Joining the crush rushing into The Theater in the Lincoln Center tents, you could feel a hum and buzz of excitement. Desigual has a knack for combining the unexpected and creating clothing that shocks you into smiling. The company that Thomas Mayer started with a funky patchwork denim jacket has grown into a global concern. Since hitting New York in 2009, their free totebags emblazoned with the colorful logo has been all over the streets, enticing shoppers to come in and fill them.
Desigual showcased their Autumn Winter 2014 collection, which is a further step in the company’s design evolution. Veteran supermodels Candice Swanepoel and Alek Wek bounced happily down the runway wearing the ‘Love in the City’ collection. Their statement is:
‘In Fall 2014 our senses are awakened to the city’s overlooked curiosities and magic- and tempt us to fall in love again with the places and things we know…’
The show opened with a classic Desigual move of print mixing in a classic way. A formfitting mini (well, you could layer it over tights and a turtleneck in real winter climates) featured lowers over polka dots, something fun to make you smile when the cold sets in. The prints extended to flowers over windowpane checks, the colors of the florals nicely contrasting with the stark black and white ground print. We were then treated to into a red/white/black colorway with houndstooth being manipulated into fiendishly adorable op art circles on a black punto roma shift dress. This was paired with a classic houndstooth jacket with velvet flocking. The black and white trend continued with an outfit that mixed geometric and polka dot in one body hugging orgy of fun.
While there were some all grey looks, what I love the most about Desigual is their use of color. Starting with the neon orange polka dots on this jacqard ministirt, I love the way that color is added to create a lightness of tone. The neon orange makes the skirt special, and adds the ‘love’. The stunning maxi dress is a serious must-have. It has a 70s disco feel, and I lve the art-deco, man Ray faces peeking out of the polkadot print and shot through with streaks of fire-red and burgundy. The Frida Kahlo inspired royal blue tshirt could be great on I’s own with white, or red, or yellow or anything- but wih the straight lame trouser it’s pure inspired heaven. The black satin dress with organic Desigual rosette and red bands on the skirt is wonderful- a piece that can go from day to night, casual to glam.
Coats are key at Desigual. Winter can be so blah and boring that when you see a woman in a coat that’s not black or filled with down, it’s a shout in an empty room. AW201 brings a range of coats meant to delight and sustain happiness throughout a cold season (yes, I do have Polar Vortex fatigue!). From the op-art oversized polka dots on this jacquard swing coat (not how the bright zipper draws your eye) to the patchwork coat inwith tumbling suqares in red, green, and turquise- these cots are enough to make you feel love in the city even when you’re being slapped by arctic winds.
When the last fashionista had streamed out of the theater and the last strains of music had faded, guests were invited to the Desigual store at 530 5th Avenue to celebrate their grand opening with iberico ham, Perrier, and sparkling cider.
*Reportage photos by Faith Bowman using the Fujifilm HS50EXR.
*Runway photos provided by Deborah Hughes, Inc.