You have heard of making a fashion statement. Sometimes designers do more than that – they use their medium to make a different kind of statement.
This was the case for Francesca Liberatore’s latest collection (A/W 2017) presented at NYFW. The statement wasn’t subtle or hard to interpret. It was printed in bold letters on many of the designs. The words Freedom of Speech were on a cream colored military inspired overcoat. Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear were seen on a velvet shawl alongside printed imagery. It seems so appropriate to remind ourselves of those rights and especially apropos coming from a designer whose last name means “liberator” in Italian.
The models walked to the beat of songs by the British punk rock band The Clash, known for their “politicized lyrics … and rebellious attitude” (Wikipedia). The music contributed to the irreverent mood set by the designs. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed!” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A collage of fabric and textures and a mix of colors were prominent in the designs. Traditionally warm winter materials like velvet and fur trim were layered over revealing embroidered sheers. Military inspired tall lace up boots complemented solid colored velvet jumpsuits and bomber jackets – a masculine silhouette executed in a soft and gentle feminine fabric. Purple, red and blue as well as bold stripes, cream accents and metallics were present throughout the collection.
Towards the end, a model notably wore leg braces paired with a stunning pink sheer embroidered gown – undoubtedly an homage to President Franklin Roosevelt who, by the designer’s own words, was the inspiration for this collection.