Not all designer inspiration comes from a happy place. Kimberly Ovitz said that after a friend passed away in Brazil she began researching the country, which eventually led to the collection’s thematic anchor: Oscar Niemeyer’s curvilinear architecture for the city of Brasilia. Ovitz, who showed at New York’s Pace Gallery and also launched a lower-priced collection of jersey dresses named Series, is no stranger to the art influence — it often gives her work its conceptual edge; past inspirations have included Sol LeWitt and Jasper Johns. This time, she pushed Neimeyer’s sensual curves to the sexy, heat-seeking limits. Dresses came short and body-conscious tight, served with two-tone visual interest or a draped twist in the front. She also took the collection on a Rick Owens-meets-concrete jungle detour — the slouchy, layered sweaters; the coat with a wide, swinging lapels — as well as sportier terrain in tech fabrics and oversize sweatshirts. It was a bold push for the designer, which, though not without hiccups, proved Ovitz is ready to take some risks.

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