“I never know what I really want so I flirt with the fabric a little while.”
Nassim Shadmani, born in Persia, might play coy initially but there’s no questioning her commitment to the relationship between design and fabric. She creates sumptuous and seductive dresses, as liquidy as Lanvin, using only one seam. Only one.
“It is from this kind of discipline I will grow as a designer.”
Ladies, you will melt. There’s vulnerability and confidence in every stitch. Inspired by the idea of contornionism, her “Bend, not break” collection plays with twisting and draping, matt and sheen, dark teal, silver and slate, slippery charmeuse and double-faced silk, to depict an unpredictable sensuality. The nonchalant ease of a slinky dressing gown with the intrigue of a geisha’s ceremonial wrapping.
Nassim was one of thirteen students representing the Art Institute of New York City who showed their graduate collections in the Lincoln Centre as part of Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week this week. I have watched these guys flourish through a relentless cycle of projects, deadlines and presentations but this was their biggest challenge yet.
They did me proud.
A highlight of the evening was the menswear which featured a nomadic bunch:
From a rambling gypsy highland punk…
“I’m always looking at what’s happening at this moment. The progression of design is important to me. Without progression, fashion design is pointless. I have sketchbooks full of a million different ways to manipulate silhouettes. I’ll go back through those sketches and pick a few to refine on a larger scale.”
When a Michigan-born carpenter and a Venezuelan biologist combine their talents to follow fashion, this is where they wind up:
If you’re a traveling sort but more in the market for a spot of glam-on-the-go, something from Cecil Dove’s collection of burnished golds and shimmering T shirt shapes might be just the ticket. How’s that for packable panache?
Or Jose Medina’s thoughtful layering of bling and matte, knit and transparent? This wallflower is making a break for the spotlight.
Or a leather and tulle evening dress with daring studded back for a romantic foray into the night and that Interview with the Vampire that all us modern girls dream about?
Oh, of course, we do.
I apologize for the blurriness of some of the photos but the show was accompanied by a driving electric guitar that meant I was head banging throughout which I haven’t done in years but intend to figure into my schedule more often.
I like to believe the blurriness symbolizes the speed with which these young talents will win over the industry and ascend to the top. Yes, keep on moving!
My novel Silk for the Feed Dogs, set in the international fashion industry, follows a young graduate as she strives for success while evading the snapping jaws of those villainous and ravenous “feed dogs,” gatekeepers to her dreams. You can buy it here.