2 posts tagged "Nevena Borissova"
“I think people respond to the fact that they’re not just drawings, but sort of hidden cultural moments,” revealed Donald Robertson (a.k.a. Donald Drawbertson) at luxury retailer Curve‘s new gallery on Bond Street. The suburban dad-cum-Warholian artist (and head of creative development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics by day) is talking about the Pop appeal of his loose-sketched, candy-colored fashion illustrations, a selection of which were placed on view with the help of host Carine Roitfeld at Nevena Borissova’s subterranean gallery last night.
The images, painted in sweeping, affection-laden lines on a single piece of paper that spans the entire length of the gallery space, are meant to lead the viewer from one fashion moment to another. “I’ll do Dita [Von Teese] and Zac Posen, whom I really love, in bright magenta, then to leave this color palette altogether and get into black and yellow. Then I’ll go into just black lines. And I usually do skinny chicks, then I’ll do full booty,” explained Robertson as we walked down the line.
Figures represent specific looks (a yellow streak on a willowy woman may reference Acne Studios’ boxy sunset Fall outerwear, for instance), as well as friends (Lisa Perry and Roitfeld are regulars) and the more-than-occasional style world moment. “I’ll see that Kanye West got married, and I’ll do a Kanye West post right away,” said Robertson, explaining that Instagram is both a major source of inspiration and a forum for his work. (He was nominated for the CFDA’s Instagrammer of the Year Award.) “It allows me to react to things as they happen.” The illustrations at Curve are an extension of this desire for instantaneous dialogue. Viewers at the shop and gallery can interact immediately: All of the sketches at Curve are shoppable—just scan the image and scan through a selection of corresponding looks.
“I’m constantly being bombarded by concepts and ideas,” said Robertson as the likes of Leandra Medine, Brian Atwood, and Ryan Korban milled in the background. “It’s not a political statement but a style statement through illustration.”
“I think it’s a very California brand and I would describe myself as a California girl,” says L.A.-based designer Raquel Allegra. Her fans think so, too. “Raquel’s stuff really defines the L.A. Look,” says Nevena Borissova, owner of the local boutique Curve. “She’s from here, she’s that girl, she gets it.”
That look, by Allegra’s definition, is a deconstructed line rich with shredding, webbing, and authentic hand-dyeing techniques that have been tried, tested, and perfected since she launched in 2007 after buying oversized T-shirts from the L.A. County Jail. “I think there is a California aesthetic of luxe hippie in the line even though there is a mass appeal,” she says. “I’m not a trained designer, so I don’t need to overcomplicate things. I design from instinct.” Each season the series of Basics (tees and jersey) and Collection delve deeper into the self-engineered dyeing and print patterns that have become Allegra’s signature. “The shapes have evolved but it shouldn’t be dramatic from one season to the next; it’s the tie-dyes that should be dramatically different.”
For pre-spring ’13 (comprising near equal parts Basics and Collection), Allegra has introduced a batik technique that strategically blocks the saturation of dye to create a more organic texture. The result is a collection that’s full of firsts: tie-dye chiffon that translates to a near skeletal print and the use of a stopper to create deliberately uneven dye patterns and graphic brushstrokes that are hand-painted atop each color. Though she’s encountered challenges replicating her hand-hewn processes on a grand, now global, production scale, the line’s slow and steady pace has meant that consumers have had time to become accustomed to the designer’s somewhat unconventional shapes and take on layering.