Mirror Palais once again demonstrates its mastery in balancing sultry silhouettes with clever draping at its New York Fashion Week debut on Tuesday.
Set at the Church of Ascension, models made their way down the aisles in a parade of body-hugging garments constructed from deadstock fabrics, playing with themes of concealment and revelation. (One model wore a corset and mini skirt, her hair pulled back into a headpiece reminiscent of a nun's coif. Another wore a black lace bra paired with a modest long skirt.) Marcelo Gaia intentionally explores Old World religious references, re-interpreting traditional motifs with his own lived experiences.
"I grew up in the church, and it was hard, having to suppress homosexuality," he says. "I felt like I was able to tell that story today." Gaia points to the soundtrack that scored the show — "dark music... but then at the end, there's a light of hope." That light of hope was Cindy Kimberly in a sheer wedding gown-inspired ensemble with a veil cascading down the back, looking heavenly as the light spilled over her.
When it comes to inspiration, Gaia's Brazilian heritage and New York upbringing remain his main sources. "I don't make mood boards — I just reference my past," he says. "I'm digging into my psyche and pulling out what feels right to me."
Mirror Palais' New York Fashion Week also formally introduced menswear into the collection. Though the brand is perhaps best known for its celebration of the female form, Gaia is hoping to grow its fan base.
"I would like to [expand menswear]. I don't know who my men's customer is [yet]!" he says.
See every single look from Mirror Palais' Collection IV collection in the gallery below.