NYFW recap | Chuks Collins * Kevin Hall * Albright College Designer Showcase
PART ONE - TASOU Collection | Favorite MEN'S Pieces
Favorite WOMEN'S Pieces
The S/S 2022 collection from The Athletic Side of Us (TASOU) features menswear
and womenswear by designer Chuks Collins. Set in the Ancient Benin Kingdom where transitional fashion meets this ancient civilization from southern Nigeria. Designed for everyday life, it’s streetwear meets athletic wear with a couture sensibility. As a brand that celebrates the athletic side of humans, TASOU relates the human experience with functional clothing that also focuses on sustainability by being eco-forward.
“My idea was to do something very forward and comfortable that’s easy to wear, but also very summery and upbeat at the same time. My menswear is inspired by me and what I think about when I pack a backpack for a few days trip,” says Collins.
The two philosophies of “Art Self” and “Act Self" act as the foundation of this collection; expressions of the soul acting in congruence with expressions of the mind and body. Looks are meant to be functional, fluid and forward, that work for both men and women to fit the human experience. The TASOU Graffiti set for men, a shorts and top set can be worn for any activity. The shorts can be worn for an outing, running, swimming or just staying at home to lounge around.
For women’s, looks include a mesh belting that offers comfort in wearing. The TASOU Graffiti print in black and white, as well as the orange can also be found in the women’s collection. “I wanted something that was functional for women that can be worn from day to night, from pants and dresses. I was also looking for colors that would transition with other items in a woman’s wardrobe,” states Collins. Most pieces in the men’s and women’s collections are also considered gender fluid like the boyfriend t-shirt.
PART TWO | Favorite Pieces RESURRECTION collection SS22
Photo Credit: Diane Allford | Sivan Miller| Sharon Yang
With a focus on time and freedom, the Chuks Collins Spring Summer 2022 collection “Resurrection” draws upon human abilities and our desire to create infinite possibilities. Resurrection is something we rarely notice yet we see often. It happens in nature, in our parks, and gliding in the air. It moves with time and most importantly takes place within our bodies daily. The beauty of these seemingly mundane yet exquisite happenings inspired the collection.
“I was in a place where I was thinking of how we can attain all that we desire through the abilities within us. I became obsessed with the word resurrection; what can feel like nothing even though everything is there. It took me on a journey towards a personal search for that which can be found within myself. The changes were in me, I just needed to look closer,” says Collins.
Tapping into his creative spirit, the designer took photos of cocoons, studying the resurrection
process of the butterfly. In addition, he also looked at the human muscular system for elements of strength and structure, another facet of looking within oneself. These inspirations are realized through ethereal soft flowy fabrics contrasted with organic structured cuts creating unforgettable silhouettes. The palette draws from the jewel tones with ombrés of yellows, royal blues, wine reds, and browns, and has touches of African inspired cocoon prints.
Collins has taken this concept of rebirth into the silhouettes through fabric manipulation with pleating, heavy drapery, knitting, corsetry, and with an emphasis on structured shoulders. For the couture looks, the designer tapped into his tailoring skills and included lot of hand beading. His incorporation of the muscular nature of humans and the metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly is woven throughout the collection’s theme.
Brushstrokes Collection SS22 | Favorite Pieces
From flowing pieces to flirty silhouettes, Kevan Hall's Spring 2022 collection, “Brushstrokes,” responds to the elegance of a 1930's Parisian multi-culture. By referencing Christian Berard's signature painting style, Hall draws upon the influences of Berard's contemporaries– including Swiss sculptor, Alberto Giacometti, and interior designer, Jean Michel-Frank. This legendary time in history birthed a new intersection for fashion, theatre, and interior design. By merging these disciplines, Hall's collection translates trompe l'oeil details and architectural paneling into streamlined silhouettes for the modern woman. Collar and pocket details mirror accents found within a French interior.
After two decades away from New York Fashion Week - focusing on international presentations, building customer relations, a sustainable business model, and new retail strategies - Kevan Hall made his highly anticipated return to New York City. Known for his contributions to Hollywood glamour and streamlined silhouettes for the modern woman, Hall's arrival in NYC will herald a new public era for his brand.
Albright College NYFW SS22 Debut
9 Designer's Collective Showcase
Photo Credit: Elvia Gobbo Photography
September 11th 2021 will forever mark the minds of 9 designers from Albright College, a Liberal Arts based college located about 2 ½ hours from New York City in Reading, PA. Seven recent graduates & 2 current students made a fashionable impression on NYC with a wide range of collections ranging from “Rose”, a modern, graphic luxe swimwear collection by Josh Polk, to an equally at home by the sea contemporary collection by Jess D’Alessio entitled “Tulú Resort Wear.” The collection is inspired by the beaches of the Mexican Resort town of Tulum, and the resort collection....“Whispering Wings”, by recent graduate Luisana Batista.
Several collections were more conceptual... “Versailles XVI” by Stephanie Vargas Hemmings who channeled the extravagance of French maximalist design & mixed it with her Puerto Rican cultural eye, as well as the architecture inspired collection by designer Mandy Boandl who cited modern “birds nest architecture” & the Eiffel Tower as her design touch points. Kaleb Murdock explored the minimal side of conceptual with his collection, entitled “Dissolved Girl” which sat at the crossroads of music, break-ups, & rust, of all things. Rounding out the conceptual section of the show was a recent graduate Ashley Hillegass, who named the growth of the Agricus Bisporus mushroom as her inspiration.
Albright College also has a very robust & celebrated Theatre Costume Design track as part of their Fashion Design Program which was highlighted through the collections of working theater costume designer Elizabeth “Liz’ Polley entitled “Homespun” as a nod to the collection’s root inspiration, and by current Albright student Amanda Castanon who was inspired to create her collection by the Renaissance & the costumes from the era.
Designers big and small made a splash with their SS22 collection, and with so many to choose from and share my favorites....thought I'd share these selects with you.
Hope you enjoyed the recap, until next time, thanks for reading LALOVE, your vertical that’s here to inspire, share and/or entertain with my experiences.
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