Sies Marjan’s proper fashion experiment
Sies Marjan is currently fashion’s most instinctive brand in New York. Its Dutch designer Sander Lak creates viscerally and the result this season was one of the most distinctively experimental, and beautiful, wardrobes seen in Manhattan.
Lak, 34, is light years away from the typical designer in New York, who is banally inspired by the latest Hollywood hit drama or an artistic retrospective n the Museum of Modern Art. The result is that his ideas are far more revolutionary than any of his peers.
From scrunched, holographic cocktails gathered at the hip to the light changing moiré dresses cut with dangling shards of fabric, his clothes surprise and dazzle. His outfits spiral and twist and are cinched and pleated in such unexpected proportions that the clothes look all very new, very now.
His color palette – faded greens, light Bordeaux, washed-out lime, iridescent Imperial Roman purple – are dreamy; yet his mood is dramatic. The same colors were projected on the walls and ceilings of the show-space on Seventh Avenue, as John Adams' Two Fanfares for Orchestra burst out of the sound speakers.
Lak, a former head of design at Dries Van Noten who also did stints at Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim, also showed menswear. Sensitive chaps, several in silk ambré pajamas worn with abstract expressionist fur coats. Not, admittedly, gear for a morning on Wall Street. The collection was also a testament to Marjan’s atelier, which is based on skilled artisans and pattern makers form the old team of Ralph Rucci, the noted American couturier.
Even the way Lak talks about fashion is very different.
“Colors always inform how I feel, so all the degradé colors, or colors bleeding into another, made me very happy. Any time a I saw a corner I felt nauseous, so I tried to do as many non-sharp corners, and make things liquid and fluid. We don’t really do themes. It is not really about a movie or an exhibition. It is very organic and from the gut. It is a very personal thing. Yes, I wanted drama – as I really like a spectacle, but not theatrically. What I really want the audience to feel is that they had stepped into this different world and it is a real experiment,” explained the quiet-spoken Lak.
Which, without question, Lak succeeded in doing.
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