INSPIRED BY ART, FASHION FOR THE MODERN WOMAN
When Pamella Roland is inspired, she, apparently, does nothing in half measures. For Spring/Summer 2016, Roland found her inspiration in the work of 1950’s artist Frank Stella. His “unique vocabulary of line and color made an immediate impact when it was first shown”, according to the designer. But how to turn something that resonated in the ‘50s into something relevant for today?
Roland took those lines and colors and turned them into wearable art. And she gave her own nod to the future by using unorthodox materials: plexiglass, PVC Nebula lace, reflective taffeta and LED fibers. In the hands of a lesser designer, it could have turned out more than a bit gimmicky. In Roland’s hands, it’s beautiful, feminine and perfectly contemporary.
The collection was the first shown in the Whitney Museum’s new Meatpacking digs, exactly the right show to open the space to fashion. From the start, it was clear this would be something extra special, while still keeping to Roland’s feminine and glamorous ethos.
Her combination of fabrics and materials was magical from the first look, with an ivory silk georgette strapless gown topped with a shrug made of ivory liquid organza. That organza made its way into an embellished coat, combined with a jacquard.
Ivory gave way to blush, in the most beautiful gown in liquid organza that looked like it was melted and poured and another in faille topped with a nebula lace bodice, covered in pearls.
That palette deepened, with poppy and sherbet, citron, mint and, finally, black, in incredibly textured dresses and gowns in elegant fabrics, subtle designs, gentle beading. They shimmered, shined and sparkled. You could almost see the artist mixing her colors and carefully choosing just the right canvases. It was classic Pamella Roland with new and fascinating twists.
When the final look came down the catwalk, more liquid silk organza, this time with an asymmetrical cape, I was almost teary-eyed from the beauty of this nearly mystical collection, an artist’s dream brought to life on the runway.
© Red Stiletto Media Photography: Anton Brookes