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FashionLucire Fashion 2004

Future talent is still getting the right sort of exposure at Gen Art: Phillip D. Johnson reviews its fall 2004 presentation at the Waldorf–Astoria and last month’s 2004 Styles competition

PHOTOGRAPHED BY RICHARD SPIEGEL AND DAN LECCA

 

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AST FEBRUARY, Gen Art unofficially opened the fall 2004 Fashion Show season with its presentation at the Waldorf–Astoria. Of course, organizers did their usual excellent job, but instead of showing the mini-collections of the usual eight or ten specially picked designers, they choose to focus on three collections from designers that are somewhat already established in the fashion industry (but at the same time could use a little boost).
   If anyone could use that boost, it is Oliver Christian Herold. Just as his star was rising within the industry, his professional and personal life, like so many other peopleís, got derailed by the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11. He was forced to reorganize his company, financially and otherwise; and this showing was, in a sense, a comeback appearance.
   Letís say the road to fashion heaven is paved with good intentions. He hasnít lost his touch in terms of the tailoring of his designs but he has become a tad bit sloppy. Designs that should have bowled me over left me bewildered and annoyed. For example, as beautiful as his gowns were, why werenít they properly fitted on the models? They were simply too long and unwieldy. (For the record, itís no fun bearing witness to a model falling on the runway and becoming fashion roadkill. Itís rather sad.)
   Having said that, hereís what I like about the designs: his sense of colour is still intact and I very much liked his í50s-inspired swing dresses and the pieces that directly got their inspiration from the late expressionist painter Jackson Pollack. Even though I griped about the length of his evening gowns, I was still quite impressed with several pieces starting with his hot fuchsia silk chiffon and Chartreuse silk gazaar gowns. He showed some growth with his colourful "pixie dust" top with its cream silk double georgette attached skirt. My favourite piece from the entire collection was his finalé: a vermilion silk taffeta and layered spider tulle gown. Letís hope that the past few months have given him the time he needed to find his centre again.
   The design team behind Ingwa; Melero consists of two talented young women from Germany. Nike Ingwa Clausing and Tina Hernaiz Melero have been quietly carving out a place for themselves within the New York City fashion industry over the past four years. They get their inspiration from several places: their mothersí handcrafting books from the 1970s (hence the fabulous knitted skirts and tops), for one. They have the ability to be sexy and sweet at the same time, hence the cape-like pink crochet top paired with a fitted red corduroy skirt with a bead and lace appliqué accent.
   The Ingwa; Melero team were finalists in the GenArt Styles 2002 competition; in August 2003, they were selected to participate in GenArt and Chryslerís PT Studiosí Program as one of three emerging fashion talents in New York City. Their line can currently be found at Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman and numerous specialty boutiques in New York, Los Angeles and around the country.

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TOP AND SECOND ROWS: Oliver Christian Herold. ABOVE: Ingwa; Melero.

 

The road to fashion heaven is paved with good intentions … Designs that should have bowled me over left me bewildered and annoyed

 

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Lucire: fashion magazine homeLucire Fashion FeaturesLucire Living and Beauty Lucire Volante: travel, accommodation guide Lucire fashion news, bulletins and events Fashion shopping guide and directory
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