February 10, 2013
"It's not for everybody," designer Custo Dalmau said the Saturday before his Fall show, going through looks with the team at his Soho boutique. Indeed it is not. An utter mishmash of fabrics, colors, materials, and prints, it's easy to knock a collection that many would consider the ultimate hot mess. Titled Beauty and the Best, the lengthy runway show featured too many concepts to mention, but here are a few. For women, Dalmau did tiny dresses with pronounced shoulders in a variety of sparkly, jangly fabrics and knits. There was also an Aztec skirt reminiscent of Proenza Schouler's 2012 collection. For men, it was all about wildly printed suiting; woolly shawls were draped over the models' shoulders.
It's hard to imagine any guy going for those capes, but the suits? There's surely a market. Because Dalmau does have a following. For those who subscribe to the Christian Audigier aesthetic, he offers fun party clothes that look great on the beaches of Miami and Spain. It's just that very few of them attend New York fashion week. Dalmau's been showing since 1997—an impressive run—but he might be better off trying, say, Madrid fashion week or even Rio on for size. Right now, his unique point of view is being ignored by the aesthetes.