Are you an old-movie buff? Mark Badgely and James Mischka had a show for you. Their spring theme was the 1935 film version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” starring James Cagney.
And they weren’t the only designers thinking about that Shakespearean play. “The Dream,” a ballet inspired by the play and danced by American Ballet Theatre, was the theme of Christian Siriano’s spring collection. The fourth-season winner of “Project Runway” said he tried to re-create the ballet’s tulle-filled, pastel-colored fairytale world.
Straightforward enough. Sometimes, though, it’s a little hard to get the connection, not just between a designer’s inspiration or theme and their clothes, but even between the different elements of the theme. To wit, designer Naeem Khan’s theme: “The Duchess of Windsor: Exotic Gardens, Fiery Skies, and the Arabian Sea.”
So what’s the link between Wallis Simpson and those other things? Maybe not much.
“When you’re designing a collection, you can be super-focused on one thing or you can go a little wider,” Mr. Khan, who designed a shimmering state-dinner gown for Mrs. Obama, told an audience later. “This collection went a little wider.”
Ms. Lepore can relate to that. The ebullient designer literally danced offstage following her runway show. Backstage, her many themes were dancing through her head.
“Well, I was still looking at Oscar Wilde, from last season,” she said. “And we were recently in Ireland, and I was looking at all the greens, so clover was a theme. And of course, there’s the porcelain, those beautiful pieces from the porcelain room at the Chalottenburg Palace in Berlin.”
But wouldn’t it be enough, as she herself mused, just to have some pretty fashion ideas? Like her own lovely mixes of bright green prints with black-and-white checks and stripes?
Reed Krakoff seems to think so. After finding several ways, following his runway show, to say that he was adding sensuality to sporty looks, he concluded: “I don’t really ever have a theme.
“It’s just something that evolves over time,” he said. “It’s about creating something that makes sense. Something that feels right.”
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