Designer Farah Angsana’s Spring 2012 collection, showcased Saturday afternoon at The Box in Lincoln Center, was inspired by Japan’s famous and beautiful cherry blossoms. Labeled Oriental Enchantment, the show aimed to pair Angsana’s Eastern inspirations with modern Western fashion.
The result was mixed. In a show featuring 20 designs, there were some I loved, some I hated, and others that left me ambivalent. The nontraditional presentation- with all the models standing in various positions throughout the room as spectators walked by- was very well done, but overall I wish Angsana’s Eastern inspiration appeared more prominently in her designs.
Angsana’s show featured gowns and cocktail dresses only, reflecting her focus on women’s fashion. Models were grouped by color, with reds, pinks, purples and caramels standing in a circle in the middle of the room, whites in one corner and blues in the opposite corner. Strong yet melodious violin music played in the background and a gentle breeze allowed the dresses to flow softly.
The pinks represented the cherry blossoms, the blues represented the sky, and the reds represented Asia. The nude colors were not specified. There was one kimono gown and several dresses had cherry blossom designs on them, but apart from that the exhibited fashions did not seem particularly “Eastern-inspired” to me. I wish Angsana had been a little more specific and a little less vague in her interpretation. Most of her dresses, while gorgeously designed and tailored, did not immediately remind me of Japan or any other Asian style.
Of the several gowns I loved there was one that stood out: A beautiful red tulle v neck gown with a gold and red beaded bodice. Striking, elegant and unique, I really think this gown was the best of the show. There was so much detail not only in the beaded bodice but also in the rest of the gown, which actually looked more Spanish than Asian. Nevertheless that model should have been on a platform all her own.
Of the several gowns I didn’t like at all, the blue kimono was ironically one of them. It just didn’t seem to fit the model well and was a bit matronly to me. The color was again beautiful but the design, the most Asian inspired of them all, was not a stand out piece.
When I spoke with Angsana she said she spent several months exploring the beauty of the cherry blossoms in Japan. While looking closely I could see her inspiration in a couple pieces, but in others I was left completely in the dark.
All in all the show was well presented and well done, but the vision could have been a little more cohesive and complete. I am looking forward to seeing her evolving style.
– Karina Schroeder
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Filippo images via GoRunway, and Earl images via Getty Images.