Rafael Cennamo is not a name I had heard much about before but after Saturday's presentation at The Box at Lincoln Center, he is a name I will remember. Too often people attach the word couture to there names when the reality of the brand has very little to do with couture but for Mr. Cennamo, he understood the word completely. His eveningwear line first launched in 2006 and he has since become a celebrity favorite. With looks like these, you really don't even have to question why.
The collection entitled 21 Shades of Gold was gilded art inspired by "the passage of time with the ornate and golden aura of The Hall of Mirrors" there was a very strong baroque influence of over the top opulence and grandeur in each and every single one of the dresses. And as the title implied gold was the dominating factor creating the opportunity to showcase an abundance of texture - from gold foil to textural knit yarns to guipure lace to mesh to fortuny pleated lamé and beyond.
Dresses were molded into sculptural shapes that complemented the woman's body by adding volume to just the right places. The draping felt a little heavy handed in the ivory/gold tiger stripe dress but for most part was well balanced and beautiful. Glittering gold beadwork created intricate style lines that led the eye around the body and made for a powerful graphic quality to some of the designs. Some of my favorite pieces from the collection included the gorgeous leggings, and dress with the warrior like shoulders and the gold v-neck dress with sunburst beading. I also was a big fan of the chunky knit gold foiled wrap shawl that had a very glamorous look to it.
Beauty was interesting with the use of sultry eyes, perfect red lips and the use of gold in the form of wrapped ribbon, cloth and even golden eyebrows around. The headpieces were fanciful and delightful in the form of giant gears reminiscent of oversized clock pieces.
I have to thank Mr. Cennamo for delighting my sense with this artful collection. It was a great way to bounce back into fashion week the day after snowstorm Nemo whipped my face raw the previous day.