KATYA LEONOVICH: ART, FOR FASHION’S SAKE

DESIGNER BRINGS HER ART TO LIFE FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2013

I have often thought that creative people were, simply, creative.  They could probably have found their calling in art, fashion, writing or any other creative pursuit.  Katya Leonovich goes a long way toward proving that true.

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As a painter, she was able to bring her canvas to the runway, using hand-painted fabrics in a palette of greys, creams, beiges and greens.  Her complicated designs, skillful draping, big shoulders and asymmetrical hems could have gone horribly wrong in different hands.  But here, they are beautiful and feminine, but never overly girly.

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Leonovich used leather to show she’s still a designer with an edge, and in some cases, stiff bodices made the looks even stronger.  Everything in the collection is right on trend, from the bold prints to the cut-outs, sometimes in surprising places.  The jewel tones gave the looks a real richness, and the mix of textures like soft chiffons, lace and leather, gave it real character.

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There was plenty of shine, but no real bling to speak of.  But that’s okay.  In this collection, it would have been out of place.

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The final surprise was a pair of hand-painted dresses, one incorporating the face of President Barack Obama, the other the face of Republican opponent Mitt Romney.  Political statement?  An attempt to get out the vote?  Who can say?  I do know that Katya Leonovich is a designer I’d like to support.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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