Photos courtesy of Marika Brose.
The question too often asked of fashion is this: “But is it art?” If fashion can’t be art because it’s too obviously commercial—made to sell and mass consumable—then, fine, but most of art isn’t art either.
Marika Brose‘s pretty-woman clothes are as commercial as they come. Her Fall 2009 collection, previewed at Lausberg Contemporary yesterday, is pinned perfectly to the gold-card market: necessary pieces (a tank dress or sleek separates) are all dressed up in want (gauzy wee rosettes, silver mesh in slinky panels, long breaths of feathers). For women who wax, skirts are short and sweet—in particular, a coral mini-crini would sell big for summer, which is “pre-fall” in the fashion lexicon—and for those who work (it), there’s a sharp-shouldered black satin jacket that echoes the Balmain boom. A bustier and a great LBD are moulded to the Schiaparellian ideal of the woman’s body and will retail for around $650 and $850, respectively.
The biggest hit, though, will be on the racks at Jacflash, the Queen and Dovercourt boutique to which Havergal Collegiates—ergo, Toronto’s own Gossip Girls—are currently flocking for prom. Come fall, every little Jenny on the block will want one rocked-out frock: a black tank hand-sewed with so many chunky crystals, it’s almost foolish. (That’ll be $995, miss.)
Swarovski sparkled, too, on the wire “sculptural gowns” by Sophie DeFrancesca. These ethereal, surrealist imaginings of femininity—soft curves fashioned out of steel and aluminum, some festooned in artificial blooms—were the deceptively delicate fantasy to Ms. Brose’s reality. “If you can’t wear it, it’s not fashion,” said Alber Elbaz, the genius of Lanvin, to The New Yorker recently. And so, DeFrancesca’s dresses—which can be purchased through Lausberg for $8,700 each—must be art.