We’ve received dozens of invitations to showings and presentations this season and as usual there is a new crop of names. We track the market yet still it’s hard to keep up to date on all the new brands. So to help us all cut through some of the fat, we’ve shortlisted several designers that are being buzzed about in our circle as well as ones that require a closer look over the next week.
Juan Carlos Obando
When Marisa Tomei was making her dress selection for the Vanity Fair party this year, she chose a colorblock jersey number from newcomer Juan Carlos Obando. The Vogue/CFDA new darling is showing his “The Imaginary Forces” collection at Milk Studios tonight, comprised of exclusively handmade dresses, and is sure to pack a punch with Voguettes and top tier buyers lining the front row. Word is the line is doing gangbuster business at Barneys already this season.
Gerlan hasn’t quite made her splash yet, but it’s only a matter of time for the former print designer to garner wide recognition for her take on streetwear. The designer made her debut last season at Patricia Field’s townhouse, showing ’80s-inspired mini-dresses, printed jeans, backpacks and sweats wrapped up in a strain of Vivienne Westwood buffalo stance and early New York hip-hop. For spring ’10, she turned to dancehall superstar Patra for cues. Accents to expect are marijuana and fist-bumping prints—oh, and bungee cord in the hair.
Our recent trip to the well-curated Outfit boutique at The Wynn Hotel turned up names from Narciso Rodriguez to Boudicca. But one surprising label to make the cut of this venerable Las Vegas store is Frank Tell, a young Spanish up-and-comer with a surprisingly sophisticated hand. Past collections have showed intricately crafted structured leather tops and ladylike dresses with unexpected zipper details, showing zero resemblance to brands such as ThreeAsFour and Sue Stemp, where he had previous stints. Tell’s spring ’10 collection showing, a part of Milk and MAC Cosmetics Fashion Week, takes inspiration from Gore Vidal’s Caligula, Georgia O’Keefe paintings and Wallis Simpson’s Mainbocher dress she wore to marry Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.
Like something out of a futuristic film noir—a paradox that his designs seem to address directly—Prabal Gurung combines conservativeness with experimental absurdity. After two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design team and five years as the design director at Bill Blass, the industry vet is new to the scene as an independent designer. His elegant fall ’09 collection made waves in New York City with its keen attention to detail, and he’s a sure bet to cause commotion this season as well.