Gretchen Jones Fall 2011 Collection
“Gretchen Jones’ FW2011 Collection, “Black Tears and Strange Dream,” is named after a song by Zambian psych rock band The Witch, whose music she listened to throughout its design. Individual pieces are named after cards in the Tarot of the Spirit, and inspiration for the collection ranged from Jean Michel Basquiat to Kurt Cobain, from Buckminster Fuller to Frida Kahlo and the Arizona town of Arcosanti.
The pieces, simultaneously minimal and bohemian, romantic and modern, feminine and architectural, are meant to be worn and interpreted by the wearer, a canvas upon which the woman who wears it can project her own personality and style. The corresponding jewelry is handcrafted locally and inspired by the traditional jewelry of the American Southwest.”
She’s still on that Southwest kick, we see. Actually, this whole collection reminds us a bit of her PR finale collection, only done a little better. You might think that’s a criticism, but it’s not. No one ever asks our opinion on these things (except Seth Aaron, but he was a PR outlier in so many ways), but PR winners should, when debuting their first post-show collection, stick to the aesthetic that won them the prize, at least at first. A Project Runway winner is in a very strange position. They are not established designers but a large portion of the public (in fact, the entire portion of the public that knows who they are) has expectations of them as if they were. Best to showcase what made you famous in the first place and add some tweaks to keep it just interesting enough. That’s exactly what Christian Siriano has done.
You can see most of these same shapes and silhouettes in her finale collection. In this case, they are vastly improved by better fabric choices. We like the color story and we like the prints. We hated both with a fiery, white hot passion last time around, so to our eyes, that’s improvement. There are a lot of very wearable and pairable pieces here and that’s smart. She managed to keep her “Lady of the canyons” breezy, western aesthetic but she’s offered something a little more chic and not so drab. We like it. Or at least, we like it an awful lot more than her last effort.
We hate the way she cuts pants, though. Especially around the crotch, where it’s all weirdly puffy.
[Photo Credit: gretchenjonesnyc.com]