HexenHammer • Presented at the Maryland Institute College of Art's 21st Annual Benefit Fashion Show
This line is a turning point for the designer as it is the first time style lines and textiles have worked together seamlessly to form the timeless femininity that characterizes the brand. Familiar silhouettes: A-line dresses, flutter sleeves, and structured shoulders introduce the client to the curiously-inspired imagination of the designer.
Accompanied by excerpts from the Kate Bush albums Never for Ever and Hounds of Love, the line attempts to illustrate the arcane moonlit rituals of alleged 17th-century witches. The opening piece-- a layered black zibeline dress with a statement neckline and sculptural, spiraling split sleeves-- cites the inky cloaks of Shakespearean oracles. Immediately, darkness gives way to a stimulating palette. A black faux-fur collar complements a shocking pink shibori-dyed satin vest, its fins accentuate the waist over a contrasting printed chiffon pouf skirt. The ensemble recalls the Frankensteinian electricity of Tesla coils. Crystal ball prints give way to avaricious textures: swaths of gold paillettes and a heavy two-faced satin skirt with a hand-embroidered cummerbund. As the opulence reaches a climax, the line is abruptly whited-out. A hand-painted print invokes sigils and occult symbols within a sea of magenta flames. A sharply-tailored white jacket, paired with a white and gold tweed dress, reinstates the designer's commercial appeal. In a crescendo of Bush's operatic vocals, the show is concluded with the pièce de résistance: a tonal white wool and silk brocade pouf dress. Cartridge pleats at the waist drip into wax-like imagery. Satin panels cinch the waist, insinuating armor or corsetry and elbow-length tulip sleeves recall the high-dressmaking traditions of Tudor fashion. A revealing back brings the silhouette into the contemporary, embracing Woman's righteous sensuality, la petite mort.
Styling by Yihong Zhou