Sunday, June 20, 2010
Barbara Tfank Resort2011
This modest offering, only 15 exits, comes from a designer working in Los Angeles. For all intents and purposes it is a very ladylike aesthetic in the vein of Balenciaga by way of Catherine Charles. There will be no earth shifting moments , but I did sense a quiet, astute understanding of what women with a certain appreciation for clothes based on the high art of dressmaking will find compelling. The shapes are strictly of the flattering sort but the volumes of some of the short jackets, evening coats and dresses looked very interesting in the way they evoked images of Balenciaga. Her fabrics which for the most part were stiff and architectural were handled to their greatest advantage. A retro 50's and 60's Givenchy/Audrey mood drifted in and out of the presentation but not in a literal sense. It was more a romantic nod with a contemporary touch. The prints used in some of the dresses and gown reminded me of elegant patterns for wall papers and fabrics for the home from a time that was more discreet and refined. I can't help but think that these clothes are for women are more sophisticated and not just fashionable. These clothes have an aspect that says collectible. They don't look like dresses that date because they skirt the limits of trend. They are iconic. Whether this is your cup of tea or not, it's very refreshing to see a designer that listens to a voice that has been all but hushed by the noise that is so much of fashion today. This type of fashion is so easy for people to dismiss saying that it is more a view to the past and not relevant to today. With this current obsession with "vintage" it makes perfect sense because vintage is another word for skillful design: proportion, cut, exquisite fabrics, and refinement. So many of those elements are why countless designers from Marc Jacobs to John Galliano scour Vintage purveyors in order to recreate those looks and stick their labels in them. More and more people want to make wise investments in clothing that won't outlive their shelf lives in 6 months or less. This is one of those collections and worth a look.