Saturday, February 19, 2011

At Frank Tell F/W 2011...

Frank Tell's most recent collection, which you were able to take in last Tuesday evening at Lincoln Center, was inspired by post-apocalyptic science fiction films like Mad Max and Planet of the Apes. The connection is immediately evident, as the exhibition suggests survival in a harsh dystopia. This is, of course, excellent.

The young Spanish designer's success here is largely due to his ability to mix patterns and materials. The looks are chic and sexy, and yet the imagined world of the show--in which survivors clothe themselves with what is functional and available--is sustained. For example, there are jackets that incorporate both fox fur and alligator skin. Knits are on display in the form of pullovers, tunic dresses, cardigans, and vests, but they are not the smoothly flowing, organic creations of his previous collection. Now, they seem to be pieced together; the designer wants them to appear "shredded in a beautiful way." A key element in contrasting the rough and the refined in these garments is, as Mr. Tell puts it, his desire "to explore [the use of] rarefied fabrics such as lace, chiffon, and georgette in a non-precious way." Therefore, many of the dresses, skirts, and shirts feature these fabrics.

Frank Tell's creativity and imagination are undeniable, and as you're continuing to discover, he has a flair for the theatrical. His vision is clearly articulated through both his clothes and his carefully considered presentation. It is, after all, quite a feat to add allure to the post-apocalyptic, but Mr. Tell has done it.


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