lafw: jen awad

(images via can)

one of my biggest complaints about los angeles fashion week has always been the lack of consistency in the lineup. meaning that if one season i happen across a label that seems intriguing, hmm, well, snap! the next season, it’s miraculously gone, and probably never heard from again. however, i will grant that this season we’ve been rather lucky, and this time in the form of jen awad, a designer that caught my eye last time through with her s/s 2013 range that maybe didn’t reinvent anything as we fashion-wise know it, but nevertheless charmed me with its playful verve.

and so, for the f/w 2013 season, the designer moved to hollywood to present her range at siren studios, while explaining on her blog that it was titled ‘we are night sky’ in honour of a “song title by Dax Riggs that really resonated with me.” and although i don’t necessarily agree, wwd announced that “(i)f the author of ‘Flowers in the Attic‘ wanted to throw a wedding and invited the ‘Downton Abbey‘ fan club, she would surely ask Jen Awad to design,” as their summing up of the show’s aesthetic, though i’d argue that i got more of a thirties/forties german cabaret vibe mixing in with all the victoriana here–yannow, a subtle s&m, less than the novel, which i’ve never found particularly evocative along the clothing lines myself (and i never liked it, either, though i’m sure plenty of people will burn me in effigy for saying so).

alors. what i mean is…can’t you see at least a little marlene dietrich tossed into the mix here, particularly manifesting in those velvety menswear-inspired suits? hmm. well. anyway, according to the blog yawyw (yes, really), this was a “sleek and debonair take on women’s dressing,” as wwd (sorry, i meant to continue on above, but then i got distracted, as per usual) carried along that “(v)elour tuxedos in a wide swath of fall colors (with an especially lovely teal) alongside Victorian-inspired dresses in white lace and burgundy rounded out a somewhat contrived collection of dresses and separates.”

maybe that’s a little harsh, but then, i was looking for a little more playful action, and sometimes in the weight of all that heavy fabric cascading to the floor, alongside her done-up styling (the sculpted finger-waves, the deep crimson lips) we lost a little…joy? seriously, her girls seemed a little too melancholy, but then, maybe that was the point. anyway, elsewhere, racked weighed in that “Awad’s lineup included climate-defying navy velvet tuxes composed of high-waisted pants and cropped jackets with tails, belted velvet coats in jewel tones and velvet mini-dresses with sheer paneling that ran down both sides.”

finally, according to california apparel news, “(h)ighlights included a black velvet coat dress with a yoke of gold-flecked net, and a shrug made from upturned feathers framed the face. The gold-flecked net was used again for a belted swing coat and as side panels of a velvet dress that was not for the faint-of-heart.” so take from it what you will. indeed, i most enjoyed the shorter velvet robe/smoking-type jackets, such as that beautiful midi-length deep teal version with the wide lapels, but i wish she’d have explored some more variations on this than just adding some length or changing the colour, as it gave a stagnant effect to what was otherwise a good idea, a good collection. maybe it’s just that, like so many lafw others, she simply needs a good editor.

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