Friday, February 20, 2009

First Look: Leanne Marshall

Last night, despite the dropping temperatures, we trekked over to 9th Avenue and waited for the doors to open to Project Runway Alum Leanne Marshall's first presentation since winning last season. We were glad we made the hike! Doors opened about 20 minutes behind schedule and people literally poured into the venue to be greeted by 9 models on podiums. Fellow Project Runway alum Suede was present to lend his support.

In between the chaos, Lani & I had a chance to catch up with Leanne. She was really sweet, smiling and definitely willing to talk or take a photo op with everyone present. Our conversation goes a little like this:

Erin - Congratulations on your show!
Leanne - Thank you
Erin - Did you make all the pieces yourself?
Leanne - Pretty much, all except two. I'm used to working that way.
Erin - Wow, that's really impressive, how long did it take you to create this collection?
Leanne - I made most if it except two pieces where I had in interns helping me cut in three weeks.
Erin - Would you ever do it like that again?
Leanne - No, I'd definitely not work with such a tight deadline again. When I look back there are things that I wished I could do better
Lani & Erin - Well we couldn't tell, I'm sure as as a designer you always wish you could do better, but as far as we could tell things look pretty great.
Leanne - Thank you so much!
Lani - When did you move to New York City?
Leanne - Just recently, I'm living in Brooklyn
Erin - Nice, what part of Brooklyn? I live in Brooklyn too ;)
Leanne - Park Slope!
Lani & Erin - Congratulations again and best of Luck in the future!

Leanne's color palette was simple but luxe in heather greys, bronze, rich purple and black. I have to say that the color choices were a vast improvement from her final Project Runway collection, where I loved the detail, but the color was still a bit immature. The pared down palette was a wise move considering the small size of the presentation. The shapes for most part were simple but flattering and she interjected her signature highly detail oriented layers/ pleating to just about every piece. Her inspiration was New York and you can see it through her architectural sculpting and overall glamor.

Her floor length evening gowns will definitely get you noticed. Nothing groundbreaking, but still elegant, sculptural and beautiful. I think these pieces would do many a young starlet justice.

I think my favorite piece has to be the super fun short purple cocktail frock with multi layered skirt! I thought the texture was really interesting, almost like paper flower petals. My only wish was the cutting on the raw edges wasn't as precise or clean as I'd like it to be, but I really have to hand it to Leanne for crafting so many intricate pieces in such a short amount of time. I'm sure that issue would be ironed out in production.

The fabric finishes were nice. A soft sheen paired with flat finishes. Textured vrs smooth. The contrasts were great. I do wonder if some fabrics were just slightly on the heavy side for their application, but it didn't detract from the overall look.

Overall, a very tight showing. Can't wait to see more from Leanne. Especially given time, staff and proper facilities!


isabella whitney said...

thats amazing! she rocks.

MJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MJ said...

awesome post, and i'm loving her collection!

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