“It's very flattering,” said Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef about Costello Tagliapietra’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection from her front row seat at Milk Studios during New York Fashion Week. The fact that a flour sack would be very flattering on Padma Lakshmi is beside the point, the collection is stunning.
The bearded, plaid-clad designing duo presented look after look of fluid elegance. Dresses and separates seemed to float along the runway, flaunting asymmetrical lines and draping fit for Greek goddesses doing time at Studio 54.
And oh, that draping -- tucks, gathers and twists combined to great effect, perfectly executed with occasional peek-a-boo slits to reveal the slightest bit of skin. Long evening dresses whispered of romance and retro movie stars, short wrap dresses spoke in suave sass; all somewhat timeless yet utterly modern.
Picking up on the abstract patterns the newlywed team produced for spring, this season’s prints are redolent of chrysanthemum and coral, abstracted beyond expectation into new organic forms.
Mixed in with the abstract prints were strong, sumptuous solids with flashes of complimentary trim. Rich muted tones (described as acidgreen, brownflower, inkblue, poppyred, ember-red, oxblood, nightflower, raisin, bark, steel, lavender, and steel seagreen) owe their loveliness to the special AirDye technique that has become a signature element for the team. The technology manages the application of color to textiles without the use of water and uses 85 percent less energy then traditional dying methods.
This is the sixth season the pair has used this sustainable process, and the way in which it allows them to play with both back and front color in the textile allows for a pop that is as subtle as it is striking.
That this perfectly graceful collection has been produced with such eco-friendly methods points to a dreamy future, where the best of designs are also those which can save the day.
The collection will be available at Barneys New York and select specialty boutiques worldwide.