February 14, 2005
If fashion designers can be imagined in families, Garen Demedijian has Rick Owens for an uncle and Anne Valérie Hash as an aunt. That, at any rate, is one explanation for the urban warrior jackets, traily tops, and tattered flounced skirts that make up the Gardem look. At a distance, his layers of washed leathers and crinkled silks and faded palette of blacks, browns, and neutrals look a tad overfamiliar in that post-deconstruction vein. But close up, his pieces have a certain femininity of their own. His jackets, long in front and short and fitted in back, have an eighteenth century, fencing or riding jacket air about them. And this season he's added fur boleros and a great shaggy gray Mongolian lamb to go with his Victorian ragamuffin skirts. With the skinny satin and velvet leggings and patches of bricolage jewelry, there were enough pickings here for girls who like to collage together their own romantic rock-chick style. On the other hand, to keep attention coming his way, Demedijian needs to work harder on building the character of his collection into a distinctive personal signature.