Chadwick Bell calls his Fall 2012 woman his ‘Midnight Rose’. The romance and danger of Bell’s hedonistic, but always elegant femme was borne from the syneciosis (the bringing together of opposite forces and/or ideas in order to extract an underlying harmony – thanks Shakespeare class!) of Pablo Picasso’s fecund ‘Boy with Pipe’ from his Rose era and the enigmatic essence of Arlene Gottfried’s ‘Midnight’. One can say that’s where the ‘midnight’ and the ‘rose’ come together, but as the show notes state, this is a woman who feels at ease in places like opium dens – it makes more sense to say that Bell’s lady is one who blossoms near the witching hour.
The pair of black leather arm-length gloves on the first look out signaled this Midnight Rose’s penchant for night-time waywardness. She’s also a woman with a taste for mixing and matching. That opener for example: a black silk mohair scoop back sweater with a bit of sheer matched with a white jacquard wrap skirt made to look like a luxe crocodile skin. For a proof positive, look to the extraordinary coat that’s Melton wool on top and natural silver fox below the bust. A real sartorial idea on day one at the tents.
Alas, it was not a complete home-run for Bell. That silk organza degrade gown was more than just a misstep – it was nauseatingly tawdry, and a black wool silk and midnight velvet tux dress felt too overexamined, tortured with thought. When the velvet touch came out again two looks later in the form of a simple bow, things started to make sense again. Overall, an impressive outing from a young and talented designer on the rise.
Chadwick Bell Fall / Winter 2012 Gallery