Last year, Cynthia Rowley brought her resort collection straight to the offices of fashion editors with a location van. This time around, she’s making it even easier. On June 22, Rowley will unveil resort with a look book-cum-art project on StyleCaster.com, done in collaboration with Brooklyn artists Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader of Reed + Rader.
This story first appeared in the June 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I felt like this was the next step,” says Rowley, adding that the allure of working with Reed and Rader was their style of stop-motion animation. Picture old-time GIF animations or a flip-book. “It’s not a big deal for people to do stills or a video now,” she adds. “This is a new evolution of putting both together.” The interactive bonus: Visitors to StyleCaster.com’s Facebook page can vote on their favorite looks and be automatically entered in a contest to win a resort wardrobe.
As for the collection itself, the designer looked elsewhere in the art world, to artist Josh Smith, who currently has an exhibit at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Conn., which is also where Rowley, Reed and Rader shot the look book two weeks ago. Rowley was particularly interested in Smith’s life-sized dinosaur painting — it provided the collection’s palette (pops of turquoise and tangerine) as well as its primitive motifs, seen in the abstract bone and bloom patterns she calls “prehistoric floral prints.” Smith’s painterly strokes, meanwhile, are most evident in the floral embroideries overlaid with scribblelike plastic ribbon — “like you scratched all over the traditional embroidery,” Rowley says. “It’s the idea of taking familiar elements and completely subverting and f—ing it up.”