Jonathan Simkhai had a surprise for guests of his resort collection preview in New York on Monday (though he calls it pre-spring). In addition to presenting the kind of sculptural party dresses and sleek, feminine separates we've come to expect from the 2015 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Simkhai revealed a capsule collection of eight ornate evening gowns.
"Women wanted to wear [my dresses] on really special days and I had just an overpowering feeling inside that made me want to do them," said Simkhai, explaining that more and more of his customers keeping coming to him for weddings and red carpet moments. "Now is the time." Indeed, Monday was the time. Simkhai attended the CFDA Awards that night with model Jourdan Dunn, who wore one of the new evening gowns: a nude beaded tulle lunette gown.
For the capsule, Simkhai pushed himself with materials, working with delicate beading patterns, embroidered lace, beaded lace, shredded chiffon and ostrich feathers. Simkhai was inspired by the glass ceiling windows of the Grand Palais in Paris and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. He digitally manipulated photographs of the graphic designs and laid them out on the actual dresses. "They are unbreakable, the detail and different framing is so intricate," he said. "I used a lot of those motifs for the lacework and embroideries, and then we wanted to create something that was beautiful and felt like a shield." The handiwork was done in India and all the sewing was done in New York. "Some of them are a little bit more made-to-order — there's a range in the collection, different price points, some of the gowns are more accessible."
The retail locations are yet to be determined for the evening pieces, but Simkhai says he will "incorporate more gowns" into all his future collections. So when next spring's award season rolls around, keep your eyes peeled for these these gilded dresses.
See Jonathan Simkhai's resort 2017 collection, including the evening dress capsule, in the gallery below.