2010 September 14

Runway Reviews: Michael Bastian, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Rad by Rad Hourani, Diesel Black Gold

Michael Bastian Spring 2011 Michael Bastian Spring 2011
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Michael Bastian managed to style an impressive amount of elements within his Spring Collection: scuba gear, a flip flop collab with Havianas, backpacks, crew-neck sweaters, and then, of course, his impeccably tailored signature suits. After also working for Gant for nearly a year, it was very interesting to see a further incorporation of true sportswear in Bastian’s own signature collection: a contrast between bright windbreakers and bowties. But as good as his neon “casuals” looked, his dinner jackets, cashmere sweaters, and perfect shirts were even better. Bastian’s versatility and appreciation for lighter things in life is very admirable indeed.  

The Brazilian Alexandre Herchcovitch shows in both New York (for the exposure) and Sao Paulo (for his roots)—which means that the collection that took the runway at Lincoln Center is the same one he showed in Brazil in June. The show started on a colorful note: models in bright little shift dresses in peach, green, coral, blue were monochromatic, from their frocks to their lipstick to the enormous platform heels balancing precariously on a pin-thin heel. As the show progressed, so did the colors: monochrome became a graphic, almost tetris-like pattern, which became a paint-splatter print, which became bright ombres in shiny satin. They won't be easy to wear---everything was super-structured, with wide shoulders or sculpted and pleated details---but they're definitely works of art.

Rad Hourani is a true believer in inspiration coming purely organically, and doesn’t draw on any school of thought in particular, seeing fashion and design as a “no boundaries” realm. However, he has a distinct point of view: unisex apparel. Hourani delivered a Spring 2011 collection that was, true to form, another celebration of androgyny. The Jordan-born 28-year-old designer presented his signature sleek skinny pants and boxy tops and jackets (as well as trousers) that look as if they could be manipulated in a dozen ways, to reveal a different look entirely. This may seem difficult to prove during a runway show, but Hourani did; male and female models walked side by side down the runway, emphasizing its unisex appeal and at the same time displaying the pieces multi-functions. Zip on, zip off.

Diesel has struck Black Gold in its sophomore collection designed by Sophia Kokosolaki, which has elevated this collection to the next level. Veering away from their predominantly denim and monochromatic '80s-inspired collections, Spring 2011 had a luxe feel, combined with a sexy boho-chic look based on San Francisco during the summer of love. Kokosalaki used an earth-toned palette with a majority of the pieces created from treated and burnished leathers, influenced by the late '60s and early '70s arts and crafts movement with artisanal detailing on cropped and fitted jackets, pairing them with leather shorts or high-waisted flare bottom jeans. Alternatively, the silhouette for the men’s collection was pegged stovepipe jeans.