3 posts tagged "Nolan Bellavance"
Ava Hama and Nolan Bellavance are living out any fashion student’s dream. Upon graduating from Parsons, the latter’s thesis collection earned him the MADE for Peroni Young Designer Award, enabling him and schoolmate Hama to launch their label, Bellavance. They’ve been finding their footing over the past year (not to mention juggling all the Italian mills and manufacturers that came with the Peroni sponsorship their debut season), and things are beginning to take hold with Fall ’14. “It’s really about refocusing our DNA and putting our hand into it,” the duo said at a preview, adding that it was their first time working exclusively with New York-based factories.
Bellavance has steadily gained a following (Opening Ceremony has carried the line from the start, and Kate Foley styled the new lookbook) for its directional yet wearable takes on classic American sportswear. The latest lineup had an antiestablishment current. (Bellavance had reportedly been reading some light Foucault over the summer.) Indeed, there was a “mix of restraint and playfulness” here, as Hama put it, with a range of cool pieces such as surplus jackets and cargo culottes cut from raw twill or indigo. Also on offer were pretty dresses featuring allover pleating. (Some were printed with a chain-link pattern done in collaboration with illustrator Sonya Dissin.) Body-contouring, engineered knits, and graphic lace separates rounded out the collection that successfully showcased Bellavance’s promising vision.
Fall 2013 marks Bellavance’s first season, but after seeing their polished debut presentation at Milk Studios last night, you wouldn’t know it. Designed by twenty-two-year-old Ava Hama and twenty-six-year-old Nolan Bellavance, both of whom are recent Parsons grads (Mr. Bellavance won the Made for Peroni Young Designer Award for his thesis collection), the Fall range was inspired by duality, Dario Argento’s 1996 Italian horror film, The Stendhal Syndrome, and the syndrome itself, which apparently causes people to have extreme reactions when looking at art. You could definitely envision a savvy young woman walking around New York (or any city, for that matter) in the duo’s sporty black drawstring leather dress, winged white leather jacket, or slouchy white-speckled wool top and trousers. The designers used an abstract black-and-floral print on a laid-back silk dress, mixed patent leather and bonded tweed on a bomber and slit skirt, and dressed up denim via sharp tailoring. They even showed a pair of cropped jeans with a satin and fox fur parka, which managed to have uptown appeal as well as a tough downtown edge—talk about duality. The designers may be green, but we have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of Bellavance in seasons to come.
“Five judges, five different backgrounds, and we were all unanimous,” designer Antonio Berardi (pictured, right) told Style.com after crowning the first winner of the MADE for Peroni Young Designer Award this week. The clear-cut winner out of the ten Parsons fashion alumni competing, according to the five fashion insider judges (a team that included Berardi, Jenne Lombardo, Simon Collins, Roopal Patel, and Francesco Carrozzini), was up-and-coming Parsons BFA graduate Nolan Bellavance (pictured, left). “His work is incredibly modern, super-chic, and feels new. I think he could be a very big star,” says Berardi, dubbing him the next “Peter Pilotto or Proenza Schouler.” “His prints are unlike anything anyone else is doing,” he added, highlighting a print dress from Bellavance’s offerings as a favorite.
Those are certainly big shoes to fill, but to help get him going, Berardi will serve as Bellavance’s mentor (and the young star has received $25,000 to finance his debut collection and $20,000 from Peroni to produce the showcase of his first full-fledged collection at MADE fashion week). Until then, Berardi’s advice to the designer: “This is the beginning, so it’s time for him to explore who he is. With every new young designer, they have to get some things out of their system. Gradually you fall into your shoes.” As for Berardi, he is off to Milan and straight into fittings. “I didn’t even know fashion week shows had officially started here in New York,” he admits. When his clothes hit the catwalk in London, expect to see him toying with the proportions of separates. Plus, there are embroideries “that look like they are on fire,” he hints.