If there's a "Vegas style," it's hard to picture it. Close your eyes and try to summon the look of Sin City, from a fashion perspective, and the effort is instantly arrested by mental images of the neon-lit Strip at night, obscenely opulent casino decor, and the odd sequined showgirl or shotgun bride. Vegas itself is such an intense environment, fashion really can't compete.
Instead, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim tackled their stated theme, Vegas, by absorbing the environment into the clothes themselves. There were, they said, crystal embellishments inspired by chandeliers, and trippy checkerboard prints that were meant to evoke the pulsing lights of the Strip or the casino floor. Fur, astrakhan, velvet, and chenille were a subtle tip of the hat to the plushness of a Vegas luxury suite. A touch of wedding white, a bit of high-end latex cut girlishly. And so on.
The designers clarified that their goal was to conjure a David Lynch Las Vegas, one surreal and poetically noir. An interesting idea, but elements of this collection got at it more effectively than others. Every piece in an iridescent silk with a sheen like an oil slick was a winner, in particular the high-waist trousers. And Leon and Lim captured something genuinely weird with their rose motif. It was hard to specify what was creepy about a fitted bomber with a pair of roses on the chest, but it seemed to have vague, murderous intentions. Très Lynchian, très bien.
They had mixed results elsewhere. Knit fur sweaters fit easily into the Opening Ceremony idiom, and accessories such as hoods and mufflers were no-brainers, but a short slipdress trimmed in rabbit erred on the side of tawdry. On the whole, this was a rather odd collection for Opening Ceremony. Lim and Leon were clearly reaching for a darker mood than usual, but the tone didn't always take. Still, there was plenty of good that came of the experiment.