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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The VPL by Victoria Bartlett spring 2010 collection





TEXT, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Ed Kavishe, Fashion Wire Press

TIME: Saturday, September 12, 2009, 1:00p.m.

LOCATION: the 59th Street Piers
The cavernous white space was really the perfect venue for this show, which has gained a steady following with each season. Supporters include Hamish Bowles who arrived on the early side.
Pre-show, the excitement was about KIM GORDON from Sonic Youth sitting front row, who looked more like a magazine editor than the rock star she is. In fact, several photographers mistook her for “an Editor from British Vogue”. At last, an appropriate celebrity – one who actually wears the clothes in real life, and not just for a cash-producing photo op.
The program notes reminded us of the ones from the early nineties in which you could count on the show ending with a bride, or at the very least a dramatic finale piece. Victoria had not one, but sixteen, yes sixteen finale outfits.
The PR usherettes clad in bondage like goddess tops were a promising sign of what was to come.

THE SHOW
The VPL brand is always edgy and favors details such as visible zippers, bondage style bands and super large hooks and eyes on a black men’s vest. There’s a strong layering element here, semi opaque indigo/cobalt leggings, a navel baring top and a button less swagged cardigan and a sheer coral portrait neck long sleeve top worn over a bondage bikini top with hammered leather shorts. Accessories were mega-sized leather and cord necklaces and chunky heeled sandals that were more boot than sandal. The necklaces gave the models the look of mermaids emerging from the sea with ropes around their necks to keep them from escaping back into the sea. The real accessories were the satin detailing on the pieces and the sequin bras and bikini pants that you could glimpse underneath the skin colored chiffon jersey dresses in the finale section. These are daring editorial clothes – not surprising as Ms. Bartlett’s first career was as an edgy stylist. What works is that these clothes allow you to show as little or as much as you want, it all depends on how you choose to layer it up. The day glow orange ankle wraps and cream high heel sandals were a nice avant garde bit of Brit styling. The ropes were interesting, but we were hoping for some leather bags.
STANDOUT: the fog and orange pieces, especially the cowl neck sweater dress.

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