Elise Øverland’s Next Stop—Carnegie Hall?
When Elise Øverland met the South Korean violin prodigy Hahn-Bin at a dinner at Peter Marino’s, she was taken with his spirit and talent. So she wrangled her friend Diana Widmaier Picasso to bring him by her studio for a fitting, her friend the downtown nightlifer Martin Cohn to teach him to walk, and lo and behold, there he turned up on her Spring ’11 runway, a centerpiece of the presentation, violin in hand. (He event played a few bars for the cameras, though it wasn’t his usual classical repertoire; he and Øverland chose Röyksopp and Robyn’s “The Girl and the Robot.” You can see a video of the whole show, including Bin’s performance, here.)
“I thought he was such a pure soul—he’s so in touch, so emotional,” Øverland said backstage after the show. “This is kind of his virgin rite.” It was his first time on the runway, though with his flamboyant everyday style, pompadour mohawk, and full face of makeup, you could say he was to the manner born. (It may not be his last; Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon listed Bin as one of a new generation of musicians whose work would be great to accompany fashion shows.) Øverland dressed him in a tiered leather skirt over pants and form-fitting blue top. “This is so completely new,” Bin said breathlessly backstage. “Usually I choose my own clothing, but to really let Elise take creative control was so fun, because I trust her completely. I was going to ask her to design my outfit for a Carnegie Hall performance in March, but my outfit on the runway just might be perfect.”