February 15, 2012 New York
This season, Sarier looked to the English artists Lynn Chadwick and Glenn Brown for inspiration. The designer explained that though they seem different—Chadwick's massive metal sculptures versus Brown's limpid painterliness—"they're both expressing the same thought," which was distilled into fabric and print, with an almost geologic looking paint print borrowed from Brown, and a series of metallic gold dresses at the finale adapted from Chadwick. But the most constant thought throughout was Sarier's own, one he's been refining season after season. It's about how garments should be responsive and individual, a notion that borrows, like his aesthetic, from couture (where each piece is tailored to its client) and from sport (where gear can be pulled, snapped, buckled, and belted for safety and fit).
Sarier specializes in a kind of "gotcha" trompe l'oeil piece—jacket and waistcoat combinations that are zipped together into one piece, or dresses that fold down into their own expanding layers. Each is adjustable to its wearer's whims. They occasionally come off too tricky and complicated for their own good (all that choice may amount to a burden). That may explain the loveliness of a series of long, sheer gowns patterned with burnout velvet roses. The silhouette was simple, and, Sarier explained, so was the form: Each dress is essentially a giant square of fabric. His alchemy was to make it much more and, just as much, to secret away the pulleys and gears.