Earlier this month, the prince of sartorial wickedness, Asher Levine, stepped into the world of women’s couture with a brilliant collaboration of fantasy and high fashion with mannequin and display manufacturer Goldsmith. Celebrating a new roll out of mannequin designs for 2013, Goldsmith, known for creating displays for the biggest names in fashion, including Dior, showed a sense of adventure by approaching a designer who not only has never designed a womenswear collection, but one who designs from such a radical perspective, which even the designer himself has previously called “indefinable.”Amongst the business elite and model boys in chain metal, Asher revealed 17 pieces that were characteristically dark but beautifully feminine and thoroughly couture. As much of a departure a women’s collection would seem for the menswear designer, Asher took to the task with a firm vision, according to communication director Stefan Golangco. “You have to still retain your identity, but also know it’s a completely different beast… [and] I think Asher knew immediately when we got the job, he knew that in his head this is what I want to do, this is how I’ve always envisioned it.”
After years of modern masculine goth, you can see from looking at the collection that Asher was ready to breathe air into his aesthetic, creating a collection that was delicate and sensual, even with every piece spun in classic black. Walking through the collection with head of production and SCAD graduate, Tim Dejsiriudom, it became apparent that as light and airy as the collection looked from afar, it actually carried the steely toughness that is characteristic of his menswear. One of many impressive pieces was a pair of leggings which appeared to be made of shredded nylon, yet up close you realize they’re made of webbed latex – rigid and gleaming with a cool shimmer. And in the spirit of couture, the webbed sleeves of a sheer chiffon blouse were molded to the arm of one of Goldsmith’s elegant mannequins.
By combining latex along with silicone, lamés, and leather with chiffon, silk, and cotton, Asher and his team created a collection that balanced his penchant for the ominous with the sophistication and style of classic, graceful couture. Within the 17 looks were all the individual items that would define a well-thought-out collection. The bodice of an evening gown imbued maleficence in “burned” latex but flared into tiers of sensual cotton ruffles. A demure pencil skirt was powerful and sleek in black lamé, overlaid in tulle. The bolero jacket was classic Oscar or Carolina with a satin collar and beading, but ever more Asher with its bug motif. A draped, sheer floor length wrap was delightfully erotic yet eerily embellished with a spider clasp.
What truly stood out as a symbol of Asher’s success in transforming his menswear collection into a women’s capsule was taking a treacherous, almost alien, hood from his Spring 2013 show and scaling it down to a chic feminine headpiece. To look at it you knew immediately this was all Asher. Yet it was impressive to see that it was the speaking in the language of women’s couture. To translate a very specific style with such glamour can only intimate a bright and fabulous future in womenswear for this young designer.
by Izzy Ruiz for The Cannon Media Group