Fashion designer Amy Smilovic founded Tibi almost 20 years ago, delighting the fashion industry with her iconic printed silk scarf skirts and relaxed lines. Her clean and well-defined feminine style is once again the main protagonist in her Tibi fall/winter 2016-2017 ready-to-wear collection, presented by the American-born designer at New York Fashion Week.
Although being less rich in prints than her previous collections, this latest lineup is undeniably rich in textures, fabrics and colors, with her creations chromatically organized and embellished by delicate color-blocking detailing. The collection’s color palette, which is filled with vivid blues, oranges and whites, has been inspired by figurative artist George Tooker, who often employed such hues for his paintings. Like Tooker, whose art could be regarded as a tool for investigating and fighting social injustices and the urban postwar society, Smilovic investigates the urban world, delivering oversized pieces and overall relaxed lines that exude easiness, comfort and a casual-chic allure at the same time. The Tibi fall 2016 collection is, in fact, just perfect for the urban environments, as it gives all women a chance to find something refined and with character to wear even while frenetically wandering in city.
As for the fabrics, Smilovic opted for an ethereally chic mishmash of different materials, such as velvet, sequined knits, see-through lace embroideries, mohair and even metallic lurex, which gives the entire collection a strong futuristic-city allure. Combined all together, these fabrics also make it possible for the Tibi customers to choose what suits them the most, both in style and comfort.
The collection alternates some conventionally feminine looks with more mannish and military outfits, for which Smilovic’s chosen fabrics play a huge role in defining the designed style. While velvet is very much used to bring forth the feminine side of the collection, mohair and metallic lurex join forces to create some quirky military looks, with lines and cuts being less relaxed but nonetheless equally sophisticated.
“No matter which way the trends go, it’s always going to be about comfort for me,” said Smilovic behind the scenes, sporting a roomy shirt and a pair of wide-leg trousers that perfectly recalled Tibi’s fall 2016 style.
Aside from long, relaxed silhouettes, Smilovic focused on the art of layering too, embellishing her solid-colored ensembles with strings of contrasting colors that perfectly accentuated her terrific tailoring skills. Drop-waist midi frocks and sweaters enhance Tooker’s postwar society motif, intertwining the Roaring Twenties’ best figures with the Nineties’ heroin chic trend. Then, to spice things up, Smilovic took what both the Twenties and Nineties had in common and translated the results into Tibi’s way of doing fashion: breaking the norms.
Instead of only showcasing mannish lines and boyfriend looks, she took male models onto the stage, letting them wear larger and longer versions of the collection’s key pieces (such as oversized suiting, roomy sweaters and slouchy pants). According to Smilovic, “it just felt really natural” to add male models to the fashion show too, because if “a woman wears a guy’s jeans — a guy can wear a woman’s, too,” without the pants being unisex. That’s just another small step for genderless fashion, which, aside from not going out of style anytime soon, is unstoppably blurring the lines between what women and men should conventionally wear.
Photos courtesy of Vogue