Erin Barr's Spring 2013 presentation was the first one I went to this season. I hadn't heard of her before, so I used the interwebz and found out that she's considered one of the top fifteen up-and-coming designers by some website source that I am unable to locate right now. I never know what to expect when I go see a show by a designer I'm unfamiliar with, but the results are always hunky-dory. That is to say, freaking awesome.
If you watched my NYFW recap video from Tuesday night, you may recall that I mentioned a few notes about the color palette, styling, and accessories from the show. What I said the other day is still true, in case you had any queries about that. Red, black, white, and grey are the colors Ms. Barr incorporated into her collection this season, working them into a rich, old-Hollywood-glamour-meets-Acne-meets-minimalism lather of sorts. The Marilyn Monroe-inspired hairdos were the first key we were given about the vintage inspiration. At least, I'm assuming there was a vintage inspiration. That's the vibe I was getting from the record player and the books and the chess set. Because only old skewl people listen to records and read books and play chess. The crochet, the leather, and the various tastefully provocative cut-outs acted as those little reminders that we are in fact in the year 2012 and we weren't just looking in on an extremely classy dinner party in the 1950s.
After I saw the show, I sat down somewhere--who knows where I was? I can't even remember; there's literally a piece of sweater fuzz where the memory part of my brain should be--and wrote out a whole paragraph about all the thoughts and feelings the collection evoked. I had one of those, "Wow, I love that I can do this and have a reason to do this. This is delicious," moments while feverishly scribbling notes into my Hogwarts notebook. What I deduced from seeing Erin Barr's collection was that she was noting--or creating--a reversion back to a classic, simpler time. Technology has complicated and digitized and falsified our perspective on everything so that everything is all muddled. I saw this collection as going back to basics in a way, to reference Christina Aguilera. By sticking to the core shades on the color wheel, Erin designed clothing that paid homage to the past but didn't cling onto it for dear life: one can't look and/or act like he or she is from a previous time period because it is physically and socially isolating. On a very trivial level, for example, people who use archaic phrases are given weird looks. (No one says hunky-dory anymore, and I just can't figure out why not.) But on another level, not being able to relate or at least somehow incorporate oneself into the society they live in is extremely segregative in a self-inflicted kind of way. It's easy to say you love the fifties and dress like a mid-century housewife every day and talk about...whatever it was they talked about back then, but you can't expect to be understood. People nowadays need to make instant connections (i.e., Facebook (pronounced Fahs-boooook), Twitter), and if there's a gap between what's going on in their head and what's happening in someone else's, the little people building that bridge connecting their brain to the other person's go on a lunch break. The modern details like the varying shades of lipstick (sherbet-y orange, deep purple, vermillion) and the round sunglasses are relatable, not outdated.
I thoroughly enjoyed the theme of a dinner party--although there was nothing that hinted at food being a part of it. It could have just been a classy get-together, or a highly sophisticated brothel--because people don't really do that anymore. People don't sit around and read books or play chess or listen to records in fancy dresses, unless you know some really amazing people. If I could make up a word that embodies this collection, it would be retropresent.
Take a look at Erin Barr's supah dope Spring 2013 clothing!
[Photos by me.]
That is some intense eye contact. Models are frighteningly good at that.
This is where I'm seeing the Acne-ness. Acne as in the Swedish clothing brand, not nasty facial blemishes.
Cut-outs with leather accents and dangerously high slits are what Marilyn Monroe would've worn had we put Erin Barr's collection in a time machine.
O-pen backs! O-pen backs! (This is supposed to be read/said as more of a chant than just a repetitive statement.)
I guess they couldn't figure out what to do after the first move.
Leonardo da Vinci is very much a coffe table-worthy subject.
As sexy-as-fack as this woman is, I just noticed the other model in the bottom left corner making a great face and now I can't look at anything else.
Not gonna lie, that dress is a lil' big on her. But red is my favorite color in the entire world so I can let it slide this time. ...Because I was going to punish her (?)...
Hey! Whoa! If she were to attend a kickboxing class in that dress, things would get a little crazy.
The zipper details are really cool, but I hope they're not intended to be functional, because that would result in a weird dress.
Nothing too extravagant on the feet of these fourteen models. Simple pumps are a nice change from the glittery, chunky-heeled Litas that make me want to scream. No one can really wear those and perform daily life functions.
The only print displayed in the collection was a messy stripe. I quite like it because it is uncomplicated and a bit edgy. In fact, it's fairly redolent of Tony the Tiger.
Here's the thing: she's not actually reading the book.
This look is one of my favorites by far. The all-white-ness is a trend (!) and the sheerness is also a trend (!!). Twenty points for Ravenclaw!
Crocheted clothing is so dainty and hippie-ish usually, but the silhouette and the styling of this dress make it seem less macramé-shawls-at-Woodstock and more contemporary chic. With undertones of Woodstock.
How elegant are they? Just lounging in beautiful clothes...yeah, whatever.
Come to think of it, there wasn't much talking going on at this "dinner party." It was mostly just women reading books for about three seconds, putting them down, tapping their friend, taking their seat, and maybe rifling through a stack of record jackets every so often.
A note about the round sunglasses mentioned way up above: throughout Fashion Week, I stopped people in Lincoln Center and on the streets of New York to take pictures of their face as photographic proof for my upcoming post on the trendiness of said glasses. They're showing up everywhere, even on Octavia!
One show down, only seven more to go.
Enjoy the four-day weekend, dear readers! Go apple picking. Sit in synagogue for a few hours and celebrate the new year. Combine the two and dip the apples in some honey...in a synagogue. That sounds like a pretty fulfilling weekend to me.