Catherine Malandrino is a fashion designer that captures international appeal. She herself was born in the stylish nation of France and her creativity rests between New York City and Paris. Women love her looks not only because it makes them feel feminine and beautiful but because she gives them confidence through her clothing with sharp lines and well-defined shapes.
Malandrino has been the visionary behind the French label ‘Et Vous’ and exemplified her expertise when she relaunched the Diane von Furstenberg collection. From there, she and her partner, Bernard Aidan, began the labels ‘Catherine Malandrino Collection’ and ‘Catherine Malandrino Limited Edition’.
When the French press speak of this vivacious designer, they describe her as the most photographed French woman in America after the Statue of Liberty. She combines the elegant romance of Paris with the energy of New York City to produce collections that are charismatic for her universal clientele. In Catherine’s own words,”I want to bring softness and refinement to an urban, feminine wardrobe and to help the woman show her character and individuality through her unique clothes.”
The Malandrino label is widely known for unique craftsmanship and masterful color palettes as well as innovative draping. Her launch in America was a memorable one in 2001 with a collection overwhelmingly adorned with the stars and stripes of the United States flag on flowing dresses and jagged t-shirts. It was the epitome’ of the American dream. Next came the “Hallelujah” collection presented in a New York landmark, The Apollo Theater in Harlem. This collection was inspired by women performing in church, wearing their most intricate adornments to sing about their devotion. Her boutique in Soho was featured in 2002 on the hit series “Sex and the City” and she quickly gained fame drawing attention from big name celebrities such as Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Elizabeth Hurley. In 2005, she unveiled her luxury line of gowns, furs and accessories. This was a successful designer move in an effort to reach all facets of the fashion world.
This latest Fall/Winter 2013 Collection shown during New York Fashion Week in February was called ‘Le Normandie’. It was inspired by the French Art Deco elegant line of Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann. Graphic shapes portrayed elongated silhouettes illustrated by funnel neck collard coats, med calf pencil skirts and glove sleeves.
The wearer will feel luxurious and comfortable in leather, cashmere knit, rubberized wool and double silk satin crepe. Black velvet ribbon encompassed the body which created the illusion of movement. Dropped shoulders, generous cape jackets and hooded trench coats will soothe the soul in the heart of winter. Warmth was evoked as black velvet was combined with tulle. Dark colors were brilliant and inviting in tones of absinthe, burgundy and midnight blue. Geometric shapes flattered the shape of the woman’s body.
The collection can be summed up in one word, individuality. What woman wouldn’t want to shine with originality and charm?
If you just can’t get enough of Catherine Maldandrino or you are curious and want to view some of her designs for the very first time, visit FIT’s “Fashion & Politics” exhibit in New York City where the iconic flag dress is on display.