Nina Donis Spring/Summer 2012

The critics’ perpetual favorite Nina Donis chose ArtPlay Design Center, the gallery-studio-restaurant complex tucked away in historic district behind one of city’s main train stations, for the final presentation of the week. Hand-printed posters and signs covered an entire wall. Provocative activist slogans and quotes from poets and politicians created a DIY aesthetical focal point for the space. “God was content with what he saw. That’s what is horrifying!” Never content with the status quo the designers presented a fine collection that was at once stern and not without sex appeal. The battle of aspiration and conformity provided stylistic drama as multiple folds and pleats created volume while wrap belts and cotton strings acted as natural restrains.

Choice of plain black sandals and tight hair styles seemed to question the balance of functionality and aesthetics in contemporary design. Black and navy were colors du jour with select looks sporting fine polka dot print. A couple red and yellow looks added bold palette statements to the collection.

The agitprop dress for a closing look drew enthusiastic applause from the audience and provided a fitting coda for the entire Cycles & Seasons VI. This was fashion as art, indeed.

Alexey Timbul

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