If you’re asking, “Who the heck is Yoana Baraschi?” don’t worry--so did I. Yoana has been a designer for over 20 years, but has quietly been producing her own line for the last nine. She left Romania for Paris after completing an arts degree, and worked on collections for Cacharel, Mugler, and Facconable. She moved to New York in the '80s and worked for some shoe designers, Guess, and then ultimately Betsey Johnson. After ten years with Betsey she took her own show on the road.
Per the show notes: “The Fall/Winter...collection takes us on an emotional journey thru Virtualand, a familiar place in our dreams and on our computer screens. Here Faux Reality reigns and trasnports us in a cinematic domain where 70s excess glam divas morph into virtual modern heroines.” Um. What?
Without reading too much into it, I entered the presentation-in-the-round. There’s lots of color in the collection, and Yoana’s stint at Betsey shows through in some kooky, cartoonish print dresses. Big florals and a giant martini glass/aspirin bottle print adorn otherwise simple short-sleeved dresses. I loved the mega stripe jackets and skirts. A burnt orange and cream wallpaper-ish pattern that showed up on a dress and blouse was also terrific, but there was a bit of a lack of cohesion in the collection in general. But it worked with the theme. I think.
(There were a few interesting behind-the-scenes items: currently hot androgynous male model Andrej Pejic worked the show. See if you can pick him out. Also, Yoana’s in-house PR was none other than the “other” Andrew of Kell On Earth infamy. I’m happy to report he was completely composed and professional.)