With its loads of ruffles, pleats, lace embroidery and floral appliqués, the Zac Posen pre-fall 2016 collection perfectly combines Romanticism with Cubism, adding to its results some dark Gothic vibes as well. As Posen stated behind the scenes, Braque and Picasso’s early Cubistic influences were starting points for his collection, which subsequently evolved towards a Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie-inspired line-up, “where the Liberty prints come in.”
Like Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, Posen finds himself being the avant-gardist pioneer of cubist fashion, in which geometric and abstract shapes, structured and origami lines as well as deconstructed pieces architecturally reflect the images of cubist paintings. It is also extremely interesting to notice how Braque and Picasso’s times played a huge role in their works as much as Posen’s do. In fact, as the turmoil of the years leading up to and during World War I forever changed Art in Europe, leading both Braque and Picasso toward a more representative form of art, Posen’s (and our) times manage to be reflected in the designer’s dramatic and majestic lines as well as in the dark colors he so much loves to use.
As for the Ziggy-Stardust theme, Posen clearly pays homage to the iconic artist, pushing the fashion boundaries to the highest degree as much as Bowie did (and still does). Like David Bowie, who in the early Seventies adopted this androgynous Ziggy Stardust persona of his, the Zac Posen pre-fall 2016 collection is also filled with pieces that aim at protecting and celebrating self-expression, communicating mankind’s visceral desire of individuality and uniqueness in one of the most creative and extreme ways possible.
The collection alternates voluminous origami gowns (the most iconic of which is the dark green deconstructed asymmetrical dress) with boyfriend-inspired oversized suits, traveling both in time and space with some Far East inspired-pieces and XVIII century Liberty prints. Liberty, also known as Art Nouveau or Jugendstil, was an international philosophy and artistic movement that aimed at reacting to the academic art of the century with botanic prints, curved lines and the harmonization between architecture and the natural environment. As Braque, Picasso and Ziggy Stardust did, thus, Posen’s liberty floral prints also have a rebellious nature, trying to subvert the present trends and find a new, harmonized, fashion path.
Posen’s cubist pieces all feature geometric and asymmetric lines, while the Ziggy Stardust-inspired items help the collection get its androgynous vibes thanks to the silky suit jackets and slightly fitted Nehru collar jackets with Chinese-inspired lines and patterns adorning the long straight vibrant blue and red long pants, too.
Draped skirts are paired with geometrically shaped sweetheart necklines, which also create a great juxtaposition with the voluminous sac dress and structured mermaid evening dress. Rich-hued and languid motifs in raspberry red and bold blue overwhelm the line-up with a Bowie-approved outer space allure, while full floral button-down peplum shirts and solid-colored sweaters give ‘conventionality’ a whole new meaning. Moreover, regarding his pre-fall 2016 collection, Zac Posen stated that “you have to have a business, and keep moving fashion forward,” clearly unveiling his not-so-tacit declaration of intent.
Photos courtesy of Vogue