Yesterday I stopped by Catherine Malandrino's showroom in the Garment District to check out her Holiday/Resort 2010/11 collections for "Catherine Malandrino," which is at a contemporary price point, as well as "Malandrino," her designer price point line.
It was fitting that Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair" was blasting in the showroom, as the designer and the R&B star have become besties. Malandrino showed her latest "Malandrino" Resort collection on the runway at MoMA this past June to benefit Mary J's FFAWN charity--that stands for Foundation for the Achievement of Women Now--and the duo teamed up to design a capsule collection of t-shirts together this past winter to raise funds for FFAWN. Considering Malandrino's close friendship with the R&B star, it's no surprise that the designer's latest collection was heavily influenced by the intersection of fashion and music. Looks were inspired by Tina Turner, Chaka Kahn, Donna Summer and Grace Jones. Heavy, intricately patterned cropped leather jackets were embellished with studs and zippers and felt very rock and roll. And the accessories literally rocked--big fat raw uncut stones were stuck onto thick cuffs and bib necklaces. Sure, they were weighty, but this is the price you pay for real statement jewelry. To counter the heavy leather rock edge there were breezy kaftans in a tie dye-tribal print, and slinky shiny black dresses fit for a '70s disco queen. (Or, if you're Grace Jones, a shimmering black hooded jumper.)
"Catherine Malandrino" was less rock star but more accessible. There was still plenty of leather in the way of pleated leather mini skirts, leather dresses, and cropped leather jackets with cut-out patterns, but there were also simple yet adorable knit dresses and flowy psychadellic-patterned tops and dresses. Also there were overalls. And the lookbook models are still sporting those perfectly beat up lace-less oxfords I've been coveting since Malandrino's Spring 2010 presentation.
Click through for highlights from "Malandrino" and "Catherine Malandrino" Holiday/Resort 2010/2011.