For Fall, Maiyet turned away from the faintly bohemian vibe of last Spring for something darker and sharper. Backstage, creative director Gabriella Zanzani explained the inspiration was Santiago Calatrava, both in details like embroidery and appliqués as well as architectural silhouettes. That's partly the natural progression of things for a cold-weather season, but possibly also an attempt to skirt the crunchy, ethical-fashion pigeonhole. After all, Maiyet is both luxury label and geopolitical experiment, attempting to stabilize regions of the world by employing their local artisans.
Those production locales were called out by country on the run of show. But Maiyet's ethos is both the point and not the point. Meaning: It is if you care. For those who don't, this collection still had things that might make them take notice at Barneys New York, where Spring just made its exclusive debut. Outerwear was easily the strongest category, like a lean little military car coat with felted appliqués, made in New York and India, or a chic burgundy cocoon with a narrow shawl collar and single button. Simple blouses were also chic, as was most of the jewelry, but some of the dresses with contrasting shoulders and experiments in piecing together tailoring with free-flying Indian block-printed chiffon felt less than sophisticated.
At the show, company president Kristy Caylor reported that the first season was a success, making it onto store racks in spite of tough production logistics, and making it off of them. Reorders may even be in the offing. Caylor also explained that Maiyet is ensuring smooth expansion by partnering with Indian NGO NEST to upgrade and grow their artisans' skills. All good news, but as Maiyet matures and continues to show on a Paris runway, it would be nice to see a clearer point of view also come into focus.
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