August 28 2014

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2 posts tagged "Number:Lab"

The CFDA Incubator Talents Show Their Stuff


Jonathan Simkhai

“I think it’s like a football game,” explained womenswear designer Jonathan Simkhai from his brightly lit studio in the CFDA’s Incubator. “They’re sitting on the sides like a cheerleader, rooting you on, but it’s up to you to make the goal and score the point—and they’ll definitely run with you all the way to the finish line.” He’s talking about his experience thus far in the Incubator, the much-lauded CFDA program that each year takes ten young brands and helps them develop their businesses through rent-subsidized studio space and continuous mentoring over the course of two years.

On the last day of New York fashion week, Simkhai and the others showed just how far they’ve run and presented their Spring ’14 collections to buyers, editors, development mentors, and special guest Linda Evangelista yesterday afternoon.

Collections ranged from Simkhai’s own Brighton Beach mod and eighties-silhouette-inspired sexy athletica to Arielle Shapiro’s St. Petersburg-influenced modernized Art Deco lingerie to Number:Lab’s sporty, robotics-themed fashions (i.e., stylish men’s activewear designed to go from the gym to dinner). Many, including some very clean fifties-style and Indonesian looks from Timo Weiland, were inspired by CFDA and W Hotel-sponsored trips to various locales around the world. “I chose to go to Doha in Qatar to see their culture, the desert,” said jewelry designer Emanuela Duca of the original point of reference for her raw, black-and-white sterling silver collection of “primitive, sophisticated” rings, cuffs, and necklaces. “This experience has been really wonderful. There are very few months left—about seven—and I don’t want to even think about it ending!”


Weather Appropriate


After weeks of unseasonably mild weather, the temperatures have dropped in New York in the past few days. And although designer Luis Fernandez is a Miami native, he was on the same page. For his Fall ’12 menswear collection, the Number:Lab designer and CFDA Fashion Incubator (class of 2014) participant was inspired by ice climbing, glacial hiking, and Buckminster Fuller’s “ephemeralization” theory—essentially, doing more with less. The latter academic nod seems to come with the territory; Fernandez is a former architect and likes the clean aesthetics of Martin Margiela, Dries van Noten, and Tomas Maier. But it wasn’t quite the clinical iciness of, say, nineties minimalism. For one, he played with color and texture. The opening number (pictured), an overcoat and trouser ensemble, was cleanly rendered but in a ripe, rich red. Pants were a highlight, and one sharply tailored pair was spliced with gray charcoal in front and navy in back. Another tweed pair had an attractive seam that ran down the front of the leg. Later on, a wool plaid duffel coat in gray stood out. The fabric was given a polyurethane glaze and accessorized by sporty toggle closures, which gave a modern air without feeling too kitschy. Taken as a whole, Fernandez was most effective when the focus was on tailoring and less so when he veered into sporty territory—some pieces had enough visible zippers to be distracting.

Photo: Courtesy of Number:Lab