingerie. You can see a lot of that influence in her clothing line. There’s a lot of lace and several bodysuits, to name a few undergarment-inspired pieces. However, fall collection also included some basic staples with a twist that one needs in one’s wardrobe, like a white button-up with an inverted V pocket on the breast, or a trench coat with a mesh overlay. Amber also designed a capsule line called The Weekend Collection. It’s essentially exactly what it sounds like—nine pieces that you can throw in your suitcase when you go somewhere for the weekend. These include things like a simple black skirt, or a lace long sleeve t-shirt, or even a pair of slouchy pants in a subtle giraffe print.
This one was actually quite exciting to see up close, because this woman has dressed some seriously famous people. She’s an Australian designer (she’s quite a big deal there, especially in Sydney) that started with bridal wear and moved into celebrity dressing. The tidbit of information that got me most excited was that she made Maya Rudolph’s Oscars dress this year. It’s no wonder Johanna has such incredible women wearing her clothes—they’re straight up gorgeous. She emulates a very Old Hollywood style and has a vintage appeal. She uses a lot of Swarovski crystals, and things like her beaded shrug are all hand-beaded. That’s intense. She’s also been exploring leather recently, like with Felicity Jones’s leather gown that she wore to the Vanity Fair Oscars Party earlier this year. Johanna has also done made some shoes for her fall collection; just simple flats and things like that. You wouldn’t want your shoes to upstage your incredible Johanna Johnson gown, now would you?
This accessories line is designed by two Brazilian-Italian sisters, one located in São Paulo and the other in London (technically it’s a London-based brand). They use a lot of fine leathers and snakeskins to make very interesting and funky purses, belts and clutches. I also noticed some pony (or another similar mammal) hair fun happening on a few pieces, as well as a lot of studs and bow detailing.
Be sure to check out the websites of all these incredible designers (the links are way at the top, when I first mentioned their names)—you won’t regret it. If you do regret it, well…that’s just silly.
by Odelia Kaly