Monday, February 17, 2014
NYFW Fall 2014: Georgine - Backstage, Interview and Show
On a snowy Sunday evening, it is designer Georgine Ratelband's New York Fashion Week debut. Touted as a designer to watch, she has the advantage of having a truly international background. Although a fairly recent graduate of the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan (2011). Her senior thesis collection was immediately purchased by Antwerp's SIEN boutique.
I had a chance to go backstage before the show and have a peek at some of the Macbeth inspired collection and meet with the designer for an interview. The designer is slim, blonde and tall, she could almost be mistaken for one of the models backstage. Her hair swept back in a sleek ponytail and wearing clothing that exudes casual elegance. She speaks with a quiet confidence that surprises me for an emerging designer.
SRC: How has growing up in the Netherlands affected your design aesthetic?
Georgine: I think Dutch culture is incredible, I love my country, it is very beautiful. I think Dutch people, they are very innovative. Great style overall. I mean, I've lived all over the world and travelled a lot, so I take bits and pieces from everywhere.
SRC: Who would you say has had the biggest impact on your designs?
Georgine: My clients, the women I dress, they act as huge inspiration to me. I mean, when they try on the clothing, when they put it together, to see how they style it, the color combinations they come up with.
SRC: So you're very hands on with your customers?
Georgine: Absolutely. I mean, that's how we started, it was more of an old world atelier. Custom made clothing. For example I would have a woman (client) who would say, I love this dress but I want to cover up my arms so I would add a cap sleeve or 3/4 sleeve. That gave me a lot of experience as a designer to better understand what women are looking for.
SRC: As an emerging designer, what has been your greatest challenge and your greatest moment of validation?
Georgine: Right now, today. In terms of challenges, I would say getting the fabrics on time, getting everything ready for the show.
SRC: What is your inspiration for this collection?
Georgine: Hamlet. For example, we have this amazing neoprene fabric that is black and it looks like glass, and we cut it out to look like broken glass almost and we put lace it between. It acted like a metaphor. The flower prints are not like true flower colors, they are a little bit off.
SRC: I know that you're based in New York, Paris and Asia throughout the year, how do you balance that? What inspires you about each place.
Georgine: Each place is unique and beautiful and I love it, I love to travel.
SRC: You would feel like you made it, if you saw you clothing on ____? Where would you like to see your brand in the next few years?
Georgine: I think celebrities are very influential, my favorite celebrities would be Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Emma Stone. Women like these - very powerful and very confident. In terms of the collection, (adding) more accessories - starting with footwear.
The designer's show was off to a smooth start in Licoln Center's Pavillion, where the models weave through multiple rows. The feeling of glamor was thick with the model's cascading curls, red lips and neutral eyes. Simple sleek silhouettes, shimmering jacquards, plush furs and glazed laces evoke a feeling of luxury. The color palette was rich with a focus on black, brown, jeweled magenta, deep purple, cobalt blue and red.
Strategic linear seaming was placed on plenty of the dresses for a sexy contouring, architectural look that elongated and slimmed the body. In contrast to the power dresses, slim bottoms paired with boxy short sleeve tops or robe coats added an easy elegance.
Accessorized with elbow length gloves, sky high pumps and round sunglasses - the Georgine woman looks very much jetset, glamorous and powerful. I can't wait to see what's next for this rising star.