October 24, 2011 New York
His inspirations, on the other hand, have ranged wildly. For Spring, he chose the unlikely icon of John Ninomiya, a man who gave up hot-air ballooning for an even rarer form of flight: aviation by multiple helium-filled Mylar balloons. (On his Web site, Ninomiya encourages other hot-air ballooners to "degondolize," in the richly suggestive idiom of the industry.) His flights inspired the silver Mylar sculpture that decorated the West Chelsea gallery space where Brood is presented.
But it was lightness, not inflated volume, that came through in the clothes, in ombrés meant to suggest the softness of color playing off water. For Spring, Sarier ventured further into separates than ever before, designing trompe l'oeil silk faille jackets and doubled chiffon skirts "to create," he said, "layering without layering." Occasionally, these layers, as in parachute skirts floating over burnout-patterned stockings, felt impractical. But he was on stronger footing with the intricately cut tailored pieces. It's always been a strength of the designer's to point out the overlaps between the couture world in which he trained and the world of sport on which he's now focused. Case in point, the lacing up the sides of a corseted jacket that read as both technical and haute.