New York Fashion Week Spring '13: Catherine Malandrino's Ornate Explosion of Detailing

Summary: Other than a black sequin body-con dress I picked up in a Chicago vintage store a few years back, I haven’t spent a lot of time with Catherine Malandrino‘s designs. So arriving at her presentation in the Meatpacking district today, I had no idea what I would be in for, other than that it would probably be very chic and err on the more glamorous end of the sartorial spectrum. I was more than pleasantly surprised with the designs on display, and, overall, found Malandrino’s extensive detailing, minimal use of color and creative interloping of texture and patterns to be really beautifully designed and powerfully communicated. Opaque cutouts wove like a labyrinth across jackets and sleeves, making me feel as if I were witnessing a subtle homage to Egyptian hieroglyphics (I’m pretty sure this isn’t the case, but bear with me here). Exposed seams traveled down pants and shorts in a sunburst pattern, and nearly every piece featured its own graphic explosion in a way that was extremely captivating, but not at all overwhelming. The color palette itself was very feminine and pure, but Malandrino’s detailing was so precise, so ornate, so deeply etched into each garment, that the clothes themselves evoked a very powerful energy. I can’t say enough how much I loved the pants in this collection: from the hyper palazzo to the draped, slouchy harem, they were chic, beautiful and very modern, and I would love to strut about the city in each of them. I was not a huge fan of all the crochet. While it’s obvious that these pieces were painstakingly designed and made, they aged the collection and did not complement the more luxe pieces, like the crocodile embossed leather and gorgeous beaded embroidery. They simply were not as chic.  Otherwise, this was a special collection, the detailing of which is not done justice in photographs. Well done, Ms. Malandrino.
Colors: White, black, mint green, sand, ivory, golden yellow, red, sky blue, seafoam green, lychee
Fabrics and Textures: Crocodile embossed, leather, liquid jersey, mesh, asymmetry, studding, pleating, gathering, crochet, lycra, embroidery, crystal embellishments, jacquard, beding, tulle, crepe, satin, silk georgette, crochet beading, cotton guipure, denim, knit, viscose knit
Key Looks: Mint suede jacket with white crocodile embossed cap, a white sleeveless crop-top and mint crochet lycra skirt; Ivory leather jacket with mesh cutouts, ivory pintuck wide leg pant; Ivory pleated silk georgette Victorian blouse with leather motif, white crocodile piano key clutch and ponte shorts with mesh cutouts.
– Amanda Aldinger
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