Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fearless Rachel Freire

Looks from Rachel Freire's Spring 2010 collection. All photographs by Grant Thomas.

I know I haven't been posting much lately, mainly because of a crazy amount of work in the past week. The onslaught of visual information being broadcast from various Fashion Weeks combined with the grueling Market Week in New York has left me feeling almost caustically indifferent to fashion. The last thing you want to do after you get home from a long trade show is to go on and look at more clothes. Not to mention the fact that I find it slightly confusing that we're always seeing and coveting something a season ahead of time, so that by the time the collections hit the stores, we've already moved on to the next thing.

When the pace of the industry moves this fast, shows have to be really special or spectacular to catch your eye. I really have to swallow my hometown pride when I say that most of the major shows in New York tend to be on the safer (more retail-friendly) side rather than reflecting the true daring, risk-taking, and vibrancy I like to think that this city is known for. I myself am very aware of having to work in this mindset, where the bottom line is what matters; in this current economy it's simply dangerous to do something that might jeopardize your sales, and in turn, your entire business. Therefore I hold incredible respect for the designers who are willing to create something fantastical, exciting, and visually mind-blowing, even if I don't ever expect to see the clothes on an anybody except for Lady Gaga.

London-based Rachel Freire is one such designer, and the images from her Spring 2010 collection demonstrate what kind of risks she is willing to take with her work, which is on the borderline of sculpture. Friere utilizes her background in costume to create Science Fiction inspired pieces which are rendered with her knowledge of traditional period clothing, corsetry and tailoring. I love the way her clothes explore different treatments of human anatomy, seamlessly metamorphosizing from super-form fitting and flattering into extremely exaggerated shoulder pads that completely alter the figure. Naturally Freire already has found fans in Beth Ditto, Little Boots and Lily Allen. While I don't know of a single store that carries her work, it simply makes me happy to know that designers like Freire exist, if only to continue to inspire.


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bravegrrl said...

totally digging this post. i totally agree with you, i'm not a new yorker or anything, but i totally agree...

it's strange to me, the cycle... we are looking at fall/winter stuff now... and i'm just looking forward to spring.


MARION said...

Rachel's my mate so obviously I'm biased but having already worked as a buyer I think it's really refreshing to see a designer who's passionate about the art of fashion and not just thinking about commericialism. We've seen a lot of designers playing it safe recently and it's like they've been asked to reign it in as buyers are being careful with their expenditure. It's nice to see those willing to stick to their guns and put on a show regardless of economic climate in the industry.

RoAmyLive said...

wow those designs definitely are innovative and unique!

Crystal said...

I really appreciate when any designer takes risks when things are economically difficult. These images are.....intensely awesome.