After exploring and capturing model moments backstage, District L kicked off MBFW with another showing from Irina Shabayeva - this time under the auspices of MAO PR in the Lincoln Center Stage. We had seen the hair, the makeup, the nails, and caught glimpses of the collection in the pre-show sturm und drang - all that remained was how it would add up.
We first saw Irina back in A/W 2010 for her debut showing at SIR Stage. Fresh off of her Project Runway 6 win, the young designer flexed her muscles and took flight, literally, presenting an avian inspired collection full of imagination and minute attention to detail. Then, after seeing a preview of her conceptual INC diffusion line back in January, we had begun to see where Shabayeva was headed with her aesthetic.
The opposing elements of Fire & Ice, and an exploration of their contrasts, formed the backdrop for tonight's showing. What we've seen from Shabayeva so far has been very thematic, taking lots of raw inspiration and translating it into approachable, accessible forms.
Some designers forget that design is a solution to a problem, and allow their vision to become convuluted by their desire to be the ultimate creative. Remaining and objective and recognizing her customer, however, are clearly Shabayeva's greatest strengths. Sculptural jackets in crimson, black, and camel; nude geometric crystal detailed cocktail dresses; fiery, high-detail evening wear with conviction; slouchy knit wraps and cardigans in mossy gray and lichen green - these are all amazing staple pieces that balance function with creativity. Executed with flawless construction of course. Versatile, market-conscious, and creative without delusion, Irina Shabayeva has the chops to be a success in this industry.
Post by Nicolas Sera-Leyva