New York Fashion Week Spring ’13: Libertine’s Guileless Creativity

September 10, 2012 • Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Spring '13

Summary: Without question, one of the shows I look forward to most each season is Libertine. As an observer, and a critic, I prefer to engage fashion that has a distinctly artistic point of view, which Libertine designer Johnson Hartig exhibits season after season. Particularly in his SS13 collection, featuring paint-splattered separates, feathered hair pieces set in color-blocked bangs and an outrageous amalgamation of patterns – the cohesiveness of which ultimately stemming from a complete lack of (seemingly – although this is clearly the trick) orchestrated synchronicity. Although Hartig makes it clear that he doesn’t go into any one season with a specific idea or intention in mind, what always inevitably emerges is a whole new world of color and texture that brings different design elements together in a way that is wonderfully fearless, if not a bit mocking of the seriousness of the industry (or the world, as evidenced by t-shirts printed with “Don’t Mitt Where You Sleep.”) Although always heavily designed, there is something different about this collection, in that it breeds a sort of a sartorial free-for-fall. Florals, geometric prints, sheer ankle-length gowns, tie-dyed arm bands, black belted robes bursting with astral imagery – from the Victorian to the 70s Bohemian to the 60s mod queen to the quintessential 50s housewife – Hartig evokes a thousand different worlds painted a thousand different patterns. Some may call bullshit on his visual smorgasbord. I continue to call myself a fan. And one who breathes a secret sigh of relief upon leaving his show each season, affirmed by the continued existence of American fashion driven by art and guileless creativity.

Colors: Black, lilac, lavender, sky blue, white, red, chartreuse, pale mustard yellow, pink, orange, lime, khaki, navy, teal, hot pink, mustard, fuchsia, mauve

Fabrics and Textures: Pleating, paint-splattering, tie-dyed, lace, sheer, sequins, geometric prints, graphic patterns, embroidery, beading – endless, really.

Key Looks: Paint-splattered ankle-length gown with lace paneling and a satin, paint-splattered blazer; Two-piece red tweed suit with face embroidery, paint-splattered arm bands and matching socks; Paint-splattered cigarette pants with a cream top and sunburst pattern.

– Amanda Aldinger


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