25 YEARS OF PURE, SPARKLING GLAMOUR
Several years ago, when I produced fashion pieces for CNN, I had one of the great joys of my career: the chance to visit Badgley Mischka’s showroom, just before fashion week. For me, at the time, it was a first opportunity to see how the magic of fashion was made. Out front, there were magnificent, beaded gowns that seemed to glow in a non-existent sunlight. Behind the scenes, there were racks and racks of more elegant gowns in various stages of readiness, reams and reams of the most luxurious fabrics, rows of sewing machines and women hand-beading other-worldly garments about to be presented to the public for the first time.
I have never forgotten those hours, the passion of the two men behind the magic, or the moment when I ploughed into one of those racks, creating a bang so loud I was afraid to open my eyes for fear of seeing thousands of beads rolling across the clean, white floor, hundreds of hours of work scattering like ants. When the panic ended, not a single bead had come undone, thanks to the fashion gods.
As Badgley Mischka took to the runway to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, every bit of that passion, beauty and elegance was as evident as it was at the very beginning. This is a label that knows its aesthetic as well as any design house: glamour, glamour and then a little more glamour. Though they do create ready-to-wear, even those pieces are several cuts about just about everyone else’s everyday wear.
The Fall 2015 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week began with a dreamy, long, white, pleated skirt, crop top and tweedy white jacket, sewn through with silver threads. That silver-shot-tweed would show up in everything from day dresses and the chicest bomber jackets to accessories. Theirs is a crisp, bright white that screams summer.
There were so many stand-outs in this collection: a flowing shirt dress in the palest of ice blues, another constructed bustier gown in the same blue, a petal skirt in that silvery tweed. Then came the florals: a crisp, white strapless gown that faded, ombre-style, into deep purple flowers. A black and grey monument to construction was printed in a barely-visible floral print. A beige ballgown was covered in the lightest mesh, embellished in the most perfect beading. And, oh to have the abs for the cropped white top with the pale blue floral skirt, the most modern take on true elegance.
Transparency and translucency were themes of this anniversary collection, with fabrics ranging from summer tweeds to cashmere, organza, brocades and laces. The color choices read like a cool summer smoothie: sea glass, titanium, magnolia, pomegranate, raspberry and blueberry.
The celebration ended with a flood of black and white balloons falling from the ceiling, and a walk down the runway with the designers, centered by Naomi Campbell. It was the classiest finale for these two creators of modern classic design, season after season.
Photography: Anton Brookes