Article by Stephanie Micci
Photos by Patrick Butler
As to be expected with celebrity backed design labels (think Gwen Stefani ‘s L.A.M.B.), the turnout for the William Rast F/W ’09 presentation was nothing short of a mob scene crawling with celebrities and those clamoring for a photograph of them.
Included in the audience were the two fashion powerhouse EICs (Editor-in Chief), American Vogue’s Anna Wintour and French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld, who both sat front row (they demurely managed to avoid each other entering and exiting the show), and the Hilton sisters both turned out for the occasion, as well as a plethora of fashion and music industry elite. After a time, the pre-show paparazzi frenzy had been subdued (there was an announcement made several times over the loud speaker for “everyone to promptly take their seat”), the lights dimmed and a guitar solo playing a rock version of America’s national anthem invited the first model to make her way to the runway, and the William Rast show commenced.
The first model made her way down the runway rocking a heavily studded leather vest over a long sleeved transparent lace top paired with skinny jeans and leather fringed ankle boots; followed by a model sporting a screen-printed t-shirt displaying a modernized image of the American Flag (just the stripes were printed, but without the stars), paired with skinny heavily patchwork jeans.
As the subsequent models made their way to the runway, the guitar solo faded into the 1961 version of “Route 66”, performed by Chuck Berry, and one could not help but to reflect on the Americana of yester-year. From the onset, the message of the show was very strong – a modern take on American classics.
The designers drew inspiration from the iconic images in the classic American films Rumble Fish and Thelma & Louise; the monochromatic palette and outerwear inspiration coming from the former, and the sense of freedom from the latter.
Silhouettes featured strong shoulders and slim silhouettes, with denim acting as the headliner of the evening; coming in everything from high-waisted heavily sand washed skinny pants, collared shirts, high-waisted skirts with fringe lined yokes, distressed vests, and jean jackets – given an updated look through the use of interesting seaming and patch detail.
Leather was strategically used as an accent piece that brought the rock ‘n’roll aspect to the show, and broke up the denim parade, with pieces such as skinny leather pants, as well as studded leather and fringe jackets.
Added to the mix were a few tailored pieces, such as the menswear look that combined distressed fitted jeans and a long fitted t-shirt with a tailored jacket thrown over it – definitely a look courtesy of Mr. JT himself.
Overall, it was a focused, wearable collection that paid homage to an America that is entering a new age in many different respects, and what better way to enter a new era than with a newly revamped wardrobe.