Remember last year's Spring show, when the design duo drew inspiration from several iconic "Blonds" spanning all of time and space? Tinkerbell, Barbarella, Tweety, C3P0?
Well this time, they got all the material they needed from another widely recognizable blonde. The world's sexiest most legendary crazy cat lady: Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle. That's right: CATWOMAN!
The show beings with designer Phillipe Blond in full drag (a tradition) as full-on fabulous Catwoman. Then we back track a bit from there, these first few looks portraying Selina's epic transformation scene in Tim Burton's Batman Returns, backwards: A patent trench before she chopped it all up, and one of the most humorous references, the designers refer to as the "Hello There," dress. If you don't get it at first, this should jog your memory (and give you chills) :
And now it all makes sense.
Speaking of "all the material", what I really appreciate about the designers, is that they deliver collections that are not only beautifully made and wildly entertaining... they're also incredibly smart. They do what real designers do best. Something many people probably don't realize is most essential to design: RESEARCH!!!
Let me digress: in the short time I studied abroad in Milan, I participated in something called Metaprogetto or Metaproject, in which we teamed up with students from all over Europe. It taught me some very valuable lessons in design. Mainly how crucial it is to do insane amounts of research on your inspiration, before sketching a single thing. Indeed it was the longest phase of the project, spanning over a month, with regular meetings for critiques and editing. (Italians don't f--- around. Have you SEEN Milan Fashion Week?!)
Anyway, they went beyond just flipping through a comic book , finding an image of Selina they liked, slapping it on a t-shirt and calling it fashion. They interpreted their findings in an intelligent and gloriously opulent way.
Custom Gotham printed CAPED suit!
That's right. They didn't stop at Michelle Pfeiffer's portrayal. The more of the collection you saw, the more you realized that it played like a retrospective on the life and times of Selina Kyle, Catwoman' s many faces, and the iconography we associate with her.
One of the best examples of this are the jewel incrusted trio of thieves. Whether your first introduction to her was the comics, live action, or in my case the Bruce Timm animated series, she originally came onto the scene as a master jewelry thief. The worlds most glorified cat burglar.
They also beautifully paid homage to Eartha Kitt's "purrrrrrrrrrfect" late '60s Catwoman: beautiful dark-skinned models in leopard print. Both reminiscent of her chair on the series, and a possible nod to Kitt's love of leopard (or the 1968 filmation cartoon). Let's take a moment here....
Above: The late Eartha Kitt.
Right: Kitt's influence is obvious.
Below: Cats as mantles incorporated into the pieces.
Lastly, what look back at Catwoman's life would be complete without a nod to some famous friends?
The designers' deft hands at reinterpretation extended to a few other familiar faces.
I think I had as much fun blogging about this collection as the audience had witnessing the nostalgia inducing, geek-pride affirming spectacle! It was playful, charming, smart....aww hell, it was the cat's meow! (sorry, not sorry)
"Knitty Kitty". Complete with knitting needle nails by CND
Actually, one look at the infamous Joker smile may have served to drive home the message The Blonds deliver every season: Why so serious, fashion?