Dennis Basso was inspired by modern art for his fall/winter 2014-2015 show at New York Fashion Week. The designer’s runway was the gallery for sweeping gowns that served as canvases. The best dresses of the collection used large graphic brushstrokes as abstract art prints. The embroideries incorporated a dense mix of jewels and sequins. Basso’s key technique was to mix contrasting colors like red and blue or black and white to achieve a painterly effect on the garment. The irregular pattern made from the contrasting colors complemented the big, bold prints. Basso piled on rich fur accessories to complete the opulent, upscale look.
TIP: Pick one detail from your garment and over-embellish it. A collar or neckline only assumes a small area of fabric so you can afford to embroider it heavily with more expensive materials. If you choose to embellish part of the garment or accessory that frames the face, you’ll create a lasting impression for a viewer because contrasting and densely embroidered areas have a luxurious look.
Gustav Klimt and the opulent palette of Vienna at the turn of the century inspired Badgley Mischka’s collections. The clothing silhouettes, though, echoed 1950s chic. This collection heavily featured metal and gold, along with rich furs draped over luxurious tweed and silk. Warm shades of yellow and rose gold shimmered in brocade, embossed metal motifs and shiny embroideries. Even the models’ tights were printed with intricate patterns and their manicures’ metallic silver paint was trimmed with jewels. The aristocratic look was enhanced with flower-shaped embellishments, and the sculpted pieces were further decorated with faceted and cabochon jewels. Badgley Mischka also used embossed metal spiral trims, square gold plates and extra-long bugle beads to emulate the motifs found in Klimt paintings.
TIP: A guaranteed way to make a garment look expensive is to embellish a fabric that already has an ornate texture. To try it: Build up shine onto lace patterns or add extra details to brocade. Layering on to materials that have height and dimension emphasizes the feel of artisanal techniques. When you accent the rich look of metallic trims with additional jewels, you achieve a look that’s truly decadent.