Outside, it was dreary and gloomy, a fitting atmosphere to remember 9/11, but inside the Bryant Park tents, Carmen Marc Valvo whisked us away to a world of Springtime glamour. Beloved for his red-carpet gowns, the designer’s collection this morning also featured shorter cocktail dresses a bit of daywear, and some swimsuits that would make any woman feel like a celebrity. As the final pieces of collection went down the runway, the ethereal soundtrack (music by Michel Gaubert) reminded me that the clothes felt fluid and ethereal, too. Sea shells, with their seductive spiral structure and soft, iridescent hues, were the designer’s inspiration. And, like nature’s creations, those of Carmen Marc Valvo were naturally beautiful.
The clothes felt seductive and the moved with the models in whispery ripples and flutterings that were quite feminine, but elegant and sophisticated, not in the coquettishly-girly way that I’ve seen in many collections so far. Tiers of soft, silk, satin, organza, chiffon and gazar flowed in tiers of pleating and ruffles, reminiscent of the complicated interiors of genuine shells. The designer used the word “Gazar” to describe some of his fashions, including light as a feather, crisp, billowing organza blouses with lots of showy ruffles (“gazar” is a loosely woven silk with a crisp finish), but these extravagant creations were reigned in on the bottom, with the model’s waists often constricted with belts (the “must-have” trend for Spring 2008) and tamed with tailored, slimmer pants.
Many of the cocktail dresses featured a longer skirt length and an almost demure use of high necks, many with ruffles, with the “sexiness” coming from the movement of the tiered skirts, as you can see from the model in the black dress on the left.
There were also a few swimsuits in this collection. The navy swimsuit with wide black belt covered elegantly with an oyster colored silk organza trench coat would turn heads for sure, and looks chic and sexy, without being over-the-top, “barely-there.” Also included in this season’s collection was a new Carmen Marc Valvo sunglasses collection, created by Carmen and Signature Eyewear, Inc. The chunky, brightly-colored frames are going to help women make a fashion statement when they debut this Spring, and they’ll range from $150-$350
The talented Odile Gilbert, sponsored by Redken 5th Avenue, did elegant, but slightly loosened updos. Makeup was created by the also talented Tom Pecheux for Art and Commerce, and the MAC Pro Team, sponsored by MAC Cosmetics, and nails by Creative Nail Design.
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