Known as a designer for the ladies-who-lunch clique, Douglas Hannant has expanded his aesthetic to include that sought-after client who sees fashion as art, and is not afraid to have that concept expressed in their personal style.
In his 2011 Resort collection, Hannant goes back to his love of painting and fine art, which he beautifully details in hand-painted, sequined gowns and cocktail looks.
Palm Springs of the 1950′s and 60′s also served as an inspiration for this collection.
"I was inspired by Palm Springs in its heyday. I am thinking Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Kaufmann House, the architecture, and abstract expressionists," Hannant says. "I love mid-century modernism in this period. This is a time when women were really polished."
The designer updates the classic summer suit of this period by adding some modern embellishment and innovative construction.
The structured rosette embellishments made of horsehair reflect an abstract modernism. Hannant juxtaposes cotton tweeds with sequins and polished silks, lending this collection a more youthful appeal while maintaining Hannant’s signature classic elegance.
"Texture is always very important to me. Tweed has been a signature of mine for years; I just love it," the designer says. "Now, these cotton tweeds breathe and are lightweight. You don’t realize how lightweight they are until you touch them."
There were several standouts in this Resort collection, but special acknowledgment goes to Hannant’s black and white print, drape front gown, and his lavender-printed, sequined, one-shoulder gown.
With this Resort collection, Hannant expands his consumer base beyond well-heeled Upper East Siders to also embrace those who see fashion as art, and who crave youthful elegance.
Photos courtesy of Ernest Green