Photos by Patrick Butler
As New York Fashion Week kicks offs, the city starts to resemble a busy colony of bees. A swarm of editors, photographers, models, celebrities, and the like, descend on the island of Manhattan, buzzing around in their “yellow” cabs (queen bees, of course, are chauffeured in their black sedans) from venue to venue collecting information that, they hope, will make the quality of the New York fashion honeycomb a “sweeter” place to live in these hard times.
The air is tainted by financial uncertainty, and many designers are opting for venues and presentation formats that deviate from that of the central hub (and steep prices) of the Bryant Park tents.
FORM, by Jerry Tam, chose the prestigious, swanky Tribeca Grand Hotel as the site for its Fall/Winter 2009 presentation. In an intimate space just off the back of the main bar, the dimly lit room filled with live DJ urban tribal dance beats “buzzed” with murmurs of fashionistas sipping on complimentary cocktails while they enjoyed a stellar F/W 09’presentation from FORM.
For F/W ‘09 Tam drew inspiration from “the curvature of the fresh water oyster” sighting “the protective outer shell composed of calcium carbonate” as responsible for the color palette of ivory, dove grey, and black”.
Simultaneously, the luxurious fabric selection of cashmere jersey, cashmere angora, and silk charmeuse, chiffon, and georgette were inspired by “ the ripple texture of an oyster shell”.
Against a backdrop of graphic images, alabaster-skinned models with dramatic smoky eyes and burgundy lips, hair with soft, but calculated waves and rolled bangs, displayed the combination of rich colors and fabrics that took “form” in black leggings with special texture that gave it a moiré effect (a must have item for every girl); beautifully tailored jackets, both symmetrical and asymmetrical with double and triple layered lapels stretching out beyond the natural shoulder width.
Modern chic athletic inspired cropped jackets utilized sculptural seaming and quilting techniques; charmeuse blouses with inverted pearl marrow-edged seaming that didn’t completely close to provide hints of the underneath skin; sculptural skirts that grazed the mid-thigh; and variations of silk, kite dresses.
Accessories were spare, but packed a powerful punch when they did emerge: a fur hand pouches that doubles as a handbag, and, a personal favorite – knitted head/shoulder wraps that came with and without visors. One of the last looks of the evening, a black silk cocktail dress with a cinched waist and panels of curved, sculptural fabric, expertly styled with one of the black head/shoulder wraps, was truly a show stopper.
In the end, Tam stuck by what Jerry Tam does best – producing a beautiful collection of conceptual, sculptural, well tailored, yet very WEARABLE pieces – a feat which, anyone in the fashion industry can attest to, is not easy. It was truly refreshing to see Tam, even in the midst of an economic crisis, staying true to FORM.