Ashton Michael doesn’t care whether you are a lady or a gentleman—the pieces in his “Black Heart” collection throw gender norms out the window completely in favor of unisex, ultra-modern glamor. Indeed, the very first model down the runway at designer’s Style360 show Tuesday did away with any preconceived expectations of men’s vs. women’s fashion. The high collar of the model's stark-white top covered most of his face so that only his eyes were showing, while a white split-front skirt layered over his pants to complete the monochromatic look. The looks that followed could have come from a promo image for “American Horror Story.” Shrouded figures in black and white created an otherworldly atmosphere--goth fashion at its finest.
Women's designs predominantly featured tailored trouser pants, whereas skirts of varying lengths were shown on many of the male models. Suspenders meant to look like body harnesses could be seen hanging from the backs of pants. Black and white leather added textural variation to sleeves and shoulders. In particular, the knee-pad leather detailing on one pair of sheer stockings showed an unexpected way to update one's stocking collection. These stylish stockings were topped with a luxurious black turtleneck cape, perfect for covering up on blustery evenings.
Michael has expressed a desire to create clothes that are comfortable, and here he shows us that we need not sacrifice style for ease of wear. The designer himself appeared in a long black skirt at the show's close, looking perfectly content in his gender-bending style statement. The monochromatic trend featured heavily in "Black Heart" will undoubtedly leave fashion fans clamoring for this collection as Fall approaches.
All fashion shows will be styled by Conair’s professional hair team (www.conair.com) led by celebrity stylist,Ric Pipino.. James Vincent will be the key makeup artist with the official makeup partners, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty (www.kevynaucoin.com) and AOFM PRO (www.aofmpro). Official sponsors also includeHarman/Kardon Headphones (www.harmankardon.com) and Jarlsberg Cheese Lite(www.jarlsbergusa.com), and the New York Post (www.nypost.com). STYLE360 presented by Conair’s official hotel partner, is the luxurious Sanctuary Hotel (www.sactuaryhotelnyc.com) and official nightclub sponsor Rosewood (www.rosewoodnyc.com).