Araks Spring 2014: Mixed Media

Though fashion week's pace does become a smidge grueling at this the halfway point, we totally get a boost of energy as we prep for our seasonal app
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Though fashion week's pace does become a smidge grueling at this the halfway point, we totally get a boost of energy as we prep for our seasonal app
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Though fashion week's pace does become a smidge grueling at this the halfway point, we totally get a boost of energy as we prep for our seasonal appointment with Araks Yeramyan. This renaissance woman does it all, both in terms of growing a mini-empire of brilliantly designed lingerie, apparel, and swim, to "stirring several pots" on the day of her presentation. As we entered the suite she'd booked at Industria Studios, we were amazed to see her zooming back-and-forth (was she on rollerblades?!) to put those finishing styling touches on models being photographed that day for her look book, between appointments to walk through this her collection with editors.

In front of an artfully rendered, desert-motif backdrop, her models were being snapped in an assortment designed largely in homage to the Herero ethnic group of Central Namibia. Their hybridization of "Bantu" traditional sensibilities with colonially imposed apparel rendered a magpie aesthetic from which the designer drew heavily as she pursued a exciting new mixes, both in terms of fabric-weight and print/pattern.

These pursuits are generally easier launched than accomplished, but Araks was not to be daunted and the resulting pieces displayed a thoughtfulness that land them among her most sophisticated to date. Consider the use of tailorable fabrics (up top) and fluid fabrics (down low) within her dress-constructions: This ambitious technique yielded frocks that played a marvelous visual trick on the eye. How could they accomplish both structure and movement yet be cut in what--because of a continuous printed-check motif--appeared to be one fabric?

We also wondered how one pint-sized powerhouse could develop an entire new wing of her business while still creating the lingerie and apparel her fans have come to love. Araks launched a bold assortment of color-block retro-silhouetted swimwear this season, and has already landed a much-coveted collaboration with J.Crew!

While the apparel collections palette was "dusted" to desert-hazy perfection, the swim offering told a more vivid tale. We were most intrigued by how the two color-stories could be played against each other for a contrasted effect.

Well, that's not true--we were most intrigued by how upbeat and energetic Yermayan was in the midst of all this activity. As she styled, chatted, and orchestrated away we conceded that this diminutive "Jill-of-all-trades" is invariably nabbing the gold medal at the completion of fashion week's Iron Woman triathlon.

Photos: Courtesy