FINDING BEAUTY IN THE FABULOUSLY CRAZY
Johnson Hartig is, in my opinion, one of the most creative designers and the most fun designer populating the runway today. For his perfectly-named line, Libertine, he takes what conventional wisdom would call “vintage” looks, adds baubles, bangles and beads (along with glitter, sequins, paint and anything else that comes into his hands) and turns them into fashion that’s high-end enough to sell at Bergdorfs.
For his Spring/Summer 2016, the fates threw him a big, big curve. 30 of his looks, set for the runway, were, instead, lost in some DHL abyss. While it caused more than a few moments of panic, the show went on, and if you didn’t know something was missing, well, you wouldn’t have known.
This was Johnson Hartig’s Libertine at its best. Led, as they are every great season, by Johnson’s muse Michelle, the models strutted in styles that were impossible to define: a basic black overcoat decorated with two sparkly puppies, sexy purple mesh slacks and top embellished with wild graphics, cocktail dresses that shined and white suits with bright splashes of color. There were a couple of flapper looks that really stood out.
His menswear consisted of relaxed tops and trousers decorated with the same bright abandon. Warning: these looks are not for the faint of heart. But if you’re a man in touch with your glittery, animal-printed wild side, look no further than Libertine.
The only requisite for the Libertine woman is a spirit that is joyous enough to rock big, long rows of colorful beads and a genuine flair for the dramatic. When the models came dancing down the catwalk for their finale, if you felt like skipping along with them, then you were meant for Libertine.
The line has become a real staple at New York Fashion Week. Johnson Hartig’s wild imaginations and over-the-top talent makes this show one of the don’t miss moments. Long may Libertine reign.
© Red Stiletto Media 2015
Runway Photography: Anton Brookes Video/Edit: Scott Fetterman Aditional video: Chad Cooper, Philip Henken, Crystal Arnett.