On this bright late summer Sunday, a colorful crowd gathered at the Jewish Museum for ThreeASFOUR's spiritual-themed show. The members of the designers' tribe were all present: Sean Lennon, who is filming a documentary on the collective, Kim Hastreiter and Mickey Boardman from Paper, who have been supporting the trio since their early days, Wahris Ahluwahlia, Kate and Andy Spade, and socialite and curator Stacey Engman.
They were all dazzled by this season's presentation, which was greeted with a standing ovation and cheerful clapping. The collection was indeed breathtaking, a succession of sculptural silhouettes in layered fabrics that seemed to grow from the models' bodies. ThreeASFOUR like to work with organic shapes and fabrics, cutting the patterns in circular shapes inspired by nature. In this case they also based the collection on ancient Jewish, Christian and Muslim tile designs, which were lasercut into white cotton or printed onto black silks.
The show began with a series of white dresses made from patchworks of lasercut cotton; thin veils created exaggerated shapes around the shoulders or draped around the waist and legs. They were at once structured and fluid, opaque and revealing. The repetition of the pattern and pure white created a dreamy effect. Then there were black dresses in black silk printed with more delicate patterns, and black dresses combining the lasercuts with thick black satin. Two short dresses were made from complex silk origami. The show ended with two incredible dresses made with a 3-D printer; thin white synthetic material forming an ethereal bubble around the body.
"We worked with overlapping tiling from three different religions," said Gabi Asfour after the show. "All religions have the same geometry. We wanted to put them all together and show how they all fit perfectly together because they come from the same places and go to the same places."