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This week, designers are showing haute couture virtually for patrons to view from around the world. Below, we're sharing details from Ronald van der Kemp, Sterling Ruby’s S.R. Studio LA. CA., and Yuima Nakazato.
A concept of “Ethical Dada” inspired Ronald van der Kemp’s Spring/Summer 2021 haute couture collection. Treating sustainability as an art, the house focused on upcycling, seen in the use of repurposed material from discarded uniforms, vintage wall coverings transformed into dresses, and forgotten hotel paintings. The silhouettes incorporated styles imbued with a sense of old Hollywood glamor, combined with a dreamlike quality, achieved through details like colorful patchworking, mixed textural elements, and full skirts with long hems and dramatic shapes. Highlights included a gown in white covered in appliquéd flowers and a spiraling ruffle, a long dress in deep blue paired with a matching headwrap reminiscent of a robe that might be worn by a movie star on set, and a long floral skirt with a sheer top styled with 1970s-esque hair and makeup.
The artist Sterling Ruby’s fashion label S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA. debuted its first-ever couture designs this week in a collection entitled “Apparitions.” Shot in Los Angeles on the last day of the Trump presidency, it offered a musing on the history of the United States through an exploration of American heritage. An amalgamation of influences including styles taking cues from colonial times and religious persecution added a twist to references of the modern American wardrobe, including business, work, and skate styles. A play on volume in exaggerated bonnets, oversized Puritan collars, and wide-legged skate pants fashioned after modest skirts, was paired with a nod to the handmade in looks like a pair of oversized pants printed with mechanical imagery and worn with a statement knit sweater with long tassels, a cape and gown combination in multicolored plaid, and (our favorite) a tie-dye gown with a giant bonnet and loafers.
Yuima Nakazato’s haute couture collection “ATLAS” acted as a map of memories looking to the season’s muse, Lauren Wasser, following a dialogue between the designer and the model, held online. Inspired by Wasser’s resilience and bravery, the house set out to create garments that represented upcoming times of regeneration and transformation, executed through cutting-edge technologies that yielded complex garments equal parts sculpture and clothing. Techniques like Biosmocking—a means of textile-modeling to create 3D textures—and a sustainable materialization called Brewed Protein (made through a fermentation process that omits the use of petroleum and animals) were used to create stunning silhouettes comprised of a series of armor-like base components and swirling, protrusions of three-dimensional rainbow fabric that took on a life of their own. Photographed entirely on Wasser, the model was styled with a majestic headpiece and a pair of tall, shimmering boots with open lacing, which revealed her matching golden prosthetics underneath.