Futurism Meets Femininity with David Alexander’s New Collection
The crowd hummed with anticipation as a remix of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” blasted from the speakers. The familiar music both calmed my fidgeting and made me want to dance in my seat. It was Oct. 14, 2009, and for many of the audience members, this event was yet another stop to make during LA Fashion Week.
However, the David Alexander spring/summer 2010 fashion show, called “Love Me If You Dare,” is my first Fashion Week fashion show. Sure, I’ve witnessed runway shows in my lifetime, but this was my first time attending a show during one of the famous Fashion Weeks taking place in major cities around the world (the most well-known being New York, Paris, London and Milan). As I sat under the Corinthian-style columns illuminated by dim lights, seats filled around me and people began to line the deep red walls of this theater in downtown Los Angeles.
Finally, the crowd hushed and the show began. A model glided down the runway to a rhythmic, hypnotic song in a backless, red-satin dress. With bold shoulders and a row of pleats arranged in a v-shape down the front, the dress was youthful because of its short length and vivid color, yet sophisticated due to its intricate detailing. It set the tone for the rest of Alexander’s show, which mostly consisted of party dresses in body-conscious silhouettes and separates with a twist.
In addition to the womenswear collection, Alexander also showcased his menswear collection that included lots of knits, studs and shorts.
The first two dresses appeared to be satin and had high necklines, high hemlines and exaggerated shoulders. They were followed by another mini dress, this one was taupe with loose half-sleeves and cutouts at the waist. Next, Alexander paired tiered, nude-colored skirts accented with snakeskin-print accents on snakeskin-print blouses.
One dress that garnered an audible buzz from the crowd was an olive mini dress that ambitiously paired pleats with rows of golden studs at the asymmetrical collar, waist and bottom hem. Another crowd-pleasing moment was when three models sauntered down the catwalk in coordinating cap-sleeved bodysuits with daring deep-v panels.
My favorite looks, however, involved sequins – a nightlife staple. Like the rest of Alexander’s looks, the sequined dresses were party-ready and definitely not for the shy. An audience favorite was a slinky black sequined floor-length gown with short sleeves, no back and a high slit up the side.
In addition to whispers from the show’s attendees, there was an audible swish as the model made her way down the catwalk. My absolute favorite garment in Alexander’s collection was the blue and silver sequined mini dress that combined the two shades to achieve a unique iridescence, as if the silver sequins were painted on the blue base.
I also adored Alexander’s silver and gold dresses that combined futuristic, metallic material with retro silhouettes. The silver dress was reminiscent of a Hershey’s Kiss: foil-like, but with a sweet peplum skirt. While a form-fitting gold party dress might recall C-3PO, the bustier shape of this particular dress kept the look feminine, provocative and far away from cyborg territory.
As one collection, the fabric choices were somewhat not cohesive; snakeskin-print silks, sequins in several shades and jewel-tone satins don’t seem as though they belong in the same show. However, the qualities that made each garment so unique did not diminish their appeal as individual pieces. While the materials were a wide array of textures and hues, they were united in their untraditional nature. The use of shiny, PVC-like material in the dresses and panels of the skirts as well the use of spandex in the skintight leotards added a futuristic appeal that would not have been present if the collection only included traditional satin and sequins for its eveningwear.
Glamour, shine and lots of leg were consistent throughout the show (with each model standing tall in platform heels, of course). The silhouettes were kept modern and simple enough so that each dress was attention-grabbing and fun but not cheesy. Overall, despite the rather arbitrary choices of material, most of the pieces themselves were impressively made and highly covetable.