Utopia is an ideal that must, inherently, bear in its body, its opposite – a dystopia. Your heaven may, quite conceivably be, my hell. And, I am certain, you don’t want to see what my heaven looks like…
Opening with a remix of Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People”, Nada Sheppard makes clear her intentions to question what is beautiful and illustrates her influences for this collection distilled into a singular vision. The first of the twisted parade proceed in gothic blacks and Tyrian purple, the costumes of super-villains; shoulder-bracings, allusions to capes and corsets adorn and reinforce the restraints upon these freakish bodies, their emaciated faces powdered into lifeless expressions.
Tight leather slacks under collage layered flowing fabric emphasize the paradox of freedom within bondage. The climax is a Countess Bathory figure floating down the runway in an exquisite dress draped over a farthingale, her train a sweeping gesture of experimentation with tradition.
The show is perhaps, a very different beast than the reality in which the NADA collection is accessible and ready-to-wear, yet still sensual and sophisticated.
A post-colonial statement or romanticized ideal: the feelings and sights of walking through a Caribbean port of call or, perhaps, New Orleans’ French Quarter. And, also the Harlem of Langston Hughes’ Renaissance. Tropical colors tinged with well-worn time – purples and blues, pastel shades. Strong and masculine, the collection of suits – both casual and formal – are appropriate for a robust, muscular physique embodying a confident swagger. Traditional cuts and lines are challenged by eccentricities such as single shouldered vests that evoke matadors.
On this occasion of the notable Jamaican designer’s North American debut, the objective is to provide the modern male with the strength of history with the courage necessary to take on the challenges of the future.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.