Libertine inventor Johnson Hartig (for inventor’s the only true word to describe him) has created a world of his own, a mythical, magical world where Lord Byron references live side by side with pirate hats and Uncle Sam stovepipes. The California-based designer of menswear and womenswear — itself a distinguished feat — has been around the fashion block a time or two, having launched his eponymous line in 2000 and Libertine in 2010, but he’s marched around that block to the beat of a drummer that he alone can hear. He’s like some mad pied piper, except his emperor is most definitely wearing clothes. Wild, madcap clothes pulled from the Wonderland dress-up box, or so it seems at first glance, but if you look past Hartig’s inventive styling, you’ll find wearable statement pieces that, when mixed with your more subdued clothes, will mark you as a forward thinker who’s ready and angling to take over the world. And any world being taken over by the dames and lads who don Hartig’s clothes and the Hartigean spirit is a world I’m ready to live in.
Joseph Altuzarra makes me weak in the knees. He makes seriously beautiful clothing that’s polished, sumptuous, free-spirited, grounded. His clothing takes me places, and his Spring 2013 Ready To Wear Collection is no exception. It takes me to East Africa (a place that lives large in my heart), and to India (a place that looms large in my imagination) and to any business or social event I could ever need to go to, save, perchance, The Academy Awards and, okay, any other black tie event.
British fashion designer Matthew Williamson is the king of color, and sultan of an exuberant, bohemian-inflected glamour of his own invention, that is now such an essential part of the modern style lexicon that we imagine it was always thus.
I’ve long been a fan of Williamson’s designs and enamored of his Indian swami looks — which must have rubbed off whilst the Englishman was traveling through. They suit him in every way for the magic kaleidoscope life he leads. It is a singular life, and a Technicolor example of what it looks like when all the pieces of you line up.
Williamson, who once said, “My design philosophy is to make women feel like peacocks,” found his visual native tongue in his travels to India and Bali. Those influences are still evident in his work, which drips with vibrant color, pattern and embellishment. Williamson knows how to work a frock. Slip one on and you are transported, back to the dress-up box, and the fairytale magic that found you there.