CFDA & Lifewtr presented on Thursday to a packed house at Chelsea Piers that included Katie Holmes, the collections of three emerging designers and graduates of the CFDA+ accelerated educational program: Adam Dalton Blake, Tiffany Huang and Ghazaleh Khalifeh.
“I’m looking forward to the exposure,” said Dalton Blake, whose Fifteen Love collection was inspired by tennis uniforms from the Eighties. The designs were reminiscent of the outfits worn by Ben Stiller and Gene Hackman’s “Royal Tenenbaum” characters, especially the quirky factor. A photo of Dalton Blake’s father is printed on the back of some of the garments.
Khalifeh was inspired by different cultures, seen through the lens of an Iranian nomadic woman — the designer — crossing borders. “With so much material in our world, the garment industry should up-cycle,” said Khalifeh, whose beautiful and exotic pieces had metallic filament woven through fabrics, including old Afghani rugs.
The collection of Tiffany Huang explores fears and superstitions with help from virtual and artificial reality. For example, a sandwich boardlike blue tunic is covered with painted eyes that are sad when it rains. “Each garment is embedded with technology,” said Kai Lu, who worked on the tech. “Once you enter the world of the clothes, it triggers reactions.”
“Fashion is just an extension of the art world,” said Olga Osminkina-Jones, vice president of hydration at PepsiCo Global Beverage Group. “Those with a creative spirit have been told that this isn’t a real job. I hope Lifewtr and the CFDA will be able to give the designers, not just an outlet, but hope. These designers will show up on 40 million bottles in the real world.”
Steven Kolb, CFDA’s president and chief executive officer, said the featured designers still have an innocence to their collections because that they haven’t conformed to “the box the industry puts them in. They have the power to tap directly into consumers through their own omnichannel opportunities. I could also see them at Opening Ceremony or Instagram.”