There are designers who are keeping their
concepts simple and classical for fall: Carmen Marc Valvo, Carolina
Herrera, Douglas Hannant, Luca Luca, Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de
la Renta, Bradley Bayou for Halston and Pamella Roland, as reviewed
by Phillip D. Johnson
Photographed by Cheryl Gorski/www.cherylgorski.com
and Richard Spiegel
Pamella Roland runway photographs provided by Joan Deignan
Bradley Bayou for Halston
IS FICKLE, and once venerable, respected labels are apt to
die a slow, agonizingly public death. But in the right designer's
hands, a design label can be reborn and become as constant as one
season following the other. That was the case when designer Bradley
Bayou joined Halston as Creative Director in December 2002.
In February, Mr Bayou returned to New York with the most perfect
jewel box of a collection inspired by America's natural terrain,
the fall foliage and changing leaves of Northern New England [and]
the white birch trees and snowy landscapes of Aspen.
Mr Bayou, a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy,
the University of Texas, and Dallas's Southern Methodist University,
is a painter and sculptor whose work has been exhibited at galleries
in New York, Washington, DC and Los
Angeles. He is also the first to tell you that he is a self-taught
designer who views the Halston name as probably one of the
most important American names in fashion of all time.
When I was younger, I'd go to the library
and read books about fashion, he told a fellow writer for
Cotton Inc's web site, www.cottoninc.com.
[T]he three designers that influenced me the most were Norman
Norell, Cristobal Balenciaga and Halston.
clean, sexy, American clothes
My designs are very similararchitectural,
sculptural and sexy.
Continuing in this vein, he further remarked,
I believe perfect design is a perfect balance. No one has
a perfect body. I take my design concepts and apply them to real
people. Sometimes I call myself an illusionist. I dress all different
kinds of women, from Halle Berry and Debra Messing to Oprah and
Queen Latifah. I want to make all women look beautiful no matter
what their size or shape.
I'm not an élitist, I want
everyone to wear Halston and look great.
His 17-piece eveningwear collection for fall was
breathtakingly beautiful, a masterful work of limitless imagination
and creative engineering. Mr Bayou recreated the elements of fall
literallyas in his silk taffeta falling leaf gownand
figurativelyas in his five layer metallic organza ball gown.
In between all of this, he simply moved got on with the business
of creating magic on a small scale.
I loved his silver embroidered silk party
dress (with taupe leather bodice) because it allows the wearer to
affect being a virginal innocent and a major hottie at the same
time. Any woman would be thrilled to bits to wear his ivory super-sheared
mink coat with vintage crystal accents over a wool crêpe mini-dress
and his ivory wool crêpe pant suit with pleated jacket. The
suit is just simply one of the best all-round pieces I have seen
in a long while. Even when he ramp up the glamour factoras
he did with his sterling sliver sequin- and crystal- embroidered
($17,000 worth of glamour!) and silver iridescent loop pailette
gownshe kept the silhouette simple.
Any woman would be thrilled
to bits to wear his ivory super-sheared mink coat with vintage crystal
accents over a wool crêpe mini-dress