We’re up and running! SASSYBELLA.com’s Fashion Week‘s started a day early – we attended the premiere of model-turned-designer Abigail Lorick’s Spring 2009 collection today and were dazzled by the brilliantly orchestrated set design and art direction of the the presentation. And oh yes – the clothes are quite lovely, too. Gossip Girl fans – a sizable contingent of Miss Lorick’s clientele – will be pleased to know that next spring’s line will feature plenty of pretty, feminine, confectionery party frocks for Blair Waldorf and those who aspire to be her.
The presentation’s style – possibly usurping the clothing for sheer aesthetic impact – was surprisingly involved and imaginative. Peter Klein, Lorick’s prodigal set designer, converted an unremarkable midtown penthouse loft into a microcosm of fashion fantasy sequences. The official theme and title of Lorick Spring 2009 is “A Room of One’s Own”, which translated into Lorick-clad models situated in seven live action set installations, all linked thematically by artfully disheveled backdrops and a wispy narrative.
From start (a nice, normal sitting room except overflowing with two thousand books) to finish (a very glamorous junkyard), the set designs expressed formal settings gone to seed – each became increasingly cluttered, overgrown, and unmaintained. The standout “room” was arguably the fascinatingly disordered “Cake Coma” kitchen, where stratospheric cakes were mangled (and eaten) by mischievous models. Shattered dishes and bakery crimes aside, the irony and humor of this scene made it the crowd’s favorite.
The playfulness of a Lorick Lady’s destructive streak was a clever design motif: chaos overcomes the propriety and comfort of familiar settings, but everyone still looks fabulous. We were reminded of Gwen Stefani‘s unhinging of docile fairytales – making them just a little bit more off-kilter and kooky for the audience – not particularly deviant (this was no Rodarte). Experiencing Lorick’s Spring 2009 “story” this way imbued her characteristically coquettish, saccharine brand of femininity with a welcome topsy-turvy eccentricity. The smirky set direction projected irreverence onto an otherwise lightweight collection.
On that note, the presentation’s approach may have been slightly left-field, but the clothes? Pretty is the only appropriate word for them, and that’s fine, because Lorick does “pretty” better than most. This time, she played with a muted palette primarily based in ice-cream colors, seashore washes, and golds. Navy and jarring emerald provided occasional contrast. Prada-esque turbans, tulip skirts, structured blouses, shifts, and 50′s style cocktail dresses were cut from shimmering linens and duchess satin silks. Slightly abstract speckled, tie-dyed, and scribble patterns occasionally accented the collection. We particularly enjoyed the styling choices: hairstyles were either exaggerated up-dos or blunt bobs, makeup was decidedly retro, and offbeat accessories like enormous estate jewelry and oversized glasses were incorporated judiciously.
The cast of Gossip Girl were rumored to attend this event, but only “Eleanor Waldorf” (whose designs for the show are actually Lorick’s) made an appearance. Peaches Geldof was spotted covering the event for Nylon TV. A very old, and delicately patrician woman guest appeared in the “Bedroom Disaster” scene, and we suspect she’s famous because she looks really familiar. (Can you tell us who she is? Anyone?).
We were invited to attend the after party but had to meet a deadline and beat the punishing heat. We hope we didn’t miss anything remarkable (tragically, the extremely compelling cakes – by Cake Alchemy – were rumored to be prevalent on the menu.)
All in all, Lorick Spring 2009 delivered us lovely clothing and lovelier editorial prowess, and reminded us that sometimes ladies (or even models) can have their cake and eat it, too.
Below are more highlights – tell us your thoughts on the collection & set design! (click to enlarge)
The patrician lady, Mimi Weddell