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April 20 2014

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The Next Big Thing: Chris Gelinas, Spring ’14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Chris Gelinas

Label: Chris Gelinas

Need to Know: Chris Gelinas presented his debut womenswear collection for Spring ’14, and out of the gate, the emerging talent won this season’s Made for Peroni Young Designer Award—a prize that comes with $40,000 and a confirmed slot to show at Made fashion week for Fall ’14. Given that he spent time at such houses as Balenciaga, Theyskens’ Theory, Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler before breaking out on his own, it’s no surprise that attention to detail and fabric innovation were key in the up-and-comer’s range. Inspired by the idea that we need to be protected from the sun, Gelinas turned out pieces that were simultaneously feminine and structured, carefree and reserved. For instance, a long-sleeved tea dress constructed from navy techno shirting was trimmed with laminated, painted, and pleated horsehair that, the designer explained, was meant to recall flowers. The dress offered a copper zip down the front, so its wearer can be as demure (or as saucy) as she likes. Meanwhile, a pair of sheer, white, wide-leg trousers was crafted out of a light, spongy monofil spacer fabric. “It’s the new neoprene,” Gelinas explained in his studio. “And the pants just float around your legs.”

Cutout frocks; structured, zip-detail leather jackets; and a white and blue “beach towel” jacquard sundress were also standouts, and a digital hibiscus-print georgette shirt gown with a zip front was fresh and easy. All in all, an impressive first go for Mr. Gelinas—we’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

He Says: “This season started by thinking about the effects of—and protection from—the sun. This evolved into the idea of something very hard and strong, versus something very vulnerable and delicate.”

Where to Find It: As this is his debut season, Gelinas isn’t stocked anywhere just yet, but we have a feeling we’ll be seeing his tactile wares in downtown boutiques soon enough.

Photos: Courtesy of Chris Gelinas

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